Over three years, BA Product and Industrial Design will teach you to apply product design processes to a progressively challenging range of contexts. The course will build your capacity as a confident, questioning and highly creative practitioner. You will emerge capable of dealing with complex issues in the development of product design responses.
Unit 1: Introduction to Study in Product and Industrial Design in Higher Education: Love Product
Unit 2: Love Process
Unit 3: Exploring Product Sectors
Unit 4: Immersive Design
In Stage 1, you will build your subject knowledge and skills. We will introduce you to our working methods and help you integrate within our community of practice. Through a series of projects, you will focus on the acquisition and development of specific product design skills. These will include technical studies introducing the use of computers, 2D and 3D sketching, 2D IT technical drawing, layout and rendering applications, workshop skills and knowledge of design for manufacture. We will introduce sustainability studies, empowering you to develop responsible practices. We will also introduce contextual studies to develop your critical capacities and understanding of product design as a disciplinary field of inquiry.
Unit 5: Design Futures
Unit 6: Designer Attributes
Unit 7: External Collaborative Projects
Unit 8: Creative Unions: Socially Engaged Practices for an Ethical World
Stage 2 will extend your skills and locate you in professional contexts – established through projects often provided by industry. This will give you a structured opportunity to consider and plan your future as a practitioner. You will take more responsibility for the initiation and management of your own work. You will, for instance, explore the broad ranging product design sector and the different roles and responsibilities that design performs within these sectors. You will also look at how ideas from outside of the discipline can be used to explore and inform creative design responses through collaborative practice.
Unit 9: Defining and Designing - Exploration
Unit 10: Defining and Designing - Implementation
Stage 3 will allow you to further address your own practice through design exploration and implementation. Here, you will bring together the creative, intellectual, entrepreneurial and practical capacities you have developed in Stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 closes with a real-world scenario in which you will work on externally set projects.
Across all stages, the course has four closely interrelated areas of study: contextual studies, design studies, sustainability studies and technical studies. These are delivered through project work, lectures, seminars, workshops and assignments.
The ability to generate and translate ideas into resolved designs is crucial. Design studies will develop your creativity through idea generation and problem-solving methods. These include drawing and presentation techniques, sketch and finished model-making, project management and communication skills.
With reference to industrial contexts of batch and mass-production, technical studies will give you an understanding of materials and processes, manufacturing methods, 2D and 3D CAD skills. It develops your ability to research and specify the components, materials, processes and technologies appropriate for any product design project. It also offers space to explore developments in technological innovation and emerging technologies.
Contextual studies examine some of the key historical, theoretical, and social contexts from which products acquire meaning. Crucially in our programme, it is taught in-studio alongside design studies. This will introduce ideas and thinking from radically different disciplines to inform and energise your design projects.
Our sustainability studies programme works to develop eco-literacy. It questions the impact of product design in contexts of production and consumption. Examining the roles and responsibilities of today’s designer, it explores systems thinking ¬– unpacking the challenges and developing strategies for responsible practice.
Diploma in Professional Studies
Between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the course there is an option for you to work with industry for the duration of an academic year (across three terms/two blocks) and complete a Diploma in Professional Studies. Whilst the Diploma is an optional aspect of the course, it is designed as an integrated and assessed part of your journey through the course, if you do take up this option. The Diploma results in a standalone qualification (rated at 120 credits), which involves researching, undertaking and reflecting on a 100 day/20-week (minimum) placement related to your professional interests and aspirations. The Diploma provides a valuable opportunity to make professional contacts and to develop your personal employability skills.
The course is actively engaged in the University’s Study Abroad scheme, with the incoming international students bringing an important additional dynamic to the course.
Currently only a small number of places are available, which will be subject to Government guidelines on travel abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mode of study
BA Product and Industrial Design runs for 90 weeks in full-time mode. It is divided into three stages over three academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks which includes teaching time and independent study.
You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.
Credit and award requirements
The course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each stage (level).
On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons degree).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the stages for a BA are: Stage 1 (Level 4), Stage 2 (Level 5) and Stage 3 (Level 6). In order to progress to the next stage, all units of the preceding stage must normally be passed: 120 credits must be achieved in each stage. The classification of the award will be derived from the marks of units in Stages 2 and 3 or only Stage 3, using a dual algorithm.
If you are unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4 (or 120 credits), or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of Level 5 (or 240 credits).