About the Department of Design

Our study programme offers the highest educational level in its field in Norway and qualifies to apply for admission as a research fellow at the PhD level.

As a student at the Department of Design you will learn far more than to develop well-designed and functional products. Forward-looking design is also about creating change, realising potential and making a difference. Tomorrow’s designers are as much creators of possibilities as they are designers, as much problem analysts as problem solvers. Together with our students we address both major and minor design issues and come up with good and bold suggestions for answers through research and experimentation. By alternating between creation and reflection, question and comment, students develop new insights and are encouraged to challenge established truths. 

Our academic staff and students come from different international backgrounds. We cooperate with other leading design institutes and regularly attend international design conferences and exhibitions all around the world.

At the same time, the department is firmly rooted in the rugged country of Norway’s west coast and influenced by access to local natural resources.

The department fosters a culture of generosity and sharing. A living environment for design relies on everyone’s courage and willingness to experiment. Student projects are highlighted through joint exhibitions and reviews. Much of the time you will be on your way toward something, and there is plenty of room for trial and error.

We look at new students as creative human beings who come to us with their unique experiences and aspirations. Perhaps you would like to work across design disciplines or link design to other subject areas? Or would you like to specialise in a particular design area? Already during your bachelor’s studies you can work out an individual education plan. We want to send you out into the world with a well-developed ability to create, reflect and contribute to society with qualified opinions and good design solutions.


At the Department of Design there are many skilled employees covering many areas of competence. Click on the image for an overview of employed staff and their area of expertise. 

Admissions and Assessment

Admission to our Bachelor’s or Master’s programme is based on an entrance test and a selection interview. Here, we focus on the potential, commitment and willingness to develop yourself as well as your discipline. Once you are admitted as a student, you will submit an overview of your work at the end of each semester, followed by a written reflection on your learning outcome. Whilst the MA is taught in English, students at BA levels must master a Scandinavian language.

Assessment in the form of pass/not pass is decided on the basis of the submitted overview and a conversation with each student. We use eight assessment criteria, one of which is experimentation. In this way, we ensure that you as a student are rewarded by showing the will to explore the subject and challenge yourself.

Study Programmes

Recent Graduation Exhibitions

Reseach at the Department of Design


Much learning in design subjects is achieved by thinking with your hands. The department has a number of workshops where you will be trained in using the necessary tools – everything from a Risograph to a laser cutter to a wood milling machine. Here you can experiment and explore the properties and qualities of the materials. This is an arena for experiential knowledge, such as the relationship between wood and sound, or paper and light.

A total of 32 workshops are housed at Møllendalsveien 61. Every workshop has a workshop technician with special expertise in the tools and equipment/machines provided.

Exchange Programmes

Incoming exchange students: If you are interested in applying to the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design as an exchange student, see our pages for Student Exchange at uib.no.

Outgoing exchange students: If you are enrolled as a student at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design and would like to know more about your opportunities for studies abroad, see the site for students (only in Norwegian).

For any requests about exchanging, contact Tale Vik, International Coordinator at KMD.

Incubator for Young Designers

The Bergen Design Incubator is a collaboration between Bergen Municipality, UiB and USF to call attention to and bolster the design expertise in the region. Here, recent graduates have the opportunity to establish their own business and come into contact with businesses and other key actors. The Incubator is located at USF Verftet, an art arena which houses a number of enterprises working within design, film and other cultural industries.

 Among other things, participants in the Incubator receive a subsidised, furnished work space and access to a stimulating professional environment and an extended network.

Applications can be submitted by anyone who has completed the equivalent of a master’s degree in relevant subject areas from recognised educational institutions at home or abroad during the last three years. Maternity leave, periods of illness and similar will be taken into account. You must have a concrete idea for establishing a professional design-related enterprise or carrying out a design-related project. You must also be a resident of Bergen during your time at the Design Incubator.

Former designers who have been allotted a work space in the Incubator include graphic designer and illustrator Torp Torpe, furniture designers Vera Kleppe and Åshild Kyte (Vera & Kyte), furniture designer Morten Skjærpe Knarrum, visual communicator Sunniva Storlykken Helland, and illustrator Åshild Kahnstad Johnsen.