Product Design Engineering MSc | Coventry Universi...

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Product Design Engineering MSc 2018/19 entry

Course code:


Study options:

1 year full-time



Coventry University


September 2018



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Coventry University has taught product design for almost 30 years and we have excellent links with a wide range of local and international employers, such as Jaguar Land Rover, Herman Miller, Lotus, Dyson, Aston Martin, Speedo, Electrolux and Ford.

A recognised centre of excellence, the Department of Industrial Design was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education in 2008 and the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education in 2007. You’ll have opportunities to access specialist facilities and guidance from our experienced practitioners, which includes an elected member of the Chartered Society of Designers (MCSD), the British Industrial Design Association (ProBIDA), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:


As part of our extensive skills development, we offer you the chance to take Adobe accredited modules as part of the University’s Add+Vantage scheme. Assessed by exams, this training will give you official Adobe accreditation in whichever software you’ve elected to study, providing a valuable addition to your CV, which is sure to enhance your employability.

What our students say...

I think that this degree, taken by students who already have related experience at undergraduate will be effective in preparation for product design engineering in industry.

Carlos Queiros, Senior Creative Designer, Dyson Limited.

Course information

This course aims to prepare you to take responsibility for the development phase of creative product design in a global context; we place an emphasis on the engineering of direct end user products and the stakeholder interactions needed to see them through to successful completion.




During the first semester, we will expand your creative skills and capabilities, exploring creative and innovation methods, research methods, co-design practice, user-centred thinking and presentation. This will involve an intense learning experience of creative practice through projects set by external industry partners on associated creative design and design management courses.

The second semester concentrates on building your technical engineering and product design skills. You will have the chance to participate in experimentation and prototyping on a more detail focused level than the initial stage of project concept generation. This requires an in-depth knowledge of the relevant materials, manufacture and product construction, as well as an understanding of working and communicating with other stakeholders and the processes of the development that operate parallel to design. During this semester, you will also be expected to define the scope of your final project in consultation with your tutor.

You will conduct your research informed design brief in the final semester with your final presentation accompanied by a comprehensive research report and poster justifying the design, research journey and outcomes.


In more detail...

  • Links with universities in Europe, Asia, China, North and South America provide opportunities to study abroad and gain an international perspective.
  • High levels of satisfaction among postgraduate ‘Art and Design’ students – 80% overall, compared with a sector average of 76% in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016.
  • Extensive facilities include: state-of-the-art laser cutting, rapid prototyping, desktop CNC milling, 3D printing facilities, paint spraying, scanners, two large block material workshops and handwork shops.
  • Guest speaker programme makes use of our extensive links with specialists and current practitioners – with past presentations from Imagination, the top design company in the Design Week Creative 100, and Jaguar Land Rover.
  • Computing suites offer modelling, animation and analysis software, as well as graphic and word processing packages, including Alias, Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino, Vector works, RAMSIS and Jack ergonomics software. Visualisation is supported with software such as: Bunkspeed, Showcase and VRED.

Specialist design studios feature drawing tables, presentation equipment, wireless internet access, supported by a dedicated print bureau for 2D outputs up to A0 size and the CSAD Art Shop.

Your main study themes are:

  • Design innovation and collaboration: Creativity and innovation is fundamental to successful design. We will encourage you to adopt a holistic approach to design, encompassing user-centred thinking, technological and manufacturing concerns to develop innovative concepts that are internationally competitive, relevant and appealing. You will elaborate on design theory and processes, whilst engaging with skills in sketching, drawing and model making to generate visually articulate innovative solutions within the context of design.  

  • Product design engineering: Provides the learning base of the technical and engineering content of the course. There will be opportunities to experience project organisation through group working and interaction with colleagues from a variety of disciplines involved in the overall product creation process, including Design Management and Design and Transport. We cover a broad range of design engineering aspects including: materials, assembly, production, engineering, prototype building, testing, evaluation and product construction, configuration and operation. We will examine and discuss examples of existing products like mobile phones in the area of high production disply based products and medical equipment in the area of high value technology based products. 

  • Final major project: This is the final Master’s stage of the programme. Your project will be required to have sufficient academic content to provide an opportunity to apply many of the design techniques and knowledge acquired during the previous modules of the course. The project must be undertaken in a rigorous, methodical manner, which creatively applies a critical knowledge of the subject to produce a novel, viable, desirable design solution. You will plan, develop and apply strategies and methods of data gathering, data analysis and data interpretation. Explanation of complex themes underpinning a research informed design brief will provide the starting point for the development of an innovative solution. You will be required to independently manage the design phases of the project, then professionally present your design solutions and defend your proposal during an answer and question session. The presentation will be accompanied by a comprehensive research report and accompanying poster to present the progress of the project, highlighting problems encountered, solutions considered and justification of the final design.

The course is taught over one year full-time or two years part-time. You can start in September.

 You will have a base studio with your year group colleagues, which is where you can 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.

As well as our own experienced staff, product design industry professionals may be working with you in your studies through lectures, seminars and discussions. Practical group project work aims to develop your understanding and expertise, but also the essential communication skills you will need in professional practice to deal effectively with stakeholders including managers, marketers and engineers.

We provide technical support and access to industry-standard software and hardware including laser cutting, rapid prototyping, 3-axis CNC milling suite, 3D printing suite, paint spraying, digital scanning in the digital maching workshop and bench and floor standing machines as well as vacuum moulding in the craft workshops. Presentations and role play will give experience of the development and interrogation situations; external industry practitioners will contribute to discussions. LA Design , one of the UK’s leading product design and development consultancies has participated in the development of this course and is expected to take an active role in working with the students.

You could also have the opportunity to make trips to London to visit the leading influences in product design and will participate in visits to manufacturing companies (availability and additional costs may apply).

Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve the various learning outcomes, which will be clearly set out on all project briefs. There is one written assignment per year and the rest of the coursework is in the form of practical projects, usually mounted on boards and accompanied by developmental work and sketchbooks. Some project submissions are electronic and in these cases you’ll either supply a disc, flash drive or load your work onto the University server.   Coursework is assessed using a variety of methods including: presentations, portfolio reviews, essays, reports, reflective logs, e-journals, blogs, displays and exhibitions.  

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:       

  • Practical or project work: 45%
  • Coursework, test, essays: 30%
  • Presentations, posters: 15%
  • Group work: 10%

On the successful completion of 180 level Masters credits, awards may be made with a ‘Distinction’ or ‘Merit’, based on the achievement of an average mark of at least 70% or 60% respectively. Students may be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if they achieve 120 credits and a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if they achieve 60 credits. Students may only progress to the final stage of Masters programmes after meeting the requirements for award of a Postgraduate Diploma.

30% assessed by coursework, test, essays

 On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The application of creative and logical thinking processes to solve product design problems and develop ideas through to material outcomes, considering issues of intellectual property, social impact and cultural sensitivities.
  • Key issues in product design, including user needs, relevant technologies, intellectual property rights, drivers of design and factors affecting compliance and responsibility, environmental, social, cultural and sustainability issues, emerging technologies and theories of consumption. 
  • Appropriate aesthetic frameworks and traditions in relation to serially produced artefacts. 
  • The relationship between aesthetic and functional dimensions of design. 
  • The principles of show 2D, 3D, and digital techniques as appropriate. 
  • The appropriate mathematical and engineering principles for  particular product design problems. 


On successful completion, you should be able to: 

  • Use advanced materials, production processes and construction relevant to user-end product design.
  • Understand how to give vision, strategy and leadership to a team of creative designers.
  • Utilise and reflect critically upon the drivers for design to generate a wide range of ideas, concepts, proposals solutions or arguments independently or collaboratively in response to set briefs or self-initiated activity.
  • Apply creative and logical thinking processes to the business of solving product design problems and develop ideas through to material outcomes.
  • Demonstrate analytical and critical ability including the ability to undertake visual analysis, evaluate designed objects in the context of their historical, social, ethical, political, cultural, business and environmental positions taking account of the requirements for production, clients, users, consumers and markets.
  • Practise and evaluate the processes involved in group and in independent work, including both convergent and divergent thinking in the processes of observation, investigation, speculative enquiry, visualisation and/or making.
  • Analyse the interrelationships within and between aspects of product design; to describe, interpret and evaluate designed artefacts from a range of critical perspectives, considering the context of their production, clients, users, consumers and markets and history of design processes.
  • Employ materials, media, techniques, methods, technologies and tools associated with product design through drawing, modelling and computer visualisation methods using skill and imagination.
  • Utilise the various means by which one can represent product design and judge their fitness for purpose; select and use various 2D, 3D and digital techniques appropriately to communicate design intent and detail.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 18 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks 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 each week.


In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed studying and practical work in your own time.

Coventry School of Art and Design has a multinational population and you will be working alongside students all over the globe. Throughout the course, projects will be set with an international focus, enhancing your global experience and broadening your mindset. You may have opportunities to take part in online international learning (OIL) projects working collaboratively across international boundaries with students on similar courses elsewhere in the world. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2014/15, we were able to provide a total of 2,264 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 73% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 27% from postgraduate travel. Plus, we've been able to help more than 5,000 students spend time in other countries, from America to China, India and beyond.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2014/15


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Entry Requirements

A good 2:2 undergraduate degree or higher gradein Industrial Design, Product Design, or subject with related content, plus a portfolio of relevant personal design work.

A good 2:2 undergraduate degree or higher gradein Industrial Design, Product Design, or subject with related content, plus a portfolio of relevant personal design work.

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS 6.5 or above. Pre-Sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

A good 2:2 undergraduate degree or higher gradein Industrial Design, Product Design, or subject with related content, plus a portfolio of relevant personal design work.

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS 6.5 or above. Pre-Sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.



September 2018

£6,500 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2018

£6,500 (per year)


For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2018

£12,500 (per year)


For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Career prospects

This course aims to develop your ability to design products with significant engineering or technological content to optimise solutions for specific consumer and professional markets and develop products which delight end users.

It is designed to prepare you for leadership and decision-making positions within product design agencies, manufacturing companies, design consultancies, research and development departments, research institutions and government bodies. Specific careers might include acting as a design team leader, design project manager, design researcher and design policy maker. You may even decide to develop your own business.

Professional enhancement is central to our ethos which is why we encourage collaboration with industry practitioners and work on ‘live’ project briefs. Students are expected to present their work in the final degree show to which the public and industry representatives are invited.

Our Creative Futures employment team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. It provides specialist careers information, advice and guidance to all our students from their first year through to final year and beyond graduation, helping them achieve their desired career outcome. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur.

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.

Where our graduates work

Our graduates have gone on to work with the top UK and international design-led companies: DCA in Warwick; Cambridge Consultants; PDD and Seymour Powell in London; Kinneir Dufort Design Ltd in Bristol; Princess Yachts; GE; Dyson; VAX; Ryobi; WPP; Lego; JMDA; Jaguar Land Rover and many other household names.


By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.

The tuition fees stated on the course webpage, prospectus and your offer letter will apply for the duration of your course, subject only to changes to the law or government requirement. Please note that we set fees for individual courses, and fees from previous years are no indication of fees for future years.