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Automotive designer creating a clay model

Essential Study Tips for Automotive and Transport Design Students

As final year Automotive and Transport Design BA (Hons) students, our academic journey takes a distinct path compared to others. Instead of textbooks and lecture notes, our learning experience is characterised by hands-on projects, creativity, and innovation. In this article, we'll explore some essential study tips. From seeking digital inspiration to understanding academic criteria and staying current with industry trends, these tips are tailored to help us navigate the unique challenges and opportunities of project-based learning in the dynamic world of automotive design.

1. Embrace Digital Inspiration

Unlike traditional study materials, our learning often begins with digital exploration. Platforms like Behance offer plenty of inspiration from fellow designers worldwide. Take time to browse through portfolios, immerse yourself in diverse styles, and ignite your creativity.

2. Stay Current with Industry Trends

The automotive industry is always evolving, driven by technological advancements, and changing consumer preferences. Stay informed by regularly reading automotive media, such as magazines and blogs. Understanding industry trends will enrich your designs and keep you ahead of the curve.


work on laptop in Coventry University library

3. Engage with Automotive Community

Networking within the automotive design community is invaluable. Attend workshops, critique sessions and industry events to connect with fellow designers, professionals, and alumni. Building relationships within the community fosters collaboration, feedback, and mentorship.

4. Critically Evaluate Your Work

Self-reflection is key to growth as a designer. Take time to critically evaluate your designs, considering aspects like functionality, aesthetics, and user experience. Comparing your work to established standards helps identify areas for improvement and refinement.


study setup

5. Understand Academic Criteria

While creativity is paramount, understanding the academic criteria set by your university is essential. Familiarise yourself with assessment rules, project guidelines, and faculty expectations. Aligning your projects with academic criteria ensures they meet the requisite standards for success.

6. Seek Feedback and Guidance

Don't hesitate to seek feedback from peers, mentors, and faculty members. Constructive criticism is instrumental in refining your designs and enhancing your skills. View feedback as an opportunity for growth and improvement.

7. Stay Flexible and Adapt

Design projects often don’t go as planned. Embrace the iterative nature of the design process and remain flexible in the face of challenges and setbacks. Adaptation and resilience are key traits for success in the fast-paced world of automotive design.

automotive design project

8. Immerse Yourself in Project-Based Learning

Our design assignments are project-based and rarely involve traditional study materials. Embrace the hands-on nature of your coursework and immerse yourself fully in your projects. Take ownership of your designs and push the boundaries of creativity.


The final year of automotive and transport design is a unique and rewarding journey. By embracing digital inspiration, keeping informed about industry trends and staying flexible and adaptable, you can navigate this journey with confidence and success.

Franceska Maria Dobrinska

Automotive CMF/Interior Designer | Automotive & Transport Design BA (Hons), Coventry University

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