During the programme

The MDDD curriculum consists of five learning tracks: Human AI Interaction, Ethical Design, Data Science, Applied Research, and Critical Thinking and Data Studies. Each block focuses on a step in the design process and incorporates various knowledge and skills from these learning tracks. During the four ten-week blocks, you will work on projects, follow workshops and lectures within these tracks. 

Students conducting a group assignment

The curriculum is based on the demands and challenges of the professional field. This means you can work on genuine, data-driven solutions based on your passions, personal interests, and (domain) expertise. In this setting, you quickly develop a good sense of what you have to offer as a data-driven designer and how to position yourself within a multidisciplinary team of professionals.

Learning Tracks

Design intelligent interfaces (e.g., adaptive systems, recommender systems, chatbots) using data, machine learning, and AI.

Use value-sensitive Design and collaborate closely with stakeholders considering the ethical aspects and human values within a data-driven project.

Use data and machine learning to learn about how users interact with a product, app, service, or system, and use those insights to enhance the Design of the user experience.

Master various UX research methods to gain relevant insights and choose a fitting approach for the problem at hand.

Reflect and critique how datafication affects and interacts with individuals, organizations, and society.

Applied Research project

Organisations face data challenges and are always seeking new innovative insights. You, as a student, can offer a fresh perspective gained through the master's programme's learning tracks. During the programme, you work in a team on a real life project, provided by an external organisation or research group. You will use this project as your case study for the programme. This gives you the opportunity to develop new skills and master the learning competencies in a professional context.

Content of the Master Data-Driven Design

The program consists of four blocks, each ten weeks:

The courses in block A

The courses in block B

The courses in block C

The courses in Block D

Want to know more about this programme?

This full-time programme expects you to be available to engage in educational activities at the University for forty hours a week. 

Students and lecturers form an active learning community in which we aim to develop strong social cohesion. You will be expected on campus for an average of three days a week, plus two days of self-study. There will be lectures, the Coding Club for extra support with coding assignments, the Writing Club for extra support with academic writing and several guest lectures. At times, you will participate in design sprints and pressure cookers, during which you work in a team on design processes.

We expect you to shape your own learning process. An important tool is our digital learning environment (DLE). The DLE enables you to prepare for classes, alone or in groups. Not only does this grant you a lot of flexibility as to when and where you study - face-to-face teaching time is much more valuable when you come into class well prepared.

Important parts of the curriculum are about interacting with professionals from the creative field. You work with them on a variety of actual problems that businesses encounter or that are happening in society at large.

The Data-driven Design lecturers

Bob Cruijsberg

Bob Cruijsberg

Senior lecturer

Bob is senior lecturer and coordinator at the Communication and Multimedia Design program (B), as well as at the master Data Driven Design. He is specialized in User Experience Design and Interaction Design and curriculum design, with a lot of experience in coaching students who work on projects for clients.

Bob has been committed to the HU since 1996 and has helped designing the curriculum of several programs, including International Communication and Media (currently called Creative Business), and Communication and Multimedia Design. For the latter he received the ‘HUgenotenprijs’ of 2010, an award for outstanding performances by staff members and students of the HU.

Erik Hekman

Erik Hekman


After his master's in Media Technology, Erik developed and taught different technology related courses at the HU. He has been a lecturer at the programs Communication and Multimedia Design, Digital Media and Communication and International Communication and Media (currently called Creative Business).

Currently, he is developer of the master Data-driven Design and his activities consist of supervising students and coordinating the technology track. Erik is also a researcher at the research group Human Experience & Media Design. His research focuses on how technology shapes public value.

shakila shayan

Shakila Shayan, PhD

Lecturer, researcher

Shakila is a lecturer at the master Data-driven Design as well as a researcher at the research group Human Experience & Media Design.

She has an interdisciplinary background in experimental and computational studies of human learning and behaviour, and has worked at several International Institutes in the past, including Max Planck Institute and Utrecht University. 

Shakila is originally from Iran, where she completed her BA in Computer Engineering. She then moved to the US to pursue a master and PhD in Cognitive Science and Computer Science at Indiana University. She is deeply passionate about understanding the needs of individuals and communities as a whole and finding innovative solutions to help them. As a result, her research has gradually shifted towards an applied human-centred approach that can improve the “here and now” of people’s lives. 


Dennis Nguyen

Jonas Moons

Lecturer, researcher

Jonas is a lecturer at the master Data-driven design and the bachelor Communication and Multimedia Design, where he teaches mostly the machine learning, data science and research methods courses. He has an academic background in artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience.

Jonas worked for 6 years at an applied research group on behavioural change, where he focused on statistical and methodological questions. Jonas is especially interested in the relation between behaviour, data and AI.

Currently, Jonas holds a minor position at the research group Artificial Intelligence, where he initiates student projects that focus on applying machine learning to creativity and art.


Rhied Al-Othmani

Rhied Al-Othmani

Rhied Al-Othmani has diverse graphic design experience, having worked on projects ranging from print to web and branding for a wide variety of clients over the past nine years. Along with her current position as a lecturer at BA CMD, the Master, she is also the Study Career Counsellor for the students and a member of the Study Programme Committee. 

In 2011, Rhied received her BA in Digital Communication from HU and in 2020 her MA degree in Data-driven Design. Her enthusiasm for user experience, combined with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, drew her gradually into research and education.

Her other interests are the development of conversational agents, open government data, and the knowledge and tools necessary to comprehend, interpret, and apply open data.

Simone de Droog

Simone de Droog PhD


Simone de Droog obtained her PhD in Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam and works as a senior researcher in the research group Human Experience & Media Design (HEMD). She has a broad background in media, behavioural psychology and marketing communication, and specific expertise about youth (2-21-year-olds), social marketing (interventions), experimental research, and relationships with characters, robots and other forms of non-human communication. 

She has worked for many years as a researcher and teacher at the University of Amsterdam, Radboud University Nijmegen and the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (Communication, CMD, Master DDD). The courses she taught are very diverse. For the Master Data-driven Design, she is the coordinator and teacher of the course Creative Research, in which students are prepared for graduation by writing a convincing and feasible graduation proposal. The course focuses heavily on academic writing. She is also an examinator of the graduation projects. 

Her ambition is to use her knowledge to improve the wellbeing of young people, working on projects that concern health, happiness, empowerment and play. She also tries to learn Italian, hoping to someday speak it fluently...