This site uses its own and third-party cookies to improve your experience on the page. To enable or restrict active cookies or to obtain more information, click on cookie settings.
Accept all cookies
See all Master's and Postgraduate degrees

Master's Degree in Design

Can design transform the world? BAU's Master's Degree in Design invites students to question the reality that surrounds them and offers them a wide range of tools and possibilities to make a decisive contribution to the well-being of society.

  • Edition: 5th
  • Teaching period: from October 2022, 5th to July 2023. Final master's project presentation: July 2023
  • Schedule: from Monday to Thursday from 4pm to 7pm
  • Modality: on-site
  • Language: Spanish
  • Price: 10.060 €
  • Qualification: Master’s Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design awarded by UVic-UCC and accredited by the RUCT and the Ministry of Education (BOE*)
  • Credits: 60 ECTS


BAU's Master's Degree in Design Research and Experimentation is a space for reflection and action. With rigour, responsibility and commitment, students face the challenge of thinking and building a better, fairer and more sustainable world.

In a world marked by uncertainty and complexity, design plays a key role. The master's degree accompanies and encourages students to understand and question this world, and encourages them to actively participate in it through transformative design proposals based on creativity and a critical spirit.

The Master's Degree in Design promotes the social role of design and the potential of designers to act as a driving force for change. An open, transversal and integrating laboratory with a clear intention: to transform utopias into questions that open the way to tangible realities.

It also proposes a work and study method based on research as a creative practice, along with material and technological experimentation, where design is a porous discipline in contact with other sciences and artistic branches, establishing enriching and unexpected links with anthropology, ethnography and philosophy, among others.

In BAU's Master's Degree in Design, design is lived from a sensitive and meaningful experience, as an adventure in constant movement in search of new questions, with the will to get involved in contemporary problems that affect our lives: politics, culture, health and ecology, but also aesthetics in all of its forms.




The Master's Degree is structured in 60 ECTS, which are taught in two terms. The contents are distributed into seven mandatory courses and their corresponding subjects, as can be seen in the following table.

The subjects have been planned in such a way that students' achievement of the competences is gradual and responds to the expected learning outcomes.

* From the Experimental Methods subject, one of the following two optional modules must be completed: Investigation with Data or Ethnographies and Design.
** From the Tools and Design Work subject, one of the following three optional modules must be completed: Design and Numeric Control, Digital Design or Internship.


Compulsory subject credits: 36 ECTS
Optional subject credits: 12 ECTS
Final Project credits: 12 ECTS
Total credits: 60 ECTS

Programme (PDF)
Teaching guide (PDF)


Subject I – Strategies and policies of design

This subject is made up of two compulsory modules worth 6 ECTS each:

Fiction, critical and speculative design and social innovation and collaborative design

This subject views design as a practice with political and social implications that will be approached through practical projects and conceptual reflections. To this end, fiction or critical design are used as tools for stimulating applied speculation, and various forms of participatory and collaboration-based design are explored from a critical perspective.

  • Speculative design
  • Critical design
  • The role of fiction within design
  • Critique of social innovation
  • Participatory design
  • Open and collaborative design


Subject 2 - The social life of things

This subject is made up of two compulsory subjects worth 6 ECTS each:

Material cultures and design ecologies and Design, power and society

Through various academic disciplines and their corresponding research methods, such as the social sciences and anthropology, research is carried out from and with design; the fundamentals of the so-called material cultures are also established so that design can be understood from a complex perspective and to address the relationship between design and power as a crucial issue. With this objective, the politics, ethics and aesthetics of objects are analysed.

  • Introduction to Material cultures
  • Object politics
  • Recycling and reusing
  • The social life of things
  • Circular design
  • The building of publics
  • Research with design


Subject 3 - Methodologies of art research

This subject is made up of a single compulsory subject that is worth 6 ECTS:

Research in art and design

In this subject, research is approached from the field of art and design, both from a conceptual and a practical dimension, and at the same time from theory and experience. The evolution of research methodologies throughout history is analysed providing an overview of practices in contemporary creation through a range of case studies that incorporate and intersect with various areas of knowledge.

  • Art and research
  • Lab cultures
  • Research on and from design
  • Inventive methods
  • Hybrid practices


Subject 4 - Experimental methods

This subject is made up of two optative subjects worth 6 ECTS each:

Investigation with data and Ethnographies and design

This subject aims to take a closer look at practical research methods in design. Students can opt for a module in which research is based on data, where they will explore various methods of visualisation, working with mass databases, big data, and working with digital environments. Or they can opt for an alternative module, which will provide them with the foundations they need to build creative ethnographies by exploring a territory, mapping, and learning how to be sensitive to the environment.

  • Databases as creative objects
  • Big data and its implications
  • Information and privacy
  • The ethnographic method
  • Diversions and psycogeographies
  • Artistic methods


Subject 5 - Design and manufacture of projects

This subject is made up of a single compulsory subject that is worth 6 ECTS.

Manufacturing and prototyping

Understanding digital manufacturing also implies understanding the contexts of collaborative production where it occurs, the principles of the free culture that it is based on, and the techniques and methodologies designed for sharing and experimenting with these tools. Therefore, this subject ventures not only into the digital production workshops but also conducts a critical analysis of the maker phenomenon and digital manufacturing processes.

  • Introduction to digital manufacturing
  • The maker phenomenon and its implications
  • Prototyping and experimentation cultures
  • Laboratory for experimentation in objectual art
  • Learning communities and digital manufacturing
  • Projects and materials management


Subject 6 - Design work tools

This subject is made up of three optional subjects worth 6 ECTS each:

Design and Numeric control, Digital design or Internship

This subject is divided into three areas with the aim of taking a closer look at the design tools used in the field of design and expanding knowledge of numerical control. Moreover, students have the opportunity to complete an internship at a renowned company from the field of professional design that works to provide a response to both the needs of the working world and the current social reality. 

  • Design and numerical control
  • Computational thinking and design
  • Laser cutting and digital milling machines
  • Digital Design
  • Digital controllers (e.g. Arduino)
  • Design and interaction


Subject 7 – Final Project

This subject is made up of a single compulsory subject that is worth 12 ECTS:

Master’s Degree Final Project

At the end of the master's degree programme, students must demonstrate that they have acquired the skills needed to lead research processes and design projects, while taking a critical position on current issues and responding to the needs of today's society. Therefore, every student must create a final project, with individual tutoring, that relates to their interests and motivations by employing the methods and tools used during the master's degree programme. 


  • Formulating design proposals that integrate research and experimentation processes in accordance with the paradigms of contemporary design
  • Applying methodologies of ethnographic research, both speculative and based on data to execute design projects of various natures
  • Executing, prototyping and manufacturing of objects and design projects through the operation of numerical control and digital design tools and technologies
  • Analysing the properties and behaviour of materials in order to use them appropriately and innovatively in design processes and projects
  • Critical consideration of innovation and social transformation, participation and collaborative design, and other paradigms of contemporary design to facilitate the resolution of problems within the field of design
  • Designing services, processes and objects that will provide solutions through the principles of open design and its fields of circulation
  • Using the software specific to design by taking into account its applications and repercussions, both in the field of professional design and the field of research
  • Understanding and valuing the political economy of art and design and identifying its value cycles, the social life of objects, consumption cycles and recycling in a changing social and economic context
  • Applying the strategies of fiction and speculative design, using diegetic prototypes and provoking thought through design as an epistemic object
  • Considering the material cultures of design and the many related traditions (philosophy, anthropology, cultural studies…) to conduct research through their objects and materials
  • Managing the multiple work processes involved in the practice of design and integrating elements of research and experimentation

Guest teachers


Núria Alonso

Co-coordinator of the Canòdrom Technical Office (Barcelona). Computer technician specialised in free tools. A member of Colectic, a cooperative that promotes technological projects with socially responsible values.


Marcela Arreaga

Strategy designer at COBOI, a public social innovation laboratory (Sant Boi de Llobregat), and a member of Holon, a cooperative focused on transitional design.


Carles Baiges

Architect for ETSAB (UPC) and Master in Urban Sociology from the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA). Member of the cooperative of architects LaCol, specialized in participation.


Tim Cowlishaw

Artist, researcher and BAU's Design and Communication Programme PhD student. He works in the field of digital and interaction design. He has a BA in Audiovisuals from Ravensbourne College (London) and a Masters in Computer Science from University College of London.


Toni Mañach

Degree in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona. He is Professor of History and Design Theory and Ethics of the profession at ESDI. He has been a member of GRACMON, Research Group in Contemporary Art and Design History of the University of Barcelona. He is the founder, together with Professor Carlos Jiménez, of DESINGERS, a pedagogical innovation laboratory where design skills are acquired through the performing arts.


Lucrecia Masson Córdoba

BA in Political Science from the University of Buenos Aires, Masters in Museum Studies and Critical Theory from the Independent Studies Programme (PEI 2014-15) at MACBA and UAB. Member of the anti-colonial art collective Colectivo Ayllu.


Isaac Marrero Guillamón

Professor of Anthropology at the UB and, previously, at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he led the MA in Visual Anthropology between 2015 and 2021.


Roger Sansi

Social anthropology specialist and University of Chicago PhD. He has worked as a teacher in various education centres. He is a member of the Research Group on Social Exclusion and Control (GRECS, in Catalan) and has written a wide variety of chapters and articles on international journals.


Partner organizations

ABD - Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo Taller EstampaFSCD -  Fundació Catalana Síndrome de DownFood Cultura HolonLa Hidra Cooperativa Lacol - arquitectura cooperativaPlat Institute of Augmented Gastronomy

Career Opportunities

  • Multidisciplinary designer.
  • Designer researcher.
  • Design lecturer.
  • Designer of research projects.
  • Transitional designer.
  • Consultant for environmental and sustainable design projects.
  • Coordinator of digital creation and manufacturing laboratories.
  • Coordinator of collaborative design projects.
  • Cultural manager.

Doctorate Program

The Master's Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design at BAU is a 2º-cycle study program that responds to the research concerns of the BAU Doctorate Program structured in two lines of research:

  • Design and society. Politics, art and education.
  • Communication and its environments. Corporations and institutions; media, networks and territory.

Payment methods

Total cost of the course: 10.060 €

The total cost includes an amount of 100 € concerning the university fees, the administration expenses and the compulsory insurances.

Payment methods

BAU, Arts and Design College of Barcelona offers different terms of payment:

  • Single payment: attracts a 3% discount over the total cost of the course excluding fees. An amount of 100 € concerning the university fees is added to the resulting cost

  • Part payment, in 3 instalments:

    • 1st payment, due on enrolment: consisting of 40 % of the fees excluding taxes. An amount of 100 € concerning the university fees is added to the resulting cost

    • 2nd payment, due November 5: consisting of 30% of the course excluding taxes

    • 3rd payment, due January 5: consisting of 30 % of the course excluding taxes

Students and former students of BAU benefit from 10% discount on any of the courses if they have exceeded at least 50% of the credits for a Degree, Higher Degree in Design or the Diploma in Graphic Design; or 100% of the credits for any of the Master’s or Postgraduate degrees.

More information about scholarships and grants.

Pre registration process

Pre registration: from January 2022, 17th to September 2022, 30th


Check the information about the pre registration process
Download the pre-registration form


The quality of the BAU pedagogical system is guaranteed by various indicators and reports by the seals of (AQU, RUCT, ANECA, EUC ...). Visit the Quality section.


Download the brochure

Enter your details and we will send you an email with the Master's Degree in Design brochure.