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Product Design BA

Driven by a passion for understanding people and technology; exploring innovative solutions driven by real opportunities, addressing challenges faced by industry and society.
Clearing is now open!
This course is available through Clearing

Apply now:

Code
W240
Start
September 2023
September 2024
Duration
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with placement
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
September 2023: £9,250 (UK)*
£15,100 (INT)*

September 2024: £6,300 (UK)*
£15,700 (INT)*
Course leader
Kate Herd

This course is now available in Clearing.
To find out the latest entry requirements, give us a call 0208 411 6565 or Live chat.

Our product design degree gives you the knowledge, practical skills and industry experience to build a portfolio that will help you launch a career in a wide-range of sectors.

Why choose Product Design BA Honours at Middlesex?

Develop the confidence, knowledge, skills and experience to launch a successful career across the product design sector.

What you will gain

Sat within the Faculty of Science and Technology, we strive to develop product designers who are creative, confident, responsible and insightful in responding to user needs, but who also have a fundamental understanding of how to design and make things that work.

As well as studio-based design skills, you will gain extensive expertise in 3D CAD, physical prototyping and design for manufacture. We will help you to understand the wider context that surrounds our subject, developing the theoretical and practical skills, experiences and attitudes needed to enter the profession, across a wide range of sectors and emerging practices.

Accreditations

Our BA course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and meets the requirements of Registered Product Designer (RProdDes). You will get student membership to the IED for the duration of your studies. This accreditation validates the relevance and content of the degree programme to current industry requirements and practice.

What you will learn

Through project-based practice, we will support you with the experience, advice, feedback and encouragement you need to grow as a product designer.

You will develop skills in:

  • Graphical communication and sketching
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Design process and iteration
  • Design research
  • Design for manufacture
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation.

You will be able to demonstrate high-level 3D CAD and rendering, and the development of physical prototypes.

You will graduate from the programme with a portfolio of work that demonstrates your own creativity, process and skillset, culminating in a final-year project tailored to the pathway you want to take into the profession. You will have the opportunity to showcase yourself as a designer through our final-year exhibitions.

The programme content is enriched through industrial engagement and collaboration, such as live projects with industrial partners, external competitions, workshops and projects run by staff in professional practice, and our industry guest lecture series. Through these experiences, you will come to understand design in a commercial context and appreciate the nature and breadth of the design industry.

Student work

Find us on Instagram @MDXPD, follow out hashtag #mdxpd and take a look at our annual MDXPD magazine that showcases staff and student work.


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Year 1

In your first year, we will help you build the foundational technical and practical skills of the subject through hands-on exercises and mini-projects. You will develop core skills in 2D and 3D design including:

  • Sketching, visualisation and communication skills
  • Understanding users and developing ideas
  • Prototyping and workshop practice
  • 3D parametric CAD modelling.

You'll also develop a Developing the mindset and approach of a product designer.

Year 2

In your second year, you will continue to develop the depth and range of these skills by adding ‘live’ experiences with industrial or external collaborators in a range of product design sectors. You will develop a deeper understanding of the design process, implemented through a series of design projects. Your core skills will be expanded, including:

  • CAD surface modelling; design for manufacture
  • Physical computing and coding
  • Strategic design.

You will also develop your portfolio development and be supported in your placement application.

Placement year

The placement year extends this by allowing you to go out to work directly in a design and/or engineering practice or practices.

Final year

The final year combines external project experience with a self-initiated final project, guided and supported by the programme team, which demonstrates your skills to future employers and integrates all the previous experiences at the highest level. You will be supported in producing an exit portfolio and online presence, and all graduating students are offered the opportunity to exhibit at the New Designers Exhibition in London.

  • 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

      The Design Manifestation module continues the making experiences from Year 1 & 2 modules to develop a high level of technical capability and an equivalent level of reflective practice sensitivity. It interweaves with the final year modules to create a coherent and supportive final year experience which will prepare them for their chosen future. The module will equip final year students 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 their knowledge and experiences in effective ways.

To find out more about this course please download the Product Design BA specification (PDF).

  1. Teaching vs independent learning
  2. Coursework and assessment

Facilities

Our product design degree offers a creative, practical, flexible and well equipped learning environment.

  • State-of-the-art CAD Studios equipped with high-end workstations for all kinds of digital media - from 3D modelling to graphics, simulations and video editing
  • All equipment and software is industry-standard, including: Solidworks; Keyshot; Adobe Creative Suite; energy and environmental simulation tools
  • Spacious dedicated product design studio - a bright, spacious, flexible workspace to support skills-based teaching, lectures and large-scale project work
  • Well-equipped workshops with advanced manufacturing facilities including laser cutting, water jet cutters, CAM-CAD lathes, welding equipment, large CNC Router and milling, perspex oven, vacuum formers, and extensive selection of readily accessible 3D printers
  • We have equipment for 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. We also have Festo automated production and assembly simulation equipment.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health, and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability Advice and Support service.

Wellness

Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above.

Financial Support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

How can the BA Product Design support your career?

As a product design graduate from a course accredited by the IED, you will leave the course with a skill set appropriate for contemporary product design practice in a wide range of sectors that fall within the new definition of ‘product design’ and ‘product design engineer’.

Potential employers exist across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Graduates enter employment taking up positions including industrial designer, product designer, service designer, interaction designer, UX/UI designer, designer/craftsperson, creative technologist, and more. Alternatively students can set up their own businesses in a creative field. The transferable nature of the skill set (communication, problem solving, critical thinking etc.) means that transition is possible to adjoining creative disciplines.

Our graduates are employed across the design industry, from high profile organisations such as Apple, Tesla and Lego, through to London-based design consultancies, government organisations, and start ups.

Check out our '5 years on' and '10 years on' alumni showcase.

Work placements

Placements and internships can greatly improve your future job prospects after you graduate. They usually boost your confidence and academic results by giving you the opportunity to practice what have learned in a professional setting.

The course offers a 4 year sandwich option with a year long industry placement at the end of year 2. Successful completion of this placement year results in an additional qualification - a Diploma of Industrial Studies.

Our specialist employability service will support you in finding placement opportunities, and the product design staff team will work with you throughout your programme to develop your CV and portfolio for placement application.

  1. UK entry
  2. International
  3. How to apply

The fees below are for the 2023/24 academic year:

UK students1

Full-time: £9,250

Part-time: £77 per taught credit

International students2

Full-time students: £15,100

Part-time students: £126 per taught credit

Additional costs

The following study tools are included in your fees:

  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free e-books and e-journals for key course texts
  • Free access to everything on your reading list
  • Free specialist software for your course
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Scholarships and bursaries

To help make uni affordable, we do everything we can to support you including our:

  • MDX Excellence Scholarship offers grants of up to £2,000 per year for UK students
  • Regional or International Merit Awards which reward International students with up to £2,000 towards course fees
  • Our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

Find out more about undergraduate funding and all of our scholarships and bursaries.

Fees Disclaimers

1. UK Fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International Students. Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

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.

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’.

Mr Wyn Griffiths

Wyn Griffiths has over 25 years in product design and engineering and design education. He is a Lead Mentor for the Design Council SPARK Programme and a member of the Advosry Group for the Design Museum 'Design Ventura' programme.

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.

Dr Andy Bardill
Product Design and Engineering

His expertise is in product, service and interaction design, innovation and technology development, which he practices with external clients through redLoop and through collaboration with research colleagues in the university and wider academic community.

He conceived of redLoop, along with Kate Herd, to build capactiy in the University to respond to research, knowledge transfer and partnership opportunities.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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