Top Schools in Europe to Study UX Design
Many young people face the challenge of choosing the right university to continue their studies after high school. There are many components to consider before making the final decision. Especially when you are choosing a school to study design and particularly UX design.
UX design is new to some universities, new in terms of being a programme of its own, not part of design curriculum. If you ask web designer and developers graduated long time ago, they will probably tell you that they studied UX design as a module in their design education.
A while ago, UX design has emerged as an important part of design and nowadays, universities and schools have created specializations, graduate or masters programs to fulfil the demands of the industry.
Since the industry has started to pay so much attention to UX design, universities has no choice but to follow. After all, it is in best interest of universities to have tight connections with the business and prepare people that are able to fit into the future job market and environment.
Having said that, I imagine that you are wondering which is the best school in Europe to study UX design. Relying on my personal experience in choosing a university I would give you some practical ideas to help you choose. Below you will also find a list of European universities that offer UX design education.
1. When you are choosing a school, you are choosing your future
There is no secret that school has to prepare you for your career and I would suggest you choose carefully. Do not choose a school because of the name or the place. No doubt, these are important but I would focus on research of what are the connection of the school with the industry. Do some research of their recent (and not only) graduates, you can send an email to the design department to ask for information. Also, see if there is an option for a placement or an internship in the 3rd year. Placements are fun and can reshape your future (and if you are lucky enough, you will be paid!!!). I have a friend who did a placement in a design company and he still works there…
To sum up: Check graduates, research university connections with the industry and see if there is an option for an internships.
2. Attend an Open Day
Most universities hold an Open Day once or twice a year, so you if can afford it, you can go and see the school with your own eyes. Feeling the atmosphere of the school is important as well as checking their facilities. Sometimes, you just need to feel the place and know you will be happy there. You also can take this opportunity to discuss the programme, modules and teaching methods with the school staff. I am sure they will be willing to talk to every prospective student.
To sum up: Pay a visit, if you can; check facilities and talk to the teaching staff.
3. Choose the place carefully
Bear in mind that when you are choosing a school, you are choosing a place to live for the next couple of years. So figure out what is important to you. If you do not have a strong financial back, you may need to check the job market in the places you are researching. A good idea is contact the student council or student welfare office to ask about part-time jobs.
To sum up: Check job market and contact anyone who is able to give a perspective on financial matters;
To help you with research of UX design schools in Europe, I did a little digging and compiled a list of top ones currently offering such specialization.
Digital Interaction Design BSc (Hons), University of Dundee, Scotland
What is so good about this course?
- We encourage you to become a confident designer practicing at the forefront of your discipline.
- You will have dedicated studios to work in and make your home throughout the week.
- You will have access to workshops and labs with specialist staff and the latest technology, software and equipment.
- You will be taught by lecturers and staff with backgrounds including interaction design, product design, participatory design, consultancy, user research, academic research, computing and design studies.
- You will have contact with our partners in industry and research (for example IDEO, Tesco Banking, Microsoft Research)
- You will have opportunities to arrange summer placements and internships.
- You will showcase your work at the Art, Design & Architecture degree show as well as New Designers in London.
- You will have great prospects in your chosen career path.
Interactive Design, Danish School of Media and Journalism
The specialization in Interactive Design is organized in the following core areas:
- Interactive design, motion graphic design, design of user interfaces for interactive digital media
- Software design processes, integration of technologies for web publishing and cross media, technology understanding
- Concept of user behavior in digital media, idea generation and motion design television and film concepts
- Design and communication theory, rhetoric, research, and media convergence
- Web publishing, television and film, mobile devices, data visualization
MA Design Interactions, Royal College of Art, London
The MA Design Interactions programme aims to:
- provide a creative and intellectual environment where students (and staff) can explore the interaction between design and emerging technologies in relation to different: contexts of practice (industry, design studios, think tanks, research labs); design approaches (practical, experimental, conceptual, critical); design roles (maker,strategist, facilitator, critic).
- provide a test space where designers can engage with new technologies before they enter the market place and explore their possible impact on everyday life through hypothetical design proposals viewed through different lenses – commercial, aesthetic, functional and critical – separately or in combination.
- explore different ways of locating technological developments in imaginary but believable everyday situations so that we can explore the social, cultural or ethical consequences of new technologies before they happen and help ensure the most desirable futures are realised. And to do all this with intelligence, wit and insight.
- provide an education for designers that enables them to play a significant and meaningful role in the development of our technological future.
- develop new teaching approaches, research methodologies and ideas for products and services in relation to electronic and emerging technologies.
MFA in Interaction Design, Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden
The Master Programme in Interaction Design deals with the relation between people and IT. We see the discipline of Interaction Design as the ability to design both the cognitive and physical interface and integrate them into a successful whole. Our aim is to enable designers to create sustainable, comprehensible and pleasurable information based products, services and environments.Learn more
Master of Science Design for Interaction, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands
The Design for Interaction (DfI) Master’s programme focuses on the ways in which people and products interact: how does a user understand, use, and experience a product? This raises the question of how designers can conceptualise products that are relevant to the user.
The goal of the programme is to educate designers who understand what people do with and expect from the products they use in everyday life, and who are able to design products appropriate to their needs’ concerns and abilities. The programme offers students a multidisciplinary course of study, covering topics ranging from aesthetics and ergonomics to psychology and sociology.Learn more
MSc Interaction Design – Chalmers University of Technology; Gothenburg, Sweden
Given the increased focus on interaction design in general, and on social media, entertainment and new physical products in particular, the programme aims to provide interaction designers with the knowledge and skills needed to meet the ever-shifting demands of this emerging job market segment.
The programme allows the following specialisations:
- Interaction designer focused on user interface design and information visualisation
- Interaction designer focused on tangible interaction
- Interaction designer focused on entertainment, games and social media
- Game developer with some experience of gameplay design and interaction design
Do you know a place to study that is really great? Leave a comment below.