Design (MDes) International Design and Business Management, Hong Kong 2019

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Study in:Hong Kong
Deadline: 30 April 2019


International Design & Business Management (ID&BM) is a multidisciplinary specialism based on an integrative design thinking management approach, pulling together professional knowledge in the areas of design, business and technological fields to achieve “managing design as a competitive strategy” in an international business setting. Globalisation in business and education has rapidly diminished boundaries between countries, cultures, and economies. ID&BM will provide a ‘meeting point’ for students and faculties amongst the collaborative institutes from different regions of the world, which enables cross-cultural and -disciplinary project teams to solve and manage real-life design, business and technical problems. ID&BM is targeting intakes distributed across Hong Kong, mainland Chinese and international students, and across design, business and technological fields.


ID&BM aims to nurture “T-shaped professionals” with high-level competencies to better understand and manage global business dynamic and to function in and contribute to design-sensitive and technological-intensive business environments. These competences enable students to lead the transformation of their respective local enterprises and to challenge existing mindset in technological innovations, product and service designs from an integrative design thinking management approach. Ultimately, ID&BM aims to create an impact at the regional and global levels by meeting future talents demand of well balanced business developers, entrepreneurs, products and services innovators.


Students, irrespective of their disciplinary background, learn together to nurture a new mindset and attitude where cross-disciplinary stimulation is the foundation of innovation. They will:

  • apply theories and concepts of the three domains underpinning this specialism
  • evaluate cultural differences and their implications for leadership and effective management of design and business activities
  • identify and evaluate the means by which value creation may be managed
  • participate effectively in the design, implementation and comprehensive evaluation of projects involving multidisciplinary and multicultural teams
  • demonstrate the ability to view, frame and resolve design issues by adopting multiple perspectives
  • understand and perform the integrative design thinking roles of a T-shaped professional in business environment

Program Structure

Program structure

ID&BM is a one year, three-semester long programme. It begins with an intensive seven-week introduction to the Essential Knowledge in each of the three disciplines, then followed by a series of compulsory subjects which centers on corresponding theories and/or practices. In the second semester, the focus is on two team-based ID&BM Multidisciplinary Projects collaborated with private or public organizations, while students can choose elective subjects in design and business disciplines to enhance their individual career profile. Capstone Reflective Thesis synthesises the learning in ID&BM at the summer term.

Common Core Subjects (compulsory) (1 credits)SD5400 Vision and Change (1 credit)

Specialism Core Subjects (compulsory)Theory/Method Subjects (15 credits)SD5151 Essential Design Theories and Concepts (2 credits)
MM5001 Essential Business Theories and Concepts (2 credits)
SD5152 Essential Integration of Technologies in Design & Business Innovation (2 credits)
SD5163 Managing Value Creation (3 credits)
SD5164 Lifestyles, Cultures and Innovation (3 credits)
MM5251 Cross-cultural Management (3 credits)

Workshop Subjects (14 credits)SD5171 Multidisciplinary Project 1 – Research and Analysis (3 credits)
SD5172 Multidisciplinary Project 2 – Solution Development (6 credits)
SD5173 Capstone Reflective Thesis (5 credits)

Elective Subjects (6 credits)These will be drawn from regularly occurring subjects within the MDes Scheme, including:
SD5001 Innovation Tools for Strategic Design (3 credits)
SD5002 Design and Culture: Cultural Identity and Authorship (3 credits)
SD5014 Consumer as Producer: Critical Trends in Product Development and Consumer Culture (3 credits)
SD5015 Globalization and Design (3 credits)
SD5018 Research and Analysis for Design (3 credits)
SD5021 Chinese Traditions and the 21st Century (3 credits)
SD5104 Branding: From Local to Global Strategies (3 credits)
SD5112 Strategic Design: Regional Case Studies (3 credits)
SD5113 Strategies for Sustainable Product- Service Systems (3 credits)
SD5201 Collaborative Design and Technology (3 credits)
SD5202 Innovative Products and Services Development (3 credits)
MM5712 Marketing Management in China (3 credits)
SD5216 Introduction to Intellectual Property (3 credits)
MM578 Service Marketing (3 credits)
MM588 Brand Marketing (3 credits)

Class delivery mode & duration

Classes are normally held during daytime on weekdays, except some shared electives are delivered on weekday evenings and weekends. Each of the weekend subjects requires three weekends spread over 4–5 weeks.

It normally takes 1 year to complete the specialism.


Teaching staff

  • Michael Bond
  • Jorn Buhring
  • Clifford Choy
  • Tak Chi Lee
  • Benny Ding Leong
  • Sylvia Xihui Liu

Academic Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree in Design, or Business, or Technological fields, or the equivalent in a related discipline preferably with 2 years relevant professional experience. Candidates with other tertiary qualifications complemented with substantial relevant professional experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

A complete application includes

  • Application form
  • Portfolio
  • Evidence of degree or other qualification
  • Letter of intent
  • Letters of recommendation (Academic/ Profession)
  • English language competency (minimum score: TOEFL 550 / IELTS 6.0 / iBT 80)

Applicants who are native English speakers with qualification from a university where the language of teaching is English are not required to provide such test score.


In the case of international students, the interview will be conducted via video calls on Skype.


Financial Assistance: Entry Scholarships No Longer Available

Master of Design programs, like the majority of taught postgraduate programs in Hong Kong, are offered on a self-financed basis and the HK SAR government does not provide financial aid to self-funded foreign (non-local) students.

Non-local students, may instead, seek financial resources from their home country’s education bureau or non-profit organisations that support aspiring individuals to study internationally.

Upon request, the MDes programme team can issue admission-related certification documents when admitted applicants apply for their scholarships or education loan.

Detailed Program Facts

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