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Undergraduate study
Product Design (with Foundation Year) Product Design (with Foundation Year) Product Design (with Foundation Year)

Product Design (with Foundation Year)
BA (Hons)

W244 BA/PDFY

 
 

Course overview

Join over half a century of successful product design graduates by studying this renowned degree course at Teesside University and learn how to develop and make your designs across the full breadth of industries from transportation to film.

Product design at Teesside University

Alan Milburn talks about his experiences of studying product design

About the course

Product design is about making your imagination a reality and our product design course provides you with the skills and knowledge for careers across the design industry in roles from consultant to in-house designer, from small independent businesses to large-scale manufacturers. Graduates of this degree have broad career options with many successful alumni from major companies and consultancies such as Dyson, Philips, E3 Design and Seymour Powell returning to share their experiences from the automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, furniture, packaging and film industries.

What you learn

Build your practice as a product designer from drawing to computer-aided design (CAD), model-making to 3D scanning, rapid prototyping to desktop routing. You develop your understanding of aesthetics, form, function, ergonomics, manufacturing, usability, interaction, inclusive and sustainable design. While training to become a product designer, you learn to be a creative problem-solver, progress your design ideas and cultivate critical thinking individually and through teamwork. This makes for a very hands-on, dynamic culture developing both traditional and digital skills through drawing, modelling and experimentation.

At Teesside University we offer a hands-on approach to developing professional practice in our superbly equipped workshops and open plan design studios, where you learn the traditional and digital skills to work in the design field. In this dynamic setting, you apply your learning to a range of commercial design projects and develop your professional, business and marketing skills. Recent industry-focused live projects include furniture, consumer goods, disability aids and playground equipment.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

You study at MIMA School of Art & Design, an art school led by Teesside University and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), an international contemporary museum and gallery. You gain a full artistic experience, learning in a social space that inspires dynamic ideas, fuels collaboration and allows you to build local, national and international networks with industry professionals for your future interior design career.

Foundation year

The product design foundation year helps you develop knowledge and skills to make the transition to university study, and in particular, to gain art and design knowledge and develop academic and personal skills to proceed confidently through the remainder of the course. During the foundation year (also called year 0) you study through projects, lectures, tutorials, seminars, skills workshops and presentations. There are three modules each semester. An optional work placement year is included, at no extra cost.

Top three reasons to study product design at Teesside University

1. Teesside University has been actively engaged in creative education for over 50 years with a special focus on the connection between art and industry.
2. Our successful alumni work for major companies and consultancies such as Dyson, Philips, E3 Design and Seymour Powell.
3. Benefit from the close proximity of our studios and workshops which are open access across your full course.

Alongside the optional work placement year, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.
Find out more

 

Course details

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.

Portfolio 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Year 1 core modules

Activate

Design Project 1: Form and Function

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.

Design Skills 1: Drawing and Modelling

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.

Design Skills 2: CAD and Illustration

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

Materials and Manufacturing

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.

 

Year 2 core modules

Analysis

Connect

Design Project 3: New Product Development

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.

Design Skills 3: Advanced CAD

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.

Future Design

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.

Professional Skills 1: 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.

 

Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

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

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits 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.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.

 

Final-year core modules

Contextual Writing for Product Design

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.

Final Project: Design and Realisation

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.

Final Project: Report

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

Professional Skills 2: Portfolio

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

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You have opportunities to engage with live projects, internships and national competitions. Visits are organised to manufacturers and trade exhibitions as well as an annual international trip to the likes of Milan, Berlin, Amsterdam and Barcelona. 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 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 CNC 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 provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
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

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
Eligible applicants are normally invited for interview. The interview helps us determine your potential to succeed and to 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, and to learn more about studying at Teesside University.

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 and maths requirement
Normally GCSE English language and maths at grade C, or 4 under the new grading system. Alternative equivalent qualifications may be considered.
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/written work and relevant experience, that they have developed cognitive and technical skills through their life experiences.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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

 

Employability

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.

Product Design at Teesside has a long tradition of educating leading designers who have been employed by national and international companies, including Aston Martin, Philips, Seymourpowell, Jaguar Land Rover, Teague and Dyson.

Work placement

A dedicated work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking.

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.

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.

 

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 enrolment adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2021/22 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: W244 BA/PDFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers are tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 

Choose Teesside

 
 

Get in touch

Telephone

01642 335008

International students

International enquiries

 

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