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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design

Pink and peach coloured ceramics arranged next to an iPhone
Matt Canham
College
Central Saint Martins
UCAS code
W246
Start date
September 2024
Course length
Three years full-time or four years full-time with Diploma in Professional Studies

Design solutions should meet the wants and needs of real people.

BA Product and Industrial Design* will provide you with the intellectual and technical skills required to define your own practice. You will address the need for design in a changing social, environmental and political environment. This course is part of the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme.

*This course was previously titled BA Product Design

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Notable networks: We work actively with external partners from industry, commerce and enterprise, as well as our extensive network of alumni. This provides industry exposure, live design challenges and a programme informed by direct engagement with international design practice.
  • World-class education: Central Saint Martins' Product and Industrial Design courses were recognised for world-class excellence by the award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education 2013.
  • Ground-breaking expertise: Our lecturers and alumni have been associated with ground-breaking products for decades, including the first laptop computer, the London Routemaster bus and the Apple iPhone.
  • Industry success: We have produced more Royal Designers for Industry in the subject than any other undergraduate course in the world.

Open days

There are currently no open days scheduled for this course, please check back at a later date.

Recording:

Watch a recording of the recent BA Product and Industrial Design online open day.

Virtual tours:

You might be interested in checking out the College’s facilities and technical spaces through our virtual tours.

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

Course overview

BA Product and Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins believes that design is a process-driven activity that operates in a broadening range of professional contexts; from design consultancy and manufacturing, to business and enterprise and third sector and government. On this course, you will identity appropriate problems and design outcomes which address the needs of people, society and the environment today. The course will provide you with an open and supportive environment as you become a designer. We will equip you with the skills to make interventions in the world which are informed, creative, and meaningful. The design industry is forever evolving, absorbing information and developing culture, making positive impact upon our societies through the skills of imagination, visualization and realization. Today’s designer needs to be adaptable, agile, proactive, resilient, curious and ambitious. 

BA Product and Industrial Design aims to lead the product design sector through the encouragement of optimistic vision, activism and action that develops these designerly competencies. We aim to educate our students to become the influencers and leaders for the next generation of creatives. We want to apply our collective intelligence to the challenges our societies face. Our students will lead these changes through critical thinking, conceptual realization and implementation of products and services.

Studying on this course will expose you to a breadth of practical, technical and theoretical sector skillsets. You will learn and apply industry recognized tools in both studio and client led scenarios whilst making a journey that will allow you to find your own path as a creative. You will investigate, discover, design, create, make, collaborate, surprise and share in an environment of peers and experts. You will develop Eco literacy, address ethical questions in design, explore systems thinking, and develop critical thinking. You will leave equipped for the varied and ever-changing industry in order to define and design sustainable futures.

We are committed to developing ethical product and industrial design practices. To achieve this, we are working to embed UAL's Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into the course. 

Course units

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. 

Stage 1

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.

Stage 2

Unit 5: Design Futures
Unit 6: Designer Attributes
Unit 7: External Collaborative Projects
Unit 8: Creative Unions

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.

Stage 3

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.

Design studies

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.  

Technical studies

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

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.

Sustainability studies

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. 

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).

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods devised for this course include: 

  • Peer-to-peer forum groups 
  • Tutorials 
  • Unit and project briefings 
  • Set and self-initiated project briefs 
  • Inductions, lectures and seminars 
  • Workshops 
  • Client and live projects 
  • Self and peer assessment 
  • Guest speakers and designer profile lecture series 
  • Group discussions, reviews and critiques 
  • Field trips, studio and site visits 
  • Self-directed independent study 

Stage One students create a model of the Original 1227™ Anglepoise desk lamp as their workshop induction project

Students Aathirai Muthu Kumar, Sasha Brumi, Tong Zhang and Kaye Toland discuss their Degree Show work

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • BETA: Electronics and Spaces
    BETA: Electronics and Spaces, Betha Suwarso, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • MIMAO
    MIMAO, SHENGLUN HUANG, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Emotify
    Emotify, Lucie Gonder, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Stem Radio + Dune
    Stem Radio + Dune, Dan Patterson, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Shuffle+
    Shuffle+, Laura Manenti, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Kaiku Audio: Modular Headphones
    Kaiku Audio: Modular Headphones, Christina Frances Newton, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Zhenyu Wang
    Zhenyu Wang, Zhenyu Wang, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Sonic Sonder + Play2School
    Sonic Sonder + Play2School, Francesca Mobley, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • MAATI - Yesterday. Reinvented.
    MAATI - Yesterday. Reinvented., Mitalee Nag, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • My Powerbank + All the Time
    My Powerbank + All the Time, luke talbot, 2023 BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, UAL

Student work

Course publications

BA Product and Industrial Design stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


openresty

Staff

Stage Leader: Jeffrey Doruff
Stage 2 Co-Leader:
Sarita Wilkinson
Diploma in Professional Studies Coordinator: Jesus Felipe Querol

Associate Lecturer: Magnus Long
Associate Lecturer: Kaye Toland
Associate Lecturer: Monika Parrinder
Associate Lecturer: Bernard Hay
Associate Lecturer: Mike Hankin
Associate Lecturer: Paulina Yurman
Associate Lecturer: Alex Cleator
Associate Lecturer: Simon King
Associate Lecturer: Thomas Thwaites
Associate Lecturer: James Holt

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

120 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • Three A Levels at grades ABC (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design, or Design and Technology)
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4) and 1 A Level at Grade C or above
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design, or Design and Technology)
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma equivalent to 120 UCAS tariff points (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design, or Design and Technology)
  • Equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma (26 points)

And five GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C) including English Language, Mathematics and a double award at science, or two separate sciences such as Physics or Chemistry, and one other subject (Art & Design or Design Technology are recommended).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

IELTS score of 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

Applicants are selected according to demonstration of potential and current ability to:

Work imaginatively and creatively in product and three dimensional design

  • engage with experimentation and invention
  • show imagination and ambition in proposals for their work

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities

  • demonstrated a high level of visual and 3 dimensional skill
  • provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within their work
  • demonstrate relevant research and reflect critically on their learning
  • demonstrate a passion for design and a fascination for the world around them

Demonstrate cultural awareness and/or contextual framework of their work

  • demonstrate an awareness of historical and contemporary product design practices
  • identify social and/or cultural influences on their work

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly

  • discuss their work in group situations
  • present their work appropriately and effectively

Demonstrate commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the course

  • develop their own ideas and address project briefs
  • show willingness to collaborate
  • reflect their knowledge of this course
  • demonstrate a mature outlook and high self-motivation.

What we are looking for

We are not only looking for applicants with a passion for product design, but also for people open to new ideas, to informed risk taking and to challenge, willing to involve themselves in the various different disciplines and practices of product design.

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Home students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:

U65

UCAS code:

W246

Start your application

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

International students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:

U65

UCAS code:

W246

Start your application
or

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 4,000 characters and cover the following:

  • Why have you chosen this course? What excites you about the subject?
  • How does your previous or current study relate to the course?
  • Have you got any work experience that might help you?
  • Have any life experiences influenced your decision to apply for this course?
  • What skills do you have that make you perfect for this course?
  • What plans and ambitions do you have for your future career?

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 25 pages
  • include a range of work that shows your interest, skills and awareness of 3D design
  • include works in progress to demonstrate your development processes from initial concept to final outcome
  • include finished pieces accompanied by a short description to explain the inspiration and methods used
  • include any research that helped inform your work and creative identity
  • demonstrate good drawing and sketching skills
  • feature photographs of any 3D work that you have produced. This does not have to be related to product design.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

You must apply in the year that you intend to start your course. If you are made an offer and your circumstances change, you can submit a deferral request to defer your place by 1 academic year. You must have met your conditions by 31 August 2024. If you need an English language test in order to meet the entry requirements, the test must be valid on the deferred start date of your course. If not, you will need to reapply. Requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contextual Admissions

This course is part of the Contextual Admissions scheme.

This scheme helps us better understand your personal circumstances so that we can assess your application fairly and in context. This ensures that your individual merit and creative potential can shine through, no matter what opportunities and experiences you have received.

Careers

BA Product Design students leave with a broad and valuable understanding of product design practice in its many forms.

Skills acquired enable BA Product Design graduates to become versatile practitioners in a range of exciting and diverse contexts and international locations.

Recent BA Product Design alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the subject:

  • Product Design Manger, Transport for London
  • Senior Concept Designer, Mexx, Amsterdam
  • Experience & Innovation Director, LEGO, Denmark
  • Industrial Designer, PDD, London
  • Senior Researcher & Strategist, SeymourPowell Foresight, London
  • Designer, IDEO, London
  • Designer, IDEO, San Francisco
  • Design Research Manager, Nokia, London
  • Design Manager, Nokia, London
  • Design Manager, Xindao, Shanghai
  • Industrial Designer, LG, Milan
  • Furniture Designer, Atelier Bellini, Milan
  • Designer, Zaha Hadid Architects, London
  • Lighting Designer, Lighting Design International, London
  • Cross Platform user Experience Manager, Microsoft, Seattle
  • Designer, Eker Design, Oslo
  • Design Manager, Russian Standard, Moscow
  • Store Designer, Louis Vuitton, Paris
  • Retail Systems Designer, Barrows, Durban
  • International R&D Designer, Mamas & Papas, London
  • Advertising Designer, Synergy Advertising, Karachi
  • Design Planner, Lenovo Group, Beijing
  • Industrial Designer, Vtech, Hong Kong
  • Industrial Designer, Panasonic, Tokyo

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit our Careers support page.