Product Design BA/BSc(Hons)

2019-20 (also available for 2020-21)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.
Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

23 September 2019


3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year



About the course

If you’re creative and you’d like to explore how your ideas could have real impact in the world, our Product Design BA/BSc(Hons) course gives you the chance to develop the skills to become an enterprising professional designer.

So much goes into a finished product. The initial sketch, physical model making, prototyping, digital visualisation and animation. We’ll give you the chance to explore every element so you get to develop a range of design skills and competencies.

While you’re working on the practical side, we’ll also encourage you to think about how to research a product, and what goes into product development and manufacturing. You'll acquire listening skills to identify gaps in the market, people's frustrations with everyday tasks and existing products and develop ideas to solve them. We believe design can improve people's lives, aiding an individual or community's wellbeing. Whether you’re designing solutions physically or digitally, in sketch form or 3D, we’ll focus on end results that are capable of being mass-produced.

Our industry links could help you get started on your career too. We focus on commercial product design, and give you the chance to experience real design challenges set by businesses or design organisations. This can offer opportunities to win prestigious design awards and even for your design solutions to be licenced. For example, one recent student designed an innovative clothes hanger that is now used in a major high street store. You’ll be able to showcase your creative talents and show potential employers your skills. That could be a real asset when it comes to finding employment as a professional designer.

Both the BA(Hons) and the BSc(Hons) routes of the course have the same programme for the first year. After that you’ll be able to choose which way to go in the second year, and our staff are on hand to help you make your decision. The BA(Hons) route is designed to help you gain the experience needed to work in large companies, where you’ll be working alongside technical staff and engineers and using your creative, visual and artistic skills to help develop products.

The BSc(Hons) option aims to give you a wider skill set, including research, design and development skills in material and manufacturing technologies. It could help you go on to work in a small or medium sized business, where your role would cover a wide range of activities.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll have the chance to take a placement year gaining invaluable experience. You could find yourself working in industry, or you could choose to take part in the Enterprise Placement Year, designing and developing your own product and building your entrepreneurial skills.

Your final year will give you the opportunity to research and identify a commercial opportunity for a new product that’s needed in the marketplace. So when you leave here you could have a marketable design, and valuable original intellectual property.

I thoroughly enjoyed my four years studying Product Design at the University of Huddersfield. The tutors were always accessible and the course itself was challenging yet enjoyable. The facilities are brilliant with plenty of opportunity to realise your ideas in the world of design. The course takes a pragmatic approach, preparing you for what’s required in the design industry. I completed a yearlong internship for a design agency in Leeds and gained industry experience, making the transition easier for when I graduated.

Profile photo of 2019 Product Design graduate Jack Cowley

Jack Cowley, Product Design BA(Hons), 2019 graduate

Course detail

Core modules:

Creative Thinking for Product Design

This module will introduce you to the creative thinking processes used in 3D Design and their application through project work. Design projects will enable you to explore and develop design proposals using a range of methods, practical skills and specialist knowledge. The module will introduce workshop practice and provide experience and techniques in 3D realisation. (100% design portfolio).

Digital and Visual Communication

This module introduces you to an array of techniques, methods and technologies for the exploration, communication and representation of designed 'products'. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the practical skills required to produce both traditional and digital, 2D & 3D presentations/ representative imagery. (100% Design Portfolio).

Design Context Studies

This module will enable you as a designer to understand how design interfaces with the world, and how knowledge of social and future trends can guide the innovation process and how market, business and manufacturing forces direct design decisions and outcomes. A portfolio of design-centred activities relating to social, business and manufacturing contexts will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding. (100% design portfolio).

26.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops etc. You'll be supported in developing your skills and understanding of the subject through project work, presentations and model making. You'll be assessed both individually and in groups through methods such as presentations of design-project work, and written assignments and reports.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Inspirational field trips to destinations of educational and cultural significance are a component of the course and will be funded by the University.

Entry requirements

To find out if you are eligible for this course, please call our Clearing helpline on 0330 123 227701484 472777.


The course offers an optional one-year (36 week minimum) work placement after the second year, in the UK or abroad. This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, insight into your chosen career and open up your graduate employment prospects. Our Placement Unit and academic staff have excellent industry links and can support you in applying for and finding your placement(s), as well as during your placement year.

Students on the course have previously taken up placement opportunities with companies including: Howdens Joinery – Goole; Limah Design Consultants – Dubai; Animatechnika s.r.o. - Bratislava; Chervon Europe Ltd - York; Roksan Audio - London; Iterign - Newbury; Global One Pak - Cheshire; Showoff Media - Leeds; Paul Stott Design - Skipton; Pegler Yorkshire - Doncaster; Ultima Furniture Systems - Wakefield; Overfinch - Leeds; Walker Brothers - Halifax; Demand Design - Holmfirth; Paxman Coolers - Huddersfield and Ellis Furniture - Huddersfield.

Alternatively, if you are a student from within the UK or the EU, you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University’s Enterprise Team. The University's Duke of York Young Enterprise Centre (DOYYEC) could support you in realising the true commercial value of your intellectual property through a creative enterprise start-up. You’ll have the opportunity to benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. You can find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year here.

You can find out more information on placements here.

I did my placement year at LEGO headquarters, Den­mark, which was how I got my foot in the door. The tutors always say how important a placement is and I can only support that.

Michael Fuller>

Michael Fuller, Product Design BSc(Hons), placement with LEGO, now Senior Design Manager at LEGO

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. We’ve been the English university with the highest proportion of professionally-qualified teaching staff for the past four years*.
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that 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.

*HESA - First awarded in 2016, maintained in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

**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.

Student Work

A gallery of work by our Product Design BA/BSc(Hons) students and graduates. Click on each image to find out more.
You can see work from across the School of Art, Design and Architecture on our gallery page.

Your career

The broad nature of the course, coupled with experience gained in industry, has resulted in a high graduate employment record within a wide range of organisations. Previous graduates of this course are now working in roles with well-known companies including Dyson, Pentland, Hozelock, Black and Decker, Chervon, Maltek, Electrolux and New Balance, as well as Lego**. Outside the practice of design itself, students have gained employment as design engineers, digital visualisers and become design managers.


* Percentage of graduates from this course who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).

Source: **GEMS and LinkedIn

90% 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, 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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