IN9530 – Research Through Design

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.

Spring 2020: Teaching and examinations was digitilized. See changes and common guidelines for exams at the MN faculty spring 2020.



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


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 IN3020 and IN3021, or their equivalent.

3) Other qualified students


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).

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.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

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)

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

Will not be held Autumn 2019


Every autumn

Teaching language