Academic Year 2014/15

School of Design

Degree Programme of:

Communication Design
Laurea (Equivalent To Bachelor Of Science)

Milano Bovisa Campus

1. General Information

School School of Design
Code Reference Law1154
NameCommunication Design
Reference LawOrdinamento 270/04
Class of degreeL-4 - Industrial Design
Degree level Laurea (Equivalent To Bachelor Of Science)
First year of activation 2008/2009
Official length of the programme 3
Years of the programme already activated 1,2,3
Official language(s) Italian
Campus Milano
Dean of the School Arturo Dell'Acqua Bellavitis
Coordinator of the Study programme Valeria Luisa Bucchetti
Website of the School
Website of the Study programme

Student Office (Study programme) - Milano
Reference office
Centro Orientamento Studenti Scuola del Design
Address Via Candiani 72, 20158 Milano
Phone 02 2399 7277

Central Student Office - Milano

2. General presentation of the study programme

The Laurea in Communication Design is part of the didactical program of the School of Design at Politecnico di Milano. The School of Design has been one the first academic institutions to recognize communication as an integral and fundamental part of the design sphere.

The significant developments of media systems and digital communication, and the growth of services related to production and management, make communication a professional sector and a industry in constant expansion. The communication and information system today has a generalized presence, widespread diffusion and a powerful structure. The communication and information industry is on of the main drivers in the contemporary scenario. Communication design effects have a global presence today.

Communication design is where culture becomes publishing, where transportation systems become digital, in the new digital landscape of data and information.

Communication design is where industrial products and services meet the user, to enable access and awareness; in large-scale distribution systems, where consumers and goods get in touch; in the music and sport industry, in the show business and in the production of large-scale events as well as in their diffusion via mass media and digital channels. In this scenario design can express its significant potential.

The communication designer is a cultural operator and his contribution influences any relations between people and society, always and closely linked with the content each informative, persuasive or prescriptive message transfers.

Today the communication designer has to cope with visual pollution, communication saturation, information overload: symptoms of a system in which technologies and devices need direction, planning and strategic choices.

The “communication designer” is therefore a designer covering every aspect of the communication project: publishing graphics, television, audiovisual and multimedia publishing, corporate image, brand identity, packaging and product communication, typography and type design, Web design, data and information visualization, design of audiovisuals and interactive artifacts, and complex communication systems such as social networks and collaborative platforms. The communication designer masters the main visual communication tools and methods and computer graphics technologies, in a framework where communication is a fundamental strategic lever in modern society.

In particular, the specific know-how of the communication designer concerns the integrated communication system, two and three dimensional (static and dynamic) visual representation, lettering, perception and visual variables, information design, static and dynamic representation techniques (photography; motion graphics; movie design), the design of communication products on paper and for digital devices, off-line (DVD) and on-line (new television channels, Web and all the Internet platforms, also for mobile users).

The Communication Design program offers a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science; the Degree Programmes are aimed at students with a solid cultural background and a high degree of interest in cultural issues and design. Students must especially demonstrate an interest in all the aspects and forms of communication; they should be open to learn techniques, methods and languages also in their most innovative forms.

3. Learning objectives

Please note that the name of the Degree Programme in Communication Design corresponds to one of the education profiles contained in the Class 4 declaration and that the education programme, as indicated by its title, is aimed at preparing a professional design figure operating in the visual communication, graphics and multimedia  sector. This figure does not overlap with those developed within the Class 20 Degree Programme Communication Science aimed at preparing professional figures which have the role of analysis and critical understanding of the communication sector as well as preparing a professional figure operating in the communication field not strictly linked to visual design.

Fundamental objectives in preparing a graduate in Communication Design are the acquisition of cultural, scientific, methodological and technical/instrumental elements which form the basis of the culture of design of artefacts and communication systems. Central are the ability to deal with the media system starting with communication users, the social, cultural, relational, symbolic and perceptive aspects which characterise the various communication forms; the ability to understand the specificities of the context of use; the ability to translate elements of analysis and the framework of information contents into the production of new artefacts with development of new communication formats and typological innovation of formats both via the application of traditional and new communication technologies and by integrating various systems and supports for 'cross-media' solutions.

In preparing the communication designer, acquisition of the ability to visualise the design idea in an analytical form in the conceptual and implementation phases is equally fundamental: from the choice of design field to the reference communication scenarios, to the elaboration of the concept through to the levels of simulation and implementation of artefacts.
Knowledge and skills relating to languages and to visual and representational cultures which are the basis for building adequate expressive models are therefore fundamental.

The design connotation of the Bachelor of Science , compared to the subsequent Master of Science, focuses on the technical-operational management of the project, aimed at preparing a graduate able to interact with the players in the process, understanding their language and skills.
The ability to control the choice amongst technological, media, support, production and implementation alternatives which accompany the project is fundamental, allowing their interpretation also with a view to social-economic sustainability.

The main subject areas of the Master of Science are the following:

  • project culture area (ICAR/13)
    which - using laboratory teaching methods - endorses knowledge of other subject matter gained via theoretical classroom teaching with a view to standard project procedures. This know-how, in the design process, is used in the analysis phase (that is, the concept definition phase) to define the problem context in terms of design opportunity, constraints, possibilities, selection of priorities and their order to analyse user-communication interaction.
    Concerning the information contents to be transmitted: to analyse artefacts and artefact systems in terms of their formal, structural, functional, typological, morphological, interaction, etc. characteristics. In the design summary phase on the other hand, this know-how merges with design development activities which require the ability to translate communication requirements into formats and artefacts; to define the components, technologies and assembly methods according to the communication functions required of an artefact; to link product requirements with the communication system and its channels;
    the objective of this subject matter, which constitutes the backbone of the preparation of a designer, is that of providing the student with a method of dealing with different design issues of medium complexity using paradigmatic design experiences.
  • humanistic disciplines area (SPS/08; M-PSI/01; ICAR/13)
    which contribute to the analysis and interpretation of social and cultural contexts in which the products designed are inserted and sense systems created around communication artefacts with relation to their aesthetic-cultural component. They also contribute to placing the communication artefact within cultural and information production systems using social-technical, anthropological, value and signage system analysis tools of the artefact as well as facilitating understanding of the perceptive and communicative qualities defining the relation between product and user.
    Objective of this subject matter is to provide the student with methods and tools originating from ethnographic, anthropological and sociological research applied to analysis of the user, the contexts and the destination of use.
  • historical-criticism subject area (SSD ICAR/13, L-ART/03, L-ART/06, ICAR/18) providing the student with knowledge concerning the evolution of project culture in relation to the evolution of artistic, architectural, visual communication, design and fashion languages.
    The educational objective of this subject matter is to provide students the ability to understand a project in its reference context via historical methods;
  • visual and representational culture area (SSD ICAR/13; ICAR/17) which analyses in depth the use of languages and corresponding tools and techniques concerning the morphological and functional representation of the communication artefact (from manual drawing to digital representation, from photography to production of simulation models and; ability to understand and interpret visual languages; domination of techniques of production and manipulation of digital images; knowledge of perceptive mechanisms, chromatic systems, etc.
    The educational objective of this subject matter is to provide graduates the ability to translate elements of project analysis and synthesis to the visual plane.
  • communication technologies area (INF/01; ING-INF/05) which analyses the basic working principles of information systems and knowledge of hardware and as well as basic languages supporting multimedia graphic design;
  • economics of the firm and project economic feasibility area (SECS-P/13; ICAR/22; ICAR/13): area which analyses economic systems, corporate contexts, markets and marketing problems in depth, in addition to techniques concerning economic product feasibility analysis of communication products. In addition, provides the student with the ability to understand the elements comprising corporate identity which influence project strategies.
    Objective of this area is to make the student aware of economic selection processes and of elements defining corporate coherency in innovation processes driven by design.

The prepared figure is a "project technician" which, on concluding his programme of studies, has the necessary skills to carry out the multiple technical/project activities of support and assistance to the project as it develops and characterises itself in the various phases which go from its conception to the design, development and implementation up to large-scale production, distribution and diffusion in the media system.
Within this educational programme detailed analysis of specific issues concerning areas representing new development frontiers for design professions or strategic sectors for development of the national economy is foreseen

4. Organization of the study programme and further studies

4.1 Structure of the study programme and Qualifications

Design Studies Programmes are dedicated to the designer's theoretical, scientific and professional preparation, that is his knowledge and skills concerning product design, production and enhancement.

An industrial product, according to the School of Design's interpretation, is not merely a material product such as a car, a piece of furniture, an object, an article of clothing or an accessory but also all those communication and construction elements concerning the "sense" of a product, such as brand design and graphics as well as web sites or fashion shows.

This area of study provides an answer to the requirements of the consumer product industry, public administration, design and communication studios and companies, interiors and set-ups, fashion as well as sectors involved in selling and distributing such products.

The proposed educational programmes are divided into two levels of degree, the so-called 3+2, the Bachelor's Degree (Laurea) and the Master's Degree (Laurea Magistrale of the additional two years.

The Bachelor's Degree (Laurea) prepares the design Technician, that is graduates able to carry out all technical and design support functions which, from the creative phase, lead to production and distribution of the product on the market, with different connotations for each Degree Programme available.

The Master's Degree (Laurea Magistrale) prepares graduates with project management and strategic objectives abilities. Such figures are able to coordinate complex project activities, aimed at creating diversified and differentiated product systems in line with brand identity and market distribution strategies.

In addition to these two programmes, a rich offering of 1st level university Master programmes which may be accessed on completion of the Bachelor of Science programme (Laurea), of 2nd level Masters which may be accessed on completion of the Master of Science programme (Laurea Magistrale) and, finally, on completion of the Master of Science programme, highly qualified PhD programmes for design researchers at the Design Department are available.

Bachelor of Science (Laurea I livello)

Master of Science (Laurea Magistrale - II livello di continuità)

- Design del prodotto industriale

Design del prodotto per l’innovazione 

- Design della comunicazione

Design della comunicazione

- Design della moda

Design for the Fashion System 

- Design degli interni

Design degli Interni

Disegno industriale - sede di Milano

Design & Engineering

Ingegneria meccanica (CdL attivato presso la Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'informazione)

Ingegneria dei materiali e delle nanotecnologie (CdL attivato presso la Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'informazione)

Design del prodotto industriale/Design della comunicazione/Design degli interni/Design della moda

Product Service System Design

Design degli interni/Ddesign del prodotto industriale (Prodotto)

Design navale e nautico - sede di La Spezia


4.2 Further Studies

The qualification grants access to "Laurea Magistrale" (2nd degree), "Corso di Specializzazione di primo livello" (1st level Specialization Course) and "Master Universitario di primo livello" (1st level University Master)

The Bachelor of Science (Laurea) in Communication Design gives access to all Master of Science Programmes within the Class of Master of Science Programmes in Design, active at the Politecnico di Milano or other Campuses.

The following are considered continuity Master of Science Programmes (Laurea Maistrale): Communication Design, Product Service System design.

5. Professional opportunities and work market

5.1 Professional status of the degree

The professionals graduating from the three-year degree with a communication orientation are defined as Design Technicians, and are specialized in preparing the final communication project through the management of the principal information technology instruments associated with the methods of representation of graphic design. These professionals will find employment with companies and institutions where corporate communication and a web presence through electronic commerce plays an important role; they will moreover have many opportunities in the publishing sector, both multimedia and traditional, in advertising and communication agencies, in consulting companies in the IT sector, in cultural entities and museums and promotional activities and institutions furthering the cultural heritages.

In the communication area, profiles graduating from the Bachelor of Science are defined project Technicians and have a specialisation in operational communication projects via the management of the main IT and methodological tools for representation of graphic projects. Such profiles find positions in companies or institutions
with a strong vocation in corporate image or Internet presence with e-commerce; they find ample opportunities in multimedia and traditional publishing markets, in advertising and communication agencies, in IT consultancy companies, in cultural, museum and cultural heritage promotion/services institutions.

5.2 Careers options and profiles

The Programme satisfies the training demand expressed by the communication artefacts industry and its supply chain, by professional graphics and multimedia communication studios, by the distribution and sales system and by products as far as product communication aspects are concerned.
The Graduate in Communication Design enters the professional system with operational skills, expressing the ability to work in a team and to interpret and render operational project indications, correctly translating them into the economic, ergonomic, productive, material, representational and modelling requisites required to go into production. He also has the necessary skills to assist in the research and concept phase with ability to understand user requirements, social and consumer dynamics, formal languages, technologies and suitable media channels for expressing the design solution. Graduates have skills in operational communication projects via management of the main IT tools and representation methodologies of a graphic project.

The Programme prepares the student for the profession of

  • Engineering science technician
  • Draughtsman
  • Technicians and operators of optical, electronic and similar devices
  • Photographers and similar
  • Audio-video and film camera technicians 
  • Audio-video film editing technicians
  • Market relations technicians
  • Sales and distribution technicians
  • Advertising technicians
  • Recreational and cultural services technicians
  • Advertising graphic artists
  • Commercial and industrial designers
  • Artistic designers and illustrators

Surveys of University Assessment Commission

6. Enrolment

6.1 Access requirements

Secondary school leaving qualification, or foreign comparable qualifications

A secondary level educational qualification is required.
Knowledge of English is verified on admission. Before the start of lectures recovery activities, with compulsory attendance, are organised for students with gaps to fill.

6.2 Requested knowledge

Adequate initial preparation is required which is verified via an admission test.

6.3 Deadlines for admission and number of places available

Admission is subject to passing the admission test.

150 places are available (of which 5 reserved for students from outside the EU, 2 of which must be Chinese students from the “Marco Polo” project).

How to become a student at Politecnico di Milano

6.4 Tutoring and students support

The School has improved the information and guidance tools for future undergraduates aimed at informing them with regard to teaching and training activities of each Programme in order to clarify educational objectives and future professional opportunities.

For regular (in line with exams) students, the School has put in place activities aimed at:

- contributing to removal of obstacles preventing fruitful course attendance with initiatives relating to individual needs, aptitudes and requirements;

- rendering students more actively involved in the educational process.

The reference tutor is identified for each Programme and is the institutional reference for guidance within the School. The service is organised within the scope of the Programme and, in particular, takes care of:

- student support in case of need of help in problem solving or concept clarification;

- approval and possible drafting of texts regarding presentation of the Degree Programme which he/she represents;

- identification of projects of students of his/her Degree Programme to be used as guidance tools during Open Days and in institutional School communication.


7. Contents of the study Program

7.1 Programme requirements

The final graduation relates to the acquisition of 180 Credits. Students graduating from the Degree Course must possess a solid basic education within the context of design disciplines that qualifies them for in-depth study both of the methods and the technical-operative aspects. They must, in particular, know the instruments, techniques and technologies used in the design of communication: from techniques of visual, photographic, typographic and video representation, to the techniques of image manipulation and visual languages, from the knowledge of perceptive mechanisms to familiarity with chromatic systems. They must furthermore master the instruments necessary to design communication in various areas of graphic design as publishing, sign systems, coordinated image, as well as those of interactive and multimedia communication systems based on new technologies, as digital products and web sites.
The education also requires a mastering of scientific and technologic skills (instruments and technologies associated with visual and multimedia design projects, both off-line and on-line; communication formats and architecture of information technologies; techniques of prototyping, reproduction and mass production of the product; technologies of printing and pre-printing processes and the diffusion of communication artifacts in the web; elements of the economic and productive systems with particular attention to the know-how associated with production systems and cycles, industrialization, and business culture in its economic, management and organizational aspects etc.) as well as theoretical-critical ones (historical knowledge on graphic design and communication, their evolution, the study of semiotics, the languages of on-line and off-line communication, etc.).

To graduate the student must have acquired all the necessary educational credits foreseen by the Teaching Regulation, including those relating to the graduation exam.

7.2 Mode of study

The degree course is full time activity. It is characterized by many different didactical activities: Monodisciplinary Courses are characterized by theoretic contents communicated by means of ex cathedra lessons and verified throughout the year with tests and interviews. 
Integrative Courses cover more than one discipline or specific context, and are taught by two teachers who supplement one another. 
Experimental Workshops are taught in the workshops, where the students are given an opportunity to experiment and use the tools used in design professions.
Design Studios involve both a number of internal teachers employed by the Faculty and several external professionals and feature design activities where the students work under the guidance of a team of teachers, each contributing with his or her expertise as related to the subject of the design. 
Erasmus Program and the other international mobility projects enable the students to spend six months studying abroad, at qualified European and non-European design universities. 
The Internship is accomplished by attending a Workshop with the involvementof companies, organizations or foreign schools.

7.3 Detailed learning objectives

The possibility to choose courses and corresponding credits to be inserted in the Study Track is subject to a series of rules passed by the School which each year tracks a teaching offer of 60 credits per Programme year "nominal offer").

Each year, students may choose study programmes with a different number of credits compared to the nominal offer (60 CFU credits/year) to graduate progression of studies according to their requirements.

The minimum number of credits the student may enrol in is 30, unless the number of credits for completion of the Programme is less.

The maximum number of credits the student may enrol in, subject to exam priority, is equal to 80 CFU/ECT.

In formulating the annual Study Track the priority of courses according to the progression of Programme years indicated in the Regulation below must be respected:

- courses of the subsequent Programme year ("anticipations") cannot be inserted in the Study Track unless all those of the previous year and of the current year have been inserted.

Moreover, the School has decided a series of exam priorities based on which it is necessary to have passed certain subjects considered useful in order to be admitted to others. This may give rise to the nominal number of credits a student may enrol in being reduced due to this rule.

The current System foresees a series of educational activities (basic, specialised, similar or supplementary) which are present in the study programme as single subject Courses, integrated Courses and Laboratories constituting the three-year teaching activity of the Bachelor of Science.

As well as this type of teaching activity, the System foresees that a defined number of credits are attributed to activities which may be grouped under the following items:

- educational activity freely chosen by the student (optional courses);

- educational activity concerning the preparation of the final graduation exam and verification of the foreign language (Final exam and Language);

- activity aimed at acquiring further linguistic knowledge or IT, communication or relational skills or skills useful in accessing the employment world, as well as educational activities aimed at facilitating professional choices by direct knowledge of an employment sector relevant to the qualification, including Internships in particular.

1 Year courses - Track: *** - Non diversificato

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem CFU CFU Group

2 Year courses - Track: *** - Non diversificato

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem CFU CFU Group

3 Year courses - Track: *** - Non diversificato

Code Educational activities SSD Course Title Language Sem CFU CFU Group
089810----THESIS DEVELOPMENT210.010.0
(Grp. Opz.)
(Grp. Opz.)
(Grp. Opz.)
(Grp. Opz.)

7.4 Foreign language

Assessment of knowledge of foreign languages is carried out in the manner prescribed by the University published on the web page "Student Services/Guides and Regulations/Guide to the English language" on the website.  Students are invited to read this document carefully and must comply with the regulations. In particular, it is to be noted that: "Pursuant to Ministerial Decree 270/04, the Politecnico has adopted the English language as the EU language that must be known in addition to Italian". 

Language courses

7.5 Degree examination

The final exam normally consists of the presentation and exposition of a project activity disciplined by the Teaching Regulations of the Programme carried out by the student within the scope of the Final Syntesis Design Studio, aimed at verifying the ability to summarise a project and achievement of the educational objectives of the Programme.

Information concerning general rules and regulations, session calendars, registration and consignment of theses is available at

8. Academic calendar

The Degree Programme calendar is organised bearing in mind the verification of learning procedures which, for the School of Design, foresee "on-going" tests during the whole semester. The academic year consists of two semesters, each comprising a teaching session with on-going tests and an exam sessions for verification of learning). The teaching session of each comprises two periods dedicated to lectures, exercises and  laboratory activities, each followed by a week of interruption of teaching activities to allow professors an overall verification of on-going tests, followed by two weeks dedicated to exam sessions at the end of the semester.

Academic calendar

9. Faculty

The names of professors for each Course, together with their subject, will be available on the degree programme starting from the month of September.
The degree programme is annually published on the website of Politecnico di Milano.

10. Infrastructures and laboratories

Implementation of large laboratories in support of design teaching is part of the experimental tradition of the Design School of the Politecnico di Milano, which adopts an inductive teaching model in which "knowledge" and "know-how" go hand in hand.

Laboratories are dedicated to practical activities which allow the student to verify his project hypotheses and to learn how to use the technical instrumentation necessary for project experimentation, representation and communication.

The laboratories - managed by the Design Department  - occupy a space of approx.10,000 m2 on the Milano Bovisa campus and are, together with the vast system of engineering laboratories, the largest centre in the world in support of research in the design field, in terms of dimensions, available equipment and skills system.

The laboratories are supplemented by the Politeca, an integrated documentation system for research in the design field.

For information:

11. International context

Building an international dimension of the School of Design has been considered a priority objective since its inception in 2000.

The reasons behind this are many: from the characteristics of the subject matter of design, which by its very nature is multicultural and multilocal, close to both the world of production, which has now taken on a global dimension, and the sphere of consumption, whose dynamics and trends make themselves visible in the various specific local realities; to the DNA of the design community which has always been international; from the recognition of Milan as the capital of design, crossroads for designers from all over the world who have come here to study or to open a studio, to the desire to make training programmes ever more permeable to impulses from this stimulating context, just as from other foreign dynamics.

Internationalising theSchoolofDesignhas a dual significance: to support external student (as well as researchers, professors and technicians) mobility and, conversely, attract students, researchers and professors and visiting professors from abroad.

Concerning these two internationalisation directions (treated separately, the first in this chapter and the second in that which follows), the School of Design has committed itself in recent years to widen its international relationships and currently cooperates with design universities throughout the world in Erasmus exchange programmes (with 150 European universities), in bilateral exchanges (with 53 universities outside Europe), in joint workshops with other schools, in international internships, etc.

To this must be added those more structured activities aimed at consolidating cooperation relationships with selected universities in teaching and research fields: this is the case of the MEDes_Master of European Design excellence programme (with 6 partner universities), of the international Designing Designers conference and of the many international research projects in progress.

TheSchoolofDesignis a member of Cumulus, a network of European design schools as it is also of the main international design associations. s.

Just as the host city, Milan, a true international design laboratory, the School of Design  of the Politecnico aims to be a meeting point for different cultures, for teaching, industry and professions in which professors, industrialists and famous designers from all over the world actively participate in the students' educational process.

12. Internationalization

International Exchange

The School of Design takes part in international student exchange programs offering students the opportunity of undertaking a period of their studies with a partner university abroad. The list of the School’s partner universities can be found at Studesk 3 and6, inthe Politecnico website nad in the International Area of theSchoolofDesignwebiste.

Erasmus program

The European Community started up the Erasmus program in 1987 enabling European university students to undertake a period of study, legally acknowledged by their own university, of up to two semesters at a university in another country within theUnion.

Students participating in the program could be entitled to an economic grant (depending on the yearly Call for Mobility) and free enrolment at the host university. In this way students can attend courses and take exams in the partner universities and have the exams acknowledged by the university in their own country.

The Programme MEDes - Master of European Design (MEDes)

Since the academic year 2002/2003 the Schoolof Design  has activated a specific five-year Degree Programme aimed at achieving the qualification of Master of European Design (medes).

This international programme, promoted and designed by the School in cooperation with five  prestigious European design universities, and formalised by an agreement is in respect of the exchange of students between the network of partner institutions listed below, all of which offer a degree programme leading to the award of the “Master of European Design (MEDes)” certificate. Students will only be eligible to present for the award of the degree at their home institution.

The universities participating in this European training programme, in addition to the Politecnico di Milano, are:

AaltoUniversity,SchoolofArts, Design and Architecture,Helsinki,Finland

Konstfack,UniversityCollegeof Arts, Crafts and Design,Stockholm,Sweden 

KölnInternationalSchoolof Design,Cologne,Germany


ENSCI-Les Ateliers,Paris,France

The excellence programme is addressed to 4 students selected from those enrolled in the 2nd year of the Degree in Industrial Product Design, Interior Design and Communication Design.

Candidates admitted to the MEDes programme carry out two study periods abroad at two of the partner universities:

- one during the  3rd year of the Bachelor of Science

- and the other in the 1st year of the Master of Science.

The choice of destination university will be based on the preferences expressed by the student and the availability of the partner universities.

Information on exchange programmes, double degree projects and international internships, European research and international relations projects are available at

13. Quantitative data

14. Further information

For any other information the students are invited to visit the School website, in particular the teaching regulations of the academic rules.

15. Errata corrige