Human-Computer Interaction & Design

Human-Computer Interaction & Design

The HCID programme focuses on the study, design, development and evaluation of novel user interfaces and interactive systems which take into account human cognitive and sensory-motor responses and how these influence both technological and business requirements.

The programme is interdisciplinary with courses on design and evaluation of interactive systems and a strong emphasis on user-centred design techniques. From our mobile phones to our watches, televisions, and even our cars – smart technology has become a staple in our everyday lives.

With the further development of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, our relationship with technology will only continue to increase. By developing intuitive user interfaces and easy-to-use interactive systems, HCID facilitates how we ‘talk’ to our smart devices. With the EIT Digital Master School programme in HCID, you’ll have the skills – and confidence – you need to design the systems that define this interaction.

First-year program at POLIMI

Located in a world-level design capital, Politecnico di Milano is a vibrant meeting point of different cultures, linking design, architecture, and art, with technical, scientific and engineering studies. Polimi offers a highly qualified entry-point program for the HCID master that benefits from the synergy between the Design School and the Information Engineering School. These institutions have a tradition of excellence in multidisciplinary education, fundamental and applied research, knowledge transfer towards industry, and innovation. In their respective areas, the Design and the Information Engineering Schools rank as first within Italy, and are within the top-10 in Europe (QS Ranking 2017).

Multidisciplinary context

I3Lab (Innovative Interactive Interfaces Lab) is a multidisciplinary research group, led by Prof. Franca Garzotto, including students from the Master and Doctoral Schools, Research Assistants, and external consultants, with heterogeneous backgrounds – software engineering, human-computer interaction, psychology, and design. One of the aims of our research is to focus on children with special needs, in order to promote social, emotional and intellectual benefits. Read more about projects and innovative interactive technologies which are currently being developed by the i3Lab at Polimi on or on the dedicated Youtube Channel.

See also: 

The first-year program of HCID at Polimi provides 60 ECTS. It includes a technical common base in Computer Science and Engineering, with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction (36 ECTS); the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Minor (20 ECTS) and a thematic I&E Summer School (4 ECTS).

The I&E Minor will be increasingly offered in a blended format, with online modules and innovative teaching methods leveraging a distributed learning environment in which students have the chance to collaborate on a project together with other EIT Digital students from different partner universities (blended I&E Education and cross-university activities).

The following summarizes the program for the first year. Please notice that, on the basis of the curriculum of previous BSc studies, the Admission Committee at Politecnico can specify some directions on the individual study plans, regarding the choice of courses to be attended.

First SemesterECTSSecond Semester
Technical Major - mandatory courses (26 ECTS)
Advanced User Interfaces6
Software Engineering II5
Data Bases II5
5Computing Infrastructures
5Hypermedia Applications (web & multimedia)
Technical Major - HCI electives (5 ECTS - make 1 choices)
Design and Implementation of Mobile Applications5
Videogame Design and Programming5
5Multidisciplinary Project
5Process and Service Design
5Philosophical Issues of Computer Science
5Interaction Design Studio
5Interdisciplinary course of Robotics (Robotics and Design)
Technical Major - other electives (5 ECTS - make 1 choices)
Foundations of Artificial Intelligence5
Recommender Systems5
5Computer Security
5Computer Graphics
5Machine Learning
I&E Minor - mandatory courses (24 ECTS )
Strategy & Marketing10
10Digital Business Lab
4I&E Summer School (*)

(*) The Summer School takes place between the first and second year, being computed among the 60 ECTS of the first year. It brings students together for two weeks to work in groups on a business modelling and planning project in the context of a societally relevant thematic area. Summer Schools take place at different locations throughout Europe, supporting a multidisciplinary and international dimension, with a clear EIT Digital flavour to education. You can choose the one you like to attend from the catalogue of Summer Schools organised by EIT Digital and published at the beginning of the first semester.

Detailed descriptions for Polimi courses on our Manifesto degli Studi

Second year

During the second year, students have the option to specialise in one of the technical areas that are offered by their respective Exit Universities, providing 30 ECTS of exams + 30 ECTS for the Thesis. Please, refer to their local programs for the second year study plans, you can find them on the EIT Digital Master School webpage for Human-Computer Interaction & Design.


Franca Garzotto
HCID Coordinator at Polimi
Federico Schiepatti
EIT Digital Programme Manager at Polimi
For info:

The HCID major is a study track within the Polimi’s degree programme in Computer Science and Engineering (M.Sc.). Therefore, this entry university is best suited for applicants with a bachelor degree in Computer Engineering (or equivalent programmes). This means a strong base of ICT, computer science, programming and engineering courses in your transcript of records, including physics and math courses at academic level.