skip to main content

Essential coronavirus info
Your safety is our first priority.

Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Product and Industrial Design

Pink and peach coloured ceramics arranged next to an iPhone
Matt Canham
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
September 2021
Course length
Three years full-time or four years full-time with Diploma in Professional Studies
UCAS code
W246

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

This course is now closed for International entry in September 2021. Home/EU applications are still open.

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

Virtual Open Days:

The undergraduate online open days are now finished for the September 2021 intake.

At Central Saint Martins, the safety of staff, students and visitors is our priority. Following government guidance on social distancing due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, we’re currently unable to run physical open days at the College.

Virtual Tours:

Instead you might be interested in checking out the College’s outstanding facilities and technical spaces through our virtual tours

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

PCID Diploma in Professional Studies International Bursary
PCID Diploma in Professional Studies Bursary
Mead Scholarships and Fellowships
Fung Scholarships
UAL EU Transitional Awards

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

Student work

  • yin-kwok-1.jpg
    , Yin Kwok
  • Kaye_Toland.jpg
    , Kaye Toland
  • Nicolas_Trupin.JPG
    , Nicolas Trupin
  • Julius_Breitenstein.jpg
    , Julius Breitenstein
  • Yang_Zhao.jpg
    , Yang Zhao
  • Alex_Clark_2018.jpg
    , Alex Clark

BA Product and Industrial Design stories

  • Hybrid Futures

    Hybrid Futures gathered together a constellation of voices and perspectives on the contested relationship between humans and machines. Here, Dr Betti Marenko – Reader in Design and Techno-Digital Futures – shares her reflections on the event

  • Class of 2020: Menstruation

    Two projects from this year’s graduates presented new products for menstruation. Here, we talk to Ines Duplessis, MA Industrial Design, and Amelia Kociolkowska, BA Product Design, about tools and taboos.

  • Class of 2020: Digital Lives

    We take a look at the 2020 graduating students thinking through our digital lives.

  • Class of 2020: Schirin Dilmaghani

    Graduating from BA Product Design, Schirin Dilmaghani talks us through her project Helio, a smart home device for caregivers and people with dementia.

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.

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: 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.

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. 

Exchange opportunities

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).

Learning and teaching methods

During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will 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 

Assessment methods

  • Group and individual presentations 
  • Project Portfolio
  • Skills and technical workshop exercises 
  • Visual Journal 
  • Papers  
  • Projects

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

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)
  • Or equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma

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.

Making your application

You should apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and you will need the following information:

University Code:          U65

UCAS Code:                W246

Deferred Entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1

Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry).  Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 29 January 2021 for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

This course is now closed for International entry in September 2021.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Central Saint Martins:

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

University Code:          U65

UCAS Code:               W246

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Students webpage.

Deferred Entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry.  You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1

Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry).  Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 29 January 2021 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.


After you apply

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Digital portfolio

Your portfolio should be no more than ten pages comprising your best work showing your sensitivity to 3D design, skills and thinking. You can create the pages in any layout (for example, presentation boards) but they should be uploaded as jpeg images.  It should include:

  • Sketching
  • 3D work including experimentation and development
  • Finished work accompanied by a short explanation of the piece and your thinking
  • Idea generation
  • Inspiration and research material.

The only files that can be uploaded as part of the portfolio are:

  • Images: bmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, png
  • Audio: mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, wma
  • Video: avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv

Following the review of the portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an interview.

Portfolio advice

Your full portfolio should demonstrate the following:

  • Design development, whether for a college project or in personal work, i.e. designs and design ideas that have originated through personal experience and visual research and progressed through logical stages to a finished design solution. This could be 2D work or made objects
  • Evidence of 3D work, but not necessarily related to product design
  • The design work included should reflect creative thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project
  • Good drawing and sketching skills.

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity
  • Where possible, large or 3D work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

For more portfolio advice please visit: https://www.arts.ac.uk/study-at-ual/apply/portfolio-advice

Interview

Following the review of the portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an interview either online or by telephone.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and unfortunately we cannot provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you have had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Each and every application is carefully considered by a member(s) of our academic team. With so many strong applicants to choose from, it is often a very difficult decision to make. If you are unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply to us again in the future.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. 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 are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.