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Product Design Prototyping (MA/MDes)

Course Description

Explore the design of products through physical and virtual modelling. Develop creative skills, technical knowledge and apply design thinking to a range of projects.

This course explores new and emerging methods for rapid prototyping, digital crafts and the repatriation of manufacture.

You’ll use old and new technologies for the virtual and physical modelling and testing of design ideas. With highly creative projects you’ll employ design prototyping and fabrication methods for various scales of production, critically informed by design research methods.

You’ll have the opportunity to shape your own ideas, concepts and theories through a self-directed major project, informed by design research and critical enquiry.

See the website http://www.napier.ac.uk/en/Courses/MA--MDes-Product-Design-Prototyping-Postgraduate-FullTime

What you'll learn

Research led and critically informed, this course encourages a process of re-thinking the form and function of prevailing design practice. Through applied research you’ll engage with speculative design provocations that test ideas through motifs, messages, signs, symbols and interventions.

In specialist prototyping modules you’ll develop specific skills and knowledge in CNC milling, laser cutting, 3D printing, digital crafts and Arduino (electronic prototyping), which will inform and enable highly developed 3D outcomes in your self-directed major project.

Collaboration with practitioners from other areas is encouraged.

You have the option of taking an MA or MDes award, depending on whether you complete a dissertation or design project report in your final trimester.

We have a strong studio culture supported by our multidisciplinary staff team of academics and industry based practitioners. You’ll develop creative, professional, strategic and contextual knowledge and skills and apply design thinking to a range of creative outcomes.

This is a one year full-time course starting in September and is split up into three trimesters.

Subjects include:
- Design Research Methods
- Sketching in Hardware & Software
- 3D Prototyping
- Design Management
- Major Design Project
- For MDes Degree - Design Project Report
- For MA Degree - Design Dissertation

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.


The repatriation of manufacture is a key theme in promoting the creative economy of Scotland and Europe. The UK is a global leader in the design industry and many of our graduates have gone on to work in leading design consultancies or have set up their own businesses.

With a physical and digital/online portfolio demonstrating industry-ready skills, graduates can apply for design jobs, freelance work or establish entrepreneurial ventures.

You may also continue to study to MPhil or PhD level.

Visit the Product Design Prototyping (MA/MDes) page on the Edinburgh Napier University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in art & design or related subjects (including product design engineering) or evidence of industry experience in an appropriate discipline. All candidates are interviewed with a portfolio of creative work or technical/business projects. Applicants from overseas can be interviewed by teleconference with an online portfolio. If English is not your first language, it is usually required that you sit an English language test in order to gain entry onto our postgraduate programmes.

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