Information for Students

Registration


Registration for DfG 2022 is now closed

Apply – in 2 steps

In the Design for Government course, the right mix of students and individual motivations are crucial. Addressing complex challenges benefits from a variety of backgrounds, skills and disciplines while critical thinking and creativity are important for developing new frontiers of design in the governmental sector. We, therefore, do not admit students on a first-come-first-serve basis but through the application process described below. Applications are reviewed and selected by the teaching team (final responsibility lies with the course leader).

Step 1. Reflect on the final presentation videos from DfG 2020 or 2021

Check out the 5 project briefs from DfG 2020 and DfG 2021. Read the project descriptions and choose your favourite project brief and select one of the student proposals that you will find on the right of the page. Watch their video presentation and write a reflection about it (500 words max.) : propose three points for further improvement or investigation and say something about how your competencies could contribute. Reflections must be added on the application form, see below.

Step 2. Fill out the application form

Enter your written reflection and additional info in this form.

Eligibility

You can apply if you have a valid study right at any school in Finland as long as you are a master’s student and your institution is under JOO-Agreement.

If you are not an Aalto student please follow these steps:

1. Fill out the JOO application form by 31st October 2021: https://haku.joopas.fi/index_en.html

2. Fill out the DfG application (see application form link above)

JOO instruction for students applying to Aalto University: https://confluence.csc.fi/display/JOO/Aalto+Instructions+regarding+the+host+university

Key dates

  • Registration opens on 17.01.2022
  • Deadline for applications 07.02.2022 (end of day, 23:59)
  • Decision about selection 14.02.2022
  • Course period: Study periods IV and V
  • Course starts on Monday 28.02 and Final Show is on Monday 23.05.

Workload

10ECTS over two periods means a workload of 2.7 – 3 full working days per week. Avoid taking another big course at the same time! This is an advanced studio course, you would need to work more if you are unfamiliar with human-centered design or systems approaches.

More about the course schedule and assignments please check previous years MyCourses pages for DfG 2021. The course will follow the same structure. My Courses DfG 2022 page will be created with an updated schedule and dates in January.

Contact teaching

Contact teaching days are on Mondays all day, at Aalto’s Otaniemi campus.

This course is designed to happen on-site*. You must be present in the contact sessions and during teamwork, which means that you have to be in the Helsinki metropolitan area during the 12 weeks.

* Due to the Covid 19 pandemic situation, changes in teaching time and location may occur. The teaching of this course may need to be re-arranged in part remotely, hybrid or online. Follow the course’s MyCourses page for updated information.

Course cooperation

Design for Government is taught in parallel with the 5ECTS ‘Designing for Urban Governance and Services,’ which provides a complementary foundation in relevant theories and case studies. It’s possible to take both courses simultaneously (contact teaching is co-located for both courses on Tuesdays) for a total 15ECTS. There’s no application for ‘Designing for Urban Governance and Services’, register directly through SISU either at Aalto or University of Helsinki.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the projects for the course?

DfG is an advanced studio course which responds to projects suggested by the ministries based on their current issues and needs. It is part of the pedagogical approach that students experience a course that is “client” driven. Each year there are 1-3 new projects from the ministries or governmental agencies/departments that we address in the course. Please have look on the DfG website at projects from previous years to get a general idea of the types of projects ministries have previously suggested.

Can I take these two courses simultaneously: Design for Government (DfG) and Designing for Urban Governance and Services (Gov)? 

The courses are designed so that they can be taken together. Several students each year take both courses simultaneously – here is a perspective from a student that took both. Structurally, the courses are located in rooms nearly side-by-side. There are some shared teaching sessions. It means that you will miss a bit of the activities in each, but these are accommodated in other ways. Gov provides theoretical context and reasoning around the development of design in/for government, and DfG provides hands-on experience with design and governmental projects and stakeholders.

I have not finished my bachelor studies yet. Could I apply to the course?

DfG is part of the Creative Sustainability master’s level programme, so it follows the CS guidelines on this matter. The guideline says that if a bachelor student applies, they should have completed at least 180 ECTS in their studies or have completed that amount by the time the study starts. In case you have these credits, you are welcome to apply! If not, then our recommendation is that you postpone applying for now, but consider taking the course in the coming year(s).

I have not finished my bachelor studies yet. Could I apply to the course?

DfG is part of the Creative Sustainability master’s level programme, so it follows the CS guidelines on this matter. The guideline says that if a bachelor student applies, he/she should have completed at least 180 ECTS in the studies or will complete that amount by the time the study starts. In case you have these credits, you are welcome to apply! If not, then our recommendation is that you postpone applying for now, but consider taking the course in the coming year(s).

How do I apply for DfG?

Each year in Dec or January, the application process for the course starts. Normal registration is possible for Aalto students through SISU system. The course description in SISU system describes the priority order for selecting students for places in the course if there are more students who have applied than places in the course. 

Students from outside Aalto that have a current study-right in Finnish Joo-affiliated universities (JOO website) can also take DfG.

All eligible students (from inside and outside of Aalto) must fill out an application. Students who have registered through SISU will be notified about this, or keep your eyes open for our invitation to apply on this website and on DfG’s Facebook page!

I am just about to graduate, but Design for Government as a subject interests me. Could I apply to the course?

Unfortunately, the course can only be taken by students with a valid study right. We very much appreciate your motivation to apply for the course and hope you will follow DfG news through the Facebook page and the website. There are likely open and public events during the course and other times of the year. We will take note of this issue as we develop the course further in the future.

My University is mentioned on JOO website, can I apply for the course?

Based on a Finnish national agreement on flexible study rights (JOO), a student who has a right to complete a degree at a Finnish university may apply for a fixed-term right to study in a course at another Finnish university. Here is an Aalto webpage with more information for students who would like to study in a course at Aalto. Check the JOO website for the list of universities participating in the JOO agreement. If your university is not on the list, unfortunately it’s  not possible to apply to the course!

Can I register in the course through the Open University scheme?

In theory, yes, it is possible to take Aalto University courses that are offered through the Aalto University Open University scheme. In practice, however, Design for Government is not currently part of this scheme. This is because there are basic required competencies for students in the DfG course, and there is an application process to ensure these in advance. For Open University places, we cannot require the same application that other students fill. This, unfortunately, means that we couldn’t secure student equality with intake both through normal and through Open University channels.

Still more Questions?

Please contact Núria Solsona (Professor, course leader of Design for Government).