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KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology

KEA Design

Denmark Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

KEA offers higher education study programmes targeted at the business community in Denmark and abroad. KEA connects craftsmanship with the latest knowledge, and students learn to turn that knowledge into products in the broad sense.
KEA’s study programmes are within technology, design and business. They are of a high academic standard and are closely linked to the needs of industry.
KEA’s graduates create value by being successful in life and by creating innovative power and product development.

International Role

KEA has several full-time educational programs taught in English. All in all we have about 20% international students coming from more than 50 different countries and have an integrated international mind-set throughout the organization. We have a strong focus on internationalization, abroad as well as at KEA, as most our educational programmes are training students in areas directed toward a global industry
Since 2012 the international activities of KEA have been coordinated by the international office, KEA Global. In addition to traditional student exchange, the focus has since 2012 been directed towards several additional areas in order to expand the international focus and global employability of KEA graduates:

  • Cross-disciplinary short term projects in collaboration with partner institutions and companies.
  • Exchange of lecturers with partner institutions.
  • Internationalization at home (eg. Intercultural workshops for students at the international programmes)
  • International Internships

Examples of international collaboration and projects:

  • The Biannual Youth Fashion Summit, YFS, part of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit – in 2016 the summit will address sustainability in fashion. KEA is coordinating the YFS in collaboration with The Danish Fashion Institute (www.youthfashionsummit.com)
  • The Annual KEA charette (cross-disciplinary work shop with students and lecturers from partner universitites – http://www.kea.dk/en/charrette/)
  • Participation in the Toronto International Charette, George Brown College – School of Design (http://institutewithoutboundaries.ca/?portfolio=interstitial-zones)
  • Joint (1 week) project with Istanbul Aydin University on the value chain from production to consumer (Fashion Management)
  • Sustainability projects with international companies such as Nike, SUUNTO, IKEA and H&M

National Role

KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology plays an important role in the Danish national and Nordic regional sectors and in our home city of Copenhagen in exchanging the latest knowledge through our close collaboration with our partners and the innovative graduates we produce, some of whom further contribute by starting new businesses. We strive to continually adjust our teaching and study programmes in accordance with local and national needs and ambitions – while also preparing our students for internationally oriented careers.

KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology collaborates with other higher education institutions in Denmark in various ways, including PhD supervision. KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology is part of a committee of institutions including Via University College, another Cumulus member, that meets regularly to discuss issues related to education, including curriculum development. 

KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology is cooperating with the Danish Fashion Institute, together with leading institutions from around the world, to host the Youth Fashion Summit in 2016 (www.youthfashionsummit.com). 

Local higher education institutions and companies with an interest in materials can apply to have full access (for a fee) to Material ConneXion Copenhagen, described in the section on "Main Focus". 

KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology is engaged in a variety of local social projects, described in the response to the question on the societal impact of education.

Main Focus

The main focus in education at KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology is the combination of design, business and technology. We take an applied approach to teaching and learning, focusing on teamwork, dialogue and action, while ensuring a balance between theory and practice. All students participate in internships (20 weeks) as part of their study programme in companies in Denmark or abroad. We are a design school with a strong focus on the entrepreneurial mindset of our students.

Our students have many opportunities to gain international experience through, for example, exchange at one of our many partner institutions, as well as interaction with international students on campus and teaching staff with international experience. Students can also participate in KEA's own charrette as well as charrettes and similar workshops at our partner institutions abroad. In this way, we help equip them for the global labour market, including self-employment.

At KEA Design we focus on the human element – the user/customer – production, technology and new materials. We challenge our student to experiment with a wide range of design methods and prototyping.

We combine the latest knowledge with craftsmanship and are well known for our expertise in sustainability and innovation. A unifying principle of our design programmes is our close cooperation with companies to develop concepts and/or products. Our students have, for example, participated in a KEA/IKEA redesign challenge, sustainability projects with Nike, H&M and Kopenhagen Fur and wearable design projects with SUUNTO and Swarovski. Through these activities and the graduates we produce, we provide vital knowledge and skills to the design and lifestyle industry – in Denmark and abroad.

KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology’s strong focus on materials in all areas of education, including Design, is greatly supported and developed by the Material Design Lab: www.materialdesignlab.dk, the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The Material Design Lab at KEA consists of The Box (an exhibition that helps students understand materials in their raw form – before processing), The Lab (a space that allows students to experiment with materials and potentially create new ones) and The Library (consisting of the Material ConneXion Copenhagen collection, containing 1500 material samples and a database of 7500 materials and a more traditional library with books and other resources on design and architecture).  

Faculties and Departments


Bachelor Level Programs

  • BA in Jewellery, Technology and Business (3½ year)
  • (Top-up) BA in Design and Business (1½ year top up for students from our own AP Degrees or with similar beackgrounds from other Danish or international Institutions )
    • Specialization areas at the BA in Design and Business:
      • Brand Design
      • Communication Design and Media
      • Fashion Management
      • Sustainable Fashion Tech
  • AP in E-Design (2 years)
  • AP in Design, Technology and Business (2 years)
    • Specilization areas at the AP in Design Technology and Business
      • Sustainable Fashion Tech
      • Marketing and Communication Design
      • Fashion Management

An AP degree is a 2 year short cycle higher education (EQF5).

Students from the AP Degrees can apply for admission to the Top up Bachelor programme in case they wish to pursue further education. Applicants for the Top up degree must pass an admission test in order to be admitted.

Please note that we have not included AP students and AP graduates in part 4. of this application: figures/Number of Bachelor Students and Number of Bachelor graduates annually. The actual number of students at our Design Unit is therefore higher but not all end their education with a BA degree. This goes for the numbers of teaching staff as well.


Master Level Programs


Research Activity and Main Areas

The KEA Research & Innovation Centre plays an important role in the strategic development of KEA's various educations and programmes with a focus on four core areas:

  • Sustainability and Material Technology
  • Design and Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Pedagogy and Didactics

The Research & Innovation Centre works across disciplines and traditions to develop projects that challenge and inspire our participants whilst also making an impact on society in general. 

The Research & Innovation Centre team has extensive experience within project management and the facilitation of change and innovation processes. As an active partner and promoter, the Research & Innovation Centre is involved in a number of major development projects that focus on alternative ways to create new knowledge, education and skills development.

Examples of projects:

  • Ms Mette Bak Andersen, MATERIAL DRIVEN DESIGN (phd project in collaboration with The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design)
  • Ms Mette Ohlendorff, AESTHETICS, DESIGN AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP (phd project in collaboration with University of Roskilde). Abstract: http://www.materials-education.com/2016/na/program.htm#mette. Part of the research is based on materialdesignlab.dk
  • Mr Morten Grønborg, CULTURE OF REMIXING & REMIXING  (phd project in collaboration with University of Roskilde)
  • Mr Per Liljenberg Halstrøm, CHOICE AND VALIDATION OF METHODS IN DESIGN AND DESIGN EDUCATION (phd project in collaboration with The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design). Example: http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/artifact/article/view/12815
  • Mr Jesper Balslev, Evidence of a potential political arguments for digitizing education 1983-2015

Doctorate Level Programs


Subject Areas for Exchange Students

  • Communication Design and Media (specialization area within the BA in Design and Business)
  • Brand Design (specialization area within the BA in Design and Business)
  • Jewellery, Technology and Business


Application Deadlines

For exchange in the spring semester – 15th of October

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Spring: January till June

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

No tuition fee for exchange students


Bachelor: 530
Master: N/A
Doctorate: N/A

Exchange Students

Incoming: 60
Outgoing: 45
Others: 85(interns)

Teaching Staff

Lectures: 21
Other permanent teachers: 21
Part-time Teachers: 2

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