Academic Year 2020/21

School of Design

Degree Programme of:

Product Service System Design
Laurea Magistrale (Equivalent To Master Of Science)

Milano Campus

1. General Information

School School of Design
Code Reference Law1159
NameProduct Service System Design
Reference LawOrdinamento 270/04
Class of degreeLM-12 - Design
Degree level Laurea Magistrale (Equivalent To Master Of Science)
First year of activation 2010/2011
Official length of the programme 2
Years of the programme already activated 1,2
Official language(s) The Laurea Magistrale (equivalent to Master of Science) programme is offered in English but the degree programme meets the requirements of MIUR (Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) note of 11.07.2018 and the CUN opinion of 10.23.2018.
Campus Milano
Dean of the School Luisa Maria Virginia Collina
Coordinator of the Study programme Anna Meroni
Website of the School
Website of the Study programme

Central Student Office - Milano Bovisa

2. General presentation of the study programme

Some subjects, more than others, are more suitable to the internationalisation process. This is the case of Design, recognised all over the world as a characteristic feature of Italian culture. Politecnico di Milano registers, every year, a growing interest from international students in its university design courses. At the same time, many Italian students enrolled at the Design School show an interest in supplementing their courses of study with international experiences (mobility, internships abroad, taking part in workshops with foreign universities, etc.) conscious of the importance of having experience abroad.

It is within this framework characterised by a growing international student mobility and the recognition of the important role that Milan plays in design culture that the Laurea Magistrale programme called Product-Service System Design, in English language, was launched for both Italian and international students. 

Responding to the profound changes under way in every sphere and significantly in the educational context too, the programme takes the design opportunities deriving from environmental and social demands which are increasingly urgent, globalisation processes and growing competition in a wide ranging and inter-connected market, by new technologies, the emergence of new lifestyles and consumer paradigms which require a renewed ability to think, create and offer complex solutions from designers.

Consequently, the programme offers students the chance to develop a holistic and integrated design vision by means of an inter-disciplinary course carried out in a multi-cultural context.

A product-service system is an integrated whole of products, services, spaces, communication and digital artefacts capable of offering organic and sustainable solutions to complex questions. A system made up also of people (users, suppliers, those working in the field and stakeholders in general) that interacts to produce outcomes responding to a shared vision.

The objective of this two-year study programme is to train professionals capable to find a place within this whole in a design way, identifying opportunities and developing creative solutions, setting out a project according to methodologies ranging from ethnographic research to strategic positioning, working in multidisciplinary teams and developing leadership, entrepreneurial and, in general, proactive abilities within society.

The Product-Service System Design Laurea Magistrale programme also offers a selection of top students access to a range of international experiences first and foremost of which is the joint laurea with the Tongji University in Shanghai (PoliTong programme). Lastly, in the 2014-15 academic year the “Product-Service System Design and Management Engineering” double degree was set up with the objective of developing an ability to conceive innovative business models and guide and implement development processes involving a range of actors in the business system in selected participants.

Rules Double Degree Programm
Double Degrees

3. Learning objectives

The Product Service System Design Laurea Magistrale programme, taught in the English language, is designed for Italian and international students interested to follow a multidisciplinary and multicultural design programme.

It is a second level laurea programme, with no continuity with previous programmes, responding to wide ranging student interest, and not solely in geographical terms but also in educational terms (product, interior, communication, fashion, furniture, interaction and service design) to continue their studies within design disciplines widening their vision and ability to act in systemic terms.

The specific educational objectives of the PSSD are to develop the following skills and abilities in graduate students:

- an understanding of the systemic dimension of contemporary artefacts understood as an indivisible whole of products, services, spaces, people, communication and digital artefacts;

- an ability to design product-service systems in a strategic way capable of governing and channelling change and innovation in an evolutionary way, in line with the changing context and the sustainability challenge;

- an inter-disciplinary approach intended as a hybridising orientation among different disciplinary fields in the problem definition and resolution phases;

- multi-culturalism understood as sensitivity in dealing with and contextualising design opportunities from the starting point of specificity and differentiation in the destination contexts of design work;

- an ability to analyse and act on whole systems of provision, intended as an ability to look at projects in systemic terms in relation to its various components and a change orientation not solely in relation to its individual components but also the relationships among them, with reference to knowledge and know-how still not consolidated;

- an entrepreneurial approach - intended as the ability to structure an entrepreneurial system around the product systems, designed to last over time;

- a narrative approach, intended as the ability to listen and then represent phenomena in visual terms, in order to activate and facilitate a strategic dialogue and transfer knowledge among the different stakeholders;

- an ability to work and interact in multi-disciplinary and multicultural groups in a design capacity with a high level of leadership, capable of guiding and uniting a group around a vision, an idea of a desirable future and change.

The programme is thus T-shaped with a vertical axis consisting in the first level educational background focusing on a specific design area (either product, communication, interiors, furniture, fashion, etc.) integrating with a horizontal axis relating to the acquisition and use of cultural tools and matrices from other disciplinary and cultural spheres.

The horizontal axis is made up of:

_ design thinking skills oriented to the development of a marked sensitivity to context and sustainability understood in the broadest terms, prioritising safeguarding and enhancing environmental and social resources as determinant precursors to the design work;

_ a systemic approach capable of promoting innovative and sustainable solutions;

_  a human-centred perspective, i.e. the design centrality attributed to the user and the actors involved in the system as bearers of capabilities and skills to be considered within the creative and design process;

_ attention to manufacturing processes and the contexts in which they work as a fundamental part of the effective and perceived value of a product innovation system;

_ a contextualised and territorial vision of the design project, capable to offer the potentialities and resources of a local system and connect them to the global dimension. The product-service system approach, in fact, by investigating cultural and social phenomena and the relationship between resources and activities, is able to generate innovations that influence the design of a place and of the social systems inhabiting it;

_ design skills not simply in the physical but also in the intangible product-service system dimension and in particular in the service dimension as structured interaction of a system of actors oriented to value construction.

_ user-experience design skills with special reference to the digital world, the internet and the interactive artefact dimension.

The programme involves alternating theory and practice that encourages the application to real situations of the knowledge gained and the concentration of theory courses and design laboratories with the intention of facilitating the efficacy and coherence of learning activities. A further objective is to transfer skills related to states of being and not simply knowledge and know-how.

As far as theory is concerned the first semester involves foundation courses aimed at training and nurturing students' ability to understand cultural contexts, thought systems, problem setting & solving, user-experience & interaction design (M-DEA/01, ICAR 13, INF/01). Furthermore, optional courses will be provided in order to allow, from one side, foreign participants to get closer to the culture and history of Italian design, on the other side, to go into details of issues associated with business innovation (ING-IND 35, L-ART/03). As preparatory part to the laboratory activities, the master includes a support and qualification course for group work (M-PSI/01)

From the second semester, alongside in-depth study of the topic about the innovation of services in a design context and about product-service visualisation and prototyping methods (ICAR 13, M-PSI/01, L-ART/06), there are the “Design Seminars”, intensive seminars in which international professors and professionals share their educational and design experiences with students (ICAR 13).

The ex-cathedra theory courses will conclude in the third semester with optional courses designed to transmit specific and in-depth innovation skills of an economic, social or cultural type.

The activities conducted in the studios of the first two semesters involve different approaches referred to privileged conceptual application spheres of the product-services system approach. These approaches are design gateways and represent a perspective via which the product system is to be interpreted and a first sphere from which design begins. These are:

_ shared and obligatory for all students, the conceptual systemic sphere of services, communications and space developed from the starting point of product design. The purpose of this Innovation Studio is to train students to generate ideas and translate them into feasible and potentially achievable solutions by means of a range of strategies. The studio integrates design (ICAR 13) with subject modules dealing with spatial design (ICAR 16) and technologies (ICAR 12), and concludes, where possible, with a communication event developed with partners representing the product-service system reference context.

_ the service and physical spaces sphere, proposed to students as an alternative, whose purpose is, in the first case to learn and practice service design skills and in the second to introduce students to physical environment design (exterior or interior) with a product-service system approach (ICAR 13, ICAR 12).

The Final Synthesis Studio (LSF - Laboratorio di Sintesi Finale), finally, in the first semester of the second year, is characterised by a balanced and fully integrated approach to the diverse components of the product-service system. It completes the programme's design activities with specific skills relating to business management and modelling to facilitate a greater ability to face complex problems, a fully multi-disciplinary approach and full design activities (ICAR13, ING-IND 35).

The LSF is a potentially solid basis for later graduation work.

In addition to the laurea graduation work, the final semester involves a number of design meeting experiences and with the professional world in workshops with businesses and professionals, and a final internship.

The design activities are generally organised in order to be preceded or accompanied by the theory courses referred to above which are the essential preparatory foundation.

All interested students can take part in international mobility programmes in the second semester of the second year.

4. Organization of the study programme and further studies

4.1 Structure of the study programme and Qualifications

For every level I Laurea course the School also sets up a related continued study Laurea Magistrale.


Laurea I Level

Laurea II Level of the same class

- Industrial product design

Integrated Product Design

- Communication Design

Communication Design

- Fashion Design

Design for the Fashion System

- Interior Design

Interior and Spatial Design

Industrial product design

Design & Engineering of Industrial Product

Mechanical Engineering (Laurea programme activated at the School of Industrial and Information Engineering)

Material and Nanotechnology Engineering (Laurea programme activated at the School of Industrial and Information Engineering)

Industrial Product Design/Communication Design/Interior Design/Fashion Design

Product Service System Design

Industrial Product Design/Communication Design/Interior Design/Fashion Design

Digital and Interaction Design

Interior Design/Industrial Product Design (Product)

Naval and Ship Building Design - La Spezia campus


All LM study programmes of the School of Design are divided up into sections.

Laurea Magistrale in Integrated Product Design

Taught in Italian and English languages

Active sections during 1st and 2nd year of the LM

Section Integrated Product 1 - IP1

Section Integrated Product 2 - IP2

Laurea Magistrale in Communication Design

Taught in Italian and English languages


Active during both years, 1st and 2nd year of the LM

Communication Section 1 – C_1

Communication Section 2 – C_2

Communication Section 3 – C_3

Laurea Magistrale in Design for the Fashion System

Taught in English language

Active during both years, 1st and 2nd year of the LM

Fashion Section 1 – M_1

Fashion Section 2 – M_2

Laurea Magistrale in Interior and Spatial Design

Taught in Italian and English languages


Active sections during 1st and 2nd year of the LM

Section Interior and Spatial 1 - IS1

Section Interior and Spatial 2 - IS2

Section Interior and Spatial 3 - IS3

Laurea Magistrale in Design & Engineering

Taught in English language

Active sections during both years, 1st and 2nd year of the LM

Section D&E 1 – DE1

Section D&E2 – DE2

Section D&E3 – DE3

Laurea Magistrale in Product Service System Design

Taught in English language

Active sections during both years, 1st and 2nd year of the LM

Section Product Service System 1 - PS_1

Section Product Service System 2 - PS_2

From the 2nd year of the LM the following section will also be active

Section Product Service System 2 - PS_3

Only for students of the Double Degree with Management engineering

Laurea Magistrale in Digital and Interaction Design

Taught in English language

During 1st and 2nd year a single DID Section is active

Please note: the educational offer can be in both languages, Italian and English.

4.2 Further Studies

The qualification grants access to "Dottorato di Ricerca" (Research Doctorate), "Corso di Specializzazione di secondo livello" (2nd level Specialization Course) and "Master Universitario di secondo livello" (2nd level University Master)

5. Professional opportunities and work market

5.1 Professional status of the degree

Laurea Magistrale in Product-Service System Design graduates are innovation experts in the so-called product-service system, a combination of products, services, spaces, people, communication and digital artefacts in which innovative and sustainable design solutions, experiences and brand identities take shape.

The graduate student finds a place in the professional system by bringing strategic skills aimed at developing products, communication, space and relationship systems by means of integrated design processes.

Laurea Magistrale in Product-Service System Design graduates find valuable career opportunities in all professional and corporate activities in the field of design that operate in international and multidisciplinary contexts.

In particular, graduates can work as freelance professionals, be employed in professional studios or work as consultants in design studios, consulting agencies and companies of all sizes. They may also find employment in the public administration and in research institutions and bodies.

There are also work openings as multidisciplinary profiles in the area of research and development in high innovation industrial manufacturing and service organisations, active at global and local level, and in the SMEs which are characteristic of the Italian tradition.

Product-Service System Design education also gives students the entrepreneurial skills they need to stimulate new business start-ups.

They can also access third level research doctorate university courses.

5.2 Careers options and profiles

Over the years, Product-Service System Design graduate students have increasingly marked themselves as key figures in the contemporary professional context, gaining credibility and attracting interest at a global level and in very different job environments.

There are openings in design companies, medium and large companies operating in the services and ICT sectors start-ups, research companies, in consulting, communication and distribution firms, in research and training institutions and bodies, and in public administrations.

Graduate students can also work as freelance professionals or set up their own businesses. 

In particular, roles that these profiles can play are:

- service designer

- UX designer

- retail designer

- brand designer

- art director

- trend analyst

- innovation manager

- project manager

- design facilitator

- researcher in various fields related to the field of design

- teacher/trainer

Surveys of University Assessment Commission

5.3 Qualification profile

The job title is: Product Service System Designer

The Laurea Magistrale in Product-Service System Design graduate enters in the professional system bringing strategic, systemic and integrated skills, aimed at the development of products, services, and complex communication, spatial and relational systems. Additionally, the role of methodological and process expert for collaborative and multidisciplinary innovation projects is increasingly emerging.

Overall, the graduate emerges as an important profile in the contemporary global context of innovation with the skills of:

- design of the product-service systems in a strategic way capable of governing and channelling change and innovation in an evolutionary way and in line with the changing context;

- multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team co-ordination, design and planning of integrated design strategies;

- use of design thinking tools and methodologies for the development of an articulated innovation process of the product-service system;

- advance knowledge of service design methods and tools;

- analysis of user behaviour, and of social and technological innovation phenomena to define design opportunities;

- conceptual and visual representation of scenarios, to activate and facilitate the strategic conversation and knowledge transfer between the different actors;

- creation and experimentation of advanced design methodologies oriented towards social and environmental sustainability;

- co-ordination of and liaise with specialists in the various phases leading to development of new product systems.

6. Enrolment

6.1 Access requirements

First cycle degree (level 6 EQF) or comparable qualification

Candidate admission is dependent on assessments of merit and of the contents of previous courses of study. Students from other campuses or dissimilar study programmes will be required to undergo assessment of their educational background in order to identify any supplementary courses of study which may be required before admission to the Laurea Magistrale study programme.

Qualifications required for admission:

-  Level I or II laurea;

-  Appropriate English languages skills certification.

Updates to the “Guida all’ammissione alla Laurea Magistrale” are published every year on the School's site including detailed information on the material required for admission applications, how to register and deadlines, admission without assessment and reasons for non admission. Minimum laurea marks required for admission are also shown.

Students requiring supplementary studies prior to admission must fulfil these within one year of the date of assessment.

6.2 Requested knowledge

In order to be admitted to the LM study programme, you must have a First level Laurea (equivalent to Bachelor of Science) or equivalent qualification obtained abroad, in the class L-4 Industrial Design.

Candidates with foreign qualification will be evaluated only if the educational path allows admission without curricular supplements.

Enrolment is possible also for those with a Laurea (equivalent to Bachelor of Science) in one of the following classes:

-       L-3 Disciplines of Figurative Arts, Music, Show Business and Fashion

-       L-8 Information Engineering

-       L-9 Industrial Engineering

-       L-17 Architecture Science

-       L-18 sciences of economics and business management

Without these curricular requirements, integrations will be assigned.


Furthermore, the access to the Laurea Magistrale (equivalent to Master of Science) Study Programme is allowed to graduate students at ISIA and Academies: admission is allowed to Programmes with career related to the Design field.

Compliance with the required curriculum requirements is assessed by an appropriate CdS Commission.

Without these curricular requirements, integrations will be assigned.

Considering the propaedeuticity of 1st semester's courses for 2nd semester's ones, admissions in this LM are only possible in the 1st semester. In case of available places in the 2nd semester, only students who have attended the 1st semester's courses as single courses can apply.


The right to enrollment acquired in the ranking for the 1st semester can be used exclusively during the enrollment period related to it.

Any remaining vacancies, after the enrollment period of the first semester, will be made available in the second semester.

If the number scheduled for the first semester is reached, the selection procedure will not be opened in the second semester: those who need to request curricular integrations must apply for individual courses; these will be assigned until the quota places are exhausted.

Admissions for candidates with a foreign degree will be possible only for the first semester.

English language knowledge, according to the standards indicated by the University, is a registration pre-requisite. Certificates must be submitted within the application submission deadline.

Candidates with a foreign degree who request admission to an Italian course will be required to have knowledge of the Italian language.

Students applying for admission to the Laurea Magistrale must fill in the appropriate online form and will be eligible for admission only if their previous studies, and the preparation of each candidate, fulfil course requirements as assessed by the appropriate board whose decision is unquestionable. In the event that students are rejected the board will provide reasons for its decision.


For the evaluation of preparation of each candidate, it will be taken into account the average (only for candidates with Italian degree), the choice of a programme with respect to the first level study programme and documents related to projects carried out in the three years, extra-curricular activities.

Students from L Study Programme of the Design School, with some parameters verified at the end of the 2nd year, can directly access without evaluation (these parameters called N/V take into account the number of credits obtained within the 2nd year and related average: for LM Study Programme of the Design School, the minimum parameters for direct access are 114/27 for all LM of the School of Design, except for Digital and Interaction Design and Product Service System Design with parameters 114/28. For Design & Engineering, InterScuola LM Study Programme, the 105/25 parameters are also taken into account for those coming from Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering).

Students can check the values of the N and V parameters set by the School according to specific criteria, by accessing the Online Services ( - Career) or finding detailed information in the Career Guides

( and in the Educational Regulations.

The admission, for students fulfilling NV criteria, will be guaranteed to one of the Laurea Magistrale programmes selected, but not necessarily their first choice, depending on availability of places. Supplementary educational requirements can also be required where students are applying to transfer from one Laurea Magistrale course to another in different fields.

The accesses to LM Study Programmes from similar courses may imply the allocation of curricular integrations, that must be fulfilled before registration.

The following students are not eligible to access the Laurea Magistrale programme activated by the Design School:

  • graduated/graduating candidates at Politecnico di Milano with average calculated below 23/30 (for accesses to the first semester, average calculated at 31 July - for accesses to the 2nd semester, average calculated at 31 January);
  • graduated/graduating candidates from other Universities with average calculated below 25/30 (for accesses to the first semester, average calculated at 31 July - for accesses to the 2nd semester, average calculated at 31 January);
  • Candidates that do not hold an appropriate English language certificate.

Students who fulfilled admission requirements in previous academic years but did not register for the programme will be required to conform to the new parameters when presenting new assessment applications.

Candidates will be assessed in accordance with the parameters set out in the “Laurea Magistrale Programme Admission Guide” document, available for consultation on the School Web site

Fulfilment of assessment requirements will be notified to candidates by the board in two forms: admission without supplementary educational requirements or it will notify the need to fulfil the curricular requirements before submitting again the admission application.

Supplementary requirements must be fulfilled within one year from the assessment application. Such students can supplement their studies by enrolling on Single courses and Magistrale courses up to a maximum of 32 ECTS.

For admissions to the 2nd semester for students with supplementary educational requirements relating to the 1st semester, candidates will be required to apply again in the following semester.

In addition to educational course assessments, candidates' curricula and other educational or extra educational activities will be subjected to comparative evaluation.

The School reserves the right to accept single course requirements for single topic and optional courses (note that for admission purposes no more than 32 Laurea Magistrale related ECTS can be recognised).


Guide to admission
The educational offer at the Politecnico di Milano

6.3 Deadlines for admission and number of places available

Places available for admissions:

-  CdLM Product Service System Design (Milan campus): 80 places of which 40 are reserved for non EU students including 4 Chinese students on the “Marco Polo” project.

How to become a student at Politecnico di Milano

6.4 Tutoring and students support

Under the name of in-course orientation and tutoring, there are all activities aimed at providing assistance to students before and during their university career, in order to carry out this activity within the time limits set by educational regulations and in a profitable way from the point of view of professional and human skill education. Therefore, tutoring activities are different from institutional educational activities, although they can integrate, or be complementary, of these last ones. Tutoring activities can be carried out by laurea magistrale students, by Ph.D. students, by professors and externals.

Tutoring activities are planned and managed by the School in close coordination with the Study Programme.

At University level, the Financial Aid and International Mobility Service is the connection point with the Schools for administrative aspects related to the assignment of tutoring tasks to students of the Laurea Magistrale (equivalent to Master of Science) Study Programme.

Tutoring activities are divided into the following services:

- didactic orientation for first-year students and for students of the following years;

- orientation and support for students for the activation of curricular or extra-curricular internships;

- didactic support meetings held by professors (to help students in their inclusion and learning choices);

- support/reception activities for first-year students of Laurea Magistrale (equivalent to Master of Science) Study Programmes, both at the counter and through the new communication channels activated by the School;

- support to foreign students enrolled in Laurea Magistrale (equivalent to Master of Science) Study Programme in English language and students in international mobility programmes;

- assistance for review and recovery seminars;

- assistance in computerized classrooms, libraries and laboratories;

- assistance in acquisition and development of didactic material.

For students who wish to enrol in the Design School's Study Programmes, Open Days are organized in which each Study Programme presents the educational offer through presentations and/or open lectures.

A Guidance service is available at the School with the purpose of providing information on the teaching and educational contents of its programmes of study and clarifying, to future first-year students, the educational objectives and potential career opportunities.

 Every year, for first-year students, a welcome day is organized to present the organization of the School, the offices and their skills, the international mobility programmes, the School and Politecnico communication tools: the Web site of the Design School, the Trouble Ticketing, the chat, the Beep portal, the library services, the instrumental laboratories and the Safety week (week in which the students obtain the qualification to access the Laboratories). During this meeting, the Joint Committee and Student representatives have their time for a wide presentation.

The Student Representatives of the School Board have prepared a Vademecum to present and summarise the services that students can access.

For students already enrolled, there are presentations of the optional courses and Synthesis Laboratories. In addition to the teaching sheets that provide detailed information about the course methods, the students can access the Web site of the School and see slides and videos prepared by professors in order to summarise the topics that will be covered during the programme.

The School organizes "Lectures 0" to give information about the University's facilities and services and to explain the organization of the study programmes; the coordinators can organize this Lecture as a collective event, with the other Study Programmes, or during the first day of lesson of one of the courses of the specific Laurea Magistrale Study Programme. The students of the 2nd year are provided with information on the educational offer and on specific initiatives of the year of their study programme.

The Topics of Lectures 0 are:

Organization of Study Programme and University Services (I LM);

Erasmus Placement (II LM);

post-graduate training: master and Ph.D. programme

world of work and Career service (II LM);

evaluation questionnaire about teaching (I and II LM);

questionnaire on services and on the overall training career (II LM);

final test: type of exam, choice of the supervisor and final score (II LM).

For students already enrolled, the School provides activities with the aim to:

- help students remove any obstacles to their attendance and learning with initiatives tailored to individual student needs, attitudes and requirements;

- encourage a more active participation by students in the educational process.

A reference professor/tutor has been selected for each study programme and s/he is the official reference point for any School guidance. The service is organized within the study programme and, in particular, it consists of:

- The service is programme of study specific and deals in particular with: support services for students who require help in solving problems or clarifying concepts;

- approval and possible drafting of texts concerning the presentation of the study programme of which the professor is the contact person;

- identification of student projects from each specific laurea course to be used as guidance tools at Open Days and on the School's official communication channels.


7. Contents of the study Program

7.1 Programme requirements

For admission to the Laurea Magistrale final exam students must:
- have obtained the 120 ECTS required for a Level II Laurea Magistrale including credits relating to internships and final exams.
- have written an individual thesis under the guidance of a Supervisor taking the form of a project or theoretical-methodological or historical-critical considerations.
The Laurea Magistrale exam consists of a discussion on students' individual theses led by a teaching staff officer, the thesis supervisor.

For more information on this subject refer to Regolamento Esame di Laurea Magsitrale published on the School website.

7.2 Mode of study

The Laurea Magistrale programme is full time. It uses a number of educational methods: the single subject courses contain theoretical contents which are taught by means of ex cathedra lessons and assessed with tests and interviews throughout the year.
Integrated courses involve more than one discipline or specific sphere and they are sometimes entrusted to two members of the teaching staff who integrate their contributions.
The Experimental Laboratories offer students the opportunity to experiment and use the tools, technologies and equipment useful for the project.
The Laboratories involve project work by students under the guidance of a teaching staff team each of whom offer their own subject matter as applied to the project theme. The Workshops are full time courses lasting a week in which students develop a project under the guidance of a well regarded professional or a company.
The Erasmus Programme and the other international mobility programmes are an opportunity for students to spend a study semester abroad at qualified European and non-European design universities.
Professional Internship is a period of time spent at one of the Politecnico's partner companies or design studios under the guidance of a School tutor or a tutor appointed by the company.

The System Regulations require a series of educational activities (specialist, elective or supplementary) which are present in the course of study in the form of single subject and integrated courses and Design studio in which the Laurea Magistrale's educational content is conveyed.

In addition to these types of educational activities the System Regulations also require that a specific number of credits are attributed to types of activity which can be categorised as follows:

-  educational activities chosen independently by students (Optional courses);

-  educational activities relating to preparation for the final exams required for the qualification to be awarded and foreign language assessment (Final exam and Language);

-   activities designed to enable students to gain additional language skills, IT, telematic and relational skills which will help them in finding employment as well as educational activities designed to facilitate professional choices by giving students direct experience of working in the sector which the qualification can gain them access to including, in particular, educational work experience and guidance (Internships).

Below is a demonstration of the main characteristics of these activities.

 Optional student courses

In the Laurea Magistrale programme 12 credits are awarded to optional courses (equivalent to two in the second year).

Students are required to choose their optional courses on presentation of their first year study plans. Similarly when they present their second year study plans they will be required to choose a second course.

The optional courses take place in both 1st and 2nd semesters.

Internships - Laurea Magistrale

In Laurea Magistrale students carry out an internship at a company, professional studio, study centre, body, etc. with a partnership agreement with the Politecnico di Milano which fulfils the requirements of current legislation specifying that, on completion of the agreed internship period a certificate will be issued. (minimum 300 hrs or 250 hrs+ professional workshop. The internship cannot last more than a year).

Such internships can be incorporated into students' study plans in either the 1st or the 2nd year of study depending on the organisation of the student's course of study.

Internship is an educational experience which gives students real experience of the world of work. The host company must be aware of and agree to the legal regulations and the need for educational support and the student must accept and show an ability to respect the company's rules and behaviours.

For additional information on how to draw up a study plan, educational priorities, attendance requirements and exam sessions, etc., you are advised to consult the document Implementing Norms for Educational Regulations available for consultation on the School's site.

Guide to the Study Plan and allocations in sections and elective courses for the Degree and Master's Degree Courses

7.3 Detailed learning objectives

1 Year courses - Track: PS1 - Product Service System Design - Design per il Sistema Prodotto Servizio 1

Students' ability to choose the courses and credits to be incorporated into their study plans is subordinate to a series of rules imposed by the School which makes available an educational programme worth 60 credits for each year of the course (nominal courses).

Each year students can choose courses for a different number of credits than that specified by the nominal courses (60 ECTS per year) to graduate their study programmes according to their needs.

The minimum number of credits a student can enrol on is 30 unless the number of credits needed for course completion are fewer than this.

The maximum number of credits a student can enrol on is 80, respecting exam priorities.

The current framework of the study plan requires the course exam sequence to be respected as shown in the Regulations.

Courses designed for later years of the programme cannot be inserted into an earlier year study plan (“advance study”) unless all previous and current year courses have also been integrated into it.

The School has also implemented an exam priority sequence on the basis of which certain courses can only be enrolled on if other, introductory courses have already been passed. Students may actually be able to enrol on fewer credits than is nominally the case as a result of this rule.

The System Regulations require a series of educational activities (specialist, elective or supplementary) which are present in the course of study in the form of single subject and integrated courses and laboratories in which the two-year Laurea Magistrale's educational content is conveyed.

Laurea Magistrale

In addition to these types of educational activities the System Regulations also require that a specific number of credits are attributed to types of activity which can be categorised as follows:

-  educational activities chosen independently by students (Optional courses);

-  educational activities relating to preparation for the final exams required for the qualification to be awarded (Final exam);

-   activities designed to enable students to gain additional language skills, IT, telematic and relational skills which will help them in finding employment as well as educational activities designed to facilitate professional choices by giving students direct experience of working in the sector which the qualification can gain them access to including, in particular, educational work experience and guidance (Internships).

The study plan of the section of the double degree with Design Management - Engineering Management PS3 consult the document published at the following link.

7.4 Foreign language

Foreign language assessment will be carried out in accordance with the university's methods as set out on the “Student Services/Guides and Regulations/Guide to the English Language”, web page:

Students are encouraged to read this document carefully and respect the norms set out in it.

Specifically, note that: "Pursuant to Ministerial Decree 270/04 the Politecnico di Milano has adopted the English language as the European Union language which students must speak in addition to Italian".

 English language knowledge, according to the standards indicated by the University, is a registration pre-requisite.  For admission to the School of Design LM Study Programme, certificates must be submitted by candidates within the time frames for admission applications. This deadline must be respected by all students (from similar or different courses)

Language courses

7.5 Degree examination

The exam consists in the discussion of a Final work, written under the guidance of the Supervisor.

The Final work will be discussed in one of the Operational Commissions (CO) established by the reference Study Programme of the student.

For presentation of final work, the candidate can use the digital, audio/video and paper tools, necessary to effectively present the work performed.

The Final work is strictly individual. It is possible to present a group of final work, with an introduction in common, and different core of the work.


There is only one Supervisor, and s/he must be a member of the Single Commission and related to the Disciplinary Scientific Sectors (SSD), elective or supplementary SSD of the Study Programmes to which the Commission is referred or to other SSD explicitly specified in the Regulation of the School. It can be supported by one or more Co-supervisors, even those not belonging to the CU or by experts on specific subjects, even not from the School.


The student can present to the Laura Commission a Final Work that may consists:

1. in development of a theoretical, design, experimental or innovative research final work . The final work must:

- study in detail the project in its technical-specific and/or system-related aspects, according to the educational objectives of the Study Programme. The

discussion must include a detailed theoretical/critical, methodological and/or historical presentation and/or an

experimental study;

- provide a significant propaedeutic part, dedicated to the research carried out with scientific criteria and access to sources of

scientific knowledge (databases, scientific articles, conference minutes, etc);

- suggest to broaden the knowledge related to a less consolidated topic and its potential applications or a greater

contribution to the improvement of knowledge, if compared to a specific research area (final work more theoretical nature);

- require a minimum time of 6 months; it entitles to the assignment of a maximum score of 8 points, for the

evaluation of the final work and its presentation.

2. In development of a final work to strengthen and improve knowledge already acquired. The final work must:

- show in detail the project, by improving its technical-specific and/or system-related aspects, according to the educational objectives of the Study Programme.

The discussion must provide a detailed methodological explanation, historical aspects, theoretical/critical elements;

- focus on well-known topics of scientific research and project applications;

- provide a part of the research that is functional to project development and to a simple explanation of the basic assumptions and

main hypotheses on which the proposed project application is based;

- be primarily focused on potential design applications;

- require a minimum time of 2 months; it entitles to a maximum score of 4 points, for the evaluation of final work and its presentation.

Students can request the assignment of one of them, the innovative research or the final work to improve knowledge.


The work must show the preparation and critical skills developed by the graduating student in the areas of project in relation to the contents of the Study Programme. The Final works are usually made up of a report that contains the steps of the work, the objectives, the bibliography and the documentary sources; the technical project tables, the physical and/or virtual model where required.

The Final work is usually written in Italian or English. With a justified reason of the Graduating student, it is also possible to accept a written Final work in other languages, with the approval of the CU President. Even in this case, presentation and discussion is carried out in Italian or English. Regardless of the writing language of the final work (Italian, English or other

foreign language), it must, in any case, contain a copy in Italian and English.

The final evaluation takes into account of the student's career in the two-year LM study Programme, as well as of the final work. The score is expressed in hundred-tenths. (/110). It consists of the sum of:

 - the average obtained by the graduating student in the courses, weighted on credits, expressed as hundred-tenths and hundredths of hundred-tenths (without considering any as extra activity and cum laude)

2. and the increase awarded by the Operational Commission expressed as hundred-tenths and hundredths of hundred-tenths. This sum must be rounded to the closer whole number (0.50 is rounded to 1.00) and limited to 110. The Operational Commission can also award the “honours”.

The "honours" has the meaning of a particular appreciation by the Operational Commission for the preparation and skills reached by the Graduating student, for his excellent curriculum studiorum and the quality and originality of the Graduation work.

In particular, for this study programme the graduation work must have original characteristics and may consist in development of a theoretical, design, experimental or innovative research final work, or development of a final work to strengthen and improve knowledge already acquired. In both cases, graduation work must contain a methodological foreword illustrating its disciplinary foundations, arguments and the knowledge framework within which the research in it has been carried out and show which elements constitute original contributions.

The thesis must complete the student's educational course of study. It must be an individual work which can, however, be based on structured activities carried out together with other students. The individual candidate's contribution must, however, be clearly recognisable in the final outcome.

Further information can be found in the Graduation exam regulations available on the School Web site.

Guide to the Final Examination of Laurea Magistrale
Information concerning general rules and regulations, session calendars, registration and consignment of theses is available at

8. Academic calendar

The Laurea course calendar is drawn up in accordance with study assessment methods which, for the Design School's Laurea programmes involve “ongoing” assessments performed during each semester. The academic year is made up of two semesters each of which consists of a teaching session and learning assessment sessions (exam sessions). The teaching sessions of each semester are made up of two periods of lessons, practice and laboratory work, with exam sessions with the related curricular workshop activities.
The teaching periods are approximately mid-September-December and end-February-early June.
In September, before the start of lectures, there will be a period for presentation of Study Plan.
The degree exam sessions are scheduled in these periods: February, July, September.

Lesson timetable, calendars and deadlines
Academic calendar

9. Faculty

The professors' names of the Study Programme and what they teach will be made available on the degree programme from September onwards.
The Degree Programme is published each year on Politecnico di Milano's website.


10. Infrastructures and laboratories

The School of Design is based at Campus Bovisa-Candiani where the educational activities are held and where there are services for students (Experimental laboratories, Library, Study room, Press Service,...)

Design Laboratories
The creation of big experimental laboratories supporting design education is in line with the Politecnico di Milano School of Design's experimental tradition, its inductive teaching model, in which 'knowledge' and 'know-how' are mutually supportive.
The purpose of these laboratories is the practice of activities which allow students to verify their design hypotheses and learn how to use the technical tools required for experimentation, representation and design communication.
The laboratories managed by the Design Department occupy an approximately 10,000 square metre space in the Milan Bovisa campus.

11. International context

Building an international dimension for the School of Design and its Study Programmes has been one of its priority objectives since it was founded in the year 2000.

There are many reasons for this purpose: the nature of design which inherently draws its very lifeblood from its multicultural and multi-local character, its proximity to both the world of manufacturing - which has now taken on a global dimension - and the sphere of consumption whose dynamics and tendencies are visible in a range of local specific contexts; the very DNA of the design community which has always been international; Milan's acknowledged status as design capital, a crucible for designers from all over the world who have come here to study or open a studio; the desire to make educational trajectories increasingly permeable to impulses deriving from this stimulating context as in other dynamic foreign contexts, with the aim to teach to international professors and designers.

To these should be added more highly structured activities which aim to strengthen collaborative relations, in the didactic and research fields, with selected universities: this is the case of the MEDes_Master of European Design educational programme (with 6 partner universities), the LM Double Degree Programmes with Universities in China, Brazil, Colombia, France,
more are under preparation or cross-programmes with American universities, as well as the many ongoing international research projects.

The School of Design is a member of Cumulus, a network of European design schools, and of the main international design associations.

12. Internationalization

For the School of Design, internationalisation has a double meaning: supporting student (and teaching and technical staff) mobility outwards and, on the opposite direction, attracting students, researchers, professors and visiting professors from abroad.

In relation to these two internalisation channels (dealt with separately, the first in this chapter and the second in the subsequent chapter), in recent years, the School of Design has committed itself to widen its international contact network and it now works with 200 design universities from all over the world in Erasmus exchange programmes (with 150 European universities), in bilateral exchange projects (with 60 non European universities), joint workshops with other schools, international internships and so on.


To encourage the internalisation most of the Master programmes are offer in English or have at least an English section.


International exchanges

The School of Design takes part in international student exchange programmes which offer students the opportunity to go abroad for a period, both during L and LM study programme, at one of the Politecnico's partner universities. A list of the School's partner universities is available on the Politecnico's web site and on the School of Design web site in the International Area.


The Erasmus Programme

The Erasmus programme was set up in 1987 by the European Community in order to give students the possibility to carry out a period of study at a foreign university within the European Union, from 3 to 12 months, legally recognised by their university.

In 2014 the European Union's Erasmus+ programme was set up for education, training, youth and sport, for the 2014-2020 period.

In particular, Erasmus for study enables university students to carry out a period of study at a university with a partnership agreement with their university. This mobility can entitle students for an economic contribution (under the conditions set out in the international mobility Call) and free registration at the host university. Students can thus follow courses and take exams at the partner university and have the exams recognised by their universities. The mobility can be carried out one time for each level of study.


Bilateral exchanges

The School of Design has also activated some bilateral agreements with non-EU universities. These are mainly intended for the use of Laurea Magistrale students and application can be submitted also by those who have already carried out an Erasmus experience abroad during their three-year study programme.

The procedures for admission to such exchanges are the same as those for Erasmus exchanges with the exception for the economic contribution for mobility, that in this case it is not guaranteed.

The bilateral agreement, in fact, enables students to attend a period of study abroad at a partner university without incurring registration fees at such universities. In some cases, however, a management fee for exchange students must be paid (e.g.: Orientation fee).





The MEDes Programme (Master of European Design (MEDes) From the a.y. 2002/2003, the School of Design activated the MEDes, as five-year international educational programme, in collaboration with six other famous European design universities and formalised through an agreement that relies on the Erasmus+ mobility programme since 2014.

6 students are selected for this excellence programme among all those enrolled on the 2nd year of the laurea study programmes in Industrial Product Design, Interior Design and Communication Design, that at the time of application are in order with the curricular exams and that have successfully attended at least one semester at Politecnico di Milano. The students apply immediately for two years of mobility (and for a total of five years of study including Laurea and Laurea Magistrale) and therefore they guarantee the continuation to LM at Politecnico di Milano, always by following the normal career planned by the university that provides the degree examination at the end of the 3rd year. In order to complete the full career, students can only graduate in their university of origin, for both Laurea and Laurea Magistrale.

In addition to Politecnico di Milano, the universities taking part in this programme are:

The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland

Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Helsinki, Finland

Konstfack University College of Arts, Stockholm, Sweden

Ensci Les Ateliers, Paris, France

KiSD - Köln International School of Design, Cologne, Germany

Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Candidates, admitted to the MEDes programme, have two study experiences abroad, in two partner universities: the first one during the 3rd year of I level Laurea, and the other one during the 1st year of Laurea Magistrale. The universities of destination will be chosen according to the aptitude shown by candidates during the selection process, to the selection made by the responsible professors during the workshops (organized every year in March, in one of the partner schools and with compulsory participation by the exchange students of 1st and 2nd year) and taking into account the preferences stated by the student.


Guide to the international mobility of Corsi di Laurea e Laurea Magistrale Scuola del Design
Information on exchange programmes, double degree projects and international internships, European research and international relations projects are available at

13. Quantitative data

The  University Assessment Commission Nucleus perform periodic analysis on the overall results analysing the teaching activities and the integration of graduates into the work world. Reports and studies are available on the website of the Politecnico di Milano.


14. Further information

Students are encouraged to consult the School of Design site and in particular the Guides which regulate access, changing degree programme, courses and laurea exams for any other information they may need.

15. Errata corrige