Human-Computer Interaction & Design

General EIT Digital HCID track

The programme focuses on 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. It is important to understand human responses to and consequences of using information technology as a tool for solving work-related tasks and in product development.

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 of 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).

The first-year program of HCID at Polimi is organized in 3 parts and comprises:

  • a set of core courses to develop a technical and methodological common base in Human Computer Interaction (16 ECTS);
  • a set of courses to create a solid background in ICT engineering (20 ECTS);
  • a set of courses to promote competences in Innovation & Entrepreneurship (20 ECTS);
  • a thematic I&E Summer School (4 ECTS), in common with all entry points.

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:

The following summarizes the program for the first year (60 ECTS total). 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.

Part 1: Core courses/HCI (total ECTS = 16)

Mandatory courses

  • Advanced User Interfaces (6 ECTS, I semester)
  • Hypermedia Applications, Web and Multimedia (5 ECTS, II semester)

Elective HCI courses: choose ONE of the following:

  • Design and Implementation of Mobile Applications (5 ECTS, I semester)
  • Videogame Design and Programming (5 ECTS, I semester)
  • Process and Service Design (5 ECTS, II semester)
  • Multidisciplinary Project (5 ECTS, II semester)
  • Philosophical Issues of Computer Science (5 ECTS, II semester)
  • Interaction Design Studio (5 ECTS, II semester) (*)
  • Design and Robotics (5 ECTS, II semester) (*)
    (*) courses jointly held with the School of Design

Part 2: Core courses/ICT Engineering (total ECTS = 20)

Mandatory courses:

  • Data Bases 2 (5 ECTS, I semester)
  • Software Engineering 2 (5 ECTS, I semester)
  • Computing Infrastructure (5 ECTS, II semester)

Elective ICT courses: choose ONE of the following:

  • Artificial Intelligence (5 ECTS, I semester)
  • Recommender Systems (5 ECTS, I semester)
  • Principles of Programming Languages (5 ECTS, I semester)
  • Computer Security (5 ECTS, II semester)
  • Computer Graphics (5 ECTS, II semester)
  • Machine Learning (5 ECTS, II semester)
  • Theoretical Computer Science (5 ECTS, I semester)
  • Model Identification and Data Analysis (5 ECTS, II semester)

Part 3: I&E Minor courses (total ECTS = 24 ECTS)

  • Strategy & Marketing (10 ECTS, I semester)
  • Designing Digital Business Innovation Lab (10 ECTS, II semester)
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summer School (4 ECTS)

The Summer School 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.

The I&E Minor will be increasingly offered in a blended format, with online modules and innovative teaching methods (blended I&E Education).

Course information and descriptions 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 the Exit Universities. Please, refer to their local programs for the second year or find them out on the EIT Digital Master School webpage for Human-Computer Interaction & Design.


Program Coordinator: Prof. Franca Garzotto
Politecnico di Milano
Department of Electronics, Information and Bio-engineering (DEIB)

For information, please contact Federico Schiepatti (EIT Digital programme manager) –

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.