Course Info For Students

In short

  • Awesome course/minor, take it!
  • Open to ALL Aalto Master’s level students
  • Timing: from mid-September to early June
  • Credits: 30 ECTS
  • Location: Aalto Design Factory, Otaniemi (
  • Keywords: design-thinking, product development process, intense teamwork and much more!


The program starts around Mid-September and finishes around the 10th of June. Compulsory attendance days are Tuesdays and Thursdays when are hold the workshops and the lectures. The students can then arrange themselves with their own team when they prefer to work. The program is also one of the most intensively taught at Aalto University and requires full commitment from the students. The last quarter is often compared to a full-time job.


Students go through a first hectic month of small challenges to get acquainted with hands-on methodologies. In the end of this first month students get to know their global project brief and their new team. After that students usually get the amazing chance to fly to California for around 10 days. They don’t only meet their global teammates and take part in design-thinking workshops and but also get a glimpse of Silicon-Valley culture.

Make it Up: Students start working on their projects back in their home universities and conduct essentially user and market research during the Fall Quarter. Students also start to think with their hands, testing a few prototypes with users.


Make it Real: The Winter Quarter involves more building and thus students get to develop around 10 to 15 prototypes. They are encouraged first to get out of their comfort zone and after testing and iterating, they start to converge with their global team towards their final concept.


Make it Happen: The students have then 2 months left to build their final concept prototype and the strategy around it. Students are expected to build a full working proof-of-concept prototype and to present it during the ME310 Design Expe Fair both at Aalto University and at a global event abroad.



All course components are mandatory (30 ECTS total, 25+5) and cannot be taken separately.
The course codes in MyCourses are the following:

  • MEC-E3100: ME310 Team based design orientation, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3101: ME310 Global Innovation Course 1/3, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3102: ME310 Global Innovation Course 2/3, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3103: ME310 Global Innovation Course 3/3, 10 ECTS

In addition, students are expected to take (or to have taken) the following course:

  • MEC-E3002: Methods in Early Product Development, 5 ECTS

There is no registration process through MyCourses for the courses. To apply, visit our application page, send us your information, and if you’re selected for the course following the interview process you will be registered in MyCourses then.

ENG-E3103 can be used for getting the Aalto Ventures Program Minor, as part of the AVP project module. You can find more info here.



ME310 is taught in the wonderful place that is Aalto Design Factory. Aalto Design Factory is an educational concept developed at Aalto University that serves as a platform for collaborative product development and design. ME310 SUGAR was in fact one of the first courses to be taught at Design Factory after its establishment in 2008 and the course has remained there as one of the cornerstones of interdisciplinary product development at Aalto University.

In essence Design Factory is a place where students, teachers, researchers and industry partners can interact and develop new products together under the same roof.


Students can find all the necessary support for converting ideas into action. ADF Facilities provide:

  • Lecture / Seminar / Event spaces
  • Machine Shop with CNC-milling, CNC-lathe, welding, vacuum forming, etc.
  • Electro Shop for printed circuit boards, soldering
  • Wood Shop with circular saws, grinders, sanders, etc.
  • Paint Shop for brush and airbrush painting
  • Electronically Controlled Knitting Machinery
  • Workshop with both Power and Hand Tools
  • Plenty of Prototyping Material: Legos, Mechanos, Play-Doh, Post-Its, Cardboard, Foamcore, Veneer, Plastics, Metals
  • Meeting Rooms with Skype and Lifesize Video Conferencing
  • Kafis, a Collaborative Kitchen, Cafeteria and Office Combined into one
  • Silent Working Rooms for Studying and Programming
  • Production Room for vinyl cutting, printing and video editing
  • Library & Leisure rooms and areas


More than 100 “310ers” have taken the course in Finland so far and are still involved somehow through the course, either by coaching the students or just by hanging around at Design Factory (find out more on our Community page).
Each year the course takes around 20 students, from diverse backgrounds and nationalities.

Projects of 2017-2018:

Worldwide there are around 30 projects this year in the SUGAR network, involving over 200 students.


Apply now

Applications are open for the next group of future innovators! Go to our apply page and sent your application!