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Product Design BA

Be part of a collaborative learning environment where you'll build the skills and confidence to design and develop innovative products and systems.
September 2023
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with placement
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Kate Herd

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 study product design with us

Product designers are the visionaries who bring people and technology together. A BA in product design from Middlesex University will give you the confidence, knowledge, practical skills and experience to build a portfolio that will help you launch a successful career across the product and product design engineering sectors. You will have access to industry expertise through our weekly guest lecture series, ‘live’ projects with industry partners, visiting lecturers and our extensive alumni network.

You’ll spend your first year studying a combination of product design and product design engineering to get a broad understanding of the fundamentals of both practices, before choosing whether to continue with the BA Product Design or move across to our BEng Product Design Engineering programme.

Our BA programme is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and meets the requirements of Registered Product Designer (RProdDes). Our graduates work across the globe from start-ups and design consultancy, through to high-profile organisations such as Lego, Vodafone, dyson, and Tesla.

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

Build your hands-on design skills

BA Product Design and BEng Product Design Engineering are practice-based programmes, focused on employability. Both programmes are driven by our passion for understanding people and technology; exploring innovative solutions driven by real opportunities, addressing challenges faced by industry and society.

We will equip you with the skills to design products and services through our project-based practice, and will support you with the experience, advice, feedback and encouragement you need to grow as a product designer.

Get the support you need to succeed

We ensure that every student has adequate support throughout their time with us. That’s why you’ll get matched with a Personal Tutor as well as a Student Learning Assistant and a Graduate Academic Assistant. They’ll have experience in your subject area and will be able to help whenever you need.

Our degree is accredited by the Screenskills and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and meets the requirements of Registered Product Designer (RProdDes). You’ll graduate employment-ready and able to start a career in a wide-range of sectors. Many of our graduates have also gone on to start their own businesses, launching successful start-ups including Rebirth and Novo Consult.

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What will you study on BA Product Design?

Product Design is a practice-based programme, and is focused on employability. Modules build technical and practical skills. Year 1 focuses on core product design skills, 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 from across a range of product design sectors. In year 3, the (optional) industry placement year allows you to further develop your skills in a professional setting (leading to a Diploma in Industrial Studies). The final year combines a ‘live’ 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.

As well as studio-based design skills, our product design students gain extensive expertise in 3D CAD, physical prototyping and design for manufacture. Our design discourse strand will help you to understand the wider context that surround the subject, all of which cohere to help you to 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.

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.


  • 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.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

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. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. Interviews and portfolios
  4. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / 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.

Our dedicated product design studio provides a bright, spacious, flexible workspace to support skills-based teaching, lectures and large-scale project work.

  • State-of-the-art CAD Studios equipped with high-end workstations for all kinds of digital media - from 3D modelling through 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
  • 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, 3D printers
  • Electronics and mechatronics prototyping labs
  • Hundreds of PCs and Macs on campus, free WiFi, printing, scanning and photocopying available for university work
  • Free 'laptops for loan' service for students.

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.

  • 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.

  • Isabel Parker

    Product Design BA graduate

    “The MDX product design course allowed me to gain creative confidence in my design work as well as myself. The teaching style enabled me to put the things I learn directly into practice, and pushed me out of my comfort zone in a way that I felt safe to make mistakes”

  • Menelaos Florides

    Product Design BA graduate

    “The MDX product design course allowed me to gain creative confidence in my design work as well as myself. The teaching style enabled me to put the things I learn directly into practice, and pushed me out of my comfort zone in a way that I felt safe to make mistakes”

    Freelance Design Consultant & former Creative Lead at the LEGO company

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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