BDes (Hons) Product Design is a professionally-focussed design course that excels in encouraging you to develop your own ideas and innovative concepts. We offer you a highly creative environment in which to develop your own ideas, and provides you with opportunities for future careers in the creative industries across national and international markets.
During the course you will develop a commercial understanding and awareness of current design practice in:
leading edge technologies
Our team of enthusiastic, highly experienced staff are also active in commercial design industry. Teaching is focussed in (though not limited to) a studio environment in which tutor-student engagement and peer-to-peer learning supports a creative, experimental, professional and independent approach to development from Level 4 onwards. Teaching, supervised practice and independent exploration also takes place in well-equipped material workshops and computer labs. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to explore, develop and build material and technical competencies towards developing your own rich, challenging and distinct visual language as an artist and designer.
What happens on the course?
Level 4 (Year one)
Focussed upon the orientation and development of the skills concepts and creative thinking needed for a product designer. You will also study design theory and identify the important role of the designer in a contemporary global society.
You will develop the fundamental principles of good design including:
practical workshop skills
Computer Aided Design
Visualisation skills using the latest industry standard design tools.
Defining Context and Conceptual Theory in Design
Exploring Studio Practice and Communciation Skills
Level 5 (Year two)
Further develop your understanding of the discipline with practical opportunities to apply the principles learned at Level 4.
You will be involved in a variety of tutor-led and live design projects that you may choose to develop through design, engineering or advanced CAD modelling applications.
The contextual aspects of design applied to society, technology, ecology and economics will underpin the development of design journey.
Consolidate the learning process; developing the translation from design theory into a creative professional context.
Conceptual Development and Design Methodologies
Technical Understanding and Project Specification
Level 6 (Year three)
Provides professional preparation – defining and refining your individual creativity
Opportunities to engage with industry clients
Lectures and seminars with professional designers allow you to explore your entrepreneurial aspirations.
You will be encouraged to develop transferable skills that will equip you to be flexible and adaptable and to develop your career in a changing global economy.
Self-directed projects will allow you to explore the design process in depth.
You will also be able to create your own professional digital portfolio of your work enabling you to fulfil your potential and enter the workplace as a product designer.
Professional Practice and Career Opportunities
Major Project: Personal Expression and Ambition
Assessed on 100% coursework.
The curriculum is delivered through a series of projects which will give you the opportunity to develop making and designing skills, conceptual ideas, contextual knowledge and understanding and experience of live industry briefs/ external projects in the public domain.
Studio and workshop culture is core to our courses and you will be encouraged to become part of the art and design community through time spent working in the studios, workshops and labs available to students across the week.
All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement (sandwich year) option. A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the student’s prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies.
Why not check out what our students got up to for their final projects at our annual Degree Show 2019
A distinctive approach due to:
The opportunity to participate in prestigious national and international design competitions.
Well-equipped workshops supported by dedicated technicians. See facilities
Extensive digital prototyping facilities for both large and small-scale work
National and international study visits
An optional placement year
Vibrant and lively creative studio environment
Excellent opportunities to work closely with our industry partners on real product design project
Students secure prize in national design competition
Six students studying for Interior, Product and Furniture Design degrees travelled to London to compete against seven other universities in a one day design project run by the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) – the professional organisation for interior designers in the UK. More details here >>
Six students studying Interior Design and Product Designtook part in a “24 hours of Innovation” event run by Ecole Superieure Des Technologies Industrielles Avances (ESTIA) in France, and won! David Henley, Course Leader in Product Design at the University, said: “This event sets a challenge to create innovation within a 24 hour period. The main objective is to create new and innovative concepts, products and services based on themes and subjects proposed by companies, laboratories and creators. “The Design department in the Wolverhampton School of Art has taken part in the competition for the past 6 years and we’ve been successful in 4 of the competitions – proving that the calibre of students studying on our degree courses is extremely high.”
The member of academic staff who leads this course is David Henley
Employability is core to the ethos of the School of Art’s learning and teaching. The course provides opportunities at all levels to experience and engage with professional and industrial contacts.
Level 4 students are encouraged to encounter and experience all aspects of their specialist area and further embed themselves into the subject through visits and speakers.
Level 5 students will have the opportunity to experience professional practice and will work on subject-specific briefs led by external clients/organisations. At this level there will also be an emphasis on off-site/live projects/placements that offer opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborative practice. Level 5 is designed to give students the opportunity to risk take and experiment within their subjects but also to meet and network with other students across the School of Art.
Level 6 emphasises self-negotiated projects and provides students with the time and support to develop their individual voices as artists and designers. There is also provision for interdisciplinary teams working together on ambitious final outcomes where appropriate, and student will be supported to maintain placement learning and external networks established at Level 5.
Possible careers include:
product designer or freelance designer either working within a company or a design consultancy.
design marketing and business industry
You will also be equipped for further advanced study or teacher training in Design and Technology.
You may continue your studies to postgraduate level on our MA programmes.
The University offers a Career Development Week each year, which is intended to provide cross-curricula activities that enable students to extend or galvanise their skill and employability goals.
All of our students have the opportunity to engage with an additional ‘Employability Award’ associated with their degree, and a high percentage of our students achieve the gold standard as a result of our employment-focused curriculum.
All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement option (Sandwich Year). A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the student’s prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies. The school assists students in securing work placements, undertaking live briefs, engaging directly with employers and developing key employability skills.
Recent Product Design graduate William Morris stepped straight into a graduate-level design job following graduation. Read more here>>.
What skills will you gain?
Orientation and development of the skills concepts and creative thinking needed for a product designer.
A commercial understanding and awareness of current design practice in aesthetics, design innovation, leading edge technologies, industrial practice, human factors and sustainability.
Development of the fundamental principles of good design including:
practical workshop skills
Computer Aided Design and Visualisation skills using the latest industry standard design tools.
Knowledge of design theory and identify the important role of the designer in a contemporary global society.
Contextual aspects of design applied to society, technology, ecology and economics
Professional preparation – defining and refining your individual creativity
What our students say
"While at the University of Wolverhampton, the lecturers constantly pushed us our edge design ability. To design, prototype, test and redesign was extremely important factor to ultimately creating the best products we could create. The industrial knowledge behind David Henley, Jane Cooksey Ben Salter and Rhys Thomas was extremely valuable, and I doubt I'd be where I am now if it wasn't for their enthusiasm and motivation. They even invited myself and a fellow student, Richard Marshall down to London for an all-expenses paid live Super-yacht sketching competition. Even the study trips they organised to Milan, Eindhoven, Vitra, Bugatti, and more were incredibly invaluable, and actually showed us first hand that we as students are capable of being great." William Morris, Graduate.
These modules are correct at the time of publication. Modules may change over time due to validation and continuous monitoring policies. Applicants will be notified in writing of any significant changes to their chosen course(s).
Product Design: Defining Context & Conceptual Theory in Design
Wolverhampton City Campus
Product Design: Exploring Studio Practice & Communication Skills
Wolverhampton City Campus
Product Design: Conceptual Development & Design Methodologies
Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for a Portfolio Review. Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory reference.
Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see http://wlv.ac.uk/mature for further information.
Applicants who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course.
The University is committed to a transparent fee structure, with no hidden costs, to help you make an informed decision. This includes information on what is included in the fee and how fees are calculated and reviewed
# Undergraduate part-time fees for 50% rate of study
The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages
Tuition Fees Loan: If you wish, you can take out a Government Student Loan which covers the full course fee. You pay it back once you’ve left university and your income is more than £25,725 (from April 2019). More information on repayments can be found at: repayments.It’s available to eligible full-time higher education students and does not depend on family income.
The amount of the Tuition Fees Loan is paid directly to the University of Wolverhampton by the Student Loan Company.
Visit student finance on the gov.uk website to find out more.
Self-funding: If you don’t want to take out a loan to pay your fees, you might want to take advantage of the University’s scheme to pay by instalments: see How to Pay.The funding available to you depends on when you started your studies and if you have been to University previously.