Design Sciences

Internship placements product development

The Product Development programme is looking for internship placements

Find out how you can contribute to the education of our enthusiastic product developers. 

Students on the Product Development programme swiftly find their way into the labour market after their studies. This is mainly because the programme works hard to set up good contacts with industry. During their studies, students quickly get to work on real projects. For example, their Bachelor and Master dissertations are written in collaboration with external partners. (The brochure of last year’s Master dissertations can be found on the right hand side of this page)

Starting next academic year, the programme aims to focus on this aspect even further. For students in the first year of the Master programme, an internship of 10 weeks will become a fixture of the normal study package. That’s why the University of Antwerp’s Faculty of Design Sciences is now looking for internship places.

Don’t forget to fill in the registration form if you are interested in offering an internship place or if you would like further information.

Please contact Frank Goethijn with any questions or suggestions.

Which internship placements are eligible?

  • Businesses and research organisations.
  • Places where the student is supervised by at least one senior product developer or someone with an equivalent role.
  • Design agencies and companies where product development and innovation are part of the standard activities.
  • Research groups that start from basic research and work towards product innovation (knowledge centres in technological or scientific fields, research groups in university hospitals and other research centres).

How long is each internship?

In the standard study programme, the internship is planned in the second semester of the first Master year, usually from the second half of March to the end of May. The internship lasts 10 weeks. 
In academic year 2016-2017, the internships start on Monday 20 March 2017 and end on Friday 26 May 2017
The internship lasts ten weeks of five working days each and continues during the Easter holidays. As a rule, the internship takes place at one company and forms one uninterrupted period. Exceptions are negotiable.

Content of the internship: which specialisations?

The internship must be a part of one or more projects relating to the development of new products, product-service combinations or research related to product development and innovation.

Product Development students make a choice between three different specialisations in their first Master year. Wherever possible, the internship is specifically carried out within one of these specialisations. We are aware that there is substantial overlap between the various fields and that completed internship projects may fit into multiple specialisations. However, it is important that the particular focus chosen by the student is covered within the internship project.

Various specialisations

  • Strategic design
    Strategic design focuses on the early stages of innovation projects. It's about being able to define future products, services and innovation programmes in the strategic context of companies or organisations. Within strategic design, there is room for facilitating innovation workshops, guiding innovation projects, generating ideas and creating product definitions. Strategic design can also lead to product or service concepts.
  • Design for interaction
    Here, the focus is on the interaction between the user and the product or service. It's about the ability to develop the right products and interactions, from a vision and understanding of the user’s needs and context. Within design for interaction, there is room for task-oriented and context-oriented analysis, development, design and verification. This applies to both physical and on-screen interactions.
  • Technology-driven design
    Within this specialisation, the focus lies on the integration of working principles and technologies throughout the product development process. It covers the fundamental way in which a future product can work and the way in which its feasibility can be demonstrated. Technology-driven design is mainly applicable to products with a higher level of technicality or more complex working principles.

Monitoring and evaluation of the intern

An internship mentor is identified within the company. At the end of the internship, the mentor is expected to provide an evaluation through a brief written form. If needed, a talk between the company and the internship supervisor of the study programme can be scheduled before the internship starts (on site, telephone or skype). During the internship, the student’s progress is monitored through phone calls or a visit. A final debriefing with the internship supervisor can take place by phone or in an additional meeting.

The student is required to submit a report to the programme’s internship supervisor, providing a clear picture of the activities, the workload and the acquired knowledge and skills. The student is expected to collect this information during the internship, as long as it does not relate to confidential information.

Allocating internships

A list of possible internships is offered to all students. Students can apply for an internship either directly with the company or via the Product Development programme. The company providing the internship can specify which option it prefers.

Students can also suggest companies that meet the internship conditions. Internships abroad qualify as long as sufficient information is available about the internship provider.

Legal framework

Internships form part of the regular curriculum of the study programme and are covered by the University of Antwerp’s legislation on insurance and occupational risk. An internship contract needs to be drawn up between the student, the university and the internship provider. 

A risk analysis report will also need to be made. For computer work, administrative and related functions, a simplified risk analysis is sufficient without the input of a physician. For internships in hospitals, biological laboratories, chemical industry and other workplaces where occupational hazards may occur, the appropriate occupational health service needs to be agreed upon. This health service will undertake the risk analysis and facilitate any medical examinations needed.

If the internship period is different from the specified period of 10 weeks, a daily and hourly schedule should also be specified.  

Intellectual property and confidentiality shall be treated as in an employer-employee relationship.
The internship is unpaid. A paid student job cannot be recognised as an internship.