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BSc (Hons)

Product Design

Bethany Wignall work BSc Product Design
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Year Of Entry

2021
  • UCAS code(s): W244 (full-time) / H715 (sandwich)
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: Three years full-time, four years with sandwich route

Focusing on the underlying technology of product design, this course concentrates on the design of products for manufacturing, digital, industrial, electronics and medical applications. Placing technology and scientific advancement at the core of the design process, you'll work on projects that combine both form and function.

You'll develop your knowledge of materials, and explore new and emerging technologies, including mechanics and electronics. Through commercial projects with industry you’ll reflect, model, test, modify, develop and improve your ideas.

Why study this course?

  • Inspiring spaces | Work with our industry-standard facilities and studios, including a dedicated model making studio, 3D printing space, design and test laboratories, electronics workshops and CAD design suites.
  • Live projects | Work on project briefs from real industry clients. Previously our students have worked with Dyson, Cambridge Consultants, Tesco, PepsiCo and Wilko.
  • Placement year | Gain vital skills and experience in the workplace by undertaking a one-year placement on our sandwich route. Our students have spent their placements at companies such as Triumph, Diversey and Games Workshop.
  • Competitions | You'll be encourage to challenge yourself and enter competitions and national events. Previously, our students have been winners of the BPMA Student Design Innovation Awards, the Chartered Society of Designers Awards, Engineering without Borders and the Student Starpack Awards.
  • Exhibitions and shows | Exhibit your work at our final year Degree Show and nationally at events including New Designers in London.

Discover the NTU Design Industries Virtual Student Showcase, an online exhibition celebrating the work of our Class of 2021 Product Design graduates.

Keep up to date with our current Final Year Product Design student work on Instagram @NTUDI!

How does the course differ from our BA (Hons) Product Design and BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design courses?

  • Our BA (Hons) Product Design course concentrates on the design of products, systems and services including consumer goods, electronic gadgets, sustainable products, sports and healthcare equipment, packaging, and transportation.
  • Our BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design course specifically focuses on furniture and homeware product design.

Main image: Work by Bethany Wignall

Accredited by:

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Find out about studying BSc (Hons) Product Design at NTU
Hear our student Olufunmilayo talk about her experience of studying Product Design

What you'll study


Through a range of diverse and stimulating projects, you'll explore many aspects of product design, from the understanding of user needs to materials selection.

You'll develop key communication skills, using a range of media and methods from drawing, to model making and building.

  • Year One

    Design Fundamentals (40 credit points)

    • This module provides the fundamental skills and knowledge that you'll need as design professionals. This module is largely based on individual design project activity, with some elements of collaborative work with other students. It contains three elements: design projects, design communication, and design process and practice.
    • You'll undertake a number of exciting product-inspired design projects, involving the expression of your creative and technical talents. You'll be expected to undertake research to inform and support your design activity.
    • You'll learn how to use a range of techniques to communicate your ideas effectively, including computer-aided design (CAD); sketching; modelling; presentation drawings, images and rendering, and verbal, electronic and written presentations.
    • You'll develop your knowledge and awareness of a range of material properties and production processes, introducing you to to the principles and applications of technology. You'll also develop your awareness of environmental issues, sustainability, ethical sourcing, and critically explore the historic, contemporary and future influences in art and design.

    The Developing Design Technologist (40 credit points)

    • This module builds on the Design Fundamentals module, continuing the practical design culture through studio-based activities and lectures.
    • You'll further your knowledge of and skills in design communication, through digital tools including 3D CAD modelling, and sketch modelling, as well as develop your skills through presenting this information in front of your tutors and peers.
    • You'll broaden your project portfolio by undertaking a range of design projects individually and as part of a team. The design activities will develop your understanding of how to frame appropriate solutions through a variety of different processes and approaches.
    • You'll consider the key factors related to technology-focused product design, including materials selection and manufacturing aspects integral to, and for, designers. You'll examine aspects related to design for the future to widen your understanding of contemporary issues that influence culture and society and their relationship with design.

    Applied Design Technology (40 credit points)

    • This module will focus specifically on technology and its application in design, contextualising product design under technical perspectives. You'll be introduced to the basic principles and applications of technology and understand how they affect the development of products and systems.
    • You'll expand you understanding of machinery relative to resistant materials and production, electronics, electrical systems, and pneumatics.
    • You'll expand your understanding of the subject beyond the traditional remit of product design, as a 3D field, to consider services, systems design, and digital prototyping, and explore and apply these within your work. Research will inform and support this design activity.
  • Year Two

    Professional Practice (60 credit points)

    • This module is designed to prepare you, as a designer, for industry. By the end of the module you'll have developed a professional portfolio and CV that represents your design capability and awareness. The module is broken down into three elements: professional projects, professional context, and professional communications.
    • You'll work on a range of different live briefs from industry, and competition work, focusing on user needs and characteristics, the market, product manufacturing, and commercial awareness.
    • You'll develop and utilise advanced communication techniques to produce sketches, renderings, models, test rigs, prototypes, simulations, and virtual solutions for real industry scenarios.
    • You'll contextualise your design studies, in terms of the future of the industry and your place in it. You'll learn about key design management techniques, and how to effectively manage your projects and time, working as an individual and part of a team.

    Applied Materials and Technology (60 credit points)

    • This module will build on the knowledge, skills and attributes learnt in the first year of your studies, and develops them to give you confidence to progress as a product designer within the industrial and commercial parameters associated with the profession.
    • You'll work on design briefs related to global perspectives and sustainability, some from industry clients, to real time deadlines. You'll be expected to realise the full format of a designer's outputs, including technical reports, technical drawings, CAD work, sketches, renderings, models, test rigs, prototypes, and simulations, to an industrial and commercially accepted standard.
    • You'll learn about the importance of designing for manufacture and how process choice can enhance product properties. You'll develop your knowledge from Year One to realise commercial, economic, social, and aesthetic elements of design.
    • Your work will be underpinned by a knowledge of theoretical and practical insights, including electrical and electronic systems, mechanical systems, robotics, and programming. These will be considered alongside cost implications.

    The course operates a 'soft semester' approach in Year Two meaning you also have the opportunity to undertake an international exchange opportunity to study abroad for 15 weeks (one semester).

  • Year Three

    In your third year, you'll have the opportunity to take a year-long, full-time placement. This year in industry will offer you hands-on experience, adding invaluable knowledge and skills to your CV. Many students return to their placement company after graduation, having developed a useful network of contacts within the industry.

    Recent placement destinations have included Reevo 360, Nestlé, Triumph Motorcycles, Aevena (USA), Demand, and Bentley Motors Ltd, with more students working in roles such as design intern, design engineer, product design intern, industrial designer, and many more. The majority of their roles include salaries, with some students earning up to £20,000 for their year.

    Successful completion of the placement year leads to an extra qualification – the Diploma in Professional Practice.

    You'll also have the opportunity to undertake a European Project Semester during your third year with one of our partner universities. This option allows you to spend half a year studying abroad, and the other half gaining work experience on placement. We've got links with Universities in Spain, France, Austria, The Netherlands and Germany amongst others.

  • Final year

    Design in Practice (80 credit points)

    • Within this module you’ll complete a Commercial Project and Self-directed Project. The Commercial Project will be selected from a large selection of pre-determined live industrial briefs. The subject of the Self-directed Project will be completely your choice. This is the perfect opportunity to explore areas of personal interest. Your proposal of work will focus your thoughts and plans for what you intend to learn, develop, and produce during the module. Both projects within this module will be supported by weekly tutorials, lectures, and CAD assistance.

    Design in Context (40 credit points)

    • This module gives you the opportunity to explore a subject of your personal interest and choice. It challenges you to source and research information, be critical and reflective, and present findings on a range of topical, relevant subjects of significance.
    • You'll either do this through a dissertation - a critically reflective piece independent from the rest of your studies, or as a thesis - a critically reflective piece directly linked to your self-directed project in the Design in Practice module. Whichever route you choose, your topics are individually negotiated and agreed with tutors through a learning agreement.

How you’re taught

  • Based on 40-hour weeks during term time, approximately 18 hours per week is spent in scheduled learning. Course content is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory sessions and workshops.
  • You will also be involved in self-directed project work with the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.
  • Outside of timetabled sessions you will need to undertake self-directed independent study. This will include preparing for lectures, researching, completing coursework, developing a portfolio, and directed reading to expand your knowledge.
  • This course is supported by external professional practitioners, ensuring that your learning is continuously enhanced through exposure to real-world perspective.

Study trips

Field trips and study visits are an important part of your learning. Trips may include site visits and visits to practices, museums, exhibitions and events. Where a trip is mandatory it will be aligned to your modules and inform project work, and substantive costs – including travel and accommodation – will be paid for by the school. Optional trips may also be organised which can provide additional opportunities to enhance your knowledge and experience. Optional trips may incur a cost to the student. A valid passport and any associated visas will be required for trips outside of the UK.

Assessment methods

You’ll be assessed through coursework, which will consist of projects, reports, presentations, essays and a portfolio.

Year One Coursework 100%
Year Two Coursework 100%
Year Three Optional placement year
Year Four Coursework 100%

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year One Lectures/seminars/workshops 46% Independent study 54%
Year Two Lectures/seminars/workshops 43% Independent study 57%
Year Three Optional placement year
Year Four Lectures/seminars/workshops 20% Independent study 80%

Careers and employability

Our course is designed to prepare you to succeed in the design industry, through work placements, working on real projects from industry, input from industry professionals, and regularly updated course content.

Where do Product Design graduates from NTU work?

NTU has a strong product design alumni community with many graduates working in senior positions in leading national and international companies.

Recent graduate destinations include Dyson, Triumph, TATA, Cummins Ltd, Jaguar Land Rover, Solid Solutions, AECOM, Brett Martin, Harkess-Ord and Accuride.

Our Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies and up to three years after completing your course.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.


Excellent placement opportunities

NTU is ranked fourth in the UK for the number of year-long placement undergraduates studying design-related courses (HESA 2018/19).

By choosing our sandwich (four year) route, you’ll have the opportunity to take a year-long work placement during your studies, giving you the opportunity to gain real experience in industry. The majority of our placement students receive a salary.

Where can I work on placement?

Students typically gain placements in product design companies across the UK and abroad.

Recent destinations have included Solid Solutions, HJC Design, Nestlé, Bosch, Games Workshop, Tesco and Vauxhall. There are a wide variety of placement roles available within the industry and the majority of our students have worked as designers or in design engineering roles.

Professional qualification

Successful completion of the 36 weeks leads to an extra qualification – the Diploma in Professional Practice, which will further enhance your CV.

Competitions

As well as working on briefs as part of the course, our students have taken part in and won competitions and national events. Previously, our students have participated in and won competitions including the Starpack Awards, the Engineers without Borders Challenge, and the Design in Innovation and Plastics Award.

Alex Bordino, BSc (Hons) Product Design, working a new design for fire helmets with Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for Year One entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into Year Two. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements, please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to complete a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language requirements page. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our international students page and our application guide for international students, which includes advice on how to apply to the University and visa information.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS.

As part of your application, you’ll submit a personal statement. Tell us about your ambitions, skills and experience. You have 4,000 characters to impress us – here’s how to make your words count.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply through UCAS (if applying to more than one university in the UK), or through our NTU Applicant Portal if you're not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

  • For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University, please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa, please visit our visa information page.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Please also take a look at our international students pages and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, that's why we're here to help. Take a look at our fees and funding pages for lots of handy advice and guidance.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Additional costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our modern library, industry-standard workshops and study spaces, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs, which for this programme could include the following:

  • Year 1:  Layout pads, geometry set, portfolio case, rendering pens, materials £250 (minimum) and printing £100 (minimum)
  • Year 2: Layout pads and materials £160 (minimum) and printing £100 (minimum)
  • Final Year: Layout pads and materials £700 (minimum) and printing £80 (minimum)

Please note that material costs may vary depending on what material you choose to work in. All other mandatory costs for the course are paid for by the University.

Our Students’ Union shop and Bonington art shop are great places to pick up drawing and writing equipment at reasonable prices and are located right in the centre of our City Campus.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Degree Show

In Final Year, the School will provide infrastructure costs for your Degree Show, including course catalogue and exhibition set-up costs. If you’re selected to exhibit your work at a graduate show in London, the School will cover the cost of transporting your work, the exhibition stand and event set-up.

Our Building Blocks financial package: supporting you throughout your studies

As a student at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, you’ll also benefit from our Building Blocks financial package, which aims to help minimise the additional costs of study, while you’re here at NTU.

What you’ll receive

  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years). You’ll be able to spend this at our Bonington art shop, fully stocked with a wide range of art and design materials at student-friendly prices, and at our School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities.
  • All of the materials needed for induction workshops and activities, working within our workshops and laboratories.
  • Free personal protective equipment (PPE), which usually includes hard-wearing boots, goggles and high-vis vests, to keep you safe on site visits and while working in our workshops.
  • Access to the free professional body accreditation, as appropriate for your course.
  • £20 pre-paid printing allowance for use at the NTU Print Shops, and library photocopiers. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, that's why we're here to help. Take a look at our fees and funding pages for lots of handy advice and guidance.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Additional costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our modern library, industry-standard workshops and study spaces, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs, which for this programme could include the following:

  • Year 1:  Layout pads, geometry set, portfolio case, rendering pens, materials £250 (minimum) and printing £100 (minimum)
  • Year 2: Layout pads and materials £160 (minimum) and printing £100 (minimum)
  • Final Year: Layout pads and materials £700 (minimum) and printing £80 (minimum)

Please note that material costs may vary depending on what material you choose to work in. All other mandatory costs for the course are paid for by the University.

Our Students’ Union shop and Bonington art shop are great places to pick up drawing and writing equipment at reasonable prices and are located right in the centre of our City Campus.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Degree Show

In Final Year, the School will provide infrastructure costs for your Degree Show, including course catalogue and exhibition set-up costs. If you’re selected to exhibit your work at a graduate show in London, the School will cover the cost of transporting your work, the exhibition stand and event set-up.

Our Building Blocks financial package: supporting you throughout your studies

As a student at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, you’ll also benefit from our Building Blocks financial package, which aims to help minimise the additional costs of study, while you’re here at NTU.

What you’ll receive

  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years). You’ll be able to spend this at our Bonington art shop, fully stocked with a wide range of art and design materials at student-friendly prices, and at our School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities.
  • All of the materials needed for induction workshops and activities, working within our workshops and laboratories.
  • Free personal protective equipment (PPE), which usually includes hard-wearing boots, goggles and high-vis vests, to keep you safe on site visits and while working in our workshops.
  • Access to the free professional body accreditation, as appropriate for your course.
  • £20 pre-paid printing allowance for use at the NTU Print Shops, and library photocopiers. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418