Product Design Innovation MA

 

Course Code

AHT042

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time

Duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time
16-24 months (with professional experience)

Start date

January 2023
May 2023


Course overview

Study level: Postgraduate

The Product Design Innovation course prepares its students for global employment as creative, innovative and strategic problem solvers.

Our students work collaboratively in an internationalised, cross-disciplinary and transcultural context. The focus of the course is on employing research and critical and creative thinking skills to solve complex 3D design problems with imagination and insight.

  • Research and critical and creative thinking are at the heart of all projects, as is ensuring students recognise sustainable and ethical approaches.
  • You will have the option to apply for a ‘professional experience’ opportunity2, designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects. See modules for more information.
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Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

Students are guided towards creative, imaginative and innovative ways of problem solving and investigation.

Students are provided with multiple options for the expression of creative explorations, including academic writing, poster design, multi-media outcomes, model making, oral and visual presentations, digital portfolios and online content. Key features of the course are the opportunity for working with live client projects2 (subject to availability) and where possible, Collaborative Online International Learning projects (COIL).

  • 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 Shop4.
  • Extensive facilities include4 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.
  • 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.

What you'll study

During Semester 1 students will focus on collaborative learning experiences and the development of a community of PG learning.

 It will focus on creative processes and contexts and provide a theoretical and practical introduction to academic standards of research and ethics which are core to level 7 study. This is parallel to the first specialist module where students will personally reflect on prior knowledge, experience and aspirations and think about future goals.

In Semester 2 students will critically develop their specialist practice/interests and start to question where personal boundaries and creative activities can be furthered or built upon at PG level. Students will work closely with peers and consider their own practice in a professional context. Importantly students will through negotiation and mentorship begin to develop a clear and research inspired project focus for their Final Project that takes place in Semester 3.

Structured around the three themes of communication, collaboration and creativity, we focus on the design of products that interface directly with people and are manufactured through methods of mass production. Within competitive markets, the ability to interpret and manage ‘user’ perception and expectations is just as important within the overall design process as the functional, operational and production considerations. 

Modules

  • This module explores the nature and definitions of research in art, architecture and design-based disciplines. You will also have the opportunity to work with students across the postgraduate disciplines within the School of Art and Design and internationally to enable you to develop a broader understanding of the context for your practice, encouraging you to dynamically engage with external partners and apply your ideas in ‘real world contexts'.

    Compulsory

  • This module places product design into a cross-cultural and transdisciplinary design context. The focus of this study is on idea generation and creativity techniques that are directly applicable to the product design and its innovation. Students will acquire technical knowledge and a sound understanding of research-based enquiry.

    Compulsory

  • This module asks students to consider the professional contexts of their discipline. It explores the ways in which creativity, innovation, problem-solving and entrepreneurship intersect in creative practice. It employs real-world examples to enable student to think about their professional practice, employability, portfolio development and approaches to communication.

    Compulsory

  • This MA level module places innovation into a cross-cultural and transdisciplinary design context. The aim is to look at design problems and opportunities from a user perspective and with a consideration for a global interior design context.

    During this module students will work on an individual and a group design project. The individual project is centred around developing or building upon prior specialist skills, knowledge and experience and refining them for subsequent productively managed group design activity.

    Compulsory

  • This module requires the management and implementation of an appropriate critical investigation. It will be based upon a project plan developed over Semester 1 and 2. This module will help gain specialist insight or a new knowledge base to support Final Specialist Project. The outcome will be a personal project brief or initial creative directions inspired by the data, discourse or analysis.

    Compulsory

  • The module is based on students selecting a series of topics related to intercultural and transnational communication, professional development and management/leadership to provide students with both a theoretical and practical framework to help build key skills.

    Compulsory

  • The Final Project will comprise of a major design project that is agreed during the Final Project Plan. The project requires students to apply research conclusions drawn in the Product Design Innovation Specialist Investigation module and the resultant research informed product design brief and transform them through design techniques and innovative approaches into a novel, viable, desirable product design solution or set of solutions that are appropriate to user, stakeholder and design context.

    Compulsory

With professional experience option

The professional experience opportunity2 enables you the opportunity to apply for optional professional experience in semester 1, which, upon successfully securing an opportunity, will extend the duration of your master’s to either 16, 20 or 24 months. The professional experience provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability.

Please note that the optional professional experience modules incur an additional tuition fee, for which 1 semester of professional experience is £1,333.33, for 2 semesters of professional experience is £2666.67, and for 3 semesters of professional experience is £4,000.

Professional experience may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Professional experience opportunities are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of our Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Find out more about the professional experience option.

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

Our teaching methods include a combination of:

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

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.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants.

Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.


Teaching contact hours

The number of contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 13 contact hours per week.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

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 vary depending upon the module. In the School of Art and Design we design our assessment methods to replicate the creative industry ways of working. This ensures that you have the chance to learn skills for future career opportunities.

Assessment methods include:

  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual Assignments

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


International experience opportunities

Coventry School of Art and Design has a multinational population and you will have the opportunity to work alongside students from all over the globe2. We see this as a particular strength of the course as it enables students to work alongside students from differing cultural backgrounds and design perspectives. It gives them experience of working collaboratively and cross-culturally. The capacity to work across cultural and disciplinary boundaries is becoming an essential skill in our ever-more interconnected world.

Collaborative learning may include exchange lectures by International academics, visiting tutors from our link universities on site in the UK and abroad. Many of our courses run Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects allowing you to develop cultural connections and global design sensitivity with students from other Universities from around the world. 


Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have an undergraduate degree in design or engineering.

Non-design applicants can be accepted on the basis of evidence of projects or activities that signal a creative, problem-solving ability. 

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

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Portfolio

No portfolio will be required if the academic qualifications in the subject area as defined above are met.

If a portfolio is required it should feature a maximum of approximately 10-15 examples of work or 3-4 projects undertaken within the past 2 years, 3 or 4 of which should be major, substantial, in-depth projects which demonstrate ability to conceptualise solutions to creative problems, and to assimilate and combine written language or content with the visual. This will clearly demonstrate the level of creative, craft and production skills achieved, either in a previous course of study or in a professional design studio, as a freelance designer or during an internship.

Projects should ideally accompanied by a brief summary of the work or projects, notes on the software used, and dated. As a graphic designer a genuine, demonstrable interest in typography and good typographic skills is required beyond the basic level.

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.

Applicants should normally have an undergraduate degree in design or engineering.

Non-design applicants can be accepted on the basis of evidence of projects or activities that signal a creative, problem-solving ability.

Portfolio

No portfolio will be required if the academic qualifications in the subject area as defined above are met.

If a portfolio is required it should feature a maximum of approximately 10-15 examples of work or 3-4 projects undertaken within the past 2 years, 3 or 4 of which should be major, substantial, in-depth projects which demonstrate ability to conceptualise solutions to creative problems, and to assimilate and combine written language or content with the visual. This will clearly demonstrate the level of creative, craft and production skills achieved, either in a previous course of study or in a professional design studio, as a freelance designer or during an internship.

Projects should ideally accompanied by a brief summary of the work or projects, notes on the software used, and dated. As a graphic designer a genuine, demonstrable interest in typography and good typographic skills is required beyond the basic level.

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.

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Fees and funding

2022/23 tuition fees.

Student Full time Part time
UK £10,600 per year Request fee information
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

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is joining two of our school’s completely refurbished Art and Design buildings and adding a range of new facilities, which is planned to open fully in 2023.

These will include a hyper studio designed for cross-disciplinary projects; immersive studios with cutting-edge virtual reality and mixed-reality technologies<sup>4</sup>. Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities in a unique environment.

Student using the facilities in the digital design workshop

Design workshops

Our digital and printing workshops bring your ideas to life through different media. You’ll find a high-powered laser cutter, 3D printers, scanners and traditional print-making and making workshops for etching, silk-screen printing, relief printing and woodwork, as well as a generously stocked letterpress room.

Student in a Mac studio

PC and Mac suites

Maximise your learning in our cutting-edge computer suites. You'll have access to PCs and Macs running the latest industry standard software needed for your course, including graphic design packages such as Adobe Creative Suite.


 

Student and lecturer working in studio

Studio-centric working

In the School of Art and Design, we shape our teaching and assessment methods to replicate the creative industry ways of working. This includes working in a studio-centric working environment.

 


 


Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Undertake research and evaluative reflection in order to synthesize and articulate an advanced knowledge of the theoretical and thematic concerns within product design and innovation practice.
  • Deploy skills, techniques and technologies with originality and imagination in relation to a defined discipline for continued product design and innovation practice at an advanced level.
  • Realise complex and ambitious artefacts/projects for identified and diverse audiences and contexts.
  • Contribute to the shaping of a global contemporary discourse by engaging with innovative, experimental, hybrid and creative approaches design practice.
  • Deploy advanced personal skills, judgement and critical awareness enabling problem-solving and innovation applicable to a wide range of creative, professional, social and collaborative contexts.
  • Critically and creatively engage industrial design insights and experience to manage innovative design activity and effective stakeholder/professional engagement.

This course develops 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.

Professional enhancement is central to our ethos which is why we encourage collaboration with industry practitioners and work on ‘live’ briefs2.

Upon completion of the final major project the students also take part in a degree show.

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates have gone on to win design posts in prestigious international companies, including:

  • Lenovo – (Designer) China
  • Asus – (Designer) Taiwan
  • JBnJaws Production (Creative Lead) India
  • TC Product quality people (Product Development Technician) UK
  • Inclusive Product Design (Freelance Designer) UK
  • Central Academy of Fine Art (Lecturer) China
  • Shanghai Design Agency - (Designer) China
  • Heshan Qing Ye Weaving (Manager) China
  • Tata Interactive Systems (Designer) Germany
  • Sismo Design (Product Designer) Paris

How to apply

  • 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. A copy of the 2022/23 contract can be found here. 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.

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