"One of the best things about the course is that we work on a lot of live briefs for real clients. These projects really help build up our portfolios, and at the end of the day this is one of the most valuable things we will have when we graduate."Jonathan Joanes, BSc Product Design student
This degree is undergoing revalidation to offer two distinct courses: BA Product Design or BEng Product Design Engineering with a four year MEng pathway. Please note that some details of the course provided here are subject to validation.
Great product design combines art, technology and science to make inventive objects and gadgets. Our degree has innovation at its heart and our state-of-the-art facilities support you to create award-winning products while you study.
We produce creative, highly skilled designers with an expert understanding of industry,who can combine aesthetic functionality with innovative technology. In fact, our students make the headlines before they graduate by winning awards and catching the attention of entrepreneurs (find out more in the profiles tab). We provide a collaborative learning environment where you'll build the skills, knowledge, experience and confidence to design and develop compelling products and systems for the 21st century.
Our project-focused curriculum allows you to bring your designs to fruition and make tangible products to showcase your work. You will graduate well-prepared to enter the professional world of contemporary design practice through exposure to a productive, multidisciplinary working environment with state-of-the-art industry standard facilities and placements with prestigious design-led companies.
You can decide to take either the creative (BA) or technological (BEng/MEng) route. The BA focuses on people and how they interact with products, while the BEng/MEng is targeted towards technology and how a product functions.
Our Product Design degrees received a 100% satisfaction rating in the 2014 National Student Survey
You will develop a range of techniques across studio based design processes, traditional workshop methods, and computer aided design and manufacturing techniques. The design discourse strand will help you to understand design in its wider context and to recognise its place in the cultural landscape.
You will learn to design and produce a wide range of products across: consumer durables, lighting, furniture, smart products, transportation, sports and leisure products, and toys and games. You will also examine design issues relating to: human factors, marketing, product semantics, sustainable design, CAD visualisation and simulation, advanced manufacturing, rapid prototyping and contextual design studies.
Our professional learning environment encourages you to develop a commercial approach to design. This happens through taking part in work placements and also through supporting live projects with industry partners. Our department pitches for professional product design work and you will support these projects alongside our staff. We have a history of delivering high-profile projects, such as working on the redesign of the More4 channel brand and building light jackets for Take That.
You can find out more about this course in the programme specification.
Please note that the modules listed here are subject to change as this degree is undergoing revalidation to offer two distinct courses: BA Product Design or BEng Product Design Engineering with a four year MEng pathway.
As well as working on your own design projects – some with industrial partners - and exhibiting your work, you will visit exhibitions and galleries and learn through reading, research, observation, experimentation and discussion. You will work on problem-solving activities and other assignments, submitting reports and, in your final year, a dissertation. We have extensive studio, laboratory and workshop facilities, and you will choose projects that reflect the area you would like to specialise in.
You can opt to extend the course by a year, and spend your third year doing a work placement, which we will help you to find. This will lead to the additional award of a Diploma in Industrial Studies.
Assessment is entirely through coursework, including exhibitions of products you have designed, individual and team projects, portfolios, essays, reports, presentations, group reviews and your dissertation. Students will assess each other's work in some modules.
Typical offers for this course:
A Levels minimum two, maximum three subjects
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma minimum two, maximum three subjects
Access to HE Diploma
Overall pass: must include 45 credits at Level 3 , of which all 45 must be at Merit or higher
If you are unable to meet the entry requirements for this course you may be interested in our intensive Foundation in Art and Design, successful completion of which will guarantee a place on a nominated degree. This is a twelve week course, running three times a year, to prepare you for degree-level study. For more information see our iFAD page.
The UCAS Tariff has changed for courses starting in September 2017. The points awarded to each qualification have been lowered in comparison to the previous UCAS Tariff. Our entry requirements are displayed as the grades you will require, however if you wish to find out the equivalent tariff points please use the UCAS calculator.
UK/EU and International students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have achieved a qualification such as a foundation degree or HND, or have gained credit at another university, you may be able to enter a Middlesex University course in year two or three. For further information please visit our Transfer students page.
If you have relevant work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University qualification. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components). Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted English tests and qualifications. If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
The application is just the first step in our selection process, we also invite you to an interview and review your portfolio of art and design work. We've put together some simple notes to help you prepare:
Sketchbooks are extremely important. They should be a 'diary' of your thinking and include observational and speculative drawings/sketches communicating a visual sensitivity. We also look for evidence of how you develop and work through your ideas. Include photographs and collected images and importantly your reaction to them, but avoid letting your sketchbooks be merely scrapbooks
Depending on student numbers some interviews will occur in 'teams'. You will be asked to undertake a mini design project within these teams. In the case of low student numbers you will be interviewed individually. We use the interview process to allow us to find out more about you, to better understand your aspirations and interests and for you to learn more about us.
Our students, and the degree itself, win prestigious design prizes, such as the James Dyson International Award for Product Design (2008).Our graduates have secured roles in leading companies such as IDEO, Dyson, ATandT- VTech and LEGO. They flourish in the sector because of their ability to productively engage in the creative process.
We support your career ambitions by helping you develop a professional portfolio, a CV and a career entry plan.
We are uniquely linked with redLoop [www.redloopdesign.com] - the Middlesex Design and Innovation Centre; a design consultancy that operates across the product, service, interaction and technology sectors, with clients ranging from large corporations, through to small, local businesses and international not-for-profit groups. redLoop takes on up to 20 Placement Students per year, providing a rich opportunity to develop industrial experience before and after graduation.
Below are just a few examples of the types of careers that you could pursue after graduating with us:
A product designer role includes analysing problems and creating solutions, market research, designing, prototyping and creating products and taking them through to market.
An applications designer role includes writing specifications and designing, building, testing, implementing and sometimes supporting applications using computer languages and development tools. Many specialise in a specific development environment, such as computer games or e-commerce, and will have in-depth knowledge of a few relevant computer languages.
Web designers are responsible for the layout, visual appearance and usability of a website. They have knowledge of graphic design packages such as Fireworks or Photoshop in order to produce layouts and manipulate images.
A design engineer role includes researching and developing ideas for new products and systems, and improving those that already exist. Design engineers work in a wide range of industries on a range of products and services.
A computer-aided-design (CAD) technician uses software to develop design plans such as floor plans, buildings plans and exhibition layouts. CAD technicians may also work on product designs, which are then sent to engineers to create prototpyes.
Electrical engineers work on designing and developing electrical products and components. This can include electrical machinery, control systems and equipment in a number of industries from transport, to telecommunications, to the armed forces.
A mechanical engineer works on the design, development and maintenance of mechanical components, systems and machinery. A mechanical engineer can work in a range of industries where mechanical systems are used.
What is it like studying Product Design at Middlesex?
"It has been really good so far. I have friends studying Product Design at other universities so I guess that is my only comparison, but the way our course is set up seems to put us in a really good position compared to where they are. I think this is to do with the structure of the course and the way we build our skills over the three years.
"The first year is about nurturing and developing the initial skills you have, so sketching, a little bit of CAD, graphic work, that kind of thing.
"Things really ramp up in second year, probably due to the amount of projects that are thrown at you. It's good because it helps you organise yourself really quickly, and you use the skills you developed in first year to be more independent when working on your projects.
"In the final year it is more about using those skills, being more independent and getting on with your final project."
You did a placement at redLoop after your second year. What was that like?
"Being on placement was brilliant and it really helps because it gives you a different approach to your final year. The people who have been on placements don't treat their final year projects like student projects, they treat them like professional projects which is a completely different angle that really pays off."
Is the course preparing you for a job when you graduate?
"One of the best things about the course is that we work on a lot of live briefs for real clients. These projects really help build up our portfolios, and at the end of the day this is probably one of the most valuable things we will have when we graduate – our portfolio and our skills.
"Being able to work on these live projects is a really good experience – working to real timescales, having proper deliverables, going to meetings and things like that. Then at the end of it we have an amazing portfolio and CV to help us launch our career."
What have you enjoyed about the course?
"We have something on the course called Guest Lectures, where every Tuesday a different expert is invited to come and give a one-hour lecture. A variety of people from across the industry come in, like Michael Margolis who wrote The Arduino Cookbook and we also had the chief designer from Aston Martin come in too.
"It is amazing, we'd never get to meet people like this normally and afterwards you get to chat to them and get their cards so we have their contact details if we ever wanted to send them an email.
"Ex-students from a few years ago often come back and talk about they got from their degree to where they are now too, which is great because it could be a bit of a minefield when you get your degree if you don't know what to do with it and hearing from those who have already done it really helps."
What are the lecturers like?
"The staff are really helpful. Everyone is super friendly and approachable so it is more fun than anything – you just go in and sit down and get on with things. It is not people shouting at you and telling you what to do, it is more of an open conversation."
What do you want to do after you graduate?
"After I graduate I'd like to work for a few smaller studios and work on a variety of projects. I'd also like to go and work abroad in America or Europe. After the work I did on my placement I have become really interested in the installation-side of design, creating huge pieces that have a big impact on people. As a child I always wanted to work in automotive design, and I'd love to work for someone like BMW where you'd get to see people driving around cars that you had a contribution in designing."
What have you been doing since you graduated from Middlesex?
"I graduated in 2009 and since then I have worked for various types of design companies, both in-house and consultancy as well as a bit of freelance – just to get a broad understanding of the Product Design industry. I have worked in Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland and Japan, and Currently I am in London working as the Lead Product Designer at a start-up which is really exciting.
"When you get to a certain point within product design you're no longer just designing products, you have to think about things a lot more holistically – how things are going to affect the engineering, marketing and branding teams and integrate yourself with a much more diverse range of people."
How did the course at Middlesex prepare you for a career as a Product Designer?
"I think it was the stepping stone for me to get into the field of Product Design. Every product design course should do that, but the thing about the course at Middlesex is that it really broadens your thinking. A lot of courses teach you the traditional craft skills, how to sketch, render, make awesome CAD models, but this course is predominantly focussed on thinking and designing for people. That is what made it different for me."
Did you do a placement year?
"I did a placement at Vtech in Hong Kong which was really good. It was very different, but it was amazing in terms of experiencing another culture and the way they design. I'd recommend anyone to do a placement as it really helps you develop.
"I was fortunate enough that one of the lecturers some of my work and realised I'd won a design competition before I joined the University and he put me in touch with ones of his contacts."
What did you enjoy most about the course?
"What I enjoyed most was probably meeting the people that I met on the course. We have all gone off into different areas of design but we're all still friends and looking back that is probably what I enjoyed the most."
What are the facilities like?
"The facilities in the Grove are amazing, really really good. The way that everything is integrated into one area – so you have photography, animation, everything – is amazing. Everything you need as a creative is in this one building and the workshop is fantastic. Any Product Design student at Middlesex should really take advantage of this, because as soon as you get in to industry you may find that you won't have a workshop like it."
What advice would you offer to students thinking of studying Product Design at Middlesex?
"I would tell them to look around and compare different courses and decide based on what they want from a Product Design course. Every course says Product Design but they teach it differently. Some are more focussed on the engineering side, some are more focussed on the traditional craftsmanship side. Middlesex prides itself on the thinking side, creating systems and environments for people that are more than just a physical product but the whole user experience. It is a thinking-led approach, and that is why I chose Middlesex."
Find out more about Stacey's work at www.mendezblog.com.
Middlesex Product Design and Engineering student Kieron-Scott Woodhouse recently caused a media frenzy when his innovative design for a bamboo smart phone was noticed by a technology entrepreneur from China. The pair joined forces with a hardware engineer and within weeks had set up a company to manufacture the phone.
Made from four-year-old organically grown bamboo that has been treated to improve its durability, the phone runs Google's Android operating system and was designed by Kieron-Scott to combat the lack of variety in the mobile phone market.
The phone has since been put into production for the Chinese market and will also be launched in the UK later this year. Read the full story here.
"When I walked into Middlesex and got a feel for what they do, I knew it was the course for me. Being in London was also another major plus. I felt it was important to be where all the action is.
"I feel that the emphasis on working with real industry clients has really pushed me to a level other universities may not have. Weekly guest lectures from external designers and companies like Aston Martin and Paul Cocksedge have had a big impact and help to keep me focused to succeed."
Find out more about Kieron-Scott's work at www.kieron-scott.com.
Our Product Design degree offers a professional standard learning environment with excellent facilities, including over 100 high spec workstations with dedicated CAD/CAM equipment. The workshops feature industrial scale facilities for CNC milling, turning, laser cutting, additive manufacturing/rapid prototyping and CMM reverse engineering.
Electronics and mechatronics prototyping and production, including LabView and Multisim tools with associated hardware such as NI-ELVIS training equipment and Compact Rio control systems provided by National Instruments and PCB manufacture. Festo automated production and assembly simulation equipment.
World leading and international award-winning designers work with our students, through visiting lectureships, guest lectures and projects regularly and throughout their experience.