Product designers for the future

Do you want to design products and services that are both meaningful and sustainable and that improve our living environment? Think of lighting, lawn mowers, smart devices, travel bags, wearables or kitchen tools, but also buses, machines, VR headsets, wheelchairs, and really all the products we use in our daily lives.

In the Bachelor of Industrial Product Design programme, you learn every step of the design process: from creative concept, design and technical development to the presentation of a production-ready design. Key concepts include circularity, creativity, material knowledge, prototyping and sustainability.

This programme is unique in Belgium.

Practical experience is ever-present in this creative programme. In the design studios and prototyping workshops of the Industrial Design Center, you experiment with wood, metal and textile processing, 3D printing, laser cutting, water jet cutting, thermoforming, welding, ceramics, and more. You will also be challenged to test your concepts with real people, make them technically ready for production, and refine them in terms of shape, material, color and texture.

Studenten aan het werk in het IDC

Specialisation starting in semester 4  

In the second semester of the second year, you choose one of three possible minors. This allows you to add your own personal touch to your studies while getting a taste of the direction you want to go.

Choose from:

  • Design for Industry: focuses on engineering and production
  • Design for Identity: focuses on style, form and visualisation
  • Design for Impact: focuses on people and society

You can also choose in your first year to follow Interior Design.

This elective course allows you to specialise in spatial design: not only designing interiors, but also all the objects within them. You will develop your own style that promotes sustainability and eco-friendliness. Alongside your technical skills and knowledge of  materials, production and design, you will also use the most modern design tools (including VR) to realise your ideas.

 Interior Design
Interior Design

This elective programme focuses on interior design concepts and matching furnishings and accessories.

Design for Impact
Design for Impact

This minor focuses on people and society.

Design for Industry
Design for Industry

This minor focuses on engineering and production for industry.

Design for Identity
Design for Identity

This minor focuses on the end user.

Your class schedule

Every week you will have between 20 and 24 hours of lessons. Your lesson hours are scheduled to be as complimentary as possible. Below you can view a sample schedule. Schedules may vary from year to year. The final class schedule for the school year is finalised in September. 

Sample Class schedule

studenten in het atelier
A broad base

There is no such thing as the ideal preparatory course for IPD. The main requirement is that you are curious about the diverse topics within the world of industrial product design.

The first three semesters are therefore the same for all students. They lay the foundation for the programme and teach you the skills every designer needs. You also get your first design modules.

In a number of other modules, you will discover what suits you best: are you more of a designer or are you mainly interested in production? The answer will help you choose your minor in semester 4

IPO Programme


In the fourth semester, you will choose one of three minors, allowing you to add your own personal touch to your studies while getting a taste of the direction you would like to go.

Each minor focuses on a different context: 

You can also choose to follow Interior Design. This path starts in the first year. Interested? Be sure to take a look at the elective options.


In semester 5 and 6, we bring all students back together and immerse them in real-life situations. 

Together with a team, you form your own design agency where you develop new products from A to Z, and bring them to the market.

In the final year you will also have intensive exposure to the professional field while you complete your internship and bachelor's thesis within a company.

voorbeelden van producten door IPO alumni

Where will you be able to work?

With a degree in Industrial Product Design, you can work in almost any sector: lighting, mechanical engineering, interior design, design agencies, etc. You will work in multidisciplinary teams with R&D managers, designers, technicians and experts from other fields. Of course, you could also work as an independent designer.

The jobs we prepare you for are diverse. This list gives a selection of possible careers:

  • product designer
  • industrial designer
  • project planner
  • materials specialist
  • production supervisor
  • visualiser
  • CAM-programmer
  • prototyper
  • installation designer
  • (re)designer
  • CAD-drafter
  • mechanical designer

94% of our graduates work as designers in manufacturing companies, design agencies or in their own studios. Their work wins awards regularly but at home and abroad.


Studenten Toerisme en Recreatiemanagement met lesgever aan de Broeltorens in Kortrijk

How to apply as an incoming international student

All information on nominations, applications and tutions can be found here.

Info day
Saturday 6 May
FROM 10h TILL 16h
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These are the next info days in Kortrijk:

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Studenten krijgen uitleg over opleiding aan Howest

Strengths of the programme

International opportunities

Do you like to look beyond borders? Then during the Industrial Product Design program at Howest, you will certainly get the chance to do so. During study trips, you will gather inspiration from designers in Europe, the US, and Asia and visit renowned companies such as Lenovo or Boeing. Occasionally, you will also receive lessons from foreign guest speakers or work with international students in thematic design weeks.

In the final year, you can spend a semester studying at a foreign design school or doing an internship in a foreign company.

Unique in Belgium

Howest is the only Flemish university where you can study the Industrial Product Design bachelor's program. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to complete the entire program in English, together with international students from all over the world.

Kortrijk is also one of the UNESCO Cities of Design. You can see this in the many creative programs on our campus and in the city.


In our design studios and prototyping workshops, you will work with current design tools, technology, and various machines. In this modern, well-equipped environment, you will have all the opportunities to work on real cases from the industry.

You will learn how to properly design and prototype a product. And you will sharpen your skills in areas such as CAD, sketching, graphic design, electronics, and VR.

During your internship in the final year, you will first observe for six weeks in a company and then in the final semester, you will work together to come up with a concrete solution for a design challenge.

Strong link with the professional field

You often work closely with companies. During labs, projects, and internships, you apply all your design skills to concrete tasks for the manufacturing industry. In addition, you will visit trade shows and companies and during the design weeks, you will be coached by professionals from the field.

Upon graduation, you will not only have a diploma, but also a strong portfolio. Volkswagen, B'Twin, Samsonite, Orange, P&G, Extremis, Renson, Barco, Inbev, Sioen, as well as the healthcare sector are just a few of the many companies and organizations we have already worked with. This also contributes to the high job security after obtaining your degree.

Personal guidance

At Howest, the professors know you by name. We don't have overcrowded lecture halls, but smaller class sizes where each student can flourish. This offers the great advantage that we can guide you closely.


Over the past few years, Howest has built a strong quality culture.

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studenten aan het werk

Studeren aan Howest als internationale student was één van de beste beslissingen die ik ooit had kunnen nemen in mijn persoonlijke en professionele leven. Ik zou niet zeggen dat het geen uitdaging was, maar het was zeker de moeite waard! Ik kon samenwerken met ontwerpers uit andere landen, leren van lectoren met veel ervaring en kennis en werken met verschillende soorten materialen en processen voor de ontwikkeling van producten.

Als student industrieel productontwerp volgden we de meeste lessen in het IDC, het gebouw dat je tweede thuis wordt. Mijn favoriete klaslokaal was zeker het naaiatelier. Het zat vol met materialen en inspiratie om verschillende soorten producten te ontwerpen. Maar dan is er ook nog de houtwerkplaats met machines die je in je eerste jaar leert gebruiken. Je kunt er in het begin een beetje bang voor zijn, maar alles wordt makkelijker als je er eenmaal mee leert omgaan.

Diana Martinez
International Student - Mexico

Register now!

Have you decided? We look forward to welcoming you to our Howest community! 
You can find all information about registering via the link below.

Apply now

Studenten in pauze met koffie op de campus


If you don't find what you're looking for or have a specific question about this program, please feel free to contact us. We are available every weekday from 9am to 5pm. Direct other questions to this contact person:

Becky Verthé
Becky Verthé

Academic Director


In the case you buy a laptop through Howest, you can look here which laptop is recomended by your course. In the case you already own a laptop or wish to buy a new one yourself, it needs to qualify to the same specifications.

Would you like to study abroad for a semester? Or are you interested in an international internship? You can! You will discover all the opportunities to go abroad within Howest on this page. During your studies, we will work together to make your international adventure a reality!

Helaas, die bestaat eigenlijk niet. Of beter, elke vooropleiding heeft raakvlakken! We raken technische, artistieke, wetenschappelijke en menskundige topics aan. Uit bijna elke vooropleiding hebben we studenten. Voor het ene vak kan je dus een voorsprong hebben, terwijl je voor een ander vak een groentje bent! In het curriculum voorzien we ‘portfoliomodules’. Die ondersteunen je in de overstap naar het hoger, je studiemethodiek en het ontdekken van je sterktes en zwaktes. Naast vooropleiding zijn je motivatie en andere interesses even belangrijk! De slaagkansen zijn voor de meeste vooropleidingen ongeveer gelijk.

Elke module bevat theoretische bouwstenen en toepassingsgerichte praktijklessen. Industrieel Productontwerpen is vooral een praktische opleiding met ongeveer twee derde labs, atelier of consult. Een derde van onze lessen is dus theoretisch, gaande van ergonomie, technologie, geschiedenis van de vormgeving tot productietechnieken. Het curriculum bevat geen talen meer. Wiskunde leren we aan en passen we toe in de lessen technologie en engineering. Door deze aanpak verdien je het hele jaar door punten en blijft ook de examenperiode een haalbare en aangename periode!

Hoe weet ik of ik de juiste keuze maak? We organiseren bootcamps in het begin en aan het einde van de zomervakantie. Tijdens deze tweedaagse workshops maak je kennis met onze manier van werken, het ontwerpproces en je toekomstige klasgenoten. Hier al eens ‘proeven’ kan je ook helpen bij het maken van je keuze voor Industrieel Productontwerpen. En je leert er vanaf de start wat je sterke of zwakke punten zullen zijn wanneer je voor deze bachelor kiest. Inschrijven kan op

In eerste instantie willen we je opleiden tot bachelor Industrieel Productontwerpen. Maar in die drie jaar werken we ook aan je persoonlijke identiteit, interesses en abstractievermogen. Ongeveer één student op vijf heeft na Industrieel Productontwerpen de smaak te pakken en wil nog verder studeren. Dit kan in een aanvullende bachelor (sommige studenten kiezen bijvoorbeeld nog voor een verkorte opleiding meubelontwerp of kunststoffen). In eigen huis vind je de masteropleiding Industrieel Ontwerpen aan UGent. Of je kan kiezen voor een master architectuur of productontwikkeling, in binnen- en buitenland;  Ook een postgraduaat is mogelijk. Zo kan je aan Howest een masterclass combineren met deeltijds werken, volg je onze start-up school of spring je in een andere hogeschool over naar een opleiding ‘brand and packaging’.