Product Design BA | Middlesex University London
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Product Design BA

Learn about the course below
Code
W240
Start
October 2019
Duration
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with placement
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Helena Ambrosio

Product Designers are the visionaries of innovation. They bring people and technology together in meaningful ways, whilst developing the practice of design, to create compelling new consumer products and experiences. Our degree gives students the theoretical and practical education and project experience, in state-of-the-art facilities, to become employment ready, accomplished product design engineers, with a professional portfolio of work.

Why study BA Product Design at Middlesex University?

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.

To support your career success you will build a professional portfolio of work throughout your degree and receive regular guest lectures and project feedback from industry professionals, with the option of spending a year on industry placement.

You will have a common Year 1 with BA Product Design and BEng/MEng Product Design Engineering together, developing the fundamentals of contemporary design and design engineering practice. At the end of the year, you can confirm your choice, or change your initial pathway 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.

Course highlights

  • You are encouraged to enter prestigious design competitions to enhance your experience and career prospects, as part of the curriculum
  • We are uniquely linked with redLoop - the mdx design and innovation centre; a research-led innovation hub that operates across the product, service, interaction and technology sectors
  • We offer a work placement option in your third year without accruing additional tuition fees so you can gain vital experience within a design consultancy or manufacturing company
  • You will extend your industry knowledge through our series of weekly guest lectures from leading UK and international design experts and companies, as well as meeting experts through our designer-in-residence scheme and visiting lecturers
  • Our degree has the Creative Skillset Tick: a kitemark of quality for training that prepares you for a successful career in the creative industries
  • You will showcase your work in our final year degree show, giving you an opportunity to share your products with industry employers
  • Our London campus gives you access to prestigious placements within the creative industries
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module

Our degree is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and meets the requirements of Registered Product Designer (RProdDes).


Find out more

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What will you study on BA Product Design?

You will develop a range of techniques across studio based design processes, prototyping and 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, sports and leisure products, and toys and games. You will also examine design issues relating to: design strategy, 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.

What will you gain?

Product Design is a practice-based programme, and is focused on employability experience. Modules build technical skills and/or practice skills. Year 1 builds these through hands-on exercises and mini-projects. Year 2 develops the depth and range of these skills and adds ‘Live’ experiences with industrial or external collaborators in a range of Product Design sectors. The Placement Year extends this by allowing you to go out to work directly in a design and/or engineering practice or practices.

The final year combines external project experience with a self-initiated final project, which acts as a calling card for future employment and integrates and coheres all the previous experiences at the highest level.

The course will help you develop the theoretical and practical skills, experiences and attitudes to enter the professional world as an employment ready Product Designer across a wide range of sectors and emerging practices.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • Design and Studio Practice (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces you to core skills in design and studio practice. The focus of the module is on developing both an intellectual awareness and a practical application of design process methods, ideas generation and communication techniques and creative conversations.

    • Prototyping (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces you to core skills in prototyping. The focus of the module is developing confidence in an awareness and practical application of prototyping techniques appropriate for different stages of the design process.

    • Design Tools (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module offers an introduction to core computing skills for design practice. It enables you to develop skills in CAD modelling, design visualisation, design communication and product prototyping. It introduces strategies for engaging with distributed communities or practice and developing an online presence.

  • Year 2

    • Design Methods, Processes and Practices (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides the opportunity for you to develop your design knowledge, practice and experiences and to apply their design skills through workshops and selected external collaborative projects covering a range of sectors. You will focus on deepening theory, process and contextual knowledge, and applying that knowledge in responding to complex briefs.

    • Advanced Prototyping (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module equips you with the prototyping tools and approaches to enable you to successfully engage in a range of prototyping activities to develop, explore, test and validate design proposals. The module will develop your capability to analyse design problems, to develop effective prototyping strategies and to explore creative approaches to prototyping. You will develop your knowledge and skills in building working prototypes, at a range of fidelities, and employing a range of methods for exploring prototyping

    • Advanced Design Tools (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops your advanced CAD and CAM capabilities. It focuses on advanced surface and feature-based modelling techniques as product design tools and enables you to develop competence in the use of these processes, techniques and tools. The module develops students’ understanding of reverse engineering, mass manufacture design requirements and related design optimisation techniques.

  • Year 3 - Optional Placement

    • TKSW Placement (120 credits) - Optional

      The aim of this module is to strengthen, extend and apply your knowledge, skills and experiences you have gained from your programme in the context of a working environment and to complement, stimulate, reinforce and encourage the development of discipline-specific technical knowledge and your transferable skills.

  • Year 4

    • Design Projects and Professional Practice (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides the opportunity for you to synthesise your design project experiences and to develop your practice to a professional level, through selected external collaborative projects and through the generation of your Final Major Project. The focus of all projects is on various forms of innovation. The Final Major Project is self-initiated and self-directed, taking place over an extended period of time across the academic year. It requires you to make a significant personal contribution to all phases of the design development process and to your personal professional goals.

    • Professional Context (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops your design research, strategic planning, theoretical background and contextual and commercial framework for your Final Major Project and your personal practice. You will prepare and publish a range of technical and contextual texts, and a professional and personal reflection upon your project work.

    • Design Manifestation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module continues the making experiences from Year 1 and Year 2 modules - Prototyping, Design and Studio Practice, Design Projects, DiC, HFPS and TSPP. You will develop a high level of technical capability and an equivalent level of reflective practice sensitivity. This module interweaves with the final year modules to create a coherent and supportive final year experience which will prepare you for your chosen future. The module will equip you with the understanding and experience of how to evolve great ideas and manifest them in appropriate and high-quality ways, the ability to consider why the manifestation process they pursue is best suited to them, their project, their practice and the wider world, the confidence to engage with challenges early in an active, exploratory and open manner and to apply your knowledge and experiences in effective ways.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Interviews and portfolios
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Product Design support your career?

As a Product Design graduate, you will enter employment in a wide-range of sectors that fall within the new definition of ‘Product Design’ and ‘Product Design Engineer’. You could find a career in such roles as:

  • Industrial Designer
  • Design Engineer
  • Service Designer
  • Designer/Craftsperson
  • Interaction Designer
  • Mechanical Designer
  • Experimental Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Creative Technologist
  • Design Strategist

You would also have the skills and knowledge to set up your own business, and successful start-ups such as Rebirth, Casezo, ADZero (ADCreative), Airbrake, Mutant Bikes, Exceptional and Novo Consult have been led by graduates.

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.

Make sure to check out the official MDXPD YouTube channel to view the activities, ideas and outcomes of various modules from MDX Product Design.

Helena Ambrosio
Lecturer and Designer in Residence in Design Engineering and Mathematics

Helena is active in practice and research exploring design and engineering processes and data-driven design.

Professor Patrick W. Jordan

Professor Jordan is a world-renowned expert in the area of design psychology. He is a strategic advisor to many of the world’s leading companies as well as to the UK Government. He is the author of ‘Designing Pleasurable Products’.

Dr Kate Herd
Senior Lecturer

Dr Herd is an internationally renowned expert on co-design. She is also Associate Director of redLoop, the MDX Design and Innovation Centre.

Ahmed Patel
Associate Lecturer

Ahmed has extensive practice experience across the consumer product, public event and co-creation sectors. He researches into narrative in design.

  • BA Product Design graduate Stacey Mendez

    Stacey Mendez

    BA Product Design graduate

    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.

    I think this course 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 focused on thinking and designing for people. That is what made it different for me.

    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 noticed 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.

    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.

    To anyone thinking about studying Product Design, 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 focused on the engineering side, some are more focused 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.

    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.

    Find out more about Stacey's work on her website.

  • BA Product Design graduate Kieron-Scott Woodhouse

    Kieron-Scott Woodhouse

    BA Product Design graduate

    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.

    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

  • Betul Salman ​

    Product Design BA graduate

    Betul won the W'innovate and Wilko Award at the New Designers Awards 2017 for Swishhh, her manual blender which helps to connect families through cooking. Betul was part of a group of Middlesex student entrants who championed diversity as their core objective. Middlesex University Product Design Diversity are a student team with a broad range of projects, skills and cultural backgrounds. In addition to Betul's Swish, they work to develop a number of innovative projects including Speak, musical jewellery devices that aim to improve stammering through rhythm, and FlyBaby, a motion-controlled guitar attachment.

    I'm proud to have been selected, and also that design is accepting of people of different backgrounds because that's how you get a diverse range of ideas.

Other courses

Product Design Engineering BEng/MEng

Start: October 2019, EU/International induction: September 2019

Duration: BEng: 3 years full-time, 4 years full-time with placement, MEng: 4 years full-time, 5 years full-time with placement

Code: BEng: W24A, MEng: W24B

Design Engineering BEng/MEng

Start: October 2019, EU/International induction: September 2019

Duration: BEng: 3 years full-time, MEng: 4 years full-time

Code: BEng: H15A, MEng: H15B

Start: October 2019, EU/International induction: September 2019

Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years full-time with sandwich option

Code: W2W7

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