Innovation through Business, Engineering and Design - specialisation design, Master Programme

120 credits

This two-year master programme is based on companies need of employees with ability to initiate, lead and promote the creation of innovations. The program is taught in English.

In the students’ work with innovations, the student should balance the process in its various parts for design, function, sustainability and production conditions. This requires knowledge of, or interaction between, different disciplines where different approaches, perspectives and approaches are utilized. The program is based on common projects often in collaboration with industry and organizations along with advancement in design and a broadening towards other disciplines (business and technology). Experiences from projects discussed and put in relation to the student's professional skills. In separate courses studied scientific method used in the innovation process.


The program trains students in project and innovation management, process and product development, business and system development and social entrepreneurship. Students develop in-depth knowledge in design while the interaction and sharing is done with business and technology. Students going through the training will be able to create sustainable solutions that take account of form, function and resource efficiency.


Master of Arts

Application and portfolio

The application process consists of two steps. First you need to apply to the programme online at at (in English), or (in Swedish). Then you need to submit your portfolio to Linnaeus University by our website

You find instructions for the portfolio below.


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Students in a group

"We are a team that consists of students from the fields of design, business and engineering and we are part of the innovation master programme. As part of the local innovation module in our first term, we are now working with an ergonomic chair manufacturing company called Frapett, in Mönsterås. In our project with them, we have worked to develop a task chair that is to be used for seated physical work, for instance by machine operators, dentists, tailors, glassworkers, etc. Being a multi-disciplinary team, we have looked at this project from all the three different perspectives – design, engineering and business. This type of project-based learning has helped us being innovative at different levels throughout the project, enriching our experience and ensuring that we also learn from one another". / Christopher, Rong, Basil, Tianyi & Naina

Student testimonials

Students within business, engineering and design collaborate at Linnaeus University to develop products

During the autumn term, first-year students on the master programme Innovation through business, engineering and design work in groups with one company each to develop their own products.

Ramona Hallgren studies on the design specialisation. Her group collaborates with the company CumVex, specialising in office furniture. Since CumVex is based in Växjö it is easy for the group to arrange meetings with the company without having to plan too far in advance.

"The company has been very open to our ideas and they listen to what we have to say. The fact that it is a local company is, of course, a great advantage, almost luxury", says Ramona. The collaboration within the group is also working well. All groups consist of students from the three different specialisations: business, engineering and design.

"The interesting part about working in a collaboration like this is that I, being a designer, view things differently. As opposed to financial managers and engineers I don't think very much about production and costs in the first stage of generating ideas", says Ramona.

Sebastian Duque studies on the business specialisation. He thinks that it has been very instructive to work together with students from the other specialisations.

"We all have different perspectives, and our working processes are also different from each other. We get to learn how designers and engineers think, just like in real-life projects", he explains.

Alumni testimonials

Juliana Restrepo

My name is Juliana Restrepo. I was born and raised in the beautiful and constantly-developing city of Medellín, Colombia. That is to say, Colombia in South America, not Columbia in the US, as many still make that mistake. In Medellín, I studied industrial design for five years and also worked as an event designer for DDB Colombia, an advertising agency. Having done that, I was ready for my next adventure – moving to London. During my four years in London, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to learn from a number of different work and life experiences. Even though I loved London (and still do), my husband and I decided three years ago to move to Växjö – my husband's home town – since we wanted to raise our son in a smaller city, and also be closer to relatives.

During my first months in Sweden, I studied beginner's Swedish and looked forward to embracing the exciting challenge of a new country. It was then that I came across the master programme Innovation through business, engineering and design. One of my biggest motivations for applying to the programme was the collaboration with IKEA and, of course, the fact that the programme is based on a multidisciplinary collaboration. During my two years on the programme, I developed a lot as a designer, as a team player and, last but not least, as a citizen of the world. I also developed a passionate interest in metadesign, design-thinking and sustainability.

I feel more proud than ever of being a designer. I believe that designers have a great responsibility, both now and for our future, as I see designers as the 'connection keys/tools' between different disciplines, skills and cultures. The world is changing so quickly that we can barely understand it. We need to learn, share, communicate and work better together.

I am now working as an interior designer at IKEA in Älmhult. I'm constantly curious and working in a dynamic environment, where people are not afraid of change. I'm so excited to see where this will take me in the future!

Anna Hamlin

Anna Hamlin wanted to start studying at Linnaeus University because of her interest in design and furniture. Since she had earlier taken a bachelor’s degree in business administration at University of Hawaii, a Swedish master programme in Småland seemed attractive.

During Anna’s studies at Linnaeus University, the goal with her education was to start working with product development at IKEA. Today, she works at the marketing department at IKEA in Älmhult and thinks that her education has given her a good foundation.

– At IKEA, I work primarily with local marketing, administration of the local website, their Instagram account, and the digital screens that are in use in the department store. I also participate in the development of the trade center in Älmhult at which we try to increase the collaboration with other IKEA units in Älhmult but also the collaboration with other lines of trade. I also coordinate activities in the department store that are aimed at our catchment area, for instance, previews of collections for IKEA FAMILY members, says Anna Hamlin.

Anna worked at IKEA during her studies as well, but then as restaurant staff and sales person. However, after she got her master’s degree in innovation she applied for a job at IKEA that was more in line with that she had studied, and she got it. Her contact with IKEA during her studies, created good conditions for establishing important contacts.

–I wrote my degree project at IKEA of Sweden in Älmhult. I studied the product development process and focused on how organisational culture can affect knowledge transfer both positively and negatively in large multinational companies. Since I met and interviewed many employees during the course of my study, my master thesis led to an increased network at different IKEA firms in Älmhult. In addition, my final term writing my degree project, gave me a broader understanding of the work processes and organisational culture at IKEA, something that is valuable to me in the work I do today.

More information about the programme

IKEA's and Linnaeus University's collaboration programme The Bridge is a multidisciplinary education and research collaboration dealing with life at home and conditions of production. In simple words, the aim is to tie together a number of disciplines to create a better life at home for the many people. It deals partly with what fundamental needs we have and what furniture we need, but also with how production can be made as cheap and environmentally friendly as possible.

As a result of The Bridge, Linnaeus University has been able to establish an IKEA professorship, unique to the world. The research environment revolving around the subject area Life at Home is developed in collaboration with doctoral students. It is this research environment that makes it possible for Linnaeus University to establish the interdisciplinary master programme.

The master programme has an interdisciplinary perspective, combining engineering, business, and design. The programme enables students to learn from each other's knowledge and improves their ability to work with different projects and product development. The master programme is offered in close collaboration with a number of companies, IKEA being one of them.

The program trains students in project and innovation management, process and product development, business and system development and social entrepreneurship. Students develop in-depth knowledge in design while the interaction and sharing is done with business and technology. Students going through the training will be able to create sustainable solutions that take account of form, function and resource efficiency.

Master of Arts


Linnaeus University’s campus is located roughly 15 minutes with bicycle from the city centre. Campus is like a small society in its own right, with the university, student accommodation and student life all in one place. Everything happens on campus – here you become part of a creative knowledge environment and an eventful student life.

What will you find when exploring Växjö? There is a great selection of restaurants and cosy cafés. There is a large lake in the city centre, beautiful nature is always nearby. Many students enjoy the combination of the city centre in Växjö and life on campus. This is where your dream of the future begins!