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


Course level



BA/BSc (Hons)

Start date



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
A wooden bike on display
Wooden frame in the shape of a helicopter with small propellers inside the frame


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


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.

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • Thinking about Design
  • Design Encounters
  • Technical Exploration
  • Thinking through Design

In the second year you will choose optional modules depending on your preferred pathway of BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons). 

  • Social Design
  • UX Design
  • Design practice
  • Design visions (BA pathway)
  • Technical Development (BSc pathway)
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Context: Professional Design
  • Personal Design Values
  • Critical Analysis of Design (BA pathway)
  • Enhanced Digital Techniques (BSc pathway)

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.

Smiling girl with scarf sitting in cafe with cup of coffee

Find out more about Product Design

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your 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.

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.

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 / AuditionN/A

Yes - Digital portfolio

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.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*



£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

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


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

Graduate Sam Johnson landed a dream job at Lego, and is now an established designer. 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.

Programme leader

Terry Watson

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

Download programme specification

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.

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.