Minor in Design (BA)

Career prospects

This Minor in Design programme is offered to PolyU 4-year degree students only.

The world’s ongoing socio-cultural and political transformation presents Hong Kong with unique challenges and opportunity. The Region’s future economic competitiveness will depend less on low cost manufacturing or efficient services but on differentiation based on user-centered and contextual research, innovative technological applications, integrated product-service systems, environmental sustainability, and transformative management strategies.

Professionals of tomorrow will be brought to appreciate the impact of technological progress on human development, and manage ever-changing project development processes. Working in trans-disciplinary teams and engaging with users and stakeholders they will benefit from design thinking’s adaptive potential.

The increasing relevance of design to the management of technological, market, and social innovation projects is seen in the engineering and business disciplines as an added value, enriching their tertiary education programmes. Professionals graduating from science and humanities degrees will benefit from an integration of the broad scope of design’s transferrable competencies with their respective specialist skill sets accrued through inspirational design education.

Strategically located in one of the most culturally open communication hubs on the Pacific Rim, with an international faculty working in a bilingual environment, the School of Design develops research, education, and consultancy programmes with emphasis on humanistic-based design.

Students enrolling onto SD’s Minor BA (Hons) Programme will acquire lifelong learning skills, including critical analysis, cultural insight, and applied creativity, empowering them with the high order thinking skills needed to remain relevant in a competitive economy.

Aims and objectives

Upon graduation, students will be able to:

1. Identify innovative development opportunities and address complex problems pertinent to their future professional practice through logical, analytical, and critical thinking;

2. Plan and manage design projects independently and collaboratively;

3. Think strategically how design relates to environmental sustainability in addition to business sustainability;

4. Formulate research methodologies that drive and inform problem-solving processes, in which the significance of the end results will be examined and assessed using tools created in the original process;

5. Experiment with novel project development approaches, challenge preconceptions about an increasingly artificial world, and design novel solutions to emerging problems;

6. Apply design as a problem-solving dynamic that integrates multiple stakeholders involved in the process;

7. Differentiate, harmonize, and contextualize multiple cultural strands through experimentation;

8. Document and communicate project development processes, including research, end-product development processes, and reflection in visual, verbal and written formats through communication and presentation reports.

PolyU aspires to develop its students into all-rounded competent professionals, and has identified for them a set of high-value transferrable graduate attributes as learning goals. Attributes such as critical and analytical thinking, communication skills, and team management skills can also be accrued by participating in co-curricular activities offered by other faculties, departments, or the various teaching and learning support units of the University. Students are encouraged to make full use of such opportunities to develop these attributes.


Is this Minor programme for you? 

Design literally shapes culture, as it facilitates the adoption of technology by humans to benefit social development. Designers hence have the responsibility to argue for every design they produce in a way that is convincing, and to demonstrate how their work contributes to socially fair and culturally progressive transformations. A willingness to engage with social and cultural realities beyond consumer dynamics is paramount to today’s design practice. Potential applicants to the Minor in Design Programme need to realise the best asset of a designer is his/her ability to discern value for the everyday, so as to improve people’s material lives. If this describes you or who you want to be, the Minor in Design is for you!

Programme structure

Compulsory Core Subjects


Communication Basics for Designers

Any one subject of the following 3 subjects


Visual Culture 1


Design History 1


Introduction to Design Theories and Culture




Tool Box 1: Hand Visualisation Skill I


Tool Box 2: Digital Visualisation Skill


Advertising Principles




Summer Programme


User Studies Seminar


Information Design


Studio 1 – Process / Brand (Product Design)


Study Trip (Advertising Design)


Art Direction


Studio 4 – Entrepreneurship


Urban Design


Eastern Study Trip


TV Commercial Production



Entrance requirement

Selection Criteria and Interview Arrangement

  • Students enrolling on full-time 4-year undergraduate degree programmes may apply for the Minor.  To be eligible for enrollment on a Minor, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above at the time of application for Minor enrollment.
  • Students are required to take an Aptitude Test. Students performing satisfactorily in the Aptitude Test will be invited for an interview. 
  • Students may bring along a portfolio pf personal design works to the interview. 

A complete application includes

The applications for Minor will be processed in two rounds according to the following schedule: 

11-20 October 2016

  • Submit Form AS147 to your Major Department 
  • Attach hardcopies of your cumulative subject result and subject registration record (which can be found at eStudent > My Profile > Study Information). Documents in support of having met the additional admission requirements of the Minor Programme, if applicable, should also be attached.   
  • You will receive an email notification when the Major Department has endorsed your application for Minor Programme Offering Department’s (i.e. Minor Department’s) consideration.

 By 14 November 2016

The Minor Department concerned will inform you of the application result by email. The enrolment will be updated in the students’ records. You may check the updated information via eStudent > My Profile > Study Information.

15 November 2016 onwards

Students opted Minor may be allowed to count up to 6 credits from their Major (including GUR subjects but excluding “Free Elective” subjects, if any) towards the Minor subject requirements.  Please check the curriculum of both the Major and Minor programmes.  If the Major subjects taken are the same as the Minor compulsory subjects, you must apply to count these subjects towards the compulsory Minor subject requirements in order to graduate.  You are required to submit the Form AS147(a)  to and obtain approval from the Minor Department, as soon as possible and before you apply for graduation.

15-18 November 2016

If your application for Minor study is unsuccessful and you wish to apply for another Minor Programme, you may visit the webpage at eStudent > Information > General Information > 4-year curriculum > Major/Minor Study Route > The Schedule on 15 November 2016 to check if any Minor Programmes still accept applications. Then submit your application following the same procedures as described above if you are interested. The Minor Department concerned will inform you of the application result by 30 November 2016.

9-11 January 2017

Students can select the Minor subjects to be taken in 2016-17 Semester 2 with reference to the Minor requirements starting from the subject registration period from 9 to 11 January 2017 after release of class timetable for 2016-17 Semester 2, subject to the availability of places and non-clashing of class timetable. 

The Minor application form (Form AS147) can be downloaded from the AS website.