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About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Tariff points:
- Architecture and the Built Environment
- Three years full-time; four years sandwich
- Full-time; sandwich
- Programme leader:
- Dr Jo Hare and Dr Richard Mawle
- Key fact:
- Learn from tutors and professionals with extensive design experience and graduate ready to join industry or start your own creative venture.
Page last updated 5 July 2019
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.
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.
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 course
|Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
|International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||13000|
|International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1625|
|Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
Full time course with placement year
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year||9250|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee||1156|
|Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year||8094|
|International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee||13000|
|International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year||13000|
|International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1625|
|International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee||1625|
|International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year||11375|
|Offshore-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee||9250|
|Offshore-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year||9250|
|Offshore-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)||1156|
|Offshore-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee||1156|
|Offshore-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year||8094|
Indicative Additional Costs
|Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year||315|
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: 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: Art or Design and Technology. 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: Art and Design; Creative Media Production; Production Arts.
- Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 Level 3 credits at merit in Art or Design and Technology.
- Baccalaureate IB: To include a pass in higher level Design Technology or Visual Arts
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.
We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.
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.
You are welcome to apply if you have successfully completed an Arts Foundation course.
If you receive an offer for this course, you may be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day in February or March. These are a great opportunity to find out what it's really like to study here. You'll experience taster lectures or workshops, meet your course tutors, current students and other offer holders.
In addition to the 'typical offer' given here, please read the general information about entry requirements.
Advice on submitting a portfolio
Once UWE Bristol has received your UCAS application, applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements may be asked to provide a 10-20 page online portfolio of their design work.
Once we have received the links (URLs) to your portfolio, Product Design lecturers will review this, along with your application. We may also ask you for a telephone interview, to discuss your application and portfolio in more detail.
What to include in your portfolio:
Your portfolio should be a selection of your artwork, drawings, sketchbook pages, photographs, models and design work. This should reflect the range of your abilities, creative process and interest in the course you have applied for.
- Your portfolio should include both finished and in-progress work, to show your working process (eg sketchbook work or development sheets).
- This should include an introduction or cover page followed by your best or most recent work, as the first project included.
- It should also include hand drawing, in the form of both observational and ideation sketching.
- You can include your coursework, sketchbooks, photographs, drawings, paintings, models, prototypes, sculptures, digital artwork, websites, links to videos or anything else that supports your application.
- Your portfolio is likely to be predominately made up 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.
- The portfolio should visually communicate who you are, also showing what excites and interests you, along with what you consider to be good design, and why.
- Staff are interested in how your ideas and development work, as these a much better idea of how you think than the finished design alone.
- If you feel you need some extra content, you could set yourself a one-hour design challenge.
- In general, a portfolio is about visual 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 ten to 15 projects spread over 15 to 20 pages (equivalent to A3 or larger).
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 to indicate 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, we advise that you 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". You should not feel intimidated by the high levels of skill and design ability shown in professional portfolios online, as we do not expect applicants to match professionals as this is 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, as it showcases your ability and is very rewarding.
UWE Bristol's International College
If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.
English language support
If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.
Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.
If you have not received your exam results, your offer from UWE Bristol will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.
If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that UWE Bristol will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.
To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies at UWE Bristol, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A-levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.
How to apply
For further information
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333