Master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Design-Barcelona (MBDesign)


The master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Design (UPC-UB), is a multidisciplinary master’s degree in which creativity, innovation and research are applied as tools for learning about and proposing the future of design. It is conceived from a comprehensive, wide-ranging and cross-disciplinary perspective that is characteristic of design made in Barcelona which has in recent decades become an international benchmark. Its approach is propositional: it contributes new views on theory, participatory network strategies and the most innovative trends in new product design. Teaching takes place in settings such as design workshops, projects on various topics, materials and technology research laboratories, collaborative work and digital manufacturing laboratories.

The master’s degree is held over one academic year, and has a credit load of 60 ECTS credits. It consists of a compulsory, cross-disciplinary stage of 15 ECTS credits and an optional stage of 30 ECTS credits that includes five specialisations taught by specialised teaching staff from schools that stand out in their fields, such as the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB), the Vilanova i la Geltrú School of Engineering (EPSEVG), and the Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering (ESEIAAT), all of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC); and the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona (UB). The specialisations are:

They all end with a master’s thesis of 15 ECTS credits, that can focus on a design project or research. In addition to these five specialisations, optional courses covering business, entrepreneurship and intellectual property are also taught.


What can I learn with the Master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Design-Barcelona (MBDesign) at the UPC Vilanova Campus?

Design, Innovation and Technology

Design, Innovation and Technology

Conocer, desarrollar y utilizar aquellos aspectos relativos al Diseño en los que interviene la participación colectiva, los aspectos sociales y la innovación.

Contemporary and Industrial Design

Contemporary and Industrial Design

Se toma el Proyecto, como acción creativa y configuradora del diseño i se focaliza en técnicas avanzadas de ingeniería en diseño industrial.

Art Direction in Design and Research in Design

Dirección de Arte en Diseño e Investigación en Diseño

Aplicación y desarrollo de la dirección del arte en el ámbito del diseño gráfico, la arquitectura gráfica y tipográfica y el diseño de la información.

One academic year, 60 ECTS credits

Consult the academic calendar.

Consult the timetables.

Fees and grants
Approximate fees for the master’s degree, excluding academic and degree certificate fees: €1.660 (€2,490 for non-EU residents)
More information about fees and payement options
More information about grants and loans
Languages of instruction
Courses are taught in Catalan and Spanish, depending on students’ comprehension skills and the aims of the master’s degree. The Contemporary Design and Design, Innovation and Technology specialisations are taught entirely in English.
Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB)
Vilanova i la Geltrú School of Engineering (EPSEVG)
Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering (ESEIAAT)
Faculty of Fine Arts (FBBAA), University of Barcelona
Official degree
Official degree.

The curriculum of the master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Design-Barcelona comprises 60 ECTS credits that are divided as shown in the table below.


Common compulsory credits 15 ECTS credits
Optional specialisation credits 30 ECTS credits
Master’s thesis 15 ECTS credits


Compulsory subjects, which are worth 15 ECTS credits in total, are common to all students taking the master’s degree. One of five optional specialisations, which are worth 30 ECTS credits each, must be chosen from the following:

To complete the degree, students must take 15 ECTS credits in the form of a master’s thesis, which must be related to the chosen specialisation. Students taking two specialisations must produce a master’s thesis related to the curricular pathway they have followed over the course of the master’s degree.


Basic competencies

The basic competencies are those stated for master’s degrees in Royal Decree 1393/2007:

Generic competencies

Generic competencies are those that students must have acquired over the course of the master’s degree.

Cross-disciplinary competencies

Cross-disciplinary competencies are those skills that the student acquires during the course of study and that are common to all master’s degree courses. At the UPC, these generic competencies are entrepreneurship and innovation, sustainability and social commitment, foreign languages (preferably English), teamwork and the effective use of information resources.

Specific competencies

Common compulsory subjects


Master’s thesis

The curriculum of the master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Design-Barcelona, which has a credit load of 60 ECTS credits, begins with a compulsory common stage of 15 ECTS credits. The master’s degree includes five specialisations of 30 ECTS credits each and the writing, presentation and defence of a master’s thesis.

To be awarded a specialisation a minimum of 25 ECTS credits (of which 20 ECTS credits will be for compulsory subjects) must be taken and passed. The remaining 5 ECTS credits must be for a subject in the same specialisation or any other of the optional subjects that are common to all the specialisations. In this case the master’s thesis must be based on the specialisation taken.

Two specialisations may be taken in given circumstances. In this case students must take and pass the ECTS credits for each specialisation and submit and obtain a pass mark for a master’s thesis on the curricular pathway taken over the course of the master’s degree. The two specialisations must be chosen during the admissions process.

The MBDesign specialisations are the following:

1. Contemporary Design (taught entirely in English)

Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB)

This specialisation takes design, a creative and formative act, as the central topic for study, practice and research. The subjects covered approach contemporary design as a process that is constantly being updated and in which innovation and new areas of application and development continue to emerge.

2. Design, Innovation and Technology

Vilanova i la Geltrú School of Engineering (EPSEVG)

The aim is for students to become familiar with, develop and use the aspects of design in which collective participation, social factors and innovation play a part. Areas of study range from collective design to the management and creative use of data analysis and also include design related to personalised care and networks that communicate and shape the knowledge society

3. Industrial Design Engineering

Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering (ESEIAAT)

The aim is to focus on advanced techniques in industrial design engineering. This leads to a concentration of knowledge of the criteria for selecting materials and of transformation processes and the practical application of these materials following creative and trend-based criteria.

There is also a focus on in-depth techniques for developing forms linked to CAD systems that are used in sectors such as product, automotive and reverse engineering and generative modelling. This generation of forms materialises in the creation of prototypes, in which advanced techniques such as programmable logic and the Arduino standard are explained.

The specialisation covers research and innovation topics and analyses industrial design research techniques and methods applied to basic conceptual design and final product development.

4. Art Direction in Design

Faculty of Fine Arts (FBBAA)

This specialisation focuses on the application and development of art direction in the field of design. The topics covered are developed in design projects and applications in graphic design, graphic and typographic architecture, information design and the development of areas and methods for theoretical and critical research on aesthetics and design.

5. Design Research

Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB); Vilanova i la Geltrú School of Engineering (EPSEVG); Terrassa School of Industrial, Aerospace and Audiovisual Engineering (ESEIAAT); Faculty of Fine Arts (FBBAA), University of Barcelona

This multidisciplinary specialisation covers the research topics of the other four specialisations. The backbone to this specialisation is the study and research topic chosen by the student, so that every specialisation provides a different perspective on the topic. The specialisation focuses on the study of cross-disciplinary topics that often arise in the field of design and that may become the subject of a doctoral thesis.

Common optional subjects

Professional areas

Contemporary Design


Josep Maria Fort

Design, Innovation and Technology


Enric Trullols

Industrial Design Engineering


Jordi Voltas

Art Direction in Design

Belles Arts - UB

Oriol Moret

Design Research


Josep Maria Monguet

Access and admission

Entrance qualifications

In cases e) and f) the academic committee of the master’s degree will assess the suitability of candidates and their motivation, and may set bridging courses from the degree in Architecture Studies, the bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design and Product Development Engineering or the bachelor’s degree in Design, which must not exceed 18 ECTS credits. The decision of the academic committee will be binding; therefore, the bridging courses set will be a necessary condition for awarding the master’s degree in Advanced Studies in Design-Barcelona.

Admission and selection

The criteria for assessing merits and selecting candidates include the weighting of candidates’ academic records, the correspondence between the curriculum of the previous degree and that of the master’s degree, and the certification of language skills.

Candidates must provide at least the following documents:

Applications for admission must include the specialisation or specialisations that the candidate wishes to take, in order of priority.

The academic committee orders the applications according to the average marks in candidates’ academic records and its assessment of the supporting documents provided. Each of these items carries a weight of 50%.


Applications must be submitted online via the pre-enrolment application. All previously requested documents must be submitted in the same manner. Students who are admitted must provide their original degree certificate and academic record when they enrol. Documents issued abroad must have been translated and legalised whenever necessary.

See the information on the legalisation of foreign documents.

Access the pre-enrolment application before 7 July

Visit us



Inform now

about the master BDesign degree

AQU Catalunya information
Basic information - Test results - Degree data