SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences

Strategic Design

  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • 4 Semesters
  • on campus
  • 120 ECTS
  • €790/Month
  • Full time

For you, design is not just about aesthetics. It has the potential to change the world for the better. You have a BA degree in creative disciplines and want to help create the future. Welcome to our Strategic Design Master's programme.

  • English
  • winter semester
Master Strategic Design students do a teamwork

Your course content

Design Thinking, Strategic Design Management...

You develop your strategic thinking skills at the interface between innovation management, brand strategy and the management of creative processes. You will not only learn to understand social and technological innovation, but also to think about it holistically and shape it for the future.   
To this end you will immerse yourself in methods and theories of corporate and brand management, design thinking, social design, transformation design, system thinking and critical thinking.

You learn user-centred research, focused synthesis and systematic idea development. You will deal with creativity techniques, business models, sustainability and intercultural communication.
Soft skills such as presentation skills and the development of your personal leadership style are specifically promoted through specially designed teaching units. The teaching of methods of scientific work creates the basis for writing a Master's thesis in the fourth semester of the programme.

Your career prospects

Innovation Consultant, Design Strategist and more

More than ever before, companies, institutions and startups alike are realising that brand management and shaping a strategic brand identity are key to gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage. The demand for specialists in design and brand management, as well as, creative direction is accordingly high. Service design and experience design are also popular occupations for strategic designers and alumni of our programme.

Another professional field constantly growing in popularity for strategic designers is innovation management. Driving innovation in enterprises, institutions and startups is increasingly being led and moderated by strategically-trained designers, as they can connect creative and strategic processes. Strategic designers can be found in many strategy departments of large companies.

With an internationally recognised Master of Arts (M.A.) degree and the diploma supplement, the programme meets the EU requirements of the Socrates/ECTS programme.

Meet us in person
Meet us in person

Open House | June 2024 | Berlin

We invite you to our Open House in

  • Berlin on Saturday, 15 June 2024 from 11 am to 4 pm

Get to know our study programmes, locations and our team and learn more about admissions, financing and our services.

Learn more and sign up
Behind the scences

Strategic Design students talk about their studies

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Get more information about the study programme!

Study programme brochure and more ...


Students explore Berlin's creative industries

Exploring Real-World Strategic Design: Networking and Professional Development Through Guided Industry Tours in Berlin.

View Project

Coca-Cola Social Innovation Project

How do you motivate Coca-Cola customers to recycle packaging?

To the project

Workshop and communication concepts for Migrantas

The M.A. Strategic Design students conduct a workshop for Migrantas e.V. to find concepts for the communication of the initiative's projects and pictograms.

To the project
Meet your Study Advisor How do I finance my studies? | Webinar

Learn more about funding options for EU and non-EU students. 3 pm CET

Meet your Study Advisor How do I apply? | Webinar

Meet our study advisors and learn how our application system works and which documents and proofs you need to provide. 3 pm CET

Study Plan M.A. Strategic Design

Your curriculum

4 Semester 120 ECTS
1. Semester
  • Strategic Design Introduction | Strategic Design Mindset, Methodology and Tools, Innovation Strategies, Design Thinking, Project Management and Agile/Lean Principles

  • Strategic Design Research | Human Centered/Qualitative Research, Participatory Design Strategies and Ethnography, Systems Thinking, Data Driven/Quantitative Research

  • Strategic Design Synthesis | Analysis and Synthesis Frameworks, Data Analytics, Strategic Information Design and Graphic Recording

  • Content Management | Documentation and Writing Skills, Methodology Toolbox, Individual Mentoring and Peer Evaluation

  • Theory I | Brand and Personality I, Sustainability I, Trends and Future Technologies, Media Ethics I

  • Strategic Design Profession and Best Practice I | Intercultural Communication, Alumni and Expert Talks, Guided Excursions to Strategic Design-Related Exhibition/Events

2. Semester
  • Strategic Design Creation | Creation Tools and Methods, Brand Identity, Critical and Speculative Design, Future Studies

  • Strategic Design Realisation | Analogue and Digital Design Development Tools, Digital Prototyping, Design Prototyping, Design Testing

  • Strategic Design Implementation | Change Management, Transformation Design, Implementation Strategies, Storytelling and Presentation Skills

  • Publication | Publication Skills, Individual Mentoring and Peer Evaluation

  • Theory II | Sociology, Media Ethics II, Brand and Personality II

  • Strategic Design Profession and Best Practice II | Creative Industries and Innovation Organizations: Guided Visits/Exhibition/ Events/Excursions, Business Modelling, Entrepreneurship/Start-Up Thinking

3. Semester
  • Purpose Driven Innovation: Intro and Research | Service Design, Experience Design, Game Design Strategy, Qualitative and Quantitative Research II

  • Purpose Driven Innovation: Synthesis and Creation | Analysis and Synthesis Frameworks II, Data Analytics II, Systems Thinking II, Strategic Information Design II, Creation Tools and Methods II

  • Purpose Driven Innovation: Realisation | Design Prototyping and Testing II, Business Modelling II, Storytelling and Presentation Skills II

  • Strategic Design Manifesto and Portfolio | Strategic Design Manifesto, Portfolio, Exhibition Design, Individual Mentoring

  • Theory III | Scientific Writing and Context, Sustainability II, Subject Exploration for Master’s Thesis

  • Strategic Design Profession and Best Practice III | Creative Leadership and Conflict Management, Student Led Integrated Workshops and Moderation, Alumni and Expert Talks

4. Semester
  • Master's Thesis | Master’s Thesis, Master’s Colloquium and Individual Coaching


Design Thinking as Method of Social Innovation

Students design community space in a refugee camp in Lebanon. They use design thinking processes to design the space in such a way that it has an activating effect and that creative and positive impulses can arise.

To the project & book
Campaign against Hate Speech
Campaign against Hate Speech

Don't Be Silent

How does it feel to be a victim of online hate speech? What can you do to fight it? The "Don't Be Silent" project takes a firm stand against online hate and helps the student team from the M.A. Strategic Design and M.A. Marketingkommunikation programmes to win first prize in the "Peer To Peer: Facebook Global Digital Challenge" with their Don't Be Silent campaign.

Learn more about "Don't Be Silent"
Admission requirements

Our requirements

Convince us with your creativity and upload the following durig your online application:

  • Bachelor's degree in a design discipline such as design, architecture, art, photography or film - please submit your degree certificate and your transcript of records. If you do not have the degree certificate yet, you can also submit it before you start your studies.
  • proof of English language proficiency
  • Secondary School Certificate
  • letter of motivation: What goals do you want to achieve with the Master's in Strategic Design and what is Strategic Design for you?
  • curriculum vitae
  • portfolio with 15 to 20 own creative works - you can upload the portfolio with your application, send it to us or bring it with you when we invite you for a personal interview.

Next steps after submitting your application:
First of all we check your application documents. If the examination is successful, we will invite you to a personal admission interview. Here, we want to find out what goals you are pursuing with the MA degree in Strategic Design. In addition, we will ask you questions specific to your study programme to get an idea of your theoretical knowledge and practical skills. If you cannot visit us in Berlin, we will be happy to make an appointment via an online platform, such as Skype or Zoom.

I) Portfolio

The portfolio aims to show your design approach, process and results. The portfolio and your CV should provide an insight into your individual design and technical development. We deliberately avoid providing a specific theme. Please attach a written description explaining your work and methodology. Any questions about what to put in the portfolio? Please arrange an individual portfolio consultation with our study advisors.

II) English requirements

Here are the English requirements you should bring along:

  • TOEFL 87 ibt (direct entry)
  • TOEFL 79 - 86 ibt (with additional agreement)
  • TOEIC 785 (Listening/Reading 785, Speaking 160, Writing 150)
  • IELTS/ IELTS ONLINE (academic) 6.5 on average - please see Language Centre guidelines if results differ
  • CAE (grade A, B, or C)
  • CPE (grade A, B or C)
  • Pearson English Test Academic (PTE-A) 59 points
  • Linguaskill: 176 - 184 (CES) - all four skills required
  • Duolingo 110 points
Fees and Funding

Your tuition fees

As a state-recognised, private university, the SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences is financed by tuition fees. This revenue goes towards equipping our campus, providing services for our students, and quality assurance. In this way we ensure that you receive the best possible education under optimal study conditions.

Tuition fees

  • citizenship | EU/EEA (incl. Switzerland, Western Balkans and Ukraine): EUR 790 / month
  • citizenship | Non-EU/EEA: EUR 5700 / semester

The monthly/semester tuition fees remain the same for the entire duration of the study programme. 

An additional enrolment fee of EUR 750 (EU/EEA) / EUR 1000 (non-EU/EEA) is to be paid once. More information about our fees.

Learn more about financing options on our Financing Your Studies page.

Apply now

Application process and deadlines

Please find the Application and Late Arrival deadlines here.

We are happy to welcome you to our university. This is our application process:

  1. You submit your online application via the SRH Application portal
  2. If you meet the admission requirements, we will invite you to a personal/phone interview
  3. If the interview is successful, you will receive an acceptance letter and the study contract
  4. You sign the study contract and send it back to us
  5. You pay the enrolment fee
  6. You receive your letter of admission
  7. You take part in our Welcome Week and then you are good to go!
Get started now Your path into the future
  • You will take part in a step-by-step learning experience
  • You will study in small teams through practice-oriented tasks
  • You can concentrate on what is important in 5-week blocks
  • You will receive individual support from your lecturers
Apply now!
Your contact

If you have any questions, our team is happy to help you