Product Design MA

2021-22 (also available for 2020-21)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

20 September 2021

17 January 2022

Duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Places available (subject to change)

12

About the course

This course has a practical application of 3D Design and encourages you to turn concepts into forms, and forms into real-world objects. This course aims to expand your undergraduate base by encouraging you to engage with more advanced and trans-disciplinary approaches to design development, material technologies, fabrication processes and manufacturing techniques, including an exploration of advanced 3D digital technologies in our Phidias Lab that contains cutting-edge digital tools essential as part of a 21st century toolkit.

You will develop a greater understanding of design practice, learn more about research methodologies and have the opportunity to explore advance design techniques, emerging digital technologies to enhance your skillset.You will also have routes to improve your knowledge of user interface design, enterprise, business, collaborative design, medical design, advanced 3D CAD application, Class A Surfacing, Simulations, Virtual Reality, Additive Manufacturing.

The aims of the course are to:

  • Encourage your confidence in your academic and creative potential through mastering core 3D Design knowledge and understanding through practice at the forefront of your discipline.
  • Develop innovative and imaginative approaches to materials, processes and methodologies in 3D Design, and rigorously test these ideas against current trends within the creative industries.
  • Experiment, expand and encourage progressive and ethical thinking in the practices of 3D Design to meet future industrial and commercial demands.
  • Provide a postgraduate teaching and learning experience exploring the opportunities and challenges of 3D Design in the contemporary world, based on the professional and research strengths of the School's highly qualified and experienced staff.
  • Enable you to evidence awareness and relevance of your practice in relation to professional standards in product design, such as through developing and demonstrating highly developed research and manufacturing skills addressing design challenges.

The course enables you to develop knowledge and understanding in critically appraising the importance of social, technological and cultural dimensions of product design as applied to your own and others practice. Including its emerging and future trends such as, but not limited to, commercial product design and its impact on individual and community well-being. You will develop skills to plan, negotiate, and implement the creation of coherent outputs underpinned by advanced practice and research in product design.

Course detail

Research Methods and Project Proposal

On this module you will be encouraged to explore how different research methods underpin all kinds of creative practices. The module introduces you to current research themes in art and design. In the past we have explored topics such as: developing concepts through thinking and making, using archives in creative practice, working with objects of material culture, analysing digital transformations, practising psychogeography in the urban environment, tackling the anthropocene and environmental issues of the twenty-first century. As thinkers and practitioners you will work to develop an understanding of the different research approaches you might design and use to enhance and transform your ideas. You will be introduced to a range of practice-led research methods which may include: creative and design thinking, user-centered methods, practice-led approaches, cultural analysis, historical/archival research and market-driven data capture and analysis. The module helps to equip you with a tool kit of research skills to guide you in the development of a project proposal or working brief for your Master's study. The module is made up of lectures, guided seminars and small group tutorials which will support you in building a solid foundation to lead you through your studies.

Creative Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This module aims to introduce you to key features of innovation and entrepreneurship within the context of the cultural and creative industries. Depending on your future aspirations we will help you to build your knowledge and understanding of different approaches to creative innovation (social, ethical and sustainable aspects), provide guidance on business start-ups, and assist you in your professional skills development (commercial awareness, self-management, problem-solving, team working, communication strategies), including searching for marketing, promotion, consultancy and funding opportunities specific to your subject. The module involves lectures, seminars and practical projects where you will experiment with the tools and techniques of creative innovation. There will be opportunities for group projects and cross-disciplinary working on this module.

Creative Studio

This module enables you to explore a range of advanced creative concepts and practices across Art and Design working alongside other students in a mixed-discipline cohort encompassing Art and Communication, 3D Design and Fashion and Textiles. You will identify starting points for your studio practice through supported and scheduled access and interaction with a range of specialist workshop facilities and digital making processes which in turn inform the potential of material investigation as a core part of your refocused enquiry-led practice. The module comprises three discrete but interlinked phases of development: Conceptual Direction, Creative Contexts, Critical Processes.

Advanced 3D Digital Design

Working alongside other students within 3D Design, this module is intended to prepare you for the practical application of advanced digital capture and manipulation technology as well as the techniques of visualisation and immersive representation. As 3D design utilises more immersive forms of product development and testing it is vital that designers are familiar with advanced techniques that facilitate the integration of fully digital workflow through the use of virtual and augmented capabilities. The module will utilise the advanced digital capture and visualisation technologies available within the Department utilising 3D scanning, photogrammetry, motion capture, 3d modelling software and the CAVE. It will examine various approaches to the capture and manipulation of real-world data within a virtual / augmented environment and look at how these can be manipulated as part of a wider design strategy. Specialising in your chosen area of practice, you will work to develop personal interests through the acquisition of advanced skills in design software, fabrication and representation that will further enhance your abilities as a 3D designer.

Product Design Major Project

The Major Project is the culmination of your research and development in Product Design. In this module you will undertake a comprehensive design project of your own choice that must be at a level of complexity and depth of resolution comparable to that which pertains in advanced contemporary practice. The Major Project addresses critical issues relating to contemporary Product Design. It is a focused interrogation of technological, theoretical and design contexts and manufacturing processes relevant to the Product Design subject area. The Major Project provides an opportunity for in-depth research into your area of interest and the development of design methods and processes that support this. You will have the opportunity to research, develop, critically reflect, refine and communicate both your methodological approach, design outcomes and your conclusions.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An Honours degree (2:2 or above) in a relevant subject or an equivalent professional qualification.
  • Alternative qualifications and/or significant experience may be accepted, subject to approval.
  • International students with qualifications in 'creative' or 'practice' subjects should submit a digital portfolio (pdf) of work with their application.
  • All suitably qualified applicants are normally invited in for an informal chat with a portfolio or considered for admittance under alternative arrangements, such as a skype chat.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

The Barbara Hepworth Building


Welcome to the Barbara Hepworth Building - home to Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield.

Designed for experimentation, students have the opportunity to develop, curate and exhibit their work in innovative spaces, utilising fully extensive and leading workshop facilities such as 3D printers for rapid prototyping and modelling, laser cutters, Wacom drawing tablets, virtual reality and motion tracking sensors, print and dye, maker library, photography studios, advanced 3D technologies, digital print centre, specialist studios and software and the ability to get access to all facilities and much more.

What can I research?

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you have the opportunity to benefit and develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant.

For more information, visit the Innovative Design Lab Research Centre (IDL) and the Centre for Cultural Ecologies in Art, Design and Architecture (CEADA)

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is joint first in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HESA 2020).
  4. We are joint second for National Teaching Fellowships which mark Britain’s best lecturers in Higher Education, winning a total of 17 since 2008 (2020 data).
  5. All our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Your career


There are many exciting opportunities within the creative industries for innovators in such areas as industrial, domestic product manufacturers, the retail sector and freelance/consultancy. The education sector or further doctoral study are also options.

The expectation is that you will seek to enter the Product/Industrial Design industries into roles such as: Industrial Designer, Design manager, Product Designer, Furniture Designer, Product Manager, Materials Engineer, Modelling and Prototyping Expert, Design Visualiser.

* Percentage of our postgraduate students who go on to work and/or further study within fifteen months of graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 2017/18, UK domiciled graduates).

 
96.4% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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