Difference between the designer programme and a PhD

The designer programme is focused on practice and on the needs of the industry/society and less on gaining new scientific knowledge. The objective of the designer programme is to obtain knowledge about scientific ideas and methods and then apply this in a design. The study programme is therefore not focused on learning to develop new fundamental scientific knowledge (i.e. curiosity-driven research such as for a PhD), but on combining new and existing scientific knowledge from a variety of knowledge domains, with a focus on applying it in innovative designs and/or prototypes through the use of design methodologies.

The three most noticeable differences between a PhD and the designer programme are:

  • A PhD candidate focuses on research at the University, whereas a designer candidate focuses on (technological) designs in industry and/or society
  • A PhD programme has a duration of four years whereas the designer programme takes two years to complete
  • A PhD leads to the title “Doctor” (Dr., equivalent to PhD). A designer programme leads to an “Engineering Doctorate” (EngD)