Undergraduate study
Design

Product Design Engineering (with Foundation Year)*
BSc (Hons)

W247 BSc/PDEFY

 
 

Course overview

Our product design engineering degree combines traditional product design with engineering design principles to help you develop both your creative and technical understanding in resolving real-world design problems. It brings together design innovation and application, modelling and practice to design solution.

If you want to enter a career which deals with the more technical design and manufacturing aspects of the product design field, this course is ideal. You generate concepts and produce design proposals that reflect current and future trends in the way we live. With a 40-year tradition of success in this area, this course is concerned with the design, communication and manufacture of a vast array of products from mobile phones to motorbikes. Real-life projects provide stimulating and challenging design briefs.

* Subject to University approval

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Contextual Studies

You are introduced to the contexts of creative and design history, investigating problem solving and themes to inform your current studio practice. You research and learn to analyse ideas about past British and international styles, design and theory. This develops your understanding of the role of the designer, the meanings and vocabulary of space and design, and the relationship between design, society and the environment. You develop skills in research, analysis, communication and critical thinking, and produce and present interpretations of historical material.

Final Project

Building on your skills in the design process, you develop a project portfolio directed towards your favoured design discipline, demonstrating your creative ideas, development and final concepts. You are encouraged to take a questioning, creative and innovative approach to design project work. You focus on experimental exploration, as well as challenging your ability to motivate and organise yourself to manage a design project and work to a deadline. This project culminates with a short presentation of your completed design work.

Orientation: Thinking through Drawing

You are introduced to a range of fundamental drawing approaches for a variety of purposes. Practical workshops include measured drawing, scale, composition and perspective as well as creatively using colour, materials and expressive mark making. These experiences increase your observational skills that help you visualise and realise ideas for potential design projects.

Orientation: Thinking through Making

You further develop and deepen your knowledge gained from the induction programmes, enhancing your skills in model construction, prototyping, printmaking, and production analysis. You gain greater insight into the complexities of model construction and printmaking by working in detail with various materials, developing techniques and creative skills. This module is project-based – you transfer your knowledge from lectures to hands-on demonstrations in a workshop environment. You primarily learn through producing models and prints from drawings.

Pathway Stage - Specialism Project

You take part in a range of specialist studio activities. You investigate, experiment and explore pathways in fashion, textiles, graphics, interiors and product design. You study creative processes and develop independent project skills to help identify the specialist subject which best suits your interests and abilities.

Research and Analysis - Sketchbooks and Research

You are introduced to the creative design process and methods of researching and recording inspirational ideas which you can then develop for your own project work. You gather inspiration, stimuli and precedent ideas from a multitude of sources and sketchbooks – these are key in developing and experimenting your design, helping you curate ideas and document your design activity.

 

Year 1 core modules

Collaborate

This module encourages experimentation, innovation and risk taking within working practice. A series of facilitated workshops introduce you to traditional and emerging skills and techniques that you will be able to use throughout your studies and into professional life.

Digitise

The module gives you a foundation in using industry-standard software to visualise and communicate your ideas in both 2D and 3D. You learn how to use computers as presentation tools and to help you identify the correct software for specific tasks. You experiment with digital illustration, 3D modelling and animation.

Enterprise

You are introduced to the innovation economy and gain an understanding of the knowledge, skills and confidence to develop and deliver entrepreneurial solutions. You explore organisational contexts as members of teams or empowering you to harness your personal and business skills.

Make It

This module develops your knowledge and skills in materials and manufacturing. You consider properties of materials used in constructing products. And you assess a range of maker, traditional and modern engineering manufacturing processes. Both subtractive and additive processes are included.

Structural Mechanics

This module introduces common types of structure used in engineering, assesses the types of loads they must resist and provides you with the analytical skills necessary to design the components that make up the structure.

Specific areas of study include: basic concepts of force, stress and strain; properties of materials and sections; analysis of frames, beams and columns; equilibrium conditions and statical determinacy; beam bending movement, shear force and deflection; and lightweight cables.

Lectures will introduce each major topic on the module with tutorials used to practise calculations. Laboratory practicals are used to investigate the properties of construction materials and develop a deeper understanding of structural theory.

The module is assessed by in-course assignment and an examination, comprising calculations and short answer questions on the module indicative content.

Visualise

Communicating information is fundamental to the design process, particularly in the form of drawings, illustrations and models. This module introduces you to the range of traditional methods used for modelling, drawing and illustrating product design proposals.

 

Year 2 core modules

Connect

Designers operate in a commercial world. It is crucial that you understand the needs of all the stakeholders that your design will impact upon and that you strategically develop products that will service specific market sectors, be user focused and fulfil the needs of business. 

You build your knowledge and understanding of design in a business context. Develop your skills in project management, applied research methods and the design process. You relate the work to real-world business scenarios, problems and situations, considering both manufacturing and end-users. A significant project draws your skills together to consider the strategy behind new product development. You prepare for your third-year studies by developing more independence in your choice and direction of project work.

Identity

Preparing for employment is an essential element of your studies. This module highlights the notion of work readiness and the transitional process from study to employment.

Launch Pad

This module introduces iterative working practices used in industry to ensure top-level creativity, collaboration and communication flourishes. You are able to shape project work to suit your interests and can involve yourself with individual, collaborative, entrepreneurial, research or externally situated briefs.

Manufacturing Processes

This module provides you with an insight into current manufacturing processes, promoting a deep understanding of technological factors and an awareness of working principles and capabilities. Traditional methods, such as casting and rolling are examined, together with state-of-the-art practices, such as powder metallurgy. You combine a detailed study of selected manufacturing processes with hands-on experience in laboratory-based practical sessions.

You review important aspects of current thinking, such as quality, reliability, sustainability, lean manufacturing and the extensive use of computers in many areas, to ensure an informed picture of modern manufacturing. You also explore the suitability of manufacturing processes for applications, using a framework that recognises the interrelationships of (manufacturing) process, (artefact) function, shape, and materials.

Product and Assembly Design Modelling

In this module, you develop your skills and knowledge in applying 3-D solid modelling and surface modelling to product design, using industry standard software. You gain a thorough understanding of computer modeling, and how to apply these skills to design engineering components and products.

You model parts with flat and cylindrical type surfaces, as well as those with more complex curved surfaces. The ability to obtain the mass and other properties of models and create orthographic drawings from 3D models will be covered.

You gain a thorough understanding of both static and dynamic hierarchical assemblies and their value to industry, and learn how to produce ‘Bill of Materials’, undertake clearance and interference checks on mating parts, and Tolerance Analysis.

You acquire the ability to animate dynamic assemblies; you create joints and mechanisms to solve for kinematic motions, and you learn how to structure the models effectively and modify them as appropriate.

Virtualise

3D CAD software enables product designers around the world to bring their ideas to life. Rapid manufacturing is an example of new opportunities that are developing within the maker space and FabLab movement. New business models are emerging that enable designers to directly transfer CAD data into bespoke and production items.

 

Year 3 optional placement year

Final-year core modules

Computer Aided Analysis

In this module, your knowledge of advanced techniques is developed for the computer-based analysis of designs and for using commercial software to solve more complex engineering problems.

You will gain a thorough understanding of computer methods for the analysis of detailed design. Nodes, elements and meshing techniques for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) will be covered. Types of boundary conditions such as loads and constraints are explained, including how to apply them. You will learn how to solve FEA problems and analyse the results. Advanced techniques utilising adaptive and optimisation methods for solving complex engineering problems will also be covered.

The majority of the learning will take place in computer-based tutorials. Lecture time will be used to provide background information, theoretical concepts and to discuss the application of the concepts being used in the software.

Design and Realise

This module considers the design and prototyping of product and service design solutions including those suitable for hand, batch or mass manufacture. This is underpinned by a sound understanding of the user, business and technical issues that relate to it. The choice of project and associated brief comes from you, with advice from staff, to be pertinent to your interests and/or career aspirations. The realisation of your project is through physical and digital models, animations and associated visual material.

Document

Your ability to communicate the creation and production of your final design project solution is evidenced through a written piece of work.

Folio

This module develop the skills you need to make the transition from university to employment and how to present your work and yourself in a variety of situations – from trade shows to formal interviews. You learn to create and develop visual material, both physical and digital, that you can use in a variety of contexts when looking for employment.

Studio

This module enables you to develop your own field of interest and negotiate a personal programme of study. It encourages the continued growth of a questioning, creative and innovative approach to design project work and focuses on conceptual and experimental exploration. You may also decide to undertake appropriate external or live projects.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You learn through a variety of teaching and assessment methods, including lectures, tutorials, workshop and studio practice, projects and examinations. You are also expected to spend time on your own undertaking self-study to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments.

If you are studying full-time, each year of study consists of modules totalling 120 credits. Each unit of credit includes ten hours of learning and assessment (contact hours and self-study hours). During one year of full-time study, you can expect to have 1,200 hours of learning and assessment.

You develop skills in technical drawing, marker rendering, model-making and computer-aided design, design thinking and contextual studies. You are continually challenged to create real-world products which consider the need for usability, marketability and sustainability. By the third year you have developed a specialist portfolio which indicates your intended career direction.

Alongside the curriculum, you also have the opportunity to engage with live projects, internships and national competitions. We regularly organise visits to manufacturers and trade exhibitions as well as an annual international trip to Milan, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris or somewhere similar. Visiting lectures by industry experts and alumni strengthen the professional feel of the course. 

The physical environment of the course is fundamental to your success. Studios are open 24 hours. As a first-year student you have dedicated workspaces within an open-plan hot desk studio, and CAD labs and workshops on the floors above and below. This encourages a seamless work-like routine where you can move between spaces to design, test, prototype and experiment on your design projects. Rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printing, plasma-cutting and five-axis routing sit alongside traditional model making tools to offer a fully rounded making experience. 

How you are assessed

Your learning involves different types of assessment including coursework assignments, exams through to hands-on design-and-make projects.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Your offer will be made on the basis of your UCAS application and, if appropriate, your interview.

32-88 tariff points from any combination of recognised Level 3 qualifications or equivalent. Consideration will also be given to students without formal qualifications but with evidence of relevant experience at an appropriate level. This could, for example be evidenced through a portfolio of work.

Interviews
The interview is to determine your potential to succeed and helps set appropriate entry conditions matched to your personal circumstances and the demands of the course. The interview also enables you to see our excellent facilities, meet staff and students.

If you are unable to attend an interview at the university, we can organise a virtual interview over the telephone or internet. If you have a portfolio of work to submit in support of your application, this can be sent to us electronically.

English language requirement
Entry to a degree programme requires you to have a good command of spoken and written English and numeracy skills. Normally GCSE English language and maths at grade 4. Key Skills Level 2 may be used in lieu of GCSE English and maths.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

Alternative progression routes
If you are not eligible to join this course directly then we may be able to help you prepare for admission by studying appropriate pre-degree Summer University modules. Please contact us to discuss the alternative progression routes available to you.

Mature applicants
We welcome applications from mature students (aged over 21) who can demonstrate, through portfolio or written work and relevant experience, that they have developed cognitive and technical skills through their life experiences.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL


Health conditions requiring adjustments
For this particular course, you may need to undertake an occupational health or work-based risk assessment check. If you have a disability, specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism spectrum condition, sensory impairment or medical condition that may require reasonable adjustments during an external placement, in the university or in a clinical practice area, this must be declared as part of the enrolment process. If you are unsure you can contact the relevant admissions or course tutor for guidance.

 

Employability

Work placement

We produce graduates with the problem-solving and leadership skills necessary to forge successful careers.

This course allows you to spend an optional year - in-between your second year and final year - learning and developing your skills through work experience. You have a dedicated work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service to help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking. Employers are often invited to our School to meet you and present you with opportunities for work placements.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Throughout this course, you get to know prospective employers and extend your professional network. An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

Career opportunities

Product design engineers gain careers across a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, marine, medical, rail, power, processing, chemical and the creative industries.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2019/20 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£11,825 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year
  • UCAS code: W247 BSc/PDEFY
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers are tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 
 
 
 

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