Product design covers a wide and diverse field, so our aim is to help you to become a creative, imaginative and versatile designer who can operate independently or as a member of a design team.
This course develops your existing knowledge and experience as a designer, and exploits our significant research expertise to enhance your own design and research skills to a new level.
You use your creative, practical and theoretical skills to investigate and propose new solutions in response to problems such as economic and environmental issues. In this way, you learn to design products and environments that respond to the needs of our rapidly changing society. You can pursue a wide area of investigation when developing your new products and systems.
There are opportunities to participate in study trips and visits to design conferences and debates.
You choose your own project content and this is supported by lectures and seminars dealing with professional practice issues and reviewing your progress. You also take part in regular group and individual tutorials.
Your final major project is the culmination of your research and studio-based design practice. It demonstrates that you can deal with difficult contemporary questions and take a leading role as a design professional.
We are one of the oldest established art and design institutions in the UK, renowned for producing internationally recognised research. Your projects are supported by lecturers who are design specialists in areas as diverse as medical products, materials development, furniture and sustainability.
Vibrant and supportive learning environment
During the course you regularly take part in constructive critical debates about your own work and that of your peers. You need to communicate your research, ideas and designs in ways that are appropriate to professional leadership.
You study alongside MA and MFA Design students for part of your course and benefit from a vibrant, international, collaborative and supportive postgraduate environment.
Excellent facilities and creative resources
You have access to a huge range of creative resources to experiment and engage with including • 3D printing for rapid prototyping • state-of-the-art hardware and software • photography studios • a creative media centre • a gallery • well-equipped workshops.
You also have access to our award-winning learning centre featuring a specialist art, design and media library and extensive online resources.
MA and MFA study
MA and MFA students complete the same modules during the course except that MFA students complete an extra project module. The MFA project encourages you to develop professional skills that help you to identify, instigate, and deliver projects with external partners, such as communities, galleries or businesses. You find a project partner, agree a brief and then deliver the project to a professional standard.
This course is part of the Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA), an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. SIA opened in 1843 and is one of the UK's oldest Art and Design Schools. We have recently moved into the Head Post Office, a redesigned Grade II listed building. It includes state-of-the-art workshops which provide you with a unique studio-based learning environment in the heart of the creative community.
• project 1 • theory supporting practice
• project 2 • negotiated project
• major project
Semester four – MFA students only
• MFA project
Semester one (year 1)
• theory supporting practice • negotiated project
Semester two (year 2)
• project 1 • project 2
Semester three (year 3)
• major project
Semester four – MFA students only (year 4)
• MFA project
Assessment and feedback are vital parts of the learning process in creative disciplines. Most assessment is through individual project work which combines research and creative practice. Assessment calls for both excellent creative work and well-documented research.
There are many opportunities for employment or self-employment. We encourage you to take an enterprising approach and to strengthen your ability to develop your own business.
The roles designers perform are wide reaching. Careers developed by some of our graduates include • independent design practitioner • maker or manufacturer • company employed designer • manager or buyer • professional researcher.
An increasing number of our graduates undertake more advanced further study through research degrees (PhD) in our Art and Design Research Centre which has a leading position in the advancement of creative practice in design.
Sheffield is home to the largest concentration of creative production in the region. Support for creative industries in the city has encouraged home grown talent as well as practitioners relocating here.
Product Design at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) centres on the exploration of problem spaces, understanding that much of what designers do is re-define and re-interpret products and their contexts enabling people to lead engaged, productive and meaningful lives.
Product design is a broad discipline, and at the University of Edinburgh we understand our discipline through a ethnomethodological lens. At the heart of our research programme is people; particularly those who currently struggle with existing objects in identified circumstances. We embrace a variety of approaches to people-centred design practice including participatory action research; affective design; design for disruption and inclusive design. The core to our approach is to speculate and build preferred futures, based on design-led evidence constructed through observation and engagement with others. Our aim is to understand the agency of objects and configure intended impacts on communities of people moving through and across various services and systems.
As a student on programme, you will join a vibrant, international community of creative practitioners and researchers. Members of the academic team are involved in a variety of research interests relevant to design production, maintaining strong partnerships with academics from across the University in allied disciplines such as engineering, informatics, anthropology, sociology, health and business.
There are two semesters in your first year, each providing the opportunity to engage three courses: one core requirement, and two elective options from supporting programmes relevant to the ethos of the programme.
Core courses foster exploration and development of ethnomethodological approaches to product design research and development, with a strong emphasis on action research, ethnographic observation, participation and prototyping, driven through a strong iterative approach to practice.
One-year MA degree
If you choose to pursue the one year MA degree, you will engage your dissertation in the summer period following the first year of study, focusing on the development of an individual project which emphasises product theory in context.
Emphasis on the MA degree pathway is to prepare students with interests in design management, policy or direction, or pursuing further academic research programmes such as the PhD.
Two-year MFA degree (Under review for 2018 entry)
Students enrolled on the two year MFA degree demonstrate interest in pursuing a career as autonomous designers, often establishing their own studios of practice.
In Year 2 of the MFA, you will undertake an additional four courses, with a core component in semester 1 entitled "Incubator", which is designed to help develop your skills in researching, developing and delivering a practice-led thesis.
The MFA dissertation takes place in your final semester, and culminates in the presentation of a significant body of work presented in exhibition format, showcasing exceptional skills in making, prototyping and manufacturing of high-quality, proof of concept models which articulate your understanding of theory in practice through artefacts, images and text relevant to people-centred design.
The professional knowledge, skills and abilities developed on this programme will prepare you for a rewarding career as a product/industrial designer, designer-maker, user-experience designer, user-interface designer, design manager, production manager, or a variety of other related roles within design-related industries.
Our graduates have an excellent track record moving into employment in a variety of sectors following graduation.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Simulation Driven Product Design at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
Computer simulation is now an established discipline that has an important role to play in engineering, science and in newly emerging areas of interdisciplinary research.
Using mathematical modelling as the basis, computational methods provide procedures which, with the aid of the computer, allow complex problems to be solved. The techniques play an ever-increasing role in industry.
Swansea University has been at the forefront of international research in the area of computational engineering. Internationally renowned engineers at Swansea pioneered the development of numerical techniques, such as the finite element method, and associated computational procedures that have enabled the solution of many complex engineering problems.
MSc by Research in Simulation Driven Product Design typically lasts one year full-time, two to three years part-time. This is an individual research project written up in a thesis of 30,000 words.
Engineering at Swansea University has utilised an award of £3M from the Science Research Infrastructure Fund (SRIF) to provide state-of-the-art research facilities.
Simulation Driven Product Design research students will benefit from one of the most advanced university computing facilities in Europe.
Hardware includes a 450 cpu Cluster, high-end graphics workstations and high-speed network links. Extensive software packages include both in-house developed and 'off-the-shelf' commercial.
The Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering has an extensive track record of industrial collaboration and contributes to many exciting projects, including the aerodynamics for the current World Land Speed Record car, Thrust SSC, and the future BLOODHOUND SSC, and the design of the double-decker super-jet Airbus A380.
The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008 ranked Engineering at Swansea University as 8th in the UK for the combined score in the research quality across the Engineering disciplines.
The RAE showed that 73% of research produced by academic staff is classified as world-leading (4*) or of internationally excellent (3*) quality.
Research pioneered at the College of Engineering, Swansea University harnesses the expertise of academic staff within the department. This ground-breaking multidisciplinary research informs our world-class teaching with several of our staff leaders in their fields.
Our MA Product Design course provides a conceptual process and context for the development of creative and innovative products. This includes the study of socio-cultural and economic issues, new technologies and creative visual language in relation to your practice.
As a student on our course, you'll undertake individual research projects using an integrated product design process. You'll also develop and communicate design solutions which align with design criteria and respond to broader issues such as lifestyles, markets or the information economy.
On this course you'll benefit from seminar sessions with visiting professional product designers. They'll provide critical feedback to advance your design concepts to prototype stage, in order to ready them for final exhibition and commercial manufacture.
You'll also have seminar sessions with visiting professional product designers, who provide critical feedback to advance your design concepts to prototype stage, ready for final exhibition and commercial manufacture.
The Centre for Sustainable Design is based at our Farnham campus, too. This research centre facilitates discussion and research on eco-design, and broader sustainability considerations, in product and service development.
Our range of industry contacts include:
-Industrial Design Consultancy
-TheAlloy (product and interaction consultants)
-IDEO (design consultants)
And recent guest lecturers include:
-John Gertsakis, product ecology
-Stuart Heron, Design Director.
Our course will equip you with a host of valuable and transferable skills. Graduate opportunities exist within:
-Product design practice
-Independent design studios
-Specialist design consultancies
-Design teams in manufacturing industry
-Service design sectors.
Visit our Postgraduate Virtual Media Space to find out more about our courses, see what it's like to study at UCA and gain access to our campus virtual tours.
The Design Products programme is about creativity for purpose – educating students to be design leaders who address real-world challenges through balancing high levels of creativity and technical capability with contextual insight and empathy for people. The Design Products identity is characterised by a pluralistic approach to designing for purpose through a number of design cultures – ‘Design through Making’, ‘Design for Manufacture’, ‘Object Mediated Interactions’, ‘Design as Catalyst’, ‘Exploring Emergent Futures’ – which are underpinned by a set of contextual and real-world themes. This structure provides a platform for students to conceptualise and validate ideas by canvassing, provoking, challenging and questioning people, places, things and systems through crafted artefacts. Through team and individual projects involving external partners and tutored by practising designers and design researchers, students determine their own design culture whilst building a portfolio of work that will locate them in their desired professional context. Graduates are creative catalysts and visionaries who go on to become leaders in their respective fields.
The programme offers:
Service Design has become the new frontier for designers who want to make a difference at scale, and in so doing advance the discipline of design. The service sector represents almost 80 per cent of the advanced economies, and in recent years the role of design in transforming both public and private sector services has become widely recognised. The programme at the Royal College of Art is the leading specialist service design programme worldwide and with around 80 students and researchers and 10–12 live projects at any time, it’s almost certainly the largest dedicated service design studio globally.
Students emerging from the programme are finding immediate employment as service designers as industry and governments seek to transform their customer and citizen experience. We’ve just enhanced our programme by creating three new platforms for service design. The first is Service Innovation, which focuses on developing citizen and customer centric solutions to address immediate social, cultural and economic challenges. The second, Envision, not only speculates on the future of healthcare, education, retail, banking, transportation, but uses future forecasting techniques for society, culture and technology to design service experiences for the next decade and beyond. The final platform, Public Service and Policy, brings together social and political science with design to transform public service provision as well as government policy
The RCA Service Design programme offers a two-year MA in Service Design as well as opportunities for MPhil and PhD research. Right from the start, students are immersed in the unique interdisciplinary environment of the RCA, enabling them to become specialists in service design while participating in the exciting design education environment of the School of Design. Students are taught by the leading practitioners of the discipline, as well as by pioneers of service design from industry and academia.
To ensure the programme teaches the complete skills required for service design, it is delivered in association with Imperial College London, enabling students to complement their skills in service design by participating in Imperial’s MBA programme, as well developing their competence in digital technology with Imperial’s department of computing.
The programme combines lectures, workshops and projects grounded in empirical evidence drawn from ‘real world’ practice as well as theory. Students undertake group and individual projects that tackle the different domains of public service provision, consumer and business services, in partnership with leading service sector companies and public sector organisations.
As a result alumni graduating from the programme are joining leading design firms such as Engine, Fjord, IDEO and Livework, professional services firms including McKinsey and IBM Business Consulting Services, government departments including UK Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office, as well as multinational corporations such as Jaguar, Barclay’s, Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco.