for Play

MA Programme


Duration of studies
4 semesters (120 ECTS)
Design School Kolding
Application deadline
1 May at 12 noon
Entrance examination
Semester start
4 September 2017

21st century designers

Design School Kolding, the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group have joined forces to establish the world’s first, exclusive two-year international Master’s Degree programme within Design for Play. The programme will produce a new generation of highly specialised designers who can help companies and organisations achieve their aim of supporting customers, users and employees in creating a world that supports children and people in general in becoming creative, engaged, lifelong learners.

About the programme

The programme is one of a kind. It is based on Scandinavian design, an international outlook, and advanced level research in design methodology and user centered studies. It affiliates some of the world’s best designers, researchers and knowledge partners and creates a Scandinavian hub for play and design that demonstrates how research into play can achieve a practical impact. Students learn to utilize play as a motivating factor in design processes and how to design for meaningful play experiences.

The programme includes collaboration with companies, e.g. the LEGO Group, foreign exchange and individual courses based on specific cases. It incorporates strong elements of making, engaging, and co-creating with users. This could involve clothes, games, user interfaces, physical surroundings, toys – whatever supports the playful human being.

Scheduled modules

  • Designing for Play Experiences
  • Child Centered Design for Play
  • Applied Play
  • Cultures of Play
  • The Value of Play
  • Playful Processes
  • Toolbox

Play in all its rich variety is one of the highest achievements of the human species, alongside language, culture and technology. Indeed, without play, none of these other achievements would be possible.

Dr. David Whitebread

Play enables us to explore, practice and try out ways of tackling similar challenges in the real world. Skills like problem-solving, creativity; empathy, communication and teamwork all have their foundations in play.

The LEGO Foundation

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.

Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst (1874-1961)

Creativity and innovation are now driving the economy, reshaping entire industries and stimulating inclusive growth.

The 2014 OECD Forum

Creativity will be the 3rd most important work skill by 2020

World Economic Forum, 2016

Apply now

We are looking for highly talented and motivated students with a relevant design degree (BA or equivalent).

Application deadline is 1 May 2017 at 12 noon

Semester start is Monday 4 September 2017

Go to Admission and requirements

The Danish tradition and our track record

In Denmark we have a great motivation to create good play experiences because in our culture play is perceived as a way to develop ourselves. Through play, we acquire our social, intellectual and creative competencies, which are crucial for thriving and succeeding in today’s rapidly changing world. There is a growing body of evidence to confirm the importance of play, and we need to develop this knowledge further and facilitate the translation into practice.

Thus, Play & Design has been a strategic focal area for Design School Kolding for years. It is a dedicated research theme with currently one PhD student and is already part of our curriculum. In our Lab for Play & Design we have completed a number of projects and activities and worked with leading partners to investigate and define the unique Danish DNA for designing play. We have also identified possibilities, challenges and barriers for designing ”good play”. This has enabled us to establish a large network within play practice and play research, nationally and internationally.

Together with Capital of Children and the LEGO Foundation, we run the Play User Lab. This is an initiative that works to strengthen the performance of companies working with play, learning and creativity by increasing their innovation skills and user focus in order to enable them to lead the way in how to design for future play.


We are still recruiting and gathering the team that will be running the programme.
Here are a few of the people that you can definitely expect to meet.


Looking to change your game? The Design for Play initiative is currently recruiting one professor, one assistant/associate professor, and one PhD student. More research positions will follow.

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