Product Design BA (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
We take a user-centred approach to designing innovative, sustainable and forward-thinking products for volume production, including furniture, healthcare products, toys and consumer electronics.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
Our long-established degree course aims to prepare you for a range of roles in the creative industries, including product design, UX design, research, development, modelling, visualisation and design management.
- Visualising and Prototyping: You will explore a range of hands-on and digital tools and techniques with access to our extensive workshop facilities.
- Human-centred Design: You will design products informed by insights and trends identified through focussed research, that deliver a rich user experience.
- Design for Manufacture: You will balance aesthetic and functional requirements to optimise products for sustainable production.
Joint Top Modern University for Career ProspectsGuardian University Guide 2021 and 2022
5 QS Stars for Teaching and FacilitiesQS Stars University Ratings
Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)QS Best Student Cities Index 2023
Why you should study this course
- Our studio-based course will allow you to explore, create, collaborate and develop the skills required to design innovative products, supported by peers and guided by experienced practitioners.
- Extensive workshops include laser cutting, rapid prototyping, CNC/robotic milling, 3D scanning and clay modelling facilities, hack spaces and immersive studios4.
- Digital suites offer industry-standard CAD modelling, rendering, graphics, animation and video-editing software.
- Our visiting speaker programme makes use of our extensive alumni and industry network, with previous talks from Zoe Laughlin (Institute of Making), John Tree (Jasper Morrison) and Map Project Office (subject to availability).
- Gain an international perspective with our international participating institutions, who provide opportunities for shared learning and the potential for travel and study abroad2.
Coventry University ranked No.10 for Product Design
Guardian University Guide 2023
“In the course there’s lots of room for people with all types of skillsets.” – Oliver Sinclair (2020)
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.
Design Exploration - 20 credits
This module introduces you to a series of fundamental analogue processes, tools and techniques used in the expression and communication of design ideas. Through experimentation with hands-on tools, techniques and methods for exploration and idea generation, you should learn key foundational skills and how to apply them in product design work.
Design Visualisation - 20 credits
This module introduces you to some of the key product design software and principles that you will need to develop and finish work on the course. With an emphasis on the exploration of digital skills and processes, you should learn where and how to effectively apply techniques
Design Enquiry - 20 credits
This module focuses on research: what it is and why it’s useful. You will be asked to produce product design work that draws on outside influences, and on design theory, for inspiration—and in doing so you will analyse and critique other designers, design thinkers and their work. This helps you to understand your own design decisions as part of the ongoing story of product design.
Design Reflection - 20 credits
This module encourages you to critically reflect on your product design work, your Coventry University learning journey and your career plans. In helping you to become more reflective, this module helps you to begin taking ownership of your design decisions and future thinking through consideration of your strengths, your areas for development and your design aspirations.
Design Context - 20 credits
This module challenges you to approach product design from a problem-solving perspective. In doing so, you will be factoring real-world issues into a design project. For instance, you will consider how your work might be manufactured and how an audience will use it. In doing this, you should become more adept at making functional and feasible pieces of product design.
Design Experience - 20 credits
This module is the culmination of the first year—a celebration of your progress! You will be asked to work in teams to produce a comprehensive project that expands on all your learning so far to promote ideas in engaging ways to specific audiences.
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
Visual Language - 20 credits
This module will introduce you to the process of developing visual language, considering semantics, semiotics, affordances and brand identity.
Design in Practice - 20 credits
This module will challenge you to generate innovative design responses to an external brief, operating within the constraints of non-negotiable parameters.
Professional Development: Product Design - 20 credits
This module will guide you through the process of portfolio building in preparation for upcoming professional/international opportunities.
Design for Manufacture - 20 credits
This module will focus on the selection of appropriate materials and manufacturing processes within product design.
Research-informed Design - 20 credits
This module will promote an evidence-based approach to design and innovation. You will work as part of a team to analyse primary and secondary research, gaining relevant insights to inform design activity.
Product Development - 20 credits
This module will guide you through the process of developing initial ideas into design proposals through experiential prototyping.
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.
UK Work Placement – 0 credits
This module provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement2 undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
International Study/Work Placement – 0 credits
This module provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement2 undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
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. You could also work on a large final project in an area of your interest, with the support of a mentor and your Academic Personal Tutor.
Final Major Project: Definition - 20 credits
This module will support you to define a design opportunity that reflects your ethos and aspirations for future practice.
Final Major Project: Research - 20 credits
This module will guide you through the research phase, encouraging in-depth primary and secondary investigation to gain relevant insights.
Final Major Project: Ideation - 20 credits
This module will challenge you to generate a series of distinct and innovative design proposals within the parameters identified through research activity.
Final Major Project: Resolution - 60 credits
This module comprises the two remaining phases. Concepts from the ideation phase are developed and tested using a range of 2D and 3D techniques. The refined proposal is then optimised for sustainable volume production.
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 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 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 making 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 graduates. You will learn how to recognise your strengths and learning needs, how to self-reflect and grow. You will identify your personal development and drive your projects for ambitious career aspirations.
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.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 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.
You will be assessed using a variety of methods which could vary depending upon the module. In the School of Art & 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 may include reports, practical coursework and presentations as part of individual assignments or group work elements.
The Coventry University assessment strategy aims to ensure that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.
International experience opportunities
There are opportunities for exchange with students on a similar course in overseas universities. European cultural visits will be offered to students in all years2.
Throughout the course, design briefs are written with an international focus, enhancing your global experience and broadening your mindset. You may engage in Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects with participating institutions and other international universities around the world.
The product design course has allowed me to grow and become who I am today. It has offered me countless opportunities to develop my skills and push myself to become a confident individual ready to take on the world.
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
Fees and funding
2023/24 tuition fees.
|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**
|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.
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
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 facilities4.
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. The new Delia Derbyshire facility is planned to open in 2023.
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.
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 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 learn other software packages including Alias, Toom Boom, Revit, and Maya that maybe relevant to your studies.
Our extensive workshops will allow you to model in wood, metal, plastics, glass, ceramics and styling clay, with additional facilities for 3D printing, CNC milling and laser cutting. (Location: Delia Derbyshire Building)
Our PC and Mac labs are equipped with the latest 2D and 3D software, including Adobe Creative Cloud. (Location: Delia Derbyshire Building).
You will have open access to specialist design studios in which to work and collaborate. (Location: Delia Derbyshire Building)
Careers and opportunities
The structure of the course, the experiences and support made available to you are all designed with a view to developing the skills, competencies and imaginative thinking necessary for a creative career in a demanding, competitive and rapidly changing work environment.
Whether you choose to enter employment in a design consultancy or studio upon graduation, or wish to study further, the course aims to produce graduates that are flexible, responsive and resilient. Whatever your career trajectory, we can work together with the aim of making you industry ready.
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. 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. (Talent Team and enterprise officers are subject to availability).
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 design, design management, marketing or academia.
Where our graduates work
Previous graduates have gone on to work at some prestigious companies including:
- Boss Design
- Jaguar Land Rover
- Paul Smith
- Stanley Black & Decker
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 can apply for this course through UCAS from 6 September 2022. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
Part-time students should apply directly to the university.
If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 should apply directly to the university.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.
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.
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 UK (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.
Due 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.
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 2023/24 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.