Undergraduate study
Product Design and Creative Innovation (with Foundation Year) Product Design and Creative Innovation (with Foundation Year) Product Design and Creative Innovation (with Foundation Year)

BA (Hons) Product Design and Creative Innovation (with Foundation Year)

UCAS code: W244 BA/PDCIFY

The BA (Hons) Product Design and Creative Innovation (with Foundation Year) course at Teesside allows you to develop your career in a multitude of directions, either as designer-makers or as designers for large organisations.

You can complete an optional work placement year as part of this degree course at no extra cost.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information

 

21st-century approaches to product design range from designing one-off, bespoke artefacts to mass-produced objects in their millions. This course includes an integrated foundation year for you if you don’t have the appropriate subjects or grades for direct entry to Year 1 of the degree.

Our product design courses have an outstanding reputation and a proven track record. This course focuses on creative ideas for the form of products, and how they relate to consumer needs and tastes, as well as their environmental impact. There is a strong focus on design thinking, business thinking and how design can be used to deliver solutions to real-world problems.

The design studio and workshops, where all three years of the programme share spaces, allow for a truly experimental approach to the design and development process through talking, drawing and making. Digital labs and prototyping workshops allow you unlimited access to create and innovate within your chosen pathway.

Browse our final-year students’ work during their Design Degree Show 2018.

Skills in technical drawing, marker rendering, model-making and computer-aided design are developed alongside 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.

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

Activate

You are introduced to idea generation, design thinking and creative confidence in learning methods, study skills and studentship in design. You reflect on and evaluate your current skills and experiences up to joining the design programmes.

You have the opportunity to work with students from other design disciplines. Through workshop exercises you are then able to apply this knowledge to project work.

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.

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

Analysis

During this module you look outside of the studio to observe, make links and understand situations. You consider how design can be a progressive force that impacts and improves lives and environments. You have the ability to shape project work to suit your design interests and can involve yourself with individual, collaborative, entrepreneurial, research-led or externally-situated briefs.

You have the opportunity to connect with wider communities to identify a need for improvement by design. Social design is a driver for our practice and provides the means to underpin deep and meaningful solutions.

Change IT

This module helps you, as a product design student, to understand the issues, theories, debates and contexts which connect with product design activity. As society changes, so too do the forces which shape the way that objects look and function.

Connect

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

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.

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

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.

Professional Skills

This module develops the skills you need to make the transition from university to employment including how to present work and yourself in a variety of situations, from trade shows to formal interviews.

Reportage

This module provides you with the opportunity for extended independent research on a topic of personal interest within the field of product design. It promotes in-depth understanding through research and critical analysis. It also develops your ability to construct and present logical, balanced and supported arguments and information in a negotiated final format.

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 have opportunities to engage with live projects, internships and national competitions. Visits are regularly organised to manufacturers and trade exhibitions as well as an annual international trip to the likes of Milan, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. 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 work-spaces within an open-plan hot-desk studio, with 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

You learn through 100% in-course assessments which are carried out through 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

Career opportunities

Graduates from this programme are versatile creatives who pursue careers in solo, small enterprise or more corporate set-ups across the world. Typical destinations are in furniture and lighting design, domestic and household products, fashion accessories, electronics and gadgets, cars and transportation. You could work at all levels as designer, maker, retailer, manager or prototyper.

Work placement

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

This programme 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 programme, 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.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 32-88 tariff points from any combination of recognised Level 3 qualifications or equivalent.

Offers will be made on the basis of your UCAS application, portfolio of work and interview for selected applicants.

Interviews
Applicants are normally invited for interview and will be asked to submit a portfolio of work which will be reviewed during the interview. The interview is to determine each applicant’s potential to succeed and help 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.
We encourage applicants to attend an interview, but if you are unable to attend we may consider your application based on your portfolio of work which you will be required to submit electronically.

English language and maths 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 C, or 4 under the new grading system. Key Skills Level 2 may be used in lieu of GCSE English and mathematics.
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.

Unconditional offer scheme
You may be eligible for an unconditional place on this course if you already have at least five GCSEs at grade C or above (minimum 4 in the new grading scheme), including English language and mathematics, any combination of Level 3 qualifications and a good portfolio of work.

Please contact our admissions team to check your eligibility. 

Mature applicants
We welcome applications from mature students (aged over 21) who can demonstrate, through portfolio/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

What is Unistats?

How to understand the Unistats data

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information