About USI



User System Interaction (USI) traines are trained in user-centered design methodologies. They focus on preventing user problems and are equipped with the necessary know-how to find the right solutions. They have the experience and insight required to really understand how to change technology to fit the needs and wishes of the users. A certified User System Interaction designer has in-depth knowledge of design processes, theoretical as well as practical, adapted to the needs from the business world, which clearly distinguishes him/her from other young professionals without this training.

How we work

The USI program is characterized by its focus on design, practical training, teamwork and cross-cultural and international orientation. The USI experts come from different disciplines, with backgrounds in behavioral sciences, design and (software) engineering. During the first year, we work on short-term and agile projects in intercultural teams, and during the second year on a project in industry or for a government agency. Throughout the program, we are placed as designers, or in other words, as an intermediate between market demand and technical possibilities, between user needs and product satisfaction. We are trained to provide solutions and services for people in their home, work and social environments by employing user-centered design methodologies. Our aim is to improve the interaction between people and systems and to make technology truly accessible and beneficial for all people.

Program structure

During the first part of the program, we gain extensive knowledge and experience of the latest design methods and their applications. We also learn to work in interdisciplinary teams, follow lectures, participate in practical workshops and further develop our professional skills. We also train our fellow USI trainees in our personal field of expertise by mutual learning. The key components of the program are related to information and communication technology, user interaction technology, perception and cognition, behavioral sciences, as well as the various design methodologies. These modules are taught by specialists in the field, who bring in their international experience from universities and industry. We use the skills we have learned during the second part of the program, when we apply an iterative design process for an innovative industrial product, system or process for one of several prominent high-tech companies or institutes. The close cooperation between these companies and the program results in exciting career opportunities. All modules are taught in English.

PDEng degree

On successfully completing the program, the graduate receives a certified diploma and are entitled to use the academic degree Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng). The programs fall within the 3rd cycle of higher education, as do the doctorate PhD programs.

The USI program is not a PhD position. Whilst adhering to the university criteria for awarding a doctorate, the program is designed to meet specific needs of industry, which develops the capability of individuals to work within a professional context.

This program is recognized as a PDEng program by the CCTO, the Dutch certification institute for technological designer programs.

All diplomas are entered into a central Register, which is kept by the “Koninklijk Instituut Van Ingenieurs” (KIVI, Royal Dutch Society of Engineers).