Product Design Technology

BSc(Hons)

Product Design Technology

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2018/19
Course code:
W240
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
112
Department:
Architecture and the Built Environment
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Four years sandwich; three years full-time
Delivery:
Full-time, Sandwich
Programme leader:
Phil Bommer
Key fact:
Learn how to design great products on a friendly and creative course with tutors who are highly experienced professional designers.

Page last updated 3 November 2017

Introduction

Why study product design technology?

Product design technology combines creativity and practicality to bridge the gap between product design and design engineering.

The industry needs graduates with the ability to create innovative concepts and transform them into real working products.

Why UWE Bristol?

BSc (Hons) Product Design Technology will give you the creativity, skills and confidence to take exciting concepts and transform them into real, working products.

Learn from friendly tutors with extensive industry expertise and work on a series of projects in our well-equipped Design Studio.

Examine real problems, grow your understanding of people and their needs, and develop innovative solutions. Gain advanced skills in concept sketching, making working prototypes, engineering analysis, computer-aided design (CAD), design for manufacture and beyond.

Work on design briefs for a range of industry clients. Past organisations have included Jaguar Land Rover, Dremel Bosch, Omlet and Virgin Marussia Formula 1. Take part in exhibitions and grow your network at industry presentations.

Graduate with the skill and confidence to create innovative products and build a successful career in the creative industries.

Where can it take me?

As a graduate, your in-depth understanding of technology, sustainability and materials will equip you for a range of careers.

Most of our graduates go into product development roles for design consultancies, or join in-house design teams for manufacturers and major brands.

Many are inspired to launch their own products or establish themselves as freelance design consultants.

Take a look at our online yearbook of student projects from our architecture and product design courses.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Structure

Content

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

  • Product Design Studio 1
  • Mechanisms and Structures
  • Design Communication
  • Graphic Design
  • Design in Context.

Year two

You will study:

  • Product Design Technology Studio 2
  • Product Design Engineering
  • Product CAD
  • Materials and Processes
  • Physical Computing.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after year two.

You'll complete a placement learning module during this time.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Individual Project Product Design
  • Design Research Methods
  • Product Design Studio 3
  • Mechanical Design. 

Plus one optional module from:

  • Design in Practice
  • Industrial Placement.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Our lecturers all have years of professional practice within the design industry. Along with an emphasis on hands-on learning, this gives the course professional practice focus that will prepare you for your career in design.

The course is project-led and taught mainly in studios. Apply your new knowledge to diverse projects that solve human-centred problems through design practice.

Focus on learning technical skills such as using computational stress analysis to design the structure of products.

Get intensive one-to-one mentoring with tutors for practical guidance on your work. Attend guest lectures with professional designers and receive help with your CV and interview skills from our partner organisations.

Lay a foundation in professional design skills including 3D design, sketching, concept generation, presentations, computer-aided design (CAD) and practical workshops. Gain an understanding of people and their complex emotional relationships with products.

Learn about human-centred design, co-design and innovative design processes, materials and manufacturing and form and aesthetics development.

Work on a range of studio projects with real companies (Brabantia, Dremel, Bloodhound and Piper Moto). Research, develop and create a product that will demonstrate your skills in the design area you'd like to grow in.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Showcase your work

Showcase your final year projects to family and friends, as well as regional employers at the annual degree show.

Take a look at some of our students' exhibits on Tumblr and in our online showcase and the Graduate Yearbook 2016-17.

Graduates also exhibit at the New Designers exhibition in London, where awards and media interest are a springboard for careers. 

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check
135%65%0%100%
229%71%0%100%
326%74%0%100%

Assessment

You'll be assessed mostly on your project work and the presentation of a portfolio of design and development studies. Four modules include conventional exams as a form of assessment.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check
19%91%0%100%
213%81%6%100%
30%72%28%100%

Features

Professional accreditation

This degree allows you to become a member of the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED), giving you professional recognition, access to events and opportunities on their website.

Placements

Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you highly employable on graduation.

If you choose the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after year two.

We have placement opportunities in the UK and Europe, US and China. Past students have worked for in-house design teams, consultancies and manufacturers such as Opel cars, Disney, Omlet, Kinneir Dufort, Trunki, Mathmos and Mira Kohler.

You'll get help to find your placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.

Fieldwork

We arrange day trips so you can visit study locations and meet people that can inform your work. We also arrange residential field trips locally, nationally and internationally.

Study facilities

Learn in modern, well-equipped department facilities that simulate industry.

Study and collaborate on group assignments in our dedicated Project Room. Brainstorm concepts in our dedicated design studios.

Develop CAD, model-making, design and drawing skills in integrated studios.

Make models and prototypes and use 3D printers, laser cutters and computer numerical control (CNC) routers in our product design workshop.

This mix of traditional and highly creative learning environments enables you to learn essential knowledge and real-world skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Get a tour of where you'll study with our current design students.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Careers

Careers / Further study

After graduating, you'll find career opportunities all over the world.

Potential creative roles include product design, industrial design, design engineering, user experience, graphic or web design, teaching, and exhibition and packaging design.

Many graduates have launched their own products or established themselves as freelance design consultants.

We have strong links with local companies who provide graduate jobs. Most of our graduates go straight into product development roles for design consultancies or join in-house design teams for manufacturers and major brands.

Read how graduate Will was shortlisted for a James Dyson Award for his therapeutic hand massager design.

Find out how graduates Matt, Doug and Neil designed fairground rides for Gravitron.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Fees

Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Full time course with placement year

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12750
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1594
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year11156
Offshore-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094

Part time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Offshore-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year300

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: One from the following: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Computing/Computer Science, Design and Technology, Electronics, Engineering, ICT, Maths/Further Maths, Music Technology, Physics, Product Design, Statistics. You can include points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) towards overall tariff. You must have at least two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: One of the following BTEC Diplomas: Aeronautical Engineering; Applied Science; Art and Design; Construction and the Built Environment; Creative Media Production; Electrical / Electronic Engineering; Engineering; Land-based Technology; Manufacturing Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Operations and Maintenance Engineering; Production Arts; or similar.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at merit in one of the following: Art; Design and Technology; Mathematics; Product Design; or similar.
  • Baccalaureate IB: To include a pass at higher level in one of: Design Technology; Mathematics; Visual Arts; or similar

Entry requirements

This course is for those without specialist mathematical and scientific expertise and education beyond GCSE but who, nonetheless, have a strong interest in technology and desire to pursue a career in this area.

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

Applicants who have successfully completed an Arts Foundation course are welcomed.

In addition to the 'typical offer' given here, please read the general information about entry requirements.

UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Advice on submitting portfolio

Once UWE  has received your UCAS application, we may ask you to give us access to an online portfolio. Once we have received the links (URLs) to your portfolio, Product Design lecturers will review your application and portfolio. We may also ask applicants for a telephone interview, to discuss their applications and portfolios in more detail.

What to include in your portfolio:

Your portfolio should be a selection of your artwork, drawings, sketchbook pages, photographs, models, design work, etc, that reflect the range of your abilities, your creative process, and your interest in the course that you have applied for. 

  • Your portfolio should include finished work, and also work in progress to show your working process, such as sketchbook work or development sheets.
  • It should include an introduction or cover page. Then the first project should be your best or most recent work.
  •  It should definitely include hand drawing; both observational and ideation sketching.
  • You can include you course work, sketchbooks, photographs, drawings, paintings, models, prototypes, sculptures, digital artwork, websites, links to videos anything that supports your application.
  • Your portfolio is likely to be made up predominately of the Art or Product Design projects you have undertaken on your current or most recent course of study. We are also very interested in seeing projects, interests and passions outside of your school work.
  • It should visually communicate who you are, show what excites and interests you, what you consider to be good design, and why.
  • Staff are interested to see how your ideas and development work, these show how you think, much more than just the finished design.
  • If you feel you need some extra content, you could set yourself a '1 hour design challenge'.
  • In general a portfolio is about visual communication rather than written communication. Try to minimise writing; where necessary add a title, and a few sentences for each image, explaining the project to a viewer.
  • Presentation is very important, a portfolio should be well organised, clear and well presented.
  • Amount: Your online portfolio should showcase approximately 10-15 projects spread over 15 - 20 pages (equivalent to A3 or larger pages).

General portfolio advice:

Your portfolio should show a high level of commitment to your studies and evidence of fundamental design skills. We are looking for enthusiasm for your chosen subject, strong visual communication skills, evidence of problem-solving, clear working procedures showing the development of your ideas, experience in a range of different media and materials - 2D and 3D, and an awareness of contemporary designers and the history of design.

For more advice and examples, ask your current teacher or lecturer for assistance and web search keywords such as 'Product Design portfolios' 'Industrial Design portfolios' or 'how to make a product design portfolio'. Please don't feel intimidated by the high levels of skill and design ability shown in professional portfolios online, We don't expect applicants to match professionals that's what you come to university to learn.

It takes a lot of time to prepare a good design portfolio and making one is a great learning opportunity; it showcases your ability and is very rewarding.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

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