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Interdisciplinary Studies in Human-Centred Design

Algonquin College
1 year
Graduate diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
Algonquin College

Program description

Interdisciplinary Studies in Human-Centred Design

This Ontario College Graduate Certificate program prepares students for a career in design research and strategy. Professionals in this field examine the intersection of ethnographic research, experience design, digital technology, and business requirements, to create evidence-based strategies that direct the development of products, policies, systems and services. Working directly with businesses, governments and NGOs, students use a human-centred approach to explore complex problems. Real-world projects leverage design theory, research methods, and participatory design activities, to define a problem space and model proposed interventions.

Students have the option to gain real-world experience through a paid co-operative education (co-op) work term (see Additional Information for more details). Please note that places in the co-op version of the program are subject to availability. Students who elect to apply to the non co-op version of the program may not have the opportunity to transfer to the co-op version at a later date.

Admission requirements

Program Eligibility

  • Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma or degree or equivalent.
  • Completion of a Questionnaire. Submission details can be found on the Algonquin College Additional Admission Requirements
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject-specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency. Domestic applicants with international transcripts must be evaluated through the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) or World Education Services (WES).
  • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with a minimum of 22 in each component: Reading 22; Listening 22; Speaking 22; Writing 22.

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Like the challenge of untangling complex problems.
  • Enjoy trying new things and are not afraid to learn from failure.
  • Possess excellent interpersonal and human relations skills.
  • Value and respect the ideas, perspectives and expertise of others.
  • Have a keen attention to detail and process.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Level: 01

  • Design Theory I
  • User Experience Research I
  • Visualization I
  • Professional Development I
  • Industry Project I
  • Cooperative Education Readiness
  • Team Management

Level: 02

  • Business Practices
  • Design Theory II
  • User Experience Research II
  • Professional Development II
  • Industry Project II
  • Visualization II

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 


Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Apply a universal, interdisciplinary design approach to overcome complex problems and create intelligent solutions that address social, technological and economic challenges.
  2. Manage a holistic, human-centred process to deliver design strategies, products, systems and services for government, corporations and non-profit organizations.
  3. Design collaboratively in an interdisciplinary studio environment to produce communication, products, systems and service projects for a variety of media.
  4. Apply primary and secondary research methodologies to the design process using a think/make practice model, to achieve project outcomes that meet user needs and adhere to industry standards.
  5. Adhere to the professional practices of a design studio to facilitate and manage the success of design teams in achieving project goals.
  6. Participate in an iterative, multi-phase design process, in order to create testable prototypes and realized products.
  7. Liaise and negotiate project direction and process with stakeholders, to produce strategies and outcomes that align with business objectives.
  8. Present and defend research results and design outcomes to a diverse audience using effective communication strategies.
  9. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Career opportunities

Graduates may find entry-level employment as a user experience researcher; user experience designer; user experience manager; data analyst; data visualization specialist; information architect; interaction designer; service designer; communication strategist; and content strategist.

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About this institute

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op.  With more than 300 programs, including degrees and graduate certificates, we have the...

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Why study at Algonquin College

Canada ranked #1 study abroad country

Canada has been ranked the #1 study abroad country in the world for 2020! Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad.

Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario

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