Product Design MDes/BA (Hons) 2019/20 entry

Clearing 2019

Clearing places available on this course

We have limited places available on this course through Clearing.

Rise above


As some of my lecturers still work in industry, they understand how the sector is constantly improving and evolving which I find very inspirational.

Unjali, Media Production BA (Hons)

Course code:

W24D (BA Hons)
W243 (MDes)

Study options:

3 years full-time (BA award)
4 years full-time (MDes award)


Coventry University


September 2019



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


This studio-based course will allow you to explore, create and develop the skills to design innovative products that deliver a rich experience to the user. You’ll have access to extensive specialist facilities and guidance from our experienced practitioners.

Coventry has taught product design for almost 30 years. We have excellent links with a wide range of local and international employers, such as Lego, Dyson, Cambridge Consultants, Kinneir Dufort, Jaguar Land Rover, Herman Miller, Aston Martin, Speedo, Electrolux, Reebok, DCA and Seymour Powell.

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.

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

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

What our students say...

I love design and the whole process you go through to get to a finished product and this course allows you to explore that process.

Daniel Hiscoke

Course information

If you like the idea of developing innovative new products, our long-established degree seeks to equip you with a broad range of skills, enabling you to create all types of products – from wearable technology to sports footwear to luxury aircraft seating. It could set you on course to become the next Jonathan Ive, Phillipe Starke, Thomas Heatherwick, Bethan Gray or James Dyson!

You will learn to create innovative product design solutions in a range of styles and media, appropriate to the specific audience and purpose, taking account of critical factors, such as usability, materials, ecology, desirability, technological feasibility and professional constraints.


of our MDes students are satisfied by the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Course Specification
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The first year introduces you to the fundamentals of product design. You will learn both 2D and 3D design skills to represent your design intentions, including drawing for design and modelling in different materials.

We consider the impact of human factors, branding, design in context, design analysis and manufacturing. Sustainability is a theme throughout the course, we start by examining the impact of social, environmental and commercial issues around product design, and the possibilities presented by new technologies and future concepts.


  • 2D Design Experience

  • 3D Design Experience

  • Product Design for Manufacture

  • Integrated Design Process 1

  • Professional ID Studies 1


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

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


During the second year, you will learn how to evaluate your work in relation to identified objectives, focusing on your own strengths and interests.

We will consider current issues in interior design, design history, branding and design for different market places. Industry-standard advanced 3D computing and animating of computer models is simultaneously studied and practised with free-form styling clay modelling.


  • 3D Form and Presentation

  • Branding and Product Design

  • Research Informed Product Design

  • Integrated Design Process 2

  • Professional ID Studies 2


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

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


After your second year, you have an opportunity to take a sandwich year, studying abroad or on professional placement.

Past students have gained placements with Seymour Powell, Vax, PDD, JMDA, Cambridge Consultants, Design Works, PDG and 1HQ.


  • Study abroad or professional placement


The final year brings together your skills, knowledge and understanding to produce a professional portfolio and may include entry to a national design competition. Our 2016 graduate Chuko Cribb won the prestigious New Designers’ Kingfisher award for his urban spaces project, which incorporated a unique design to grow vegetables in a small space and using less water resources.

You will also undertake a major project and exhibit in our Degree Show. Past students have used placement experience with Adidas to design sports footwear, and experience with Vax to develop new concepts in air conditioning.


  • BA (Hons)

    • Design Enquiry
    • Professional ID Studies 3
    • Product Design BA Final Major Project Ideation
    • Product Design BA Final Major Project Work

  • MDes

    • Design Management
    • Research for Design and Reflective Practice
    • Product Design MDes Final Major Project Ideation
    • Product Design MDes Final Major Project Work


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

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

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.


We are ranked as the 15th best University in the United Kingdom in The Guardian University Guide 2020

In more detail...

  • Opportunity to practice form development using 3D styling Clay
  • High levels of student satisfaction – 92% overall and 93% for the quality of teaching in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Rated in the top 10 for student employability by BIDA, the British Industrial Design Association and Ranked 8th in the UK for ‘Design and Crafts’ in the Guardian University Guide 2019
  • Links with universities in Europe, Asia, China, North and South America provide opportunities to study abroad and gain an international perspective (subject to availability and additional costs).
  • Specialist design studios feature drawing tables, presentation AV equipment, wireless internet access, supported by a dedicated print bureau for 2D outputs up to A0 size and the CSAD Art Shop.
  • Outstanding track record for graduate employment – 90% of our graduates go on to work or study within six months of finishing the course, with 70% of those employed in a professional or managerial job (DLHE 2014/15).
  • 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, large scale painting facilities, styling clay workshops and handwork shops.
  • Computing suites offer modelling, animation and analysis software, as well as graphic and word-processing packages, including Rhino, Adobe Creative Suite, Alias, Maya, Vector works. Visualisation is supported with software such as Bunkspeed, Keyshot, Showcase and VRED.
  • Our regular speaker programme makes use of our extensive links with specialists and current practitioners – with past presentations from Ian McCallum - Jaguar, Carsten Astheimer Design, Penny Hale - Haptic Architecture, Zoe Loughlin – Institute of Making, Maeve Keane and Heather McQuaid - Future Tonic HCD.

Support applying for placement opportunities with previous examples including Seymour Powell, Cambridge Consultants, Design Works and 1HQ.

Your main study themes are:

  • 2D and 3D design: You will be introduced to 2D and 3D illustrative and communication techniques practiced throughout the international product design community. Each assignment will be initiated with a different focus so that on completion you will able to demonstrate your competence in a variety of 2D visualisation and 3D modelling techniques.

  • Product design for manufacture: We explore the principles and relationships involved in the selection of materials and processes for manufacture, their influence on aesthetics and functionality. 

  • Professional studies: We will guide you on your journey to becoming a professional design practitioner. We will encourage autonomous activity in making, drawing, collecting, organising and developing images and other key personal ‘triggers of interest’ in a sketchbook that acts as a log of your work. The sketchbook is intended to be a constant companion and provide a place to note, draw and explore all aspects of design activity taught on courses or initiated in other ways. You will be introduced to the nature of professional design related employment and we will assist you in producing evidence of your progress towards becoming a design professional into a formal portfolio of design work. The main outcome will become a ‘passport to the community of practice’ of professional designers.

  • 3D modelling: Develops your understanding of translating 2D ideas into 3D form, manipulating form to support visual brand language and the use of 3D CAD software to enable the forms you create to be manufactured using the latest digital technologies.

  • Design enquiry: You will be encouraged to demonstrate your capability to undertake an investigative activity that forms the basis for research and key knowledge that underpins the work of design practitioners in their field. Research may include: design practice, theory, management and the context of design, such as historical influence, contemporary practitioners, political and commercial agendas, market trends and analysis, sustainability, brand, technological developments and societal needs.

The course normally lasts three years (BA (Hons)) or four years (MDes) when studied full-time and four to six years part-time. You can start in September.

You will have 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.

Several pieces of design work will be tackled each year. Projects are set to fully represent the range and duration expected in commercial practice. Specific ‘drivers’ of design, such as environmental impact, inclusive design, assistive technology, blue sky thinking, engineering or brand image will provide a range of changing and demanding possibilities.

As the course progresses, you will follow a ‘self-selected display’ format when selecting items for exhibition or inclusion within your portfolio, common in art and design practice. The act of choosing your most powerful work develops valuable skills in self-promotion, reflection and helps to inform personal development.

We provide technical support and access to industry-standard software and hardware, as well as in other technologies like silkscreen, letterpress and laser-cutting from specialist technicians. In addition, you may have the opportunity to sign up for workshops designed to enrich your skills in things like sublimation, photography, print-making and digital media.

During your course of study, we organise field trips to museums and galleries across the UK, which have previously included the V&A, Ikon, Herbert, National Gallery, Photography Gallery and Design Museum. We exhibit at New Designers in London each year, we also offer study trips abroad, previously to Berlin, Rome, Seville and Lisbon to visit museums, design collections and exhibitions and to observe cultural diversity and local practice.

We pride ourselves on having visiting designers, consultants and researchers from major design, creativity and brand management consultancies, such as Imagination and Seymour Powell.

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/posters 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. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding 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; the role of ergonomic principles and other human factors in addressing needs, including the use of anthropometric data.
  • 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.

We firmly believe that a future design career must fit a global context and we encourage you to engage in an international experience during your study. There may be opportunities for exchange with students on similar courses in overseas universities. We have links with Delft University in Holland, Oulu Game LAB in Finland, Strate Ecole de Design à Sévres in Paris, Universidad Europea de Madrid in Spain and Zhejiang University of Media and Communications in China. You can also choose to undertake a professional placement abroad with previous students working at EMO Design in Italy, PDG Ltd and MMID in Germany and GlaxoSmithKline in the UK, or with consultancies set up by our alumni such as Sisidea in China.

Furthermore, Coventry School of Art and Design has a multinational population and you will be working alongside students from 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, like a recent project with design and engineering students at Colombia EAFIT University.

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 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days. 

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 2016/17)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


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

What our students say...

I love design and the whole process you go through to get to a finished product and this course allows you to explore that process.

Daniel Hiscoke

Clearing places available on this course

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Additional requirements may apply

What our students say...

I love design and the whole process you go through to get to a finished product and this course allows you to explore that process.

Daniel Hiscoke

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.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2019

£9,250 (per year)

UK Scholarships

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 2019

£9,250 (per year)

EU Scholarships

For the September 2019 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2019

£15,600 (per year)

International Scholarships

For the September 2019 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

As well as covering UK field trips, key materials and laser print, the fees for this course also include:

  • Voucher for the CSAD Art Shop

The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

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

EU student fees

EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2019/20 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans

EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans

EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

What our students say...

I love design and the whole process you go through to get to a finished product and this course allows you to explore that process.

Daniel Hiscoke

Career prospects

Your creative thinking, problem solving and communication skills are valued by employers and could lead to roles not just in product design, but also design consultancy, design engineering, exhibition and events design, special FX model-making, point of sale design, product marketing or teaching.

Professional enhancement is central to our ethos and you will be encouraged to embrace either an industry placement or international study exchange before your final year. When you graduate, you should be used to working proactively to generate ideas as an individual or in teams and meeting deadlines.

The outcome of your final year will be presented in our prestigious Degree Show with a possible opportunity for you to present your work at an external venue, for example New Designers in London.

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.


of our Product Design BA graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DLHE 2014/15

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates have gone on to become design futures consultants, product marketing managers and patent agents, as well as a full range of more conventional product design roles.


Our graduates earn an average salary of £18,000 six months after the course (DLHE 2014/15)

What our alumni say

What has my course taught me? Everything! It’s allowed me to travel, I spent six months in Amsterdam on placement, then three months in China. It’s opened my eyes to a much bigger picture. I’ve learnt to sell myself, be proactive and get as much as I can out of every opportunity.

Jordan Littlewood, MDes Consumer Product Design, graduated in 2016

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 19/20 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.

The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK and EU 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 for UK and EU Students is expected to be in line with inflation. For international students, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
Coventry University UK top new University 2018
Coventry City of Culture 2021