BA(Hons) Product Design
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Page last updated 4 July 2022
Learn from tutors and professionals with extensive design experience and graduate ready to join industry or start your own creative venture.
Why study product design?
We have reached a point where many products work well and meet our everyday physical needs - but how well do they satisfy and enhance our lives on an emotional level?
There is always a need for highly skilled designers who can explore questions like this.
Product design is an area that rewards those who take risks, challenge conventional thinking and design products, services and user experiences that surprise and delight.
You may also be interested in our BSc(Hons) Product Design Technology course.
Why UWE Bristol?
BA(Hons) Product Design will help you develop your creativity.
If you often look at the things around you and think 'this could have been made so much better', then this course will show you how to go about it.
Develop an empathetic, intuitive understanding of people and how we use and respond to products. Learn about form, ergonomics and materials. Learn from friendly tutors with extensive industry expertise and work on a series of projects in our well-equipped Design Studio.
Gain advanced skills in concept sketching and 3D form, verbal and visual communication, model making, computer-aided design (CAD) and the business of design.
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.
What can I do with a product design degree?
As a graduate, you'll be ready to go into industry or start your own business venture.
Career opportunities are available in service design, graphic design, brand consultancy, user experience design, brand and retail design, design research, marketing and packaging design.
Many graduates 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.
Product Design student showreelA showcase of student work from the BA(Hons) Product Design course at UWE Bristol
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
You will study:
- Product Design Studio 1
- Design Communication
- Objects and Experiences
- Graphic Design
- Design in Context.
You will study:
- Creative Product Design Studio 2
- Product CAD
- Engineering for Designers
- Aesthetics and Product Language
- Materials and Processes.
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.
See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.
You will study:
- Individual Project Product Design
- Product Design Studio 3
- Design Research Methods
- Design Futures.
Plus one optional module from (if you haven't completed a placement):
- Design in Practice.
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 skills and knowledge to diverse projects that solve human-centred problems through design practice.
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.
Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
Showcase your work
Graduates also exhibit at the New Designers exhibition in London, where awards and media interest are a springboard for careers.
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.
Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED), giving you professional recognition, access to events and opportunities on their website.
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.
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.
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.
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 / Further study
After graduating, you'll find career opportunities all over the world.
Potential creative roles include product design, service design, interiors and retail design, marketing and brand consultancy, 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.
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.
Full-time; sandwich course
Supplementary fee information
Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.
You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.
Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.
This refers to items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.
- Tariff points: 112
- GCSE: Grade C/4 in English Literature or Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificate in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as alternatives to GCSEs.
- English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*). *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit http://uwe.ac.uk/englishlanguagerequirements
- A-level subjects: A2 in Art or Design and Technology.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: You must be studying one of the following: Art and Design; Creative Media Production; Production Arts.
For information on required Guided Learning Hours please see our minimum entry requirements page.
- Access: 15 Level 3 credits at Merit in Art or Design and Technology.
- Baccalaureate IB: To include a pass at Higher Level in Design Technology or Visual Arts.
- Irish Highers: Higher Level in one of the following: Art or Design and Communication Graphics
- T Levels: No specific subjects required.
If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be eligible for BA(Hons) Product Design (with Foundation Year).
Applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements may be asked to provide a portfolio of their design work. For more details on the process, please visit our selection page.
For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages.
If you are applying to study at UWE Bristol and require additional support to meet our English language requirements, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.