Scheme in Design (BA) [4-year]

Brief programme outline

Programme Code 
JS3569 (73416)  BA(Hons) Scheme in Design 
Mode of Study
Full Time
Number of Credits
(plus 6 Training Credits for Product Design and Interaction Design Students)
Normal Period of Study

4 years 

Local Student: HK$42,100 per academic year
Non-local Student: HK$145,000 (approximately US$18,600) per academic year


T: (852) 2766 5488 / (852) 2766 4353 (office hours)

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Aims and objectives

The BA (Hons) Scheme in Design educates innovative forward-thinking designers who are able to give shape and invent desirable futures relevant for a rapidly changing society. 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)


Is this programme for you?

We welcome candidates who are dedicated to becoming aspiring designers. 

Competitive candidates will possess these favourable qualities: Are you an expert in conceptualising spatial design? Are you a master in communication and producing high-quality visual content? Do you have unique ideas for improving the use and design of everyday products? Do you find it easy to imagine new services, innovation and entrepreneurial opportunities in the social and cultural sectors?

Qualifying applicants must have a strong interest in design and possess creative curiosity, good visual skills and abilities, skills in three-dimensional or mixed media, the ability to explore and develop ideas, good language skills, and the capacity to solve problems. They will be interested in how design can address issues in today’s society and contribute to making the world a better place.

Programme structure

The BA (Hons) Scheme in Design is a 4-year full-time study honorary degree. All students complete a common Design Foundation in Year 1, followed by a Design Cluster in Year 2, before focusing on their chosen Design Specialism in Year 3 and 4. 

Each specialism has a dedicated study pathway with some common subjects. Students graduate from the Scheme in one of the following nine Design Specialisms: Advertising DesignEnvironmental DesignInformation DesignInteraction DesignInterior DesignMedia DesignProduct DesignService Design, and Social Design.

(click image to enlarge)

Year 1 Design Foundation: Common Basics

The focus of the year is to provide a broad-based foundation in common design skills, knowledge and integration to enable students to become creative thinkers. It exposes students to a wide range of design disciplines and approaches which cover design history, theories and techniques necessary for the students to succeed in all programmes offered by the School of Design. The year introduces the students to design thinking processes, design skill-based courses, as well as value-based innovation and design collaboration skills for developing studio projects. [Read more>>]

Year 2 Design Cluster: Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Year 2 students select and stream into one of four selected Design Clusters: Communication Design, Environment Design, Product Experience Design and Service Design. The four clusters provide a broad base of discipline-oriented study in preparation for specialisation in year 3 and year 4. Students in year 2 develop a range of essential skills through technical courses in digital skills, design theories and culture, and the practice of inter-disciplinary collaborations. Students choose their preferred Design Specialism at the end of year 2.

Year 3 Design Specialism: Discipline Exploration

Year 3 is the first year of discipline-specific studies in one of the nine Design Specialisms offered:

Students explore the chosen Design Specialism through dedicated study pathways indiscipline-specific subjects. Inter-disciplinary compulsory subjects, such as design entrepreneurship, encourage cooperation among students of diverse expertise. Design Studios remain a continued testing ground for knowledge and skills learned in design projects.

Year 4 Design Specialism: Integrative Design

Year 4 is the second year of Design Specialism. The year programme develops students’ critical and professional ability in design. Students will learn to tackle complex design issues through external client-focused and inter-disciplinarity studio projects. Another important learning outcome students will accomplish is the research and negotiation of a final design proposal, also known as the ‘Capstone’ project, where they demonstrate the ability to address sophisticated issues and to overcome multi-faceted challenges encountered in the process. 


Credits Requirements

Students of the 4-year programme are required to complete a total of 124 credits (plus 6 Training Credits for Product Design and Interaction Design Students) to graduate, including 30 credits from General University Requirements subjects, 30 from Common Compulsory Subjects, and 64 from Discipline-Specific and Elective Subjects.

Secondary Major Details

The option of Secondary Major in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IE) is available to the students within BA (Hons) Scheme in Design.


  • Equip outstanding undergraduate students with skills for versatile developments according to their aspirations, ability and interests.
  • Provide a flexible structure for students to gain necessary skill and capability for start-ups.
  • Furnish students with the global language of business and prepare them for opportunities in an increasingly interconnected world.

Subjects could be served as double counting:

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IE): Introduction to Marketing, Design for Social and Cultural Business, Interactive Media and Marketing

The option of Secondary Major in AI and Data Analytics (AIDA) is available to the students who will enroll in BA (Hons) in Design (Product Design) or BA (Hons) in Design (Interaction Design).


  • Nurture new generation of designers to focus on the integration of the emergent technologies in user experience, system thinking, data visualization, prototyping, and game design, meanwhile with sensitivity and understanding about community, culture, and history.
  • Perform contextual reviews and make critical judgment after considering multiple approaches to and possible implications of AI and data analytics in different scenarios.
  • Manipulate various tools in the iterative design process, including research, analysis, ideation, concept development, prototyping, testing, technical implementation, and evaluation.

Subjects could be served as double counting:

  • AI and Data Analytics (AIDA): Integrated Capstone Project, Interactive Media and Marketing

AI and Data Analytics (AIDA): Preference will be given to students with science background particularly physics and/or mathematics core and/or extended mode.


For the Secondary Major graduation requirement, please refer to Admission Policies of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for details.

Career prospects

Our broad-based education approach nurtures all-round design talents with robust design skills who are ready for a wide range of career paths in design.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Advertising Design) can pursue careers in the advertising industry as art directors, copywriters, marketing/digital marketing executives, interactive advertising directors, account executives, and electronic commerce managers.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Environmental Design) can build careers as architectural designers, spatial designers, experts in ecology and conservation, urban space designers, landscape designers, and consultants for sustainability design.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Information Design) can seek careers as designers in corporate identity and publications, web designers, graphic designers, exhibition and packaging designers, information designers, and motion graphic designers.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Interaction Design) can become interaction designers, user experience designers, visual designers, game designers, and content generators in innovative fields such as information technology, interactive products and services.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Interior Design) can pursue careers as interior designers, interior architectural designers, spatial designers, designers in spatial identity and branding, set designers, exhibition designers, furniture and furnishing designers, lighting designers, landscape and interior-scape designers, and experience designers.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Media Design) can seek careers as filmmakers and producers in the world of digital media, digital entertainment, media production in creative businesses, such as new media, film and animation production, and digital media content production.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Product Design) can pursue careers as industrial and product designers, product stylists and branding consultants, product systems designers, concept innovators, design managers, designers for product manufacturers, and product design consultants.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Service Design) can develop careers as service designers, strategic designers, user experience strategists, design consultants, customer experience designers, and start-up entrepreneurs in the fields of mobility, communication, tourism and hospitality, healthcare, finance, retail, education, entertainment, and government.

Graduates of BA (Hons) in Design (Social Design) are equipped to become project designers, creative coordinators, and social entrepreneurs in community-based social and cultural businesses, bottom-up cooperatives, social innovation agencies and inter-disciplinary design consultancies.

Students Sharing

A worth-watching video for those who wish to know about the campus and learning life of our students. Students talked in Cantonese. 


T: +852 2766 5454 (office hours)
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Discipline leader

Peter Hasdell — Scheme Leader, Associate Professor, B.Sc.Arch.(hons), AA Dipl.(MArch.), RIBA.

Peter Hasdell

Peter Hasdell is an architect, urbanist, artist and academic. A graduate from the University of Sydney and the prestigious Architectural Association in London. He has lived, taught and practiced in Australia, UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Japan and China. He has been based in HK since 2007 where he is a co-director of the architectural practice D+A h.q. Ltd. focusing on architecture and urban (master-planning) projects in China and SE Asia. His professional practice has included: strategic planning concerns on a national scale (infrastructure planning models in Switzerland), urban planning and consultancies for various cities in Europe and China and various projects (architecture and master-planning) in China including the design and planning for  campus for the Chinese Academy of Science and two other university masterplans, various mixed-use developments and resort complexes, cultural and community projects, as well as cultural and public art projects (Sweden and the UK). He has also made and exhibited a variety of interactive art projects and interactive installations. [more>>]


Sylvia Xihui Liu — Foundation Year Leader, Associate Professor, PhD

Sylvia Xihui Liu

Dr Sylvia Xihui Liu has a good mix of academic and industrial experience. In Nov, 2011, she was appointed as visiting assistant professor, School of Design, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she obtained PhD degree in 2010 supervised by Prof John Heskett. Before her PhD study, she was design manager of Nova Design, the largest design team who can speak Chinese in the world. And her consultancy service covers product design, branding and design strategy with a prominent list of clients, including Siemens, General Motor, Yamaha, Suzuki, Faw, Electrolux, BBK, Media, Konka, etc.. She achieved numbers of international design awards, such as IDEA, iF and Reddot.

She keeps a creed of research, “theory-building through empirical study,” and manages to balance academic research with industrial practice. Keep design management capability as research focus, she extends the topic to innovation capability of firm, industries and ecosystem, particular the changed paradigm from industry economy to knowledge economy. Her research outcomes not only include papers in top design journals, but also innovative business model of firm and industry, as well as design policy. Since 2013, She has been invited as adviser for developing national design policy of China related to Made in China 2025 and OBOR.