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MDes International Design Strategy / India Studio

  • // Initial Education
  • // Program taught in English
  • // Pune (India)

Get inspired by Indian culture through a two-year MDes program, and obtain a French certified degree

This MDes program leads to the master’s level degree (Diplôme de design) certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education.

Regarding the actual health situation, this program will not open for the academic year 2022-2023

India’s growing economy and high demand for design professionals offer vast opportunities to accommodate young designers during and after their studies. In the current context of globalization, understanding other cultures and other value systems is a major asset for every designer. The MDes International Design Strategy / India Studio encourages the exploration of different cultures within an applied, interdisciplinary context.

“Design is not just about making something beautiful, but also something which can make life better for people.”

This program provides a unique opportunity for young designers to specialize in Social Innovation and Design Thinking. In India, our students learn how to use design for positive social impact on humans and businesses and to better understand the global perspective on design. Students will have to comprehend the Indian market and appropriate the local behaviors to offer a coherent project, adapted to users, with an anthropological approach to design.

A stepping stone to an international designer career

Following the same educational model as the one taught in France, L’École de design offers the possibility for students to obtain an internationally and nationally-recognized master level degree.
Close collaboration with cross-cultural teams and work from a totally different perspective will provide a rich experience for young designers willing to work at an international level.

Program in partnership with the MIT Pune

Main themes
Social innovation
Design in an Indian context
Multicultural context


The MDes programs, established over two years, are organized in four semesters validated by 30 ECTS each. A consequent and increasing personal working time is expected for each module.

Semester 1
Students spend this semester abroad in an internship as a junior designer (13 weeks minimum). They follow before this internship a module including a welcome seminar and methodology-transculturality (80h), language courses and local culture (30h).

The goal of this semester for students is to highlight and expand professional knowledge in the context of another culture.

Semester 2
During this semester, students learn how to manage complex design projects, deepen their knowledge of the economic, social and cultural aspects of the field covered in their program, build and apply a methodology and support their end-of-term project. studies, the subject of which they themselves define.

Teaching, delivered in the form of projects in partnership with industry, workshops, lectures, conferences and professional meetings includes the following compulsory credits:
• Design and complexity project
• Workshop to define the end of studies project
• Prospective design project
• Seminar methodologies
• Innovation seminar
• Intellectual property
• Seminar specific to the theme of the program
• Introduction to research workshop
• Professionalisation / lab
• Contests
• TOEIC preparation
• Preparation for the end of studies project, complementary seminar
• Memory preparation workshop

Semester 3
Continuation and finalization of the end-of-studies project summarizing all the professional skills acquired. It can be conducted in collaboration with a company and / or research laboratory of a partner university. This personal end-of-studies project must be related to the program in which students are enrolled.
Supervision is ensured in the form of workshops under the direction of a referent designer, to which punctual speakers are associated. Writing a thesis in the theme of the project.

• Initiation to law
• introduction to management
• End of studies project workshop
• Memory Workshop
• Professionalization & lab
• Competitions

Semester 4
The study program ends with a minimum of sixteen weeks (and a maximum of six months) internship within a company, in France or abroad.
Trainees work as junior designers and support all or part of a project.
The student must demonstrate his ability to integrate into a team, manage a project and develop all the sequences of the project for its smooth running. It allows the student to articulate all of his studies with what will be his first professional experience.
Depending on the professional project of the student, this internship can also take place within a company that the student will create, or even within a research laboratory.

In this program, young designers can learn how to use design for positive social impact on humans and businesses and to better understand the global perspective on design.

> Pune, India

As one of the fastest developing countries in the world, where fine traditional craftsmanship and state-of-the-arts technology intermingle, India offers exciting prospects for designers from all fields. MIT Institute of Design’s large campus will allow students to participate in the many activities of the University, the festivals, and meet and collaborate with students from various fields such as transportation design, fashion design, film and video design, etc.

> A unique two-year program

Students conduct their master studies from within the realm of their design discipline, and with a spirit of integration into an Asian context. During applied projects conducted with local partner companies, students form interdisciplinary design teams working on real assignments for Asian clients.

The MDes program covers four full semesters of accredited curriculum, with 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credit rewarded per semester. During the first semester, beginning in September, students participate in an orientation seminar before starting their internships. The second semester offers a densely packed schedule of instruction and projects, lead by teaching staff and professional designers. The third semester is dedicated to focused, individual work on a thesis and a personal design project related to Transcultural Design. The fourth semester releases students into a final internship experience, ideally also conducted in an Asian, or at least otherwise international context, and ends with a thesis defense in which each student presents him- or herself as a professional designer.

Admission requirements

> Academic requirements

This program is open to all applicants who either:
• hold a Bachelor’s Degree in design or equivalent, or

• have completed at least three years of undergraduate studies in design or equivalent, equating to at least 180 ECTS credits

You may apply before actually receiving the degree or having completed your undergraduate studies. However, admission will only take effect once the degree is obtained or the undergraduate credits have been validated.

Applicants whose level we assess to be insufficient may be recommended to follow a semester or a full year in our 3rd year of DN MADE / International Class before entering the master’s program.

> Language requirements

If you are not a native English speaker, we ask that you provide proof of your English proficiency (minimum level of 700 points at the TOEIC test or equivalent for programs taught in English).

Not mandatory for the programs taught in English

> How to apply?

Regarding the actual health situation, this program will not open for the academic year 2022-2023

> Tuition fees 2022

French students and European Union students: €7,700 per year
Non-European Union students: €9,000 per year

+ CVEC (Student and campus life contribution): €92

More information regarding the CVEC

> Scholarships

Please go to our dedicated page

> Obtain a visa for India

Final admission will only take effect when the necessary visa is obtained, if applicable.

For more information, please go to the item “study in Pune”

Teaching staff

Director of India Studio & Head of program
Hélène Thébault

Job prospects and further education

> International career prospects

This program trains students to become global players who can converse fluently in English and possibly even local, Asian languages, understanding Indian context better, and most of all, steep themselves in the ability to design for clients and employers from other cultures. It is a living experience that will change its participants, often opening up unexpected, exciting international career opportunities.

> Master’s degree in design

As all our master programs, the MDes International Design Strategy / Le Studio France leads to the Master’s level degree in design, certified by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and registered in the Registre National des Certifications Professionnelles (the French directory for vocational qualifications or RNCP) as a Level 7 Master’s degree.

To know more about "Le Diplôme de design bac +5", please check out Our degrees’ page.

> Further education 

The Master’s level degree confers the "Grade de master", and you can pursue your education at a PhD level.


> Industries

Decathlon, EFD Induction, Embrace, Kenwood, Lumiplan, Samsung

> Design agencies

Bande Apart, Bang Design, Design Factory India, Idiom, Poorna Kaksha, Restore Solutions, Studio ABD, Studio J, TYCKA, Beard Design, LOCO Designs, Mojo Designs (Runna Ray), Veekas Studio, Wolfkraft, Raw Mango, Earth5R, Gudgudee, Yellow Slice, Ant Studio.

> Public institutions

M.I.T. Institute of Design




MDes at the India Studio

// 09/26/2018

Alexandre Pineau is in the first year of a Transcultural Design MDes degree at the India Studio. He tells us about his impressions of his first months in India. International Experience by L’École de ...