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Product Design (MA)

Course Description

UCA Farnham

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.

Have a question? Just ask us - http://www.uca.ac.uk/ask-uca/

Student work


Course overview

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.

Course content

Stage 1 -

You'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first stage includes a range of lectures and seminars and you’ll start to explore your creative practice;

Studio Practice, Theory and Analysis: This unit focuses on challenging and confirming your practice through the development of critical reading, observation, handling and thinking deeply about products and craft artefacts and contextual research associated with your work and the field of enquiry surrounding it.

Exploratory Practice: This unit is concerned with the exploration of creative product design practice, in order to inform the detailed development of your project proposal for stages two and three of the course. The unit provides a structured framework to allow you to investigate the potential of methods, ideas and themes in your discipline.

Stage 2 -

During stage two you begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal over a sustained period of self-directed study;

Project Development: You'll begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal from stage one, over a sustained period of self-directed study. At this stage of the course, the development of the project will be guided and questioned through tutorials, group critiques and presentations, which will support the progress of your work and provide rigorous critical appraisal from staff, fellow students and professional practitioners.

Stage 3 -

In the third stage of the course, you'll apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work;

Final Project: The final phase of your MA study requires the production of a portfolio, including finished interaction models and product prototypes of a high quality. In addition to considering the aesthetics and form of design studies, the final product design unit needs to represent the quality and purpose of your design process, combining academic and practical skills to realise design concepts that demonstrate your design identity and profile.


3D workshop - 3D workshop with machines for working in wood, metals, plastics and ceramics

Digital media suites - Digital media suites with both Macs and PCs loaded with most up-to-date software for CAD and also general design

Library - Modern library with a wealth of books, journals, and special collections and online resources

Course staff

Rebecca Skeels - http://www.uca.ac.uk/staff/rebecca-skeels/

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Studying in the UK - http://www.uca.ac.uk/international-study/

Studying abroad - http://www.uca.ac.uk/study/study-abroad/

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

::Industry partners::

Our range of industry contacts include:

- Industrial Design Consultancy
- TheAlloy (product and interaction consultants)
- IDEO (design consultants)
- Philips
- Kenwood/De'Longhi.

And recent guest lecturers include:

- John Gertsakis, product ecology
- Philip Davies
- 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
- Design management
- Environmental management
- Service design sectors.

::Further study::

You may want to undertake further study or research to specialise even more.

Your portfolio

For this course, we'll require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you've applied.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations - http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/student-regulations

Visit the Product Design (MA) page on the University for the Creative Arts website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Christina Fountoulaki

"I had a great year completing my MA, the facilities were fantastic and I was able to gain a lot of knowledge thanks to the expert staff. I also found the workshops to be very useful – it was amazing to see my products come to life."


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent qualification in your chosen subject or a related discipline and/or Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

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