Product development, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Sign up for informationMaster multi-disciplinary product development while taking user’s needs and all phases of the product life cycle into consideration​.

Product development master's programme at Chalmers

Evolution never stops and customer expectations on products continue to grow. At the same time, resource consumption for both development and production are expected to decrease to ensure profitable business and a sustainable society.
Specifically, individual companies want to increase their competitive advantage by offering products that stand out from the competition. Moreover, modern development work is typically characterised by multi-disciplinary, international teamwork, as well as efforts to simultaneously consider several issues related to the product and its life cycle.
Product development is a core industrial activity that addresses all of these aspects – it is a multidisciplinary process of identifying and envisaging the needs of the user, company and society, and bringing those needs to life.
The master's programme is aimed at students with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, automation and mechatronics, industrial economics, industrial design or an equivalent degree, and who is ambitious to help develop the next generation of outstanding product offers.

International students are greatly appreciated, especially during teamwork activities, since they contribute unique experiences and enriching viewpoints. International students typically appreciate the open study climate and easy access to teachers and professors.
Students of this programme acquire knowledge and practical skills to master multi-disciplinary product development while taking all phases of the product life cycle into consideration. The course called “Product Development Project” is the most central part of the programme. Student teams plan and execute a product development project to solve an industrial problem in close collaboration with a partnered company.
Students are also given the opportunity to enrich their knowledge in business development, product innovation and manufacturing, which are the domains most related to product development. Thus, a master’s degree in product development provides a broad competence base, which is suitable for developing a career in R&D for large corporations, business development, start-up entrepreneurship, consultant and research. The students have the opportunity to groom their interests by choosing courses offered from both technical and management areas.

Topics covered

The subjects of innovation and concept development are fundamental areas in the Product development master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as production management and design.

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree​. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. 
The programme consists of four compulsory courses corresponding to 37.5 credits which are offered in the first year of study. The students can select seven elective courses out of which minimum three has to be selected from the profile courses offered by the programme. Students have an opportunity to develop their interest by selecting courses offered from any combination of the three profile namely: Product Innovation, Business Development and Manufacturing Domain.
A wide variety of projects are presented for Product Development Project which is carried out in close collaboration with the industrial partners. Typically every year projects from automotive, aerospace, biomedical, machinery, and consumer product area are offered from the department.
The elective courses in the program along with the master thesis enables students to specialize with profound knowledge in certain areas.​​

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with four compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Product development. Each course is usually 7.5 credits.
  • Product development management
  • Advanced computer aided design
  • Product planning needs and opportunities
  • Product development project​

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice.
  • ​Master’s thesis

Compulsory elective courses

Through compulsory elective courses, you can then specialize in product innovation, manufacturing domain or business development, or a combination thereof. ​​During year 1 and 2, you need to select at least 3 compulsory elective courses out of the following in order to graduate.

Profile track: Product innovation
  • Engineering design and optimization
  • Finite element simulation in design
  • Materials selection and design
  • Production and product service systems
  • Applied mechatronics design
Profile track: Manufacturing domain
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Production management
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Manufacturing strategy
Profile track: Business development
  • Product lifecycle management (PLM)
  • Business marketing and purchasing
  • Platform development and modularization management
  • Quality management
  • Project management

Elective courses

You will also be able to select courses outside of your programme plan. These are called elective courses. You can choose from a wide range of elective courses.


Graduates of the programme are equipped to move into all aspects of product development. The education leads to a wide range of career opportunities within the area of R&D, technical design, product development and testing, innovative business development, start-up entrepreneurship, project leader, design consultant and research. The programme is suitable for varied industrial fields like automotive, aerospace, machinery, consumer product, biomedical, and electronics.

With a product development degree, you will become very attractive to the industry. Many of our graduates get their first jobs as product designers or project managers, harnessing the technical insights, skills in using advanced digital engineering tools, and the ability to lead teams in addressing complex and ambiguous tasks, developed in the programmes.

Research within Product development

Research and state-of-the-art knowledge in product development are inherently linked to course content and teaching since the majority of teachers are also active researchers. For instance, teachers and professors involved in the master’s programme in product development conduct research within the robust design, systems engineering, human factors and service development.
The current key product development research challenges are constituted by sustainability and digitalisation. Chalmers researchers are internationally recognised in both areas, particularly for our close collaboration with the industry to address these challenges. The programme provides a solid foundation for a future research career.​

Sustainable development

The Product development programme offers rich opportunities to develop your abilities to develop the sustainable innovations needed now and in the future. Course-wise, a string of courses teach state-of-art sustainable design tools, focusing on product-service systems, lifecycle analysis, circular economy and strategy. You get to apply these methods in cutting edge real-life projects, with startups as well as large multinational firms in the team-based product development project which is the backbone of the programme, as well as in the master's thesis.
It is therefore natural that the programme is highly interlinked with the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDGs)​. The table below provides an overview of the sustainable development goals and the associated targets within the programme.
SDGs for Product development at Chalmers

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
The programme has a project-based curriculum including multiple real industrial projects. In many of these, the objective is to develop new sustainable products. The objectives can be related to, for example, improved energy efficiency or ergonomics. Examples of courses that develop the needed skills to carry out this work include Lifecycle Assessment (sustainable industrialisation) and Product Development Project (innovation).

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
As stated above, the programme has a project-based curriculum with many projects aiming to improve energy efficiency, ergonomics etc. Examples of course that develop the needed skills to carry out this work include Circular Economy (sustainable consumption) and Production and Product Service Systems (sustainable production).

Student interview

I can focus on the whole process of making a product”
Jenny, China, Product development​

Why did you choose this programme?
– I was studying Mechanical Engineering for my bachelor's and went to Sweden for an exchange, then I immediately fell in love with the country. After that experience, I decided to apply for Chalmers for my master's degree. I chose Product Development because I could combine engineering with my interest in innovative design. My programme enables me to focus on the whole process of making a product, rather than just theoretical numbers and calculations.

What have you been working on?
– We had a large half-year project going on collaborating with local companies to find out the best solution for their stated problem. Each group consisted of around five students working on one project together with a company. Starting from customer need study, to concept generation, different levels of design, prototyping, testing, and the final solution. I thought it was challenging and fun to work on a specific project like that.

What do you like the most about your programme?
– Many of our courses are project-based, as well as group-based, so I learned many methods and experiences from doing the projects. I also learned how to cooperate in a team and picked up the “Swedish working style” from my teammates.

What do you want to do in the future?
– I would like to be a product developer/mechanical designer here in Sweden, but I'm open to all possibilities, maybe becoming a Youtuber might be a good choice as well. 😊​​​

​​Student Blogs

Page manager Published: Wed 30 Nov 2022.