Product Design Technology (with Foundation Year)
This course is open for applications.
About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Tariff points:
- Architecture and the Built Environment
- Four years full-time; five years sandwich
- Full-time; sandwich
- Programme leader:
- Sally Daniels
- 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 21 September 2018
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.
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
Year zero (foundation year)
You will study:
- Context of Design and Development
- Foundation Engineering for Designers
- Foundation Maths for the Built Environment
- Foundation Design Studio
- Foundation Design Communication.
You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into Year one.
You will study:
- Product Design Studio 1
- Mechanisms and Structures
- Design Communication
- Graphic Design
- Design in Context.
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 five 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
- Design Research Methods
- Product Design Studio 3
- Mechanical Design.
Plus one optional module from (if you haven't completed a placement year):
- 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 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.
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.
In Foundation year, you'll be assessed using coursework and exams. Exams are held in either January or May/June. Coursework will be a mix of essays, reports, surveys, design projects, teamwork and progress tests.
From Year one, 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.
If you choose the five 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.
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, 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.
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.
There is currently no published fee data for this 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 five year course and then transfer to the four 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: 88
- 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: No specific subjects required. 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 one A-Level.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
- Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
The typical offers information is for full-time students starting in the foundation year.
If you don't meet the entrance requirements but have substantial relevant work experience, you should still apply. Especially if you feel your motivation and skills would enable you to succeed on this course.
You should also apply if you have a mix of A-levels and BTEC qualifications.
If you think you'll achieve a higher tariff score, you may be interested in our BSc(Hons) Product Design Technology course.
UWE Bristol's International College
If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through UWE Bristol's International College which, upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to Year 1 of the degree.
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: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333