MA

Design: Products and Furniture

Goun Choi, MA Product Design
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught / Professional
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: One year full-time or two years part-time

FIND US ON

Our MA Design: Products and Furniture course is aimed at the designer who wishes to develop innovative products, furniture, systems or services. You’ll develop your own personal design philosophies and creative methodologies, while engaging with the realities of designing for new and emerging markets.

Who is this course designed for?

This course is aimed at design professionals or graduates with a design-related honours degree. This course, and the associated support provided by the University, will enable graduates to develop advanced design, technological and manufacturing skills, enabling them to start their own business, work within the manufacturing industry, design consultancies, research and development organisations, or to progress to further study by engaging in research.

Why study this course?

  • Join a university that's ranked amongst the top 150 in the world for art and design (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).
  • Benefit from the industry-standard facilities at our City Campus, in the heart of Nottingham’s city centre. Supported by our team of expert technicians, you’ll have access to our machining and manufacturing workshops, laboratories, modern CAD/CAM studios and dedicated studio for Masters students.
  • Study trips in the UK and abroad are included in your course fees, designed to help develop your understanding of theory in practice.
  • Showcase your work as part of the NTU Degree Shows. Employers and industry professionals are invited to the exhibition, providing our postgraduate students with an invaluable opportunity to expand their professional network.
  • Turn your design ideas into a viable business with help from The Hive – NTU’s purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, which supports students and graduates looking to form their own company. You’ll also be supported by NTU’s Employability Team, providing tailored career advice and guidance.
  • Benefit from our established and new links to commercial organisations, industry professionals and university experts. Our research activities are universally-recognised and supported by grants from a variety of funding organisations.
  • Benefit from our team of expert academic staff who have significant experience of working in practice.
  • Our flexible study options support part-time learners, who wish to balance employment with further study.
  • Become part of a strong student design community. Our studio-based culture supports peer-to-peer learning and helps to set work in a professional context, fostering a spirit of interdisciplinary and teamwork.

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What you'll study

With a strong studio-based culture, our MA Design course considers the relationship between traditional craft skills, new technology and modern manufacture, and encourages collaborative working and hands-on experience. You’ll be given the tools to understand market, social needs and end users, developing into an advanced and aware designer, specialising in existing or emerging areas of product design.

Course structure

The course is formed of four core modules, three of which are worth 20 credit points and develop different aspects of your design skills, knowledge and experience. You will also study a 120 credit Major Study Project, which will run throughout the year/two years on the part-time route. This is split into three elements which are assessed at the end of each term. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in a public exhibition at the NTU Degree Show, at the end of Term 2.

You'll study the three 20 credit point modules alongside students from the MSc Design: Products and Technology course, offering opportunities to share ideas and expertise across the subject group.

Course overview

Full-time route

Term 1 (15 weeks)Term 2 (15 weeks)Term 3 (15 weeks)

Design Research Methods
(20 credits)

Professional Collaboration
(20 credits)
Products and Furniture: Major Study Project
Element 3: Realisation and Evaluation Core (part of 120 credit module) 
Design Tools
(20 credits) 
Products and Furniture: Major Study Project
Element 2: Design and Development Core
(part of 120 credit module) 
Products and Furniture: Major Study Project
Element 1: Context and Rationale Core
(part of 120 credit module)

Part-time route

Year 1Year 2
Term 1
(15 weeks) 
Term 2
(15 weeks)
Term 3
(15 weeks)
Term 1
(15 weeks) 
Term 2
(15 weeks) 
Term 3
(15 weeks) 

Design Research Methods
(20 credits)

Design Tools
(20 credits)
Professional Collaboration
(20 credits)
Products and Furniture: Major Study Project
Element 3: Realisation and Evaluation Core (part of 120 credit module)
Products and Furniture: Major Study Project
Element 1: Context and Rationale Core
(part of 120 credit module)
Products and Furniture: Major Study Project Element 2: Design and Development Core
(part of 120 credit module)
  • Module content

    Design Research Methods 

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 50
    Total non-contact hours: 150

    • This module will provide students with the research methodologies, languages, methods, knowledge and skills necessary in building contemporary arts, design, manufacturing and technology-related practices.
    • Working in small groups you'll complete a research project in consultation with your supervisor, identifying your aims and objectives within the framework of their course and beyond.
    • You'll engage with a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and evaluate primary and secondary methods with reference to design issues.
    • You'll learn to critically appraise theoretical and experimental methods of research in your chosen field of interest and apply them in your practice, and reflect on the relationship between theory and practice.

    Design Tools

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 80
    Total non-contact hours: 120

    • This module will provide you with the necessary practical skills and knowledge to devise creative design solutions at an advanced level.
    • You'll undertake a series of exploratory workshops to become familiarised with the facilities and staff at the university, and to develop an awareness of the potential for emerging materials and technologies relating to their design interests.
    • You'll generate ideas for new products and develop and evaluate a range of new solutions, communicate ideas, concepts, plans and designs, using a variety of approaches including written, oral, graphic illustrations and computer-based presentations.
    • You'll consider different elements of your individual design interests through studio and reflective practice, skills such as drawing, and prototyping as well as investigations to materials such as wood, metal, plastics, ceramics, composites and sustainable materials, and fourth-generation development platforms, computer aided design and additive manufacturing.

    Professional Collaboration

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 50
    Total non-contact hours: 150

    • Working as a member of a small team, the Professional Collaboration module will provide challenging simulated work environments, to enable you to engage in the design and management of real-world design projects with industrial partners.
    • You'll choose from a range of problem-based scenarios and benefit from working with others on innovative projects set in the context of contemporary real-world issues, and find solutions to difficult and complex challenges.
    • You'll be challenged to define the value in a design proposal, and to develop it into a viable commercial proposition, informed by current developments in design management, venture funding, manufacturing technologies, intellectual property (IP), open innovation, and brand management.

    Major Study Project

    120 credit points
    Total contact hours: 100
    Total non-contact hours: 1,100

    • This module provides you with the opportunity to develop innovative artefacts, products or systems. You'll work on your own design concept, an industrially-led, or research-based project as individually negotiated through your learning agreement.
    • Projects may be based on developing innovative products, furniture, systems and services.  Projects should consider not only materials and manufacturing, but also a broad range of strategies and approaches driven by user-centred, market-driven, sustainable, ethical, technological or critical methodologies.
    • The first element of this module is called context and rationale. The main aims of this phase are to enable you to employ appropriate methods of creative research, and apply them to the development of effective design strategies for a negotiated Masters Project.
    • In the second element, design and development you'll progress your project by applying research methods and creative concept generation and ideas prototyping to the development and testing of a range of possible design outcomes for your project.
    • In the final element of the Major Study Project, realisation and evaluation, you'll realise the outcome of your design project through the development of manufactured artifacts, detailed prototypes and/or digital simulations, which will enable effective testing and evaluation of the project outcome, and successfully communicate the product, system or service to all stakeholders in the project.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Join a university that's ranked amongst the top 150 in the world for art and design (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017)

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

  • Learning and teaching will comprise of lectures to introduce and develop concepts, and to explore the application of these concepts. Studio work, workshops and laboratory sessions will develop your skills.
  • Seminars and tutorials will provide you with academic support, and case studies and project work will be used to develop your understanding of concepts and applications.
  • You’ll also be expected to take part in project presentations to develop your confidence and identity in professional practice.

Trips and study visits

Study trips to live sites in the UK and abroad are included in your course fees, giving you the opportunity to gain design inspiration and experience international design practice. Previous study trip destinations have included Porto and Paris.

Assessment methods

Your progress on the course is assessed by 100% coursework, working to tasks and briefs.

Postgraduate Product Design students on a study trip to Porto

Study trips in the UK and abroad are included in your course fees

Careers and employability

Our School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment has an outstanding reputation for producing employable graduates: 97% of postgraduate students are in work or further study within just six months of graduating (DLHE 2015-2016). 

Where do MA Design: Products and Furniture graduates from NTU work?

This course has been developed to meet the needs of industry in the UK and overseas. It is specifically designed to increase your employability in a business context by identifying new services, strategies and product opportunities, and conducting projects in collaboration with industrial partners. You'll become more strategically aware and technically literate, and will communicate concepts and outcomes at an advanced level in an ever-changing global market place.

On completion, you will have acquired a set of skills, knowledge and experience to enable you to set up your own business, to work in manufacturing industries, design consultancies, and research and development organisations, or to progress to PhD study by engaging in further research.

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 for up to three years after completing your course.

Turn your design ideas into a viable business with help from The Hive

Showcase your work as part of the NTU Degree Shows

Entry requirements

Applying with prior qualifications

  • 2.2 honours degree in an art and design-related subject.

Applicants with non-standard entry requirements and / or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Your work experience will be assessed to ensure it is relevant to your application.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Assessment of your experience will confirm that you have achieved the necessary skills in the course of your general experience.

Work submission

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to upload a practical portfolio of your work to our Applicant Portal. If you'd like to prepare your portfolio in advance here are some guidelines.

Getting in touch

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

Applying with prior qualifications

  • 2.2 honours degree in an art and design-related subject.

Applicants with non-standard entry requirements and / or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Your work experience will be assessed to ensure it is relevant to your application.

Applying with non-standard entry qualifications/experience

  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and/or relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Assessment of your experience will confirm that you have achieved the necessary skills in the course of your general experience.

Work submission

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to upload a practical portfolio of your work to our Applicant Portal. If you'd like to prepare your portfolio in advance here are some guidelines.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

How to apply

Applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal - click on the Apply button at the top of the page to be taken straight through to the Portal.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide. Here you’ll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Advice for non-standard applicants

We welcome applications from applicants without prior qualifications. However, in this instance, you must have proven experience in the construction industry, which demonstrates appropriate knowledge and skills at honours degree (undergraduate) standard.

If you are applying without prior qualifications, you will need to submit comprehensive details of your achievements with evidence to substantiate your claim (any documentation can be uploaded to the My Documents section of the Applicant Portal). This type of application will be considered with respect to the University’s provision for ‘accreditation for prior experiential learning’. Decisions regarding the accreditation of prior learning are a matter of academic judgement.

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.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.uk.

Good luck with your application!

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

Applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal - click on the Apply button at the top of the page to be taken straight through to the Portal.

Apply for your course as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

  • 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.
  • For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement 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.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.uk.

Good luck with your application!

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

Fees and funding

Please note that these fees are for 2018 entry and are to be used for reference only. The amounts stated below will increase each year in line with inflation. 2019-entry fees will be released in early 2019.

Fees for 2018-entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time (1 year)£7,800 per year£13,250 per year
Part-time (cost per year of study)£3,900 per year£6,625 per year

Funding your studies

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

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

Please note that these fees are for 2018 entry and are to be used for reference only. The amounts stated below will increase each year in line with inflation. 2019-entry fees will be released in early 2019.

Fees for 2018-entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time (1 year)£7,800 per year£13,250 per year
Part-time (cost per year of study)£3,900 per year£6,625 per year

Funding your studies

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

Getting in touch

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

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418