Program structure

The MACD program instructors are designers, artists, scientists and business experts coming from five different design programs at the School of Design. Visiting lecturers enhance the school's profile. Together, their broad experience gives students the ideal benefit of the development of their creative potentials. In the context of the curriculum, multidisciplinary projects are organized in which the acquired abilities can be put into practice. 

The curriculum consists of three main areas of knowledge which are taught throughout all classes: creative competence, creative market competence and creative leadership.

Creative Competence
In this area, the program's creative and methodological resources are deepened and developed. Included here for example is the ability to change one's perspective, competently handle complex situations and look critically at one's own work. Not least among these resources is reflection of one's own position as a designer as well as cultivation of an adequate view of design as an entity. The applied examination of cultural, design-oriented and technical approaches to problems enables the students to create successful product and brand identities. Besides technical and methodological competencies - including state-of-the-art knowledge, reasoning, conceptual and interdisciplinary thinking, independent continuing development and systematic approaches - brainstorming techniques play an important role.

Creative Market Competence
Specific knowledge of markets, tendencies and developments is an elementary component of a future-oriented design strategy. Innovative and creative excellence requires confidence with methods and areas of knowledge. The students analyze market and consumer behavior and use proven findings to develop their perspectives for creating and improving trend-setting communication and design products. Regarding new business, students learn to plan new segments for their product ideas and to establish new market strategies, and they learn how to implement them. Furthermore, there is emphasis on organizational skills and on acquiring customers and maintaining successful customer relationships. Through this design-inherent user and customer orientation, the students gain the tools needed to design innovative sales and marketing concepts.

Creative Leadership
In Creative Leadership, the students work on developing leadership qualities. Those wishing to manage others in innovative ways must not only be able to develop ideas and vision - they must particularly be able to organize creative processes and adequately communicate objectives. In addition to the typical social competencies in teams and interaction, leadership requires the ability to handle and appropriately delegate authority.


About the curriculum
The duration of the Master of Arts in Creative Direction is three semesters. The first two semesters include coursework and interdisciplinary practice. The third semester is reserved for the thesis. Free time between courses allows for concentrated and effective preparation and reinforcement of the course contents, as well as time for independent work on current projects.
The thesis is prepared either as a theoretical paper (in German or English) or as a result of practical work in cooperation with a company. In both cases, adherence to the principles of the scientific method applies. The level of the master's thesis is set clearly above that of a Bachelor's or Diplom degree. The thesis must have two supervisors, at least one of whom is a regular professor in the School of Design at Hochschule Pforzheim University.


  • Audi AG
  • Melitta Zentralgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
  • Stadttheater Pforzheim
  • Süddeutsche Zeitung

and more...

Labs & work spaces

MACD students can use the lab spaces and resources of the other design departments at Pforzheim University if they have relevant experience in the handling of the machines or if they participate in the intro classes held by the lab supervisors.