Master of advanced studies in Design
Research for
Digital Innovation


The Master of Advanced Studies in Design Research for Digital Innovation is a 2-year programme run by the EPFL+ECAL Lab. It aims to train designers to perform as researchers for the industry and organizations, and to turn disruptive technologies into convincing user experiences. Through its unique structure, the programme offers a novel training experience combining academic research, concrete application and professional prospects.

Designers play a vital role in innovation. They can turn emerging technologies into something that makes sense to people, something that can become part of their everyday life. Designers can also provide answers to the challenges in the industry and within institutions.

LEARNING objectives

We give you the keys to:

  • Develop a real project within the EPFL+ECAL Lab, often in collaboration with external partners and institutions.
  • Learn to provide answers to the challenges raised by advanced technology through the creation of new usage scenarios, exploration into forms of expression and most importantly, by ensuring that novel ideas fit in into the social and cultural environment of users.
  • Learn essential skills in User Research Methods, Academic Writing, Project Management and Project Funding.
  • Get deeper insights into specific topics and technologies such as AI, augmented reality and digital cultural heritage through workshops and guest lectures.
  • Develop personal ideas whilst working on innovative themes through Studio Projects.
  • Collaborate with an interdisciplinary team of designers, engineers and psychologists.
  • Define a personal critical perspective on design research through the regular seminar programme.
Inside the EPFL+ECAL Lab © Tonatiuh et Droz
Roger Tallon: Archives in Motion – Research Project – Elise Migraine
Archives in Motion – Research Project – Elise Migraine © Arthur Touchais
Bygone Times in Real Time - Research Project - Hélène Portier © Tonatiuh et Droz
Food Talks - Research Project - Emily Groves © Calypso Mahieu
Ming Shan Digital Experience – Research Project – Margaux Charvolin © Tonatiuh et Droz
Jean Starobinski. Critical Relationships – Research Project – Valentin Calame
INSSINC Social Innovation Workshop in Bangalore India © Vivian Ambrose
Studio Project - Yoann Douillet
Studio Project – Margaux Charvolin
Studio Project – Valentin Calame

Career Opportunities

Design Researcher,
Design Engineer,
Digital Project Manager,
Interaction Designer,
UX Designer,
VR Designer


Nicolas Henchoz
Marius Aeberli
Romain Collaud
Lara Défayes
Cédric Duchêne
Béatrice Durandard
Emily Groves
Yves Kalberer
Delphine Ribes
Alessandra Rovero Michel
Andreas Sonderegger
Alain Bellet
Guillaume Bonnier
Daniele Catalanotto
Tommaso Colombo
Dieter Dietz
Rama Gheerawo
Frédéric Kaplan
Andreas Koller
Chris McGinley
Rudi Nieven
Susanne Schneider
Chi-Long Trieu
Ece Ozdil
Jean-Stéphane Szijarto
Ruben Valdez
Ron Wakkary
Pascal Wicht


Yearly fees (materials included)
CHF 8 000.–

Language: English and French

Length: 2 ans

Credits: 60 ECTS

Qualification issued
Master of Advanced Studies in Design Research for Digital Innovation, EPFL & HES-SO

Frequently asked questions

Master of Advanced Studies

What are the qualifications required to register for the admission in MAS?

    MAS candidates come from a range of backgrounds. In order to be accepted on the course, you require a Master's degree or equivalent certificate in Interaction design, Visual communication with digital media competences, Industrial and product design with digital media competences, Engineering with digital media competences and visual culture or Architecture with digital media competences.

    ECAL graduates wishing to join the MAS should contact us directly.

    Is there a limit to the size of the portfolio?

    Yes, in that applicants are asked to submit a portfolio that is representative of their recent work. Applicants thus select the work they want to present.

    Is it possible to work in parallel with the MAS studies?

    No, but admission to the MAS is linked to obtaining a paid position as an assistant at the EPFL+ECAL Lab.


    What are the languages of instruction?

    The MAS course is taught in English. It is not necessary to speak French.

    Do I need a language certificate to enroll in an EPFL+ECAL Lab?

    No, however English must be mastered at a professional level.


    Does EPFL+ECAL Lab have a residence?

    EPFL+ECAL Lab has neither a residence nor a campus, but it can, to a limited extent, help students looking for accommodation. As the housing market in the Lake Geneva area is relatively tight, students are advised to make arrangements well in advance.

    Can EPFL+ECAL Lab act as a guarantor on a lease signed by a foreign student?

    No, not at the moment.

    Practical informations

    Due to a serious lack of availability on the local market, it is very difficult to find an accomodation in Lausanne therefore you should look well in advance to find a suitable accommodation. Please keep in mind that you may be required to provide a
    3 month safety deposit.

    The following solutions are available:

    Furnished studios or flat-sharing for students in Lausanne

    Rooms to rent

    Scholarships / tuition

    Can I get a scholarship in Switzerland as a foreign student?

    The cantons are responsible for granting educational assistance (grants or loans) to Swiss students (nationals, established foreigners and persons with refugee status). Foreign citizens who reside in Switzerland solely for the purpose of studying there do not have access to these grants. The Swiss Confederation does, however, offer scholarships to foreign students, researchers and artists for a study or research stay in Switzerland.

    I am a student living abroad. Are my tuition fees at EPFL+ECAL Lab higher than those of a student living in Switzerland?

    The tuition fees are the same for all students in the same Bachelor, Master or MAS programme.


    Does EPFL+ECAL Lab offer evening or summer courses? Can I sign up just for certain specific courses or workshops?

    No, not at the moment.

    Is it possible to visit EPFL+ECAL Lab?

    Apart from organised events (various exhibitions, Open Day, etc.), no visits are authorised on an individual basis. Group visits can be organised but should be planned well in advance. If this is the case, please contact the Secretariat directly at