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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

School of Design

China Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

Make possibilities endless

To establish the School of Design as a top tier international design school, applying Asian innovation to global opportunities.


PolyU Design aims to be a leading transdisciplinary design school that: 

  • Nurtures responsible and open-minded creative talents and active learners.
  • Conducts practice-based research, covering: social design, design economy, and design making.
  • Contributes to innovation in Hong Kong and Mainland China, while maintaining a global perspective.

Core Values
Be Open-minded
Steer Positive Change
Be Entrepreneurial
Be Authentic
Be Responsible

International Role

We are open to collaboration with partner universities, associations, industrial and business corporations, government and non-government organisations all over the world on academic and research collaborations – Joint  programmes, joint PhD supervision, external examiners, research collaboration, international workshops, project collaboration, consultancy work, student exchange, project collaboration, industrial advisors, student project clients, internship work-based supervisors and the University's international summer school and others.



Main Focus

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design (hereafter referred to as "PolyU Design" or "the School") has been an important hub for design education and research in Hong Kong, offering quality undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in design to nurture creative talent across a wide range of industries.

The School is a place where East meets West, allowing students to develop their design expertise while gaining an in-depth understanding of industry and society, with a unique international and cultural perspective. PolyU Design attaches equal importance to design theory and application, integrates art with science, actively promotes interdisciplinary cooperation and learning, emphasises high-quality design education, conducts high-level research, and provides consulting services.

The research and academic programmes offered by PolyU Design are based on five central tenets: 1) Developing an Open Mind Frame; 2) Steering Positive Change; 3) Establishing Visionary Entrepreneurship; 4) Practising Authentic Expression; and 5) Designing Responsibly.

Academic Reputation
With 60 years of rich academic and research experience, PolyU Design is leading the way to a bright future in an increasingly dynamic Asia. Over the years, the School has received international recognition for its achievements. It was ranked 15th on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings® by Subject – Art and Design in 2020 and is consistently among the top 20 in the world.

World-Class Facilities
The School's steady diversification in recent years has been made possible by a world-class environment and facilities. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the Jockey Club Innovation Tower forms the centerpiece of the PolyU campus, with a variety of studios, design research laboratories, technical workshops, exhibition venues, and communal spaces, providing an excellent and comprehensive teaching and research environment. Since its official opening in 2014, the School has attracted designers, scholars, and people from all walks of life from all over the world, and has conducted countless activities to promote cooperation, learning, and exchange.

Academic Education
PolyU Design actively promotes cross-disciplinary learning and exchange, and works closely with industry and employers to help students meet the increasingly complex design needs of a wide range of industries. The School offers a wide range of disciplines, including: product design, interaction design, information design, advertising design, media design, interior design, environmental design, social design, service design, transitional environments design, innovative business design, intelligent systems design, smart service design, and innovative multimedia entertainment. The School is home to over 900 undergraduate and postgraduate students annually, of which approximately 60 study at the doctoral level.

Notable alumni include Raman Hui (Animation), Vivienne Tam (Fashion), Eric Chan (Product), Anthony Lo (Automotive), Yip Kam-tim (Film), Chu Chen-on (Film), Dennis Chan (Jewelry), Tino Kwan (Lighting) and Freeman Lau (Branding and Art) among others.

Bachelor Level Programs

BA (Hons) Scheme in Design, 4 years full-time

The Scheme offers an extensive range of different Design Specialisms that cater for tomorrow’s designers: Advertising Design, Environmental Design, Information Design, Interaction Design, Interior Design, Media Design, Product Design, Service Design, and Social Design.

This Scheme-based admission serves as an undeclared major track.  Students who enroll in the Scheme will first follow a common curriculum in year one, which provides them with a year to identify their area(s) of interest and career aspirations, facilitating their Major programme selection in year two.

Students are subject to further assessment criteria i.e. students' own choice, students' portfolio evaluation, interview performance, GPA and individual subject results in selection of awards at the end of their Year One study.

Graduates will obtain one of these awards after completion of the programme:

  • BA (Hons) in Design (Advertising Design)
  • BA (Hons) in Design (Information Design)
  • BA (Hons) in Design (Media Design)
  • BA (Hons) in Design (Environmental Design)
  • BA (Hons) in Design (Interior Design)
  • BA (Hons) in Design (Product Design)
  • BA (Hons) in Design (Interaction Design)
  • BA (Hons) in Design (Service Design)
  • BA (Hons) in Design (Social Design)


Master Level Programs

  1. Doctor of Design, 3 years full-time or 5 years part-time
    The Doctor of Design (DDes) is designed to cater to the needs of influential industrial leaders, educators, and researchers who are seeking a professional doctorate in design. The DDes represents an alternative path to the achievement of a doctoral qualification. This is a credit-based programme offered in a mixed mode. Our DDes programme strives to be the leading professional doctoral programme in Asia, offering training in practice-based research skills and developing interdisciplinary intellectual capability.
  2. Master of Design (Innovative Business Design), 1 year full-time or 3 years part-time
    The Master of Design (Innovative Business Design) (IBD) is an interdisciplinary masters that prepares students to become leaders of transformational changes in organisations and society. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of today's global market through the programme's integrative approach to business and design. Central to the programme is its emphasis on creativity, innovation, and responsible business practices for sustainable growth. Students are encouraged to think critically, challenge traditional models, and develop innovative solutions.

  3. Master of Design (Intelligent Systems Design), 1 year full-time or 3 years part-time 
    The Master of Design (Intelligent Systems Design) (ISD) is an interdisciplinary graduate programme that develops designers who can drive transformative industrial innovation in advanced technologies-enabled, cutting-edge industries. Based on integrating intelligent technologies, system theories and innovative design approaches, the programme brings together professional knowledge in design and STEM. Students have the opportunity to develop systemic design innovations that demonstrate their consideration of human needs and desires and technological development.

  4. Master of Design (Smart Service Design), 1 year full-time or 3 years part-time 
    The Master of Design (Smart Service Design) (SSD) is a taught postgraduate programme that inspires service designers to create meaningful service innovation addressing business challenges and societal changes. The programme orients the scope of design from professional practice to the socio-technical dimension of design, where students develop a deep understanding of service design's technological, commercial, societal and organisational contexts, reframe and transform opportunities into new and sustainable service experiences.
  5. Master of Design (Transitional Environments Design), 1 year full-time or 3 years part-time 
    The Master of Design (Transitional Environments Design) (TED) offers a unique postgraduate education in urban space design, developed in response to the unprecedented rural and urban changes during the last few decades in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The programme takes a critical approach to environmental and ecological design, using design as a holistic and systemic perspective on entangled global and local problems. It aims to nurture eco-conscious urban designers, proactive leaders, and game changers to contribute to environmental and ecological transition with sustainable goals in mind and based on regenerative values.

  6. Master of Science in Innovative Multimedia Entertainment, 1 year full-time, 1.5 years full-time with internship, 2 years part-time
    MSc in Innovative Multimedia Entertainment (MScIME) is built to supersede, the long-storied MSc in Multimedia and Entertainment Technology (MScMET) prorgramme. The new MScIME aims to update the curriculum to adapt to the latest trends in AI, Data science and multimedia technologies and their current and anticipated great impact in the production of multimedia entertainment works and research.
    The programme also offers students rich learning environments with strong industry engagement. Industry collaborators include NVIDIA, Tencent Games Lightspeed Studios, Unreal Engine etc.

Research Activity and Main Areas

PolyU Design is committed to further contributing its expertise to the community through applied research and consultancy, providing forward-looking advice and support to the industry.

The School's design studies cover three main pillars: Social Design, Design Economy, and Design Making. PolyU Design boasts a number of research laboratories led by internationally renowned professors, covering a range of different areas, such as: Digital Entertainment, Information Design, Public Design, Asian Ergonomics Design, Interaction Design, Asian Lifestyle Design, Creativity and Design Education, and more. With the support from the university, research units including PolyU Research Centre for Cultural and Art Technology, PolyU-NVIDIA Joint Research Centre, Research Centre for Future (Caring) Mobility, and Laboratory for Artificial Intelligence in Design (AiDLab) are established to focus on specific areas and foster interdisciplinary collaborations.

According to the "2020 Research Assessment Exercise" conducted by the University Grants Committee of the Hong Kong SAR, the field of "Creative Arts, Performing Arts and Design" was the only academic area to receive the maximum four-star rating in terms of both "Research Impact" and "Research Environment". Over 40% of the research projects submitted have been rated top-notch internationally, with PolyU Design providing the bulk of the success stories. These diverse and highly recognised research projects include the Hong Kong Neon Lighting Research Database, Design Management and National Design Policy in domestic manufacturing, sustainability practices in Miaoxia Village and Henan's House of Dreams, and the inclusive design research project Public Design for Fun. Innovative projects have also garnered global accolades, such as the Omni Study System, the AI community robot Alice, the Two Fold country park waste bin design, and the Pedestrian Traffic Monitoring Project.

SD Plus, established in 2019, serves as the professional design consultancy arm of the School. It actively bridges the gap between the School's design research and the wider industry and community, infusing innovative power into economic and social development.

Design Labs: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/sd/research/design-labs/

PolyU-NVIDIA Joint Research Centre: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/nvidiarc/

PolyU Research Centre for Cultural and Art Technology: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/rccat/

Research Centre for Future (Caring) Mobility: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/sdrcfcm/

Doctorate Level Programs

PhD programme

3-year full-time / 6-year part-time PhD programme

Entrance Requirements: normally hold an MPhil or equivalent (a research postgraduate degree with a dissertation as an award requirement) conferred by a recognised university

4-year full-time / 8-year part-time PhD programme

Entrance Requirements: normally hold a Master’s degree; OR a Bachelor’s degree with First Class Honours (or equivalent qualification), conferred by a recognised university.

More details at: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/sd/study/rpg/phd/ 

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

  • Advertising Design
  • Environment Design
  • Information Design 
  • Interaction Design 
  • Interior Design
  • Product Design
  • Social Design


Application Deadlines

Nomination and Application Deadlines

Semester 1 (Sep – Dec)
Nomination: 15 Mar for School of Design
Application: 15 Apr

Semester 2 (Jan – May)
Nomination: 15 Sep for School of Design
Application: 15 Oct

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Semester 1: September to December
Semester 2: January to May
Summer Semester: May to July
International summer school: July to August

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

No tuition fee for exchange students if an exchange MoU is signed.

Tuition fee is required for Study Abroad students.




Bachelor: 713
Master: 140
Doctorate: 85

Teaching Staff

Professors: 30
Lectures: 19
Other permanent teachers: 7
Part-time Teachers: 57

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