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Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

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Automotive and Transport Design MDes/BA (Hons)


Automotive and Transport Design at Coventry University is recognised by the automotive industry as the leading undergraduate course in the UK. It is responsible for producing senior design professionals all over the world. As well as cars, it offers the opportunity to design transport for all applications.


This course is designed to give you the skills and understanding to work as a designer in all fields of Automotive and Transport Design, including cars, motorbikes, boats, luxury yachts, construction vehicles and vehicle interiors, as well as emerging areas such as electric vehicles and personal mobility devices.

Many current production vehicles can be attributed to our graduates who have left to work around the world for companies including: Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Citroen, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, Lotus, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Renault, Rolls Royce, Toyota, Qoros, VW and Volvo.

Automotive and Transport Design aims to develop individuals who can apply a high level of innovation and creative thinking to their studies and there is a particular focus on understanding how society and new technology will lead to more sustainable transport solutions in future.

If you choose this course you will benefit from:

  • The opportunity to study in a school which was awarded ‘Best Design School’ in the World Automotive Design competition in 2004, was the winner of the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education 2007 and the winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2008;

  • a teaching team that includes design professionals with many years of experience in the automotive and transport design business;
  • strong associations with the industry offering excellent placement opportunities and employment prospects.


This course offers the options of a three-year BA (Hons) degree or four year MDes or BA (Hons) degree that includes the third year ‘Professional Enhancement’.

In your first year you will learn 2D design skills and be introduced to 3D techniques, the theory and analysis skills needed to underpin design work plus an understanding of packaging and ergonomic requirements for successful design solutions. This year acts as a diagnostic of your aptitudes and interests.

In the second year you will develop your design process, modelling, and presentation skills, learn how to evaluate your work, and develop your knowledge of ergonomics and engineering in individual and group activity.

The Professional Enhancement Year, the third year of the four-year degree, involves entry to a national or international competition, and involvement in collaborative projects with industry. There are opportunities to secure placements in the industry, with which the Coventry Automotive and Transport Course has close connections, which can strongly enhance your experience and skills whilst improving your network of industry contacts.

The final year of your three or four year BA(Hons) may include entry to a national design competition, while the final year for the MDes qualification (4th year) includes research and design management modules. Both BA (Hons) and MDes qualifications conclude with a major design project. At the end of their degree students are expected to exhibit in our prestigious Degree Show.


You will study in a base studio with your year group colleagues, which is where you will learn through design exploration, discussion, sketching and making. There will also be a series of lectures with associated seminars and workshop practical classes. In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice.

Students will work on collaborative projects with industrial partners whilst based in the University. Recent student collaborative projects were carried out with: Bentley Motors, GM North America, MG/SAIC, Ricardo, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bowler, Land Rover, and the Formula Student racing car and Eco-marathon car (in collaboration with CU Motorsport Engineering).

Fees and Funding

Please note that tuition fees will be payable in each of the four years of the 4 year MDes or 4 year BA (Hons) with work placement courses. You can take an optional placement year during the MDes course (making the course length 5 years in total) without a requirement to pay tuition fees for the optional placement year.


An estimated percentage breakdown of how your final grade is assessed is as follows: coursework, tests, essays 20%; practical or project work 45%; group work etc.10%; presentations, posters etc. 15%; other e.g. placements etc. 10%.

A compulsory Add+vantage module must also be completed: please see the page on the Add+vantage scheme for more details.


In a typical week you will have up to 18 contact hours of teaching and this will break down as:

Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 4 hours of tutorials each week

Medium group teaching: 4 hours of medium group lectures and seminars each week

Large group teaching: 10 hours of lectures and supported studio practice each week

Personal study: 20 hours of studying and practical work in your own time each week

Entry Requirements

Essential Entry Requirements:

5 GCSEs at grade A*-C including English Language and Mathematics, or specified equivalents.


A-Levels: BCC to include at least one Art or Design subject

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: DMM in an Art or Design subject

Access: A pass in the Access Diploma, plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade A*-C, or specified equivalents.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 27 points to include Art or Design at Higher level

For details of other acceptable qualifications please click here.


English as a Foreign Language: IELTS 6.0

Additional Information: Applicants will be required to attend an interview and portfolio review

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

Graduates from this course now occupy leading positions in the automotive and transport industry in the UK and all over the world, also as design consultants, modelers, illustrators, CAD professionals, managers, marketing professionals, or entrepreneurs/business owners. This course has a strong record of employment success.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University's Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Coventry School of Art & Design’s own Creative Futures unit provides a programme of workshops, embedded learning, lectures, professional experience and one-to-one guidance to help you develop the transferable skills and enterprising habits required for a successful career.


Included in the fees:

Core workshop materials ; Specified core reading material;
Any mandatory UK residential field trips;
Any mandatory UK site visits and trips;
1,000 sides of black and white laser prints;
Voucher for the CSAD Art Shop;
Tuition fee waiver for placement and study abroad

Additional costs not included in the fees:

Any optional overseas trips or visits: £350 + per trip;
Any additional design materials: £50+ per year


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university. The key: developing and enhancing students' employability, and delivering a serious competitive advantage in the jobs market. At Coventry, that starts right from the beginning.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and which broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very broad range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Click here for further details.


During the ‘Professional Enhancement Year’ of the four-year Automotive and Transport Design course opportunities are available for students to study overseas and opportunities for shorter periods overseas are also available for students on three year courses.

The course has direct links with universities in China, India, the USA, and Colombia. Opportunities occur for all students to participate in international trips and exchanges. Last year, our first year Automotive and Transport students made a trip to Germany to visit Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes Museums.


To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

Click here for further details.

Student – Bradley Page

I really enjoy using the equipment that’s provided on this course as I know I will now have the practical skills required to go into the industry.

Course code:
MDes W241/BA WHG3
  • 3 years BA (Hons), 4 years MDes or BA (Hons) with work placement

  • Undergraduate Degree

Course type:
  • Full time


Contact Details:

Recruitment and Admissions Office

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222