Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2021/22)

International/EU fee

£14,045 per year (2021/22)

UCAS points

112 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code

W243

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BA/BSc (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Product Design at Derby is aimed at creative people who may have studied Art and Design or Design Technology at school or developed a passion for the subject since leaving formal education. We will help you to build on your creativity and develop an understanding of the reality of design for manufacture. Because we teach in small groups we can help you to develop your potential as an individual and support your personal enthusiasm for design.

We recognise that the role of the Product Designer is constantly evolving along with the way that products are produced and consumed. You will be exposed to a wide range of potential outcomes encompassing traditional mass manufacturing and the current trend towards maker culture which is centred on a more individual approach. This is reflected both in the teaching and the facilities that we offer.

You'll focus developing your creativity and practical skills that employers tell us they want from graduates:

Choose a BA or BSc route

This course has been designed to give you the option to tailor it to match your personal interests. There is a common first year for all product design students, after which you can choose whether to focus on a BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) pathway. 

If you don't have the appropriate qualifications to start this course, you can study the Year Zero - Arts programme for a year first. 

You'll study at Markeaton Street and work in studios and workshops, running alongside advanced computer based systems, to develop the traditional design skills and creative processes that employers say are relevant in a modern design environment.

Our previous programme leader, Terry Watson, contributed to an article in The Independent exploring the benefits of a degree in product design. 

Photo of a male student

The real-world design briefs helping Alex stand out

Alex Freeman is already building an impressive portfolio of work through industry briefs and opportunities through his Product Design course.

Read about Alex's experienceRead about Alex's experience
A blonde female sits on the edge of a chair smiling at the camera

I have learned about the importance of sustainability and real-life situations that the product designer has to consider, as well as the importance of understanding the people who would be using the product.

Anna Maresova
Product Design graduate
A wooden bike on display
Wooden frame in the shape of a helicopter with small propellers inside the frame
Photo of a blonde male wearing glasses and a white shirt looking at the camera

The course allowed me to develop my abilities and try more daring designs, testing my creative and critical thinking skills. Lecturers supported good design and gave critical feedback to improve the final product.

Macauley Metcalfe
Product Design graduate

Facilities

All Art and Design, Film, Photography and Music courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where industry-standard, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern and creative space for our students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street which is home to our Fashion and Textiles courses and Britannia Mill is home to Fine Art, Illustration and Interior Design studio spaces. Our Theatre students learn from professionals at the professional producing and learning Derby Theatre in the heart of Derby city centre. 

Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular free site shuttle buses.

Where you will learn

Our Product Design Studio at Markeaton Street is a creative space used for lectures and seminars, one-to-one sessions, group work and presentations to employers.

The Studio hosts technical resources which complement the facilities available in the Markeaton Street Workshops and the Makerspace. These include CAD PC workstations, A3 scanner, LCD graphics tablets, and a bank of 3D printers which are open access for the Product Design students and can be used to prototype and iterate their design concepts.

There is also a small photographic area for recording models and prototypes, and a discussion space and relaxation area. We encourage students to develop a studio culture and see this as an important space for year groups to mix and share ideas.

Two plastic prototype items are held up in front of a laptop and a magazine with bikes in it

Makerspace

Our Makerspace is a community run facility where all students and staff of the university can collectively meet, work and share infrastructure. You can get creative with tools like laser cutters, 3D printers, power tools and more basic hand tools for prototyping of work on your own projects. The space is intended for people with all levels of experience and backgrounds from the expert working on their latest masterpiece down to the beginner who has never used tools before but wants to learn how to make things.

Explore the Makerspace in our virtual tour:

A 360 look around the Additive Manufacturing equipment at the STEM centre
Mock up of Derby on Demand platform on a desktop, tablet and mobile device

Derby on Demand

Derby on Demand brings you the very best of Open Days on your terms. You can access exclusive online content wherever you are, whenever you want, and see all Derby has to offer.

Sign up to Derby on DemandSign up to Derby on Demand

What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Live Subject Chats

Join us on Saturday 6 February for a day of Live Subject Chats. You’ll be able to ask our teaching team questions about the courses we offer, speak to Admissions advisors about applying and chat to current students about their experience.

Book your live subject chatBook your live subject chat

How you will learn

Your lecturers have real world experience as designers working for manufacturing companies and as consultants, so you'll benefit from their expertise. You'll learn through practical studio-based project work with formal lectures, seminars and debates to give you a good theoretical knowledge. You'll put your learning into context through industry learning opportunities, live project work, competitions, teamwork, cultural field study visits and visiting speakers.

Our courses are highly practical and hands-on, and you’ll spend most of your time in the studio and workshop, developing 2D and 3D design. Your work will be on display at the University’s Degree Show in your final year. Work is then hand-picked to be displayed at New Designers in London, an excellent opportunity to network and make vital contacts to get you started in your career.

How you are assessed

Assessment is 100% coursework, using a range of mainly project-based outcomes.

Degree Show

Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June and is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:

Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Dan Garner
Programme leader

Dan Garner is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and programme leader for BSc Product Design Engineering and MSc Advanced Materials and Additive Manufacturing. Core specialism in the field of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing with a focus on Digital Manufacturing (3Dprinting, 3D scanning, CAD).

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / Audition

N/A

PortfolioYes - see portfolio details

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. Following this, if you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)

 Full-timePart-time
UK

£9,250 per year

N/A

International/EU

£14,045 per year

N/A

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

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Supporting your UCAS application

We know there have been changes and there is some uncertainty, however we are here to help and support you every step of the way with your university application.

Take a look at how we can help youTake a look at how we can help you

How to apply

Apply by 29 January to start September 2021

Need help applying? Find out how we can help you with your UCAS application

UK students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Careers

Our graduates have shown that there is a wealth of career opportunities available to product designers, in the UK and abroad. This course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to start your career, both in the product design profession and in related areas.

You can go on an optional work placement between stages two and three, which is a fantastic opportunity to gain some real experience of working in the industry. You'll also gain an additional qualification - the Diploma in Professional Practice. Find out more about placements

Every year we select graduates to showcase their work at the New Designers exhibition which is a great opportunity to network and make vital industry contacts.

Employable graduates – we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree.

Graduate Sam Johnson landed a dream job at Lego, and is now an established designer, here's what he had to say about the course: “Studying the course at the University of Derby helped me develop a very good understanding of the design process and CAD software. Plus I learned new skills in drawing, rendering and presentation which resulted in me landing my childhood dream job as Junior Designer with Lego after graduation.”

Career opportunities

  • product designer
  • 3D designer
  • packaging/point of sale designer
  • product visualiser

Our graduates have gone on to work for employers including:

  • Rolls-Royce
  • Triumph
  • Ford
  • Dyson
  • Lego
  • BAE Systems

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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