Automotive and Transport Design MA

 

Course Code

AHT043

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time

Duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2022
January 2023


Course overview

Study level: Postgraduate

This course offers you the opportunity to develop core skills demanded by design studios or global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

  • We currently have major industry links, and you should have a chance to show your work to industry leaders. Ultimately, you will be provided with the opportunity to get ahead with our Automotive Design MA.
  • Working on studio delivered briefs and ‘live’ industry projects, you will be taught the underlying theory, 2D and latest 3D techniques used to resolve automotive design challenges within the areas of exterior, interior, colour and trim design. We offer state-of-the-art facilities, including an automotive clay modelling studio, laser cutting, rapid prototyping, 3D printing and a 12-camera motion capture studio for the measurement of human motion, machine interaction and biomechanics.
  • Past graduates have gone on to become design directors and chief designers at Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, Ford, Aston Martin, Lotus, Tata, SAIC, PSA (Peugeot-Citroen), Johnson Controls, Faurecia, and Volvo.
  • This master's programme provides you with the additional option2 to apply for a professional experience opportunity during your first semester with us. The professional experience opportunity is designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects.
globe decorative icon

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

human silhouette teaching in front of blackboard

Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Resume icon displaying a paper and pen

Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

Designed to teach you the skills, knowledge and expertise to produce innovative and visionary automotive designs, this course has been developed with significant input and continuing support from automotive design professionals.

  • Our current excellent industry links, with employers such as JLR, SAIC, PSA (Peugeot-Citroen), Ford, Honda and Renault, may provide opportunities for ‘live’ collaborative projects, industry visits and networking. To broaden and contextualise your understanding of the automotive industry, we also currently have access to the Transport Motor Museum in Coventry and automotive manufacturing at Bentley in Crewe and MINI UK in Oxford.
  • Coventry has gained an international reputation for automotive research and teaching covering design, engineering, business and media. A former winner of ‘Best Design School’ in the World Automotive Design competition, we have hosted major symposiums on the future of transport design, future of automotive design conferences and the ITS-UK Automotive User Interest Group.
  • You will be taught by a faculty which currently includes specialists in automotive, transport and broader industrial design with expertise in concept generation, modelling, interior, exterior and design-led development of low carbon vehicles. Their extensive professional experience includes working for well-known companies like Mercedes-Benz, PSA, General Motors, Daihatsu, Nissan and Ford.
  • We deliberately strike a balance between traditional hand-processes and emerging technologies. You’ll participate in workshops for block material, automotive clay modelling and handwork, while having access to laser cutting, rapid prototyping (5-axis & 3-axis milling) and 3D printing.
  • You will develop the advanced knowledge needed to function as critical and effective practitioners, able to demonstrate excellence in visual aesthetics and develop conceptual designs in and from two-dimensions into three-dimensions.

Discover MA Automotive Design student Haichao Li’s work for the Coventry Degree Show postgraduate showcase.

More than just a degree

Although I have 5 years of work experience, I have learned a lot of useful knowledge needed to be a good car designer; such as the matters needing attention when designing automobiles, how to analyse and investigate the automobile design and how to apply this knowledge to the future development of automobiles, and how to plan your career. We also have the chance to cooperate with OEMs like Jaguar Land Rover, JCB and Mazda.

Tianyu Zhang, MA Automotive and Transport Design student, September 2021
Tianyu Zhang

What you'll study

This course develops your understanding of the latest developments, drivers and practices of the automotive designer.

You will be taught to create innovative product design solutions in a range of styles and media, which factor in purpose, usability, materials, ecology, desirability, technological feasibility and professional constraints.

You will explore briefs and investigate global design drivers, markets and emerging opportunities to produce solutions at the forefront of the sector. The overall goal will be to innovatively challenge existing or future design through investigative and creative approaches. You will build upon existing skills and knowledge and develop professional design competencies that are industry relevant and/or focus on their capability to explore transport issues, opportunities and solutions at a more creative, holistic or systems-based level.

Modules

  • This module explores the nature and definitions of research in art, architecture and design-based disciplines. You are introduced to interdisciplinary research methods and ethical practices from a range of perspectives. Understanding of research and ethics is demonstrated through the completion of an online research submission, and through practical exploration and experimentation conducted, recorded and analysed as a research project.

    Compulsory

  • By using design project brief/s, you will build upon design knowledge and practical visualisation skills required in the areas of 2D representation, 3D form and surface development, as well as the theory and practices of professional automotive and transport designers. You will explore automotive and transport related contextual issues (branding, user-experience and HMI, sustainability, scenario planning).

    Compulsory

  • This module allows you to develop a Final Project Plan. Research itself is taken to be a wide-ranging activity that includes visual, social, cultural and factual information gathering as well as investigating the potential practical outcome of your project. Developing knowledge of your industry of interest, and visits to international trade events, seminars, production facilities, exhibitions and social and retail environments are encouraged and expected.

    You will be encouraged to refocus your skills intellectually, contextually and practically, to extend and exploit art and design strategies, from both your own and other disciplines, and to question and test your ideas through seminars and group critiques. You will ultimately create a clear plan of action for your final semester of study. You will also be expected review the ethical considerations of your project.

    Compulsory

  • This module explores the ways in which creativity, innovation, problem-solving and entrepreneurship relate to creative and professional practice. It employs real-world examples to enable you to think about your professional practice, employability, portfolio development, and approaches to communication.

    You will further build and develop a personal portfolio which will support your potential career aims and develop your personal ‘voice’. Routes to employment, contemporary roles within the creative industries, and opportunities for entrepreneurship and will be explored. You will interrogate potential opportunities; mapping requirements in order to make ongoing plans for your professional development and the potential for employment/entrepreneurship/further study on completing your study.

    Compulsory

  • Students will be given automotive or transport design briefs and will develop deeper knowledge and advanced skills which reflect professional practices in design studio environments and creative practices. There will be a strong focus on research and evaluation to define design requirements and design briefs. This will inform a creative response and the proposal of innovative and aesthetically compelling design responses that have strong contextual focus and user feasibility e.g. related to future trends or global challenges such as emerging technologies sustainability, science and technology, population and resources.

    Compulsory

  • This module requires you to implement the first part of the plan defined in the module ‘Automotive and Transport Design Final Project’. This module requires the management and implementation of an appropriate critical investigation. This will help you gain specialist insight or a new knowledge base to support Final Project. The outcome will be a personal project brief or initial creative directions inspired by the data, discourse or analysis. This is the most substantial theoretical assignment on the course and needs to be managed effectively. The output of this module can be presented in a negotiated form that has equivalent to a 3,500 word investigatory or exploratory report. For example, a research report, a digital media presentation, a research poster.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will undertake the delivery of a sustained practical design project. The module provides a space for you to display your skills, knowledge and design sensibilities. Outputs will be 2D and/or 3D, and show a good level of practical understanding and feasibility. The emphasis is placed on developing concepts which propose challenging and original solutions at the forefront of automotive or transport design practice. You will present your final work in the form of a presentation.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to critically assess the relationship between entrepreneurship and other domains of management, such as strategy and leadership. You will gain an understanding how entrepreneurial thinking can enhance organisational performance and leadership through the application of a more enterprising mind-set. By drawing on a wide range of scenarios, tasks and debates, this module will explore a range of entrepreneurial archetypes to help you explore your own entrepreneurial profile and potential.

    Compulsory

The ‘with work placement’ opportunity4 (Extended Master’s) enables you to apply in semester 1 for an optional work placement of 9 to 12 months, extending the duration of your Masters to 24 months. The placement provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability upon graduation. Please note that the optional work placement incurs an additional tuition fee of £4,000.

Professional experience placements may be paid or unpaid, and this will depend on what is being offered and agreed with the host organisation. Internships can be international, within the UK or may be internal, within the university. Students who secure appropriate campus-based professional experience, may undertake supervised projects, related research and activities designed to offer you the opportunity to develop and integrate curriculum related skills with an understanding of professional practice.

Modules

  • This module will provide you with a substantive professional experience. This will take the form of either an internship with a host organisation, or a campus-based professional experience. This experience will support the development of your personal and professional skills, such as communication, team-working, self-management, project management and critical reflection to enhance their future employability. You will be expected to augment your previous learning, in order to develop your knowledge and skills of professional practice in a field of your interest.

    Optional

  • This module will provide you with a substantive professional experience. This will take the form of either an internship with a host organisation, or a campus-based professional experience. This experience will support the development of your personal and professional skills, such as communication, team-working, self-management, project management and critical reflection to enhance their future employability. You will be expected to augment your previous learning, in order to develop your knowledge and skills of professional practice in a field of your interest.

    Optional

  • This module will provide you with a substantive professional experience. This will take the form of either an internship with a host organisation, or a campus-based professional experience. This experience will support the development of your personal and professional skills, such as communication, team-working, self-management, project management and critical reflection to enhance their future employability. You will be expected to augment your previous learning, in order to develop your knowledge and skills of professional practice in a field of your interest.

    Optional

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

The School of Art and Design often provides opportunities to engage in external or collaborative activities such as competition/Industry briefs and speakers beyond your course studies. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to support your learning journey.

Teaching contact hours

In a typical teaching week, you will have approximately 13 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This includes a combination of:

  • medium group teaching: workshops, seminars and lectures
  • small group teaching: seminar, critiques and tutorials
  • studio practice and bookable workshop access

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2022/2023 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include practical or project work, coursework, test, essays, presentations, placements and group work.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes.


International experience opportunities

Throughout the course, projects will be set with an international focus, with the aim of enhancing your global experience and broadening your mind-set. The studio briefs select a broad range of international brands and the live projects, which are mostly from clients, include international contributions.

You may also have opportunities to take part in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects2 working collaboratively across international boundaries.

What our alumni say

I was aware of Coventry University’s great reputation in the car design community before I applied to the MA Automotive Design programme, and I was not disappointed once I enrolled. The instructors are clearly passionate about the subject of automotive design and want to encourage that same passion in their students. The facilities are top-notch and the instructors are always on hand to offer advice or an honest critique.

Matt Finbow, MA Automotive and Transport Design, graduate of 2020
Two prototype car designs

Entry requirements

You should have a degree in industrial, product, automotive or transport design.

Entry Qualifications equivalent to 2:1 in an automotive, transport, industrial or product design related degree or relevant professional experience. A 500 word personal statement suggesting area of potential MA research. And an excellent portfolio which should:

  • Evidence vehicle exterior and interior design knowledge at a professional level (ideally through placement and/or professional experience) in critical evaluation, creative problem solving, and presentation. Freehand sketching (sketchbooks, etc.) skills and exploration of a wide range of ideas must be extensively demonstrated through project work.
  • Illustrate proficiency in developing automotive surfaces and volumes from 2D to 3D through automotive clay modelling or appropriate analogue materials and in CAD.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

Chat with us

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

You should have a degree in industrial, product, automotive or transport design.

Entry Qualifications equivalent to 2:1 in an automotive, transport, industrial or product design related degree or relevant professional experience. A 500 word personal statement suggesting area of potential MA research. And an excellent portfolio which should:

  • Evidence vehicle exterior and interior design knowledge at a professional level (ideally through placement and/or professional experience) in critical evaluation, creative problem solving, and presentation. Freehand sketching (sketchbooks, etc.) skills and exploration of a wide range of ideas must be extensively demonstrated through project work.
  • Illustrate proficiency in developing automotive surfaces and volumes from 2D to 3D through automotive clay modelling or appropriate analogue materials and in CAD.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

Chat with us


Fees and funding

Student Full time Part time
UK £10,600 per year Not available
International £16,950 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.


Facilities

We have a wealth of digital and traditional workshops4 and learning spaces that allow you to learn to make and manufacture.

Our Digital and Industrial workshops house 3D rapid prototyping, laser cutters, and milling machines which students studying Architecture to Graphic Design can access. We have the famous clay modelling studios that allow you to realise your transport and product design solutions, as well as a large digital print bureau, ceramic, and small metal working workshop.

Design software being used on a laptop

Digital Design Workshop  

Our Digital Design Workshop brings your ideas to life through different media. Here you’ll find a high-powered laser cutter, printers, scanners and industry-standard software used for technical drawing and environmental modelling.

 

Clay Studio with students working

Clay studio

In our clay studio, your ideas become realised by using technological software and clay. We focus on digital and physical 3D modelling, providing a deeper understanding of visualisation techniques and experimentation.

 

Outside of the computer suites

Computer suites

Our computer suites use industry software used in modelling, animation and analysis. This includes graphic, modelling and visualisation packages such as Alias, Maya, Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino, Vector works, Showcase, VRED and SRAMSIS and Jack ergonomics software. 


Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you will have knowledge of:

  • The visual, analytical and aesthetic synthesis between 2D images and 3D forms.
  • The ways in which designers work and their role in the design and business process, environment and sustainability.
  • Issues pertaining to the relationship between vehicle design theory and practice at a practical, advanced and conceptual level.
  • The role of the human as a user of the vehicle product and identify critical user issues.

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the appropriate aesthetic sensibilities through the application of theory and practical knowledge and skills to an automotive design project. 
  • Appraise, examine and evaluate the automotive product from a range of critical perspectives.
  • Analyse future trends/scenarios and problems of a creative nature and propose original cohesive solutions.
  • Evaluate design theory, ideas and solutions against automotive design practices.
  • Demonstrate drawing and presentation skills commensurate with professional design studios.

International companies are keen to employ our graduates to acquire their skills and knowledge of the automotive design process. Past graduates have gone on to become design directors and chief designers at Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, Ford, Aston Martin, Lotus, Tata, SAIC, PSA (Peugeot-Citroen), Johnson Controls, Faurecia, and Volvo.

Career opportunities are considered vast and varied within automotive design, research, teaching and design management. You could start your own business, become a design consultant, modeller, illustrator, CAD professional, design manager or marketing professional.

Our Talent Team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support, or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries (subject to availability and application). 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.

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates have been recruited by some of the industry’s most well-known manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Honda, GM, Hyundai, SAIC, Tata and Geely. Some have become consultants for companies such as Concept Group International and Drive. 

Turning a passion into a degree

Automotive and Transport Design MA 2020 graduate Jimmy Chang shares his experience of the course and why he chose to study Automotive Design, in the hope it might help future applicants.

Read Jimmy's story
Jimmy Chang in the university workshop

How to apply

You may also like

Coventry University (Coventry) Female reporter interviewing a male race driver

Automotive Journalism MA

Coventry University (Coventry) clear view of male student talking to female with laptop turned away from camera

Product Design Innovation MA


  • 1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2022/23 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.