Master of Design (Academic)

Master of Design mainly cultivates students who possess Chinese cultural heritage and international vision and have solid theoretical foundation and design research ability, extensively understand leading theory and latest developments in related fields at home and abroad, and can creatively propose new correct viewpoints, theories, methods, and can scientifically solve practical problems in the field of design, and become a high-level research-oriented professional talent who is competent in design, related fields, scientific research, teaching and management, and in comprehensive development of morality, intelligence and physique.


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Subject introduction

Design is an emerging, comprehensive application discipline that studies the laws, behaviors, and cultural values of design innovation. The discipline was granted the first batch of master's degrees in the country in 1993 (the title of the discipline was industrial plastic art at that time), the Ph.D. in design in 2005, and the Cumulus in the International Academy of Arts, Design and Media in 2006. In 2011, we obtained  the first batch of doctoral and master's degrees in the first-level design disciplines in China. The discipline has an academic echelon with high academic level and strong scientific research ability, and has formed the characteristics of the discipline of "scientific and artistic combination, coordinated development of production, study and research". The discipline relies on a number of teaching and research laboratories such as the State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Automobile Body, China-Italy Industrial Design Center, and undertakes the National Science and Technology Support Program, the “863 Project”, the “973” Project and the National Natural Science Foundation Project. And a large number of horizontal design topics. There are 6 doctoral tutors, 16 master tutors, 10 professors and 10 associate professors in this discipline. It is a strong and well-structured academic team.

Training objectives

1.Have a good grasp of Marxism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, support the party's basic line and principles and policies, love the motherland, abide by the law, have good professional ethics and entrepreneurial spirit, and have a scientific rigor and a realistic and pragmatic attitude towards learning and work style, physical and mental health, and actively contribute to promote the development of  national design and art.

2.possess Chinese cultural heritage and international vision, solid theoretical foundation and scientific research experience, harmonious development of research ability and design innovation ability, combined with sensibility and rationality, scientific spirit and artistic literacy, adapt to the needs of the current design art development era, capable of design Scientific research, teaching or management in disciplines and related fields, high-level specialized talents in design disciplines with international competitiveness, developed in a comprehensive way.

3.Master a foreign language.

Research directions

  • Design History & Theory

  • Industrial Design

  • Information & Interaction Design

  • Environmental Design

  • Visual & Media Design

School system and credits

1.The design of the academic master's degree program is based on a three-year flexible academic system with a study period of 2 to 4 years, and all courses are completed in the first year.

2.The teacher responsibility system led by “design research” is implemented. The tutor is responsible for the postgraduate business guidance and ideological and political education, and forms a postgraduate guidance group based on postgraduate instructors, responsible for the training and assessment of graduate students.

3.Implement the credit system. The total credits are 70 credits, including 34 credits (including 20 credits for degree basic courses, 14 credits for degree direction courses), 2 credits for academic activities, 2 credits for opening report, and 32 credits for dissertation.


The curriculum highlights the characteristics of design majors, combining design research and design practice, highlighting the integration of theory and design applications; teaching methods using classroom teaching, design research, design practice, design workshops, and the combination of dissertations.To enable students to master the basic theories and professional knowledge of design research and practice, and to cultivate comprehensive design capabilities.

The curriculum framework is as follows:

(1) Degree Foundation Course (20 credits)

Including ideological and political theory courses, first foreign languages, subject-based basic courses and first-level subject basic courses.

a. Ideological and Political Theory Course (3 credits)

According to the characteristics of the discipline, the academic master's degree in design studies is required to study 《Theory and Practice of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics》 (2credits) and 《Introduction to Dialectics of Nature》 (1credit).

b. First foreign language (3 credits)

The basic English for postgraduate students practices course exemption system. Those who take the CET-6 after June 2005 and be qualified to take the test of spoken English will be exempted from basic English course; or had taken academic visits in English-speaking countries for one year and one year in the past five years,and with the related certificate of  Ministry of Education; or the undergraduate is an English major graduate, can be exempted from basic English, count 3 credits.

c. Subject class basic courses (2 credits)

The basic courses of subject categories are set according to the category of “art science” and are set as 《Western Art Review》 with 2 credits.

d. first-level subject basic courses(12 credits)

There are 5 basic courses in the first-level discipline, count 12 credits.

(2) Degree direction courses (14 credits)

Choose at least 7 degree direction courses, count 14 credits.

(3) Remedial courses

Interdisciplinary graduate students are required to complete two undergraduate major courses in the subject, which are added in the postgraduate training program, but do not count credits.

The specific curriculum is as follows:


Note: The interdisciplinary master students need to complete 2 undergraduate courses in this subject according to the research direction.

Academic Activities

Design academic master students should participate in more than six academic activities during their school years, of which they should conduct academic reports more than once. Academic activities should write a summary report, indicating the time, place, speaker, academic report topic of the academic activities, briefing the content and clarifying their academic views or opinions on relevant issues, and requesting the relevant written materials to be signed and approved by the tutor.

Opening report

The specific requirements refer to 《Interim Provisions on the Opening Report of the Graduate Dissertation of Hunan University》.

Mid-term examination

The specific requirements refer to 《Regulations on the Interim Inspection of Postgraduate Thesis of Hunan University》.


1. Design academic graduate students must publish academic papers related to graduation thesis in the journals specified in the domestic core journals, international journals or academic papers (including employment notices) related to graduation thesis and journals stipulated by《 Regulations of Hunan University on the publication of academic papers by doctoral and master's degree applicants》,and approved by the expert panel appointed by the Academic Degrees Evaluation Committee, can apply for a reply. In order to ensure the quality and level of the design of academic graduate students, this requirement may not be replaced by other methods and conditions.

2. Other requirements refer to the relevant provisions of the graduate degree thesis of Hunan University.