Experiences from developing a Master’s programme in Product Development
Paper in proceedings, 2007
In the autumn 2007, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden, will launch 44 Master’s programmes, as a step in the Bologna process. The Bologna Process is an intergovernmental initiative which aims to create a European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by 2010 and to promote the European system of higher education worldwide. The Master’s programme in Product Development, one of these programmes, aims to provide an environment and course syllabus that gives students the knowledge, skills and attitudes to efficiently act within global product developing organisations. This includes specific technical knowledge related to product development, managerial skills to plan and control the process, and practical attainments in using advanced methods and tools for collaborative product development. Although, it is a new programme the design of the curriculum has been affected by former courses in Product Development related topics. The master’s programme will include five parts: (1) core courses in Product Development; (2) a Cross-functional Product Development Project; (3) Specialization tracks; (4) Elective courses; and (5) a Master’s Thesis Project. The core courses in product development will give a foundation in Product Development aspects, including Integrated Product Development, Computer Aided Design, Product Planning and Market Analysis, and Product Life Cycle Management. To facilitate the design of these programmes, Chalmers developed guidelines for the design of programme descriptions. This paper, summarises the experiences of designing this programme using this guideline and the CDIO principles and syllabus. In addition, the paper will discuss challenges when designing a curriculum in a programme description and making sure that the overall learning objectives for the programme are met through individual courses and examination forms.