Course concept

Besides the designer, there are a lot of stakeholders in the process of turning an idea into a product. With a bird’s-eye perspective on the global industrialisation process and all its actors, students will create, materialise, produce and launch a product into the market. Therefore they will be writing a business plan, researching the target group, contacting and visiting production companies, creating a marketing plan and getting a small project into production. All students must bring their laptop but buying software is not necessary. All software needed is open source or paid for by Howest.

English-taught semesters, what are they?

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An English-taught semester is a coherent package of course units which a Howest Bachelor programme offers in English, as an option for semester exchange , to incoming students from its partner universities abroad, and as a study abroad option to other international students.

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Course overview

The collective - Interdisciplinary project
The collective is an interdisciplinary and outspoken co-creative project, embedded in different educational departments at Howest. Students who are differently skilled in their first years of study will bring in a variety of professional expertise. Together, they’ll apply methods of design thinking to a complex and real-life case study of a client or company. What if… product designers meet game designers; what if… product designers meet health workers and wellbeing experts, what if… product designers meet multimedia and communication technology experts?
The collective XL - Development project
Next to teamwork, in The collective, it is crucial that all students define their individual role(s) and deliverables related to this project. The outcome doesn’t necessarily have to be a product. Framing a good problem can be as important for a designer as designing a solution. You’ll be trained in project management, in doing research towards needs and human behavior, you’ll experience a cross-pollination and personal expansion of your skill set, you’ll do practice-based research for real industry clients.
Start-up industrial design 
Design students in their 3rd year of study, should not only be able to conceptualize and prototype their own product ideas, they should also become more mature in articulating a vision for their designs. #designing the right things right. In this course, students go even beyond the activity of designing a product or service. They’ll design a product system; a business model for “a design agency/studio”. Economic, social and communicative management aspects of a start-up business are examined. Within this start-up, the students develop a first product or product-service to keep up with the problems associated with design. Student teams develop a simple product or product-service from concept to sale. A perfectioned demonstrator or a small series or a mass production is realized and sold. This course requires a highly professional attitude since students have to put time management, financial knowhow, product strategy, cost calculation, knowledge about intellectual property, CE-norms and legislation, and last but not least negotiation skills, in the game when co-creating with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, end-users and so on. What else? #making quotes in a design context; #integral product design; #designing for production; #B2B and B2C; #supply chain; #product launch and product sale; #technical product documentation; #co-ownership.
Portfolio IV
This smaller course is a mix of different portfolio elements, such as: # professional communication methods for designers; # orientation on the job market and applying for a design job, # design portfolio, # professional development, # introspection (reflective activities) and extrospection (fairs and company visits in Belgium); #ethical code of conduct, integrity and responsibilities for a designer; #sustainability


Academic English - evening course (optional)
This English course provides exchange students with an intensive training in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, all focused on their ongoing or upcoming academic experience. The lecturer will take the diversity of academic areas of the participants into account, by addressing a range of topics and choosing subjects that are relevant to the attending students wherever possible.
The course aims at the B2 proficiency level and uses the IELTS methodology. We strongly recommended it to all exchange students who have not fully achieved the B2-level in English at the moment of application for their mobility project. For the more proficient students, we still see the course as a useful immersion experience.

Course Unit Descriptions for All English-taught semester programmes

(if not available yet for the upcoming academic year please select the current year)

  • Next to ‘Taal’ select ‘English’
  • Next to ‘Opleiding’ select the name of your programme. (Collaborative design studio - ETS CDS –please contact for info if not yet available in list)


Orientation week & buddies


We organise a fulltime orientation week before the start of the actual lessons. We warmly recommend all incoming students to attend it, since it will offer you the opportunity to:

  • get to know the other incoming students and the locals through fun team building & other activities
  • get to know Howest and the campus(es) where you will spend your semester/year
  • explore the Howest cities Bruges & Kortrijk together with our local students and dive into student life
  • discover some Belgian cultural treasures through student-friendly sightseeing trips to our most beautiful art cities like Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, …
  • get loads of practical tips from our students while getting installed in your student room

Howest does not charge any participation fee for the orientation week, but students do need to pay for their own expenses, such as a couple of train trips, some entrance fees and your own food & drinks. Prices are kept as low as possible and as close to 100 euro total as possible.

The estimated price for the orientation week in 2020-21 (for under 26y) is about €53 for the train tickets and €47 for the excursions, to be paid in cash at the start of the orientation week.

Dates of the Orientation Week:

  • Autumn Semester: 14 - 18 September 2020
  • Spring Semester: 1- 5 February 2021

You'll also have a Howest buddy or two to welcome you and show you around! For more information about buddies, click here.


Minimum 4 successfully completed semesters or an equivalent of 120 ECTS in a Bachelor programme in Product Design, Interior Design, Industrial Design, Mechanical Design, Packaging Design, Furniture Design, … This will need to be confirmed by means of an official certificate, a survey of completed courses, or a signed letter from the sending university.

All students must bring their laptop but buying software is not necessary. All software needed is open source or paid for by Howest. If you have a Mac, you need to be able to run bootcamp. Howest only allows officially licensed software on it campuses. MS Office and Adobe CC and other non-essential software can be obtained at student discount.

Click here for Howest language expectations.

Non-exchange students can only attend the international semester as a Postgraduate course and need to have completed at least a full Bachelor degree programme at the time they start the international semester course at Howest.

Timing and location

The course takes place in Kortrijk.

Our Autumn semester runs from 14 September 2020 to 29 January 2021

The first week is the fulltime Orientation Week. The actual lessons start on 21 September. From 02/11/2020 to 07/11/2020 there is one week of Autumn Holiday. Winter holidays are from 21/12/2020 to 02/01/2021.
The examination period starts immediately afterwards. In the last week of the semester (25/01-30/01), there are still exams, as well as feedback sessions for students.

The Howest 2nd  chance exams take place in the 3rd exam period (Aug/Sept). As an exceptional service for exchange students AND only after explicit approval by the head of the study department, a 2nd  exam can be taken by the end of the 1st  exam period, at a date to be determined by the study department.

Address of the campus

Howest Kortrijk
Graaf Karel de Goedelaan 5, Kortrijk, Belgium

Classes will take place at the Howest Industrial Design Center; an open design campus, where students can prototype, brainstorm and create all their idea’s (

Opleiding / Dienst