Product Design BA (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: W24D
International Code: AHU043

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years full-time with study abroad / professional placement

Start date

September 2022


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Do you like the idea of developing innovative new products? If so, our long-established degree seeks to equip you with a broad range of skills to help you create all types of products, from wearable technology to sports footwear to luxury aircraft seating.

  • 2D and 3D design: You will be introduced to 2D and 3D illustrative and communication techniques practiced throughout the international product design community.
  • Product design for manufacture: We explore the principles and relationships involved in the selection of materials and processes for manufacture, and their influence on aesthetics, functionality and sustainability.
  • Professional studies: You will be introduced to the nature of professional design-related employment and assisted in producing a formal portfolio of design work, professional CV, identity and online profile.
  • 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.
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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

  • Opportunity to practise form development using wax-based styling clay.
  • High levels of student satisfaction for this course – 91% overall in the National Student Survey (NSS 2019)
  • Links with universities in Europe, Asia, China, North and South America provide opportunities to study abroad and gain an international perspective (subject to application, availability, meeting any applicable visa requirements and additional costs)
  • Specialist design studios feature presentation AV equipment, wi-fi, and supported by a dedicated print bureau and art shop
  • Our extensive making facilities include laser cutting, rapid prototyping, CNC/robotic milling, 3D printing, 3D scanning, large workshops, spray painting facilities and dedicated styling clay workshops
  • Computing suites offer industry standard modelling, rendering, graphics, animation and video-editing software including Rhino, Solidworks, Illustrator, InDesign and Alias. Visualisation is supported with software such as Photoshop and Keyshot
  • Our regular speaker programme makes use of our extensive links with specialists and current practitioners – with past presentations from Ian McCallum (Jaguar Land Rover), Daniel Simon, Zoe Laughlin (Institute of Making), John Tree (Jasper Morrison) and Map Project Office
  • 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
  • It gives you the opportunity to create innovative product design solutions in a range of styles and media, appropriate to the specific audience and purpose
  • You will take account of critical factors such as usability, materials, sustainability, desirability, technological feasibility and professional constraints
  • You will have access to our specialist facilities and guidance from our experienced practitioners.

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
Product design shoes placed on a stand with the design sketched in the background

What you'll study

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.

Modules

  • This module introduces students to the principles and relationships involved in the selection of appropriate materials and manufacturing processes while considering their influence on aesthetics, functional requirements and sustainability. Competency in 3-D modelling is also developed, which will enable students to communicate their designs digitally.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module will introduce students to recognised 2D illustrative and communication techniques. Assignments will offer opportunities for the development of necessary skills and knowledge required to effectively communicate design intent and form a foundation for subsequent modules.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Portfolio

  • This module will introduce students to recognised physical 3D modelmaking and prototyping techniques. Assignments will offer opportunities for the development of necessary skills and knowledge required to effectively communicate design intent, build on prior learning and form a foundation for subsequent modules.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Portfolio

  • This module is designed to assist students in making the transition from school or college to becoming a successful undergraduate designer and independent learner. Study skills and learning techniques will be introduced and applied, with a focus on research and reflective practice. Historical and contemporary approaches to design will be explored and analysed. Students will be asked to consider what inspires and drives them, and where they see their future within the creative industries.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module introduces students to the process of designing for human requirements and interaction. Students will acquire insights through in-depth analysis of an existing product. Recognised methods for presenting research outcomes will be introduced and applied. Students will develop a design specification from their findings and propose concepts which enhance user experience.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Presentation

  • This module will introduce students to the process of designing for a specific brand and demographic. Students will learn to deconstruct brand characteristics and apply them to a product of their own design. Recognised methods for presenting research outcomes will be introduced and applied. Students will develop a design specification from their findings, and propose concepts for products outside of the brand’s current offering.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

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During the second year, you will focus your practice and address more nuanced and sophisticated design opportunities.

We will consider current issues in product design, design research, branding and ideation. Industry-standard digital modelling and rendering is practised alongside 3D printing and wax-based clay modelling. You will build a portfolio of work to evidence your skills and experience to potential employers.

Modules

  • This module will introduce students to recognised 2D illustrative and communication techniques. Assignments will offer opportunities for the development of necessary skills and knowledge required to effectively communicate design intent and form a foundation for subsequent modules.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Portfolio

  • This module guides students in an evidence-based approach to research using primary and secondary sources to create a credible human-centred design insights. Outcomes acquired through appropriate research methods will be used to initiate projects and inform design proposals.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Presentation and report

  • This module aims to guide students through the process of identifying and turning insights into design ideas. Creative techniques for ideation, analysis and evaluation will be introduced and applied. Key principles will be illustrated through the use of contemporary case studies. Students will underpin and validate their ideation with credible research findings, developing a convincing story with which to pitch their designs.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Presentation

  • In this module, students will develop an appreciation of 3D form and its relationship with the semiotics and affordances frequently used in developing visual brand language. Students will be asked to explore 3D form through analytical sketch studies and describe the outcome using styling clay and other modelling materials. Students will develop a brand through the identification and analysis of a target market, building on the core values established through the research for the project. The presentation will demonstrate an understanding of the way in which form language can support the communication of brand values.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Portfolio and presentation

  • This module builds upon the knowledge you will have gained about materials, manufacturing and processes for new product design proposals. Product deconstruction and case studies of existing products will be used to demonstrate contemporary approaches to materiality, sustainability and flexible manufacturing techniques.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Portfolio and design proposal

  • This module is designed to assist students in producing evidence of their progress towards becoming a design professional. It encourages independent activity in the selection, revision, organisation and presentation of their work in a formal design portfolio. The portfolio will form a digital and physical record of students’ technical skills and accomplishments in preparation for engagement with the creative industries; a ‘passport to the community of practice’ of professional designers. Presentation techniques will be introduced and applied, with a focus on visual communication, typography and identity.

     

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Portfolio

Following your second year, you will have an option to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad in a partner institution.*

You can apply to study abroad or go on a professional placement. These modules both typically run for a full academic year between Years 2 and 3 of your course. You are able to progress onto the relevant module if you have successfully completed the first two years of the course (e.g. having accumulated 240 credits) and if you confirm your interest in taking this option before the end of your second year.

The professional placement and study abroad modules are non-credit bearing and do not incur any additional tuition fees. If you complete one of these successfully it appears on your final academic transcript. Once you complete this placement year, you will also gain an enhanced degree award title with the suffix “with Professional Enhancement” if you’ve completed a professional placement, or “with International Enhancement” if you’ve completed a study abroad programme. You will be asked to submit a journal and presentation reflecting on your year out to fulfil module requirements.

The Talent Team can provide you with a wide range of support services in order to help you apply for an enhancement opportunity.

Past students have studied at TU Delft and Strate (Paris), and gained placements with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Cambridge Consultants, IBM, PDD, Puma and Seymour Powell.

Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study-abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

*Please note that placement and/or study abroad opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting appropriate visa requirements.

The final year aims to brings together your skills, knowledge and understanding to initiate and undertake a major design project in the product area of your choice. You will have the opportunity to exhibit in our annual 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.

Modules

  • This module is designed to assist students in making the transition from undergraduate study to professional practice. Students will build on the presentation skills and reflective techniques developed in earlier years. They will consider their immediate career aims and develop their personal ‘pitch’ through the design of an online presence and tailored application; evidencing their skills and defining their identity as a graduate practitioner.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Portfolio

  • This module aims to enhance design research skills and supports the student in the definition of a project that will reflect their personal design direction, critically appraise their own practice and demonstrate their capability to undertake an investigative activity that illustrates the theoretical and research basis that underpins the work of designers.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Presentation and coursework

  • The ideation phase requires students to generate and visualise a series of distinct design concepts relating to a defined product area. The module guides students towards the application and validation of information generated and discovered in the preceding enquiry stage. Students will be exploring previously identified opportunities for improvement or innovation in their chosen product area as a response to user needs and desires. A broad and varied response based on credible data and observations is expected.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Presentation

  • The module involves the concepts from the ideation phase being further developed, tested and evaluated using a range of quick and readily accessible 3D media and testing. By applying human-centred insights and functional requirements defined in the preceding phases an optimised product proposal may be developed including proposed improvements and innovative product features.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Presentation

  • This module is the final phase of the final major project and while manufacturing processes, materials assembly techniques have been delivered and discussed previously in the course, the student may need to research how new manufacturing processes, materials and assembly methods will impact on the aesthetic and functional details for the design solutions they are proposing for manufacture.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Presentation

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

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.

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

The School of Art and Design gives you 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.

As an innovative and enterprising university, we may seek to use emerging technologies to enhance your 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.

The university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via emerging online technologies and methods across all courses. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2020/2021 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.

Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include formal examinations, coursework, tests, essays, practical or project work, group work, presentations, posters etc.


Job ready

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

  • acquire and analyse contextual research and human insights to define and inform design opportunities
  • generate and develop ideas, synthesise, test, evaluate and develop creative and appropriate solutions to a defined design opportunity
  • optimise design solutions for commercially viable, ethical and environmentally sustainable manufacture
  • evaluate and select techniques, tools and media to confidently visualise and communicate project outcomes
  • demonstrate professional behaviours, attitudes and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with resilience to changing local and global contexts
  • develop curiosity and awareness of the wider context of product design and integrate into personal practice in order to enhance employability.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A level BBC to include an Art or Design subject.
GCSE Minimun 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
BTEC DMM in an Art or Design subject.
Other Access to Health & Social Care (or other related programme) with a minimum of 36 credits as Merit or Distinction.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 29 points to include 16 Visual Arts or Design Technology at Higher level.

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

You may be required to attend a portfolio showcase, activity session or audition or submit a portfolio via email (as is appropriate to your course), either virtually or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites for these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

Fair Access Scheme

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.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Art, Design and Media will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

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.

Portfolio

You will be required to submit a portfolio via email or alternatively attend a showcase activity session or audition (as is appropriate for your course) which can be virtual or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites to send in your portfolio or attend these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 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 Fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £18,050 per year Not available

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.


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

Our current digital and industrial workshops are of industry-standard quality and house 3D rapid prototyping, laser cutters and milling machines. These facilities are available to all students on our courses at no extra cost. These are subject to availability.

*Approximate opening date: Autumn 2022

We also have a ceramic and small-metal-working workshop, a large digital print bureau, and clay modelling studios where you can realise your creative artistic and design solutions

The fashion workshops have digital embroidery machines, digital printers and a printmaking workshop that includes etching, screen printing and a rare, one of only three in existence in the UK, letterpress studio.

In our Mac and PC CAD labs, you can become digitally literate in presentation and design skills using the Adobe suite of software. You can also get Adobe accreditation as part of an Add+vantage module and learn other software packages including Alias, Toom Boom, Revit, and Maya.

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

Your creative thinking, problem solving and communication skills are highly valued by employers, and could lead to roles in product design and related practices, such as design engineering, packaging design, digital modelling, trend forecasting, UX/UI design, design management, marketing or academia.

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 Talent 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 can also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur.

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.


How to apply


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  • 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 2021/22 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.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we 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. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

    Accreditations

    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. 

    Facilities

    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).