IN9530 – Research Through Design

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Exams after the reopening

As a general rule, exams will be conducted without physical attendance in the autumn of 2021, even after the reopening. See the semester page for information about the form of examination in your course. See also more information about examination at the MN Faculty in 2021.

Course content

In this course, you learn about Research through Design, an approach that is gaining traction in Human-Computer Interaction.  As the name implies, the aim is to design a digital artifact, a service or a system that helps you answer a research question, understand a certain research domain better, or study the use of the designed prototype. While the methodology remains the same, different research and application areas are used every year. This implies a theme change for practical explorations. Some examples of course focus in the past are: machine learning in HCI, sustainable design in HCI, wearable technology, technology and dance.

Learning outcome

Through this course you will

  • learn to differentiate between simple and complex design contexts and how to set contextual boundaries for your work
  • understand "design practice", "design studies" and "design experimentation" and be able to fluidly combine them in your work
  • determine concepts that ground and support your work
  • reflect and articulate (reflect in action, reflect on action and communicate what you learned from these reflections)
  • synthesize ideas, or aspects of different prototypes, and make improved design suggestions that do not introduce new problems within the chosen context
  • set practical work into a research context and write an essay, or a paper, reflecting on theoretical and practical aspect of your course work, and the new knowledge you gained

Admission to the course

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Min 6 and max 10 students are required for the course to run. The students will be prioritized as followed:

  1. Master students at the Department of Informatics with IN5530 or IN9530 on their approved study plan.
  2. Master students at the Department of Informatics who have taken Human-Computer Interaction courses IN2020 and IN3010, or their equivalent.
  3. Other qualified students

IN1050 - Introduction to Design, Use, InteractionIN2020 - Methods in Interaksjonsdesign

Overlapping courses


This is a studio-based, 5-weeks intensive course, implying 40 hours work load during those weeks. The attendance is required for min 80% of time


PhD candidates have to submit a written work with theoretical reflections and practical implications of the work (an essay or a short paper).

It will also be counted as one of your three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: IN5530 - Research Through DesignINF5591 - Advancements in interaction design (continued)INF9591 - Advancements in interaction design (continued)

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Dec. 2, 2021 10:29:20 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language