Available through Fast Track to Clearing

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 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:

93% of students said that they were satisfied with the overall quality of this course, according to the National Student Survey 2019.

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. 

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

93%overall satisfaction for BA (Hons) Product Design**National Student Survey 2019
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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
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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 courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where modern, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern creative space for our arts students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street (home to our Fashion and Textiles courses) and Britannia Mill (home to Fine Arts and our print-making facilities). Students on any of our theatre related courses also get to study at Derby Theatre, and Dance students study at Deda.

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

Explore our facilities through our Virtual Tour:

Markeaton Street

Art and Design creative spaces

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 the STEM Centre virtual tour below:

A 360 look around the Additive Manufacturing equipment at the STEM centre

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2 - BA (Hons)Year 2 - BA (Hons)Year 2 - BSc (Hons)Year 2 - BSc (Hons)Diploma in Professional Practice (optional)Diploma in Professional Practice (optional)Year 3 - BA (Hons)Year 3 - BA (Hons)Year 3 - BSc (Hons)Year 3 - BSc (Hons)

Code: 4PD506

Design Encounters

This Module introduces key skills and knowledge that form the basis of Product Design. Students will experience a range of inputs, both practical and intellectual delivered across facilities that include classrooms, the design studio and workshops in the form of lectures, tutorials and hands-on sessions.

Individual and team-working exercises will build a body of work that will form the basis of an assessment portfolio. It is expected that students will take the opportunity offered by studio and workshop sessions to experiment with design solutions and explore possibilities in this supportive environment where experimentation and risk taking is encouraged.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PD507

Technical Exploration

Students will develop skills in Computer Aided Design (CAD) enabling them to produce robust models and assemblies for use in design development and to communicate their ideas effectively using industry accepted techniques.

The module provides an opportunity for students to develop their technical skills and knowledge. Learning is gained through a blend of lectures, practical workshops and laboratory experimentation.

Students will develop skills in Computer Aided Design (CAD) enabling them to produce robust models and assemblies for use in design development and to communicate their ideas effectively using industry accepted techniques.

Theory of materials and manufacturing processes will be underpinned by laboratory experimentation and practical investigation. The necessary engineering principles and analytical tools will be developed to enable the appropriate specification of components.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PD508

Thinking About Design

This module develops student’s knowledge and understanding of Design as a practice, discipline and profession, beginning their journey into Design as a research practice. Students will learn the fundamental principles and processes of academic research and develop visual, textual and verbal communication strategies to articulate and disseminate their research findings, which they will digest into a visual, textual essay.

Looking at examples of contemporary design practice and historical precedents, students will develop an understanding of the development of Design as a profession during the 20th century and consider the possibilities for Design in the 21st century. Students will begin to understand their own inspiration as a designer and will begin to articulate their preferences and possibilities for their personal development.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4PD509

Thinking Through Design

Thinking through Design continues the development of students as design practitioner-researchers through an understanding of the inter-relation of Design Thinking and Theory and Practice. Students will engage with Design Theory and Thinking as a creative process for problem finding and solving; fusing creativity, conceptual, critical and systems thinking with the approaches deployed by designers to develop methods for analysing complex problems and situations.

Students will be presented with a series of scenario based learning exercises, articulating a problem, situation and client and will be required to work collaboratively to develop an approach and response to the scenario drawing on a toolkit drawing on both established design thinking approaches and their own experimentation. These will be presented as creative pitches, enabling students to hone their communication and presentation skills.

Students will also be given an individual design problem which they will investigate, and present as a visual, textual essay. This will enable them to enable them to think about the expression of their thinking.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5PD508

Design Practice

Develop the knowledge and skills required to practice product design at a professional level. Use techniques to investigate a product need leading to articulation of the product requirements. Use appropriate tools to develop and evaluate concepts. Select and refine a concept so that the final outcome suits the needs of the customer and the manufacturer of the product. The module also includes Design Week, where students undertake and evaluate a period of work-related learning.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5PD509

Design Visions

This module uses a combination of formal lectures, studio and workshop sessions along with specialised computer based facilities to develop the skills and knowledge needed to practice product design successfully in a commercial environment. There is particular emphasis on the production of design outcomes that address specific markets and brands, demonstrating the individuality of the designer and their understanding of the needs of the potential user.

Students will develop an understanding of the needs of commercial and retail markets, environmental and economic sustainability models. In this context, students will learn to digest their personal vision, risk taking, research and experimentation into novel solutions to design problems.

These processes and solutions will be developed into digital and physical models and prototypes will be produced to verify and develop concepts with the aim of both exploring possibilities and presenting outcomes.

More information
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5PD510

Social Design

Social Design understands design as an ethically driven philosophy seeking to make improvements to the lived experience of people, communities and the environment. It is underpinned by the principle of co-design or co-creation, working in partnership with to identify, investigate and resolve design problems.

Students will learn a range of approaches to participatory design, social action and entrepreneurship through investigating philosophies, methodologies and case studies. Through this they will develop a toolkit approach of techniques and their appropriateness to specific situations. Key to this is being able to understand a social context as a complex interaction of people, artefacts, systems and economies.

During the module, students will have a relationship with a specific community context and over a sustained period of time will develop collaborative research into the environment and factors which are shaping that community and propose co-design approaches to address the needs arising from that research.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5PD511

UX Design

The traditional role of the product designer requires knowledge and synthesis of information in a multi-disciplinary environment. In contemporary design this may also include development of non-physical products and services which enhance the user experience.

The module aims are to develop an understanding of the relationship between design teams and the integration of functional and humanistic design requirements in the development of a product offering.

Learners will be assigned a design role which matches their programme pathway and work as part of a team to develop a solution.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5PD508

Design Practice

Develop the knowledge and skills required to practice product design at a professional level. Use techniques to investigate a product need leading to articulation of the product requirements. Use appropriate tools to develop and evaluate concepts. Select and refine a concept so that the final outcome suits the needs of the customer and the manufacturer of the product. The module also includes Design Week, where students undertake and evaluate a period of work-related learning.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5PD510

Social Design

Social Design understands design as an ethically driven philosophy seeking to make improvements to the lived experience of people, communities and the environment. It is underpinned by the principle of co-design or co-creation, working in partnership with to identify, investigate and resolve design problems.

Students will learn a range of approaches to participatory design, social action and entrepreneurship through investigating philosophies, methodologies and case studies. Through this they will develop a toolkit approach of techniques and their appropriateness to specific situations. Key to this is being able to understand a social context as a complex interaction of people, artefacts, systems and economies.

During the module, students will have a relationship with a specific community context and over a sustained period of time will develop collaborative research into the environment and factors which are shaping that community and propose co-design approaches to address the needs arising from that research.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5PD511

UX Design

The traditional role of the product designer requires knowledge and synthesis of information in a multi-disciplinary environment. In contemporary design this may also include development of non-physical products and services which enhance the user experience.

The module aims are to develop an understanding of the relationship between design teams and the integration of functional and humanistic design requirements in the development of a product offering.

Learners will be assigned a design role which matches their programme pathway and work as part of a team to develop a solution.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5PD512

Technical Development

This module will engage students in investigation in to engineering processes and manufacturing practice. Through application of a range of technologies students will seek to analyse component function and gain insights in to manufacturing quality processes which enable them to verify the specification and design of components and products. Students will be encouraged to drive their own investigations using experimentation to explore a technical application of their choice.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5FH886

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5FH887

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline.

During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PD507

Context: Professional Design

This module provides experience that will prepare you for a post-graduation world. It will help you to develop appropriate cv and portfolio material, career planning, entrepreneurship and networking strategies and an understanding of the role of professional bodies along with your rights and responsibilities concerning intellectual property. Team working is an important component of the professional designers skill set so you will collaborate with others to develop a commercial design solution to a specific problem.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PD508

Critical Analysis of Design

This module affords an opportunity to make an in-depth study of a research topic appropriate to Product Design. Students will be encouraged to develop their knowledge and understanding of the place that their subject occupies within the general design community, taking account of historical, theoretical and contemporary contexts.

Research outcomes will be analysed to develop an understanding of how designers are influenced by and affect contemporary society.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PD994

Personal Design Values (Independent Study)

This is the defining module of the Programme, it will provide students with the focus of their portfolio and demonstrate their ability to complete a major design exercise based on their own choice of subject.
80 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PD507

Context: Professional Design

This module provides experience that will prepare you for a post-graduation world. It will help you to develop appropriate cv and portfolio material, career planning, entrepreneurship and networking strategies and an understanding of the role of professional bodies along with your rights and responsibilities concerning intellectual property. Team working is an important component of the professional designers skill set so you will collaborate with others to develop a commercial design solution to a specific problem.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PD509

Enhanced Digital Techniques

Students will be challenged to develop competency with several contemporary technologies which have potential for use in the field of product design. They will explore the potential impact on existing practice and take consideration of wider contextual issues. The learning process, involving critical evaluation of theoretical concepts and practical experimentation, will enable the synthesis of new design strategies fit for the era of the next industrial revolution.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6PD994

Personal Design Values (Independent Study)

This is the defining module of the Programme, it will provide students with the focus of their portfolio and demonstrate their ability to complete a major design exercise based on their own choice of subject.
80 Credits
core
Coursework

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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Undergraduate Live Online Events

While we’re not able to welcome you in person to our campuses at the moment, we’re not going to let that stop us showing you all the great things about studying at Derby.

We’re currently planning our autumn Open Events to bring you the best possible online and on-campus experience.

Book your Live Online EventBook your Live Online Event

Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

Explore our Virtual Open DayExplore our Virtual Open Day

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

Terry Watson

Terry Watson
Programme leader

Terry is the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Product Design. He teaches a range of modules that focus on practical and studio based studies in Industrial Design and Furniture Design, and also looks after the Independent Studies aspect of the Product Design Programmes.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionYes - see interview details
PortfolioN/A

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.

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.

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 C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionYes - see interview details
PortfolioN/A

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.

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.

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Academic Achievement Scholarship

We’re offering eligible students a £1,000 scholarship to celebrate your hard work and success.

Learn more about the Academic Achievement ScholarshipLearn more about the Academic Achievement Scholarship

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£9,250 per year

N/A

International

£14,045 per year

N/A

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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree

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Fast track to Clearing

If you don’t have a place at uni, have had a change of heart about your course, or maybe your gap year plans are on hold – don’t worry. Register with us today and fast forward to your future.

Register now for ClearingRegister now for Clearing

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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