Automotive and Transport Design BA (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
A student working on creating a model of a vehicle

This course offers you the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to create innovative and visionary concept designs for all forms of transport.

Year of entry


Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Course code


Start date

September 2024
January 2025

Available through Clearing

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Course overview

Shaped by its stakeholders: students, staff and industry collaborators, the course is closely aligned to the automotive and transport industry. Constant updates ensure its graduates are future focused and ready to contribute meaningfully to their chosen industry.

  • Our aims are to link your passions and skillsets with your career aims, to enable and equip you with the attributes necessary to surpass your own expectations.
  • Within our industry the opportunities for specialising are increasing rapidly, therefore employability plays an important part in defining our course content and practices.
  • Our teaching and learning, influenced by industry practices, as well as research, are very much collaborative.
A star in the centre of a rosette.

Rated Gold Overall

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023

Five stars in a speech bubble.

5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

City buildings next to a tree.

Top 5 Student City in England (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2025

Why you should study this course

  • This course aims to develop your understanding of the latest developments, drivers, and practices of the automotive, transport and mobility designer beyond merely illustration and styling.
  • You can learn 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. Design realisation is supported by generous making spaces and technology so that you can create physical, or digital, models of your designs.
  • The learning environment is international with students typically coming from many parts of the world working together on global design solutions. We offer exciting international opportunities and project work collaborations2.  
  • The opportunity to extend your degree with our study abroad scheme2. Previous students have had the opportunity to experience and learn in China, India, the USA, and Colombia.
  • We have a very large alumni who take a great interest in active students and who offer opportunities in the form of teaching, collaborative industry projects, internships, and graduate employment2


  • Nanjing University of Science of Technology, (NJUST), China 

The course helped me learn a variety of skills, from manual to digital, as well as soft skills (such as working with and organising a team). Over the two years that I have been enrolled, I have developed both as a person and a professional and feel like I am being well prepared to work in the industry upon my graduation. Being a student ambassador for FAH, I also get the opportunity to interact with a greater variety of lecturers from different backgrounds and experiences, which is always beneficial for getting various perspectives.

Jelena Labudovic, Automotive and Transport Design student, 2022
Students sat at a table together with cups of coffee

School of Art and Design Showcase

Engage with and explore the talents and achievements of our art and design Foundation Year course and final-year students.

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What you'll study

This course has a common first year.

The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn. 

If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).

Common first year courses

  • Automotive and Transport Design (BA Hons)
  • Graphic Design (BA Hons)
  • Product Design (BA Hons)

In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.


In year two, you will continue to develop the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt. We do this by embedding the following four principles into the curriculum and developing your: 

  • Technical skills – digital fluency, backed with the right academic knowledge
  • Study skills – to be an adaptive, independent and proactive learner
  • Professional skills – to have the behaviour and abilities to succeed in your career
  • Global awareness – the beliefs and abilities to be a resilient, confident and motivated global citizen

You will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with: design innovations, designing for the future, and investing design work, amongst others. 


There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future. 

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement. 


Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from year one and two.  


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’s teaching and learning mirrors the needs of the creative industries with the aim of ensuring that our graduates are equipped with the skills and attributes to become Industry specialists, leaders, and innovators to drive social responsibility and design global change.

The Creative Industries’ ability to be entrepreneurial, innovative and embrace change underpins our Art and Design courses. Our studio and workshop culture ensures you are socially responsible in our creative community and develop critical thinking in research and ‘make’ processes. Our global initiatives will give you skills to become collaborative communicators and make you culturally competent in the ever-changing world of art or design.

As the creative arena is an ever-evolving space, being curious and adaptable learners is key to our school’s graduate. You will learn how to recognise your strengths and learning needs, how to self-reflect and grow, and you will identify your personal development and drive your projects for ambitious career aspirations.

Methods of study include:

  • workshops, demonstrations, seminars, and lectures
  • seminar, critiques and tutorials, feedback, and peer to peer sessions
  • studio practice and bookable workshop access

Teaching contact hours

You will typically have 15 to 18 hours per week in your first year, 12 to 15 hours in your second year, and 9 to 12 hours in your final year. The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online activities.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study each week of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

We understand that everyone learns differently, so we’ll look to manage your learning journey to match your strengths and aspirations. Your learning experience on each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which can include:

  • On campus lectures, seminars and workshops
  • Group work
  • Self-directed learning
  • Work placement opportunities2.

If you would like more information, you can request information about teaching hours.

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs.  This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work. 

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.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions or orders, and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Your learning journey will be wide-ranging, developing your work to have integrity, resilience and be authentic in its production and delivery. The learning that you will undertake includes sessions that are led by staff, group projects, guided learning and directed skill sessions.

You will be assessed using a variety of methods which could vary depending upon the module. In the School of Art and Design we design our assessment methods to replicate the creative industries’ 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
  • Practical Coursework 
  • Digital Coursework
  • Individual Assignments
  • Live presentations

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

There may be opportunities to engage in international collaborative projects with students on similar courses globally. 

We run Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects with participating institutions, that are very popular with the participating students2. They offer great opportunities for gaining insights into international approaches to design and to network.

You may also obtain international professional experience if you decide to undertake an optional placement year2

It is great to see new students start the course with tremendous raw passion and watch their journey of discovery as they progress through the course. They work hard at developing their skillsets, their knowledge of design and the automotive and transport design industry. It is then very gratifying to see them graduate and find work in their chosen field of expertise. 
The icing on the cake is when they return as professionals offering opportunities to students following in their footsteps.

Alan Barrett, BA Automotive and Transport Design Course Director, April 2022
3D model of cars in car park

Entry requirements

Clearing places available on this course

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Additional requirements may apply

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £9,250 per year Not available
EU £9,250 per year with EU Support Bursary**
£19,850 per year without EU Support Bursary**
Not available
International £19,850 per year Not available

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

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

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


We have generous studio and making spaces4. Our studio environment allows you to experience working practices that are typical in industry, and our workshops are equipped so that you can use a large variety of different materials and processes to make physical models.

For digital work we have PC labs equipped with high performance machines that can handle digital modelmaking, visualisation and animation. We make sure we have the latest industry compatible software packages.

  • Immersive studios provide VR and mixed-reality technologies.
  • Workshops: state of the art robotic milling, rapid prototyping, desktop CNC milling, 3D printing, digital scanners, large block material workshops, large scale painting facilities, hack spaces and manual workshops.
  • Specialist design studios: with presentation, VR, pin-up spaces, small group break out areas, Wi-Fi throughout, a dedicated print bureau for 2D outputs up to A0 size, and art supplies shops.
  • Clay studios: automotive clay is a valuable method to build scale models and evaluate forms. This iterative process is still an effective means to evolve complex automotive surfaces and shapes.

Careers and opportunities

Employability is a major strength of the course. The curriculum embeds industry interactions (such as short work experience, client projects, industry-aligned/inspired briefs) to offer the best preparation possible to help students to obtain graduate employment and achieve their career aspirations2.

Students graduating from this course have traditionally enjoyed good employment in a range of design specific roles and this course allows students to change direction during their studies. This is important to a rapidly changing automotive and transport design environment, and the roles and transferable skills inherent in the professions and associated enterprises (e.g., start-up businesses, consultancy, and research). This further improves student chances of focused graduate employment.

The course has been designed to respond in an agile way to feedback and interaction with our contacts and industrial collaborators.

Career opportunities in automotive and transport design are vast and varied. You could start your own business, become a design consultant, modeller, illustrator, CAD professional, design manager or marketing professional. Graduates have found opportunities in automotive exterior and interior design, lighting systems design, clay and ‘hard’ modelling, digital modelling and surfacing, 3D visualisation and animation, colour and materials design, user interface design, lifestyle products and design research.

Career-focused activities are embedded in the curriculum and delivered in close partnership with the Talent Team. The Talent Team work closely with the course to offer CV and portfolio guidance, professional practice internship support, employability support and graduate support, and a comprehensive range of workshops2.   

Where our graduates work

  • Jaguar Land Rover Rolls-Royce Motor Cars 
  • Changan Automobile 
  • Winch Yachts EAV ARC Vehicles Arrival Drive Design 
  • Bellwether Industries 
  • TCY Design 
  • AVANT Design 
  • Overfinch 
  • Codemasters Software Company

Further study

You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.

When I got into the ATD course I had a very clear vision of what I’d like to achieve and become. But the course gave me a wider perspective of professional world and it opened doors to many other fields. Due to university connections with industry, in my third year I got a placement in Toyota Lexus at French Riviera and in my final year I was offered an internship as a Colour and Materials Designer at Jaguar Land Rover. Tutors were extremely supportive throughout the four years. I am very grateful to them for guiding me and mentoring.

Grete Jakubauskaite, Automotive and Transport Design student, 2022
Student using Cruden F1 simulator at Coventry University

How to apply

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