BSc (Hons) Product DesignSouthwark Campus
Beautiful, functional products
Are you a problem solver? Why not learn how to design products, services and systems that answer the challenges for industry and society today? Blending design thinking with physical and digital prototyping, this course develops the intellectual and practical skills you need to become a well-rounded product designer.
You’ll learn about design methods, materials, manufacturing processes and basic engineering principles, with the opportunity to put these into practice by developing your products from concept to final model and prototype. In your third year, you’re encouraged to spend a year on an industrial placement. In your final year, you’ll display your work in our end-of-year degree show.
Our course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and is one of the longest-running degrees to hold that accreditation.
We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2021.
Why study Product Design at LSBU?
- Our staff are experts with a great network of contacts.
- Professional accreditation: our course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and is one of the longest-running degrees to hold that accreditation.
- Get to know the industry: with guest lectures from companies like LEGO.
- You’ll get to develop products from concept to final model and/or prototype using our exceptional facilities.
- It’s project-focused: you’ll spend most of your time in the studio/workshop making creative products that answer a brief.
- light bulb
- Ranked 2nd for Overall Satisfaction amongst London Modern competitors in Design Studies (National Student Survey 2020).
- Boost your employability with an optional paid professional work experience placement in your third year.
- Ranked 1st in the UK for Student Satisfaction for Mechanical Engineering (Complete University Guide 2021).
The course centres on studio/workshop based design assignments – and you spend much of your time involved in design project work. Individual project work allows you to develop as a designer, while group work reflects the reality of your future professional life.
We’ll teach you everything that you need to become a well-rounded and thoughtful designer:
- How to draw
- Design fundamentals
- Manufacturing processes
- Materials and sustainability
- Workshop practice
- Ergonomics and inclusive design
- Alternative and emerging technologies
- All about fashion, taste and style
- Market awareness
Finally, we’ll support you to put all of this into practice with a major design project and give you a platform to exhibit your work to the public.
Methods of assessment for course overall: 100% coursework.
- Design methods
This module is an introductory experience for students on the BSc Product Design cluster and covers the majority of practical work to be undertaken at first year level –design methods, process and projects. Using design projects as a vehicle, you'll cover design methodology, physical prototyping, workshop skills, and an introduction to materials and manufacturing technology. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Visual communications
This module will deal with free hand drawing and sketching, technical drawing, graphic communication and digital visual tools. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- CAD 1
This module provides an introduction to the principles and use of Computer Aided Design techniques and software for product and engineering design. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Inclusive design and usability
This module is an introduction to principles of human-centred design, universal design, user profiling, anthropometrics and ergonomics. Many areas in our society require a radical rethink to allow all individuals to live fuller, more socially integrated, independent and inclusive. The module contributes to develop a user-centred design literate graduate by introducing design-thinking methods that encourage wellbeing and people’s empowerment. It leads to systems, products and/or services that are physically, cognitively and emotionally intuitive to use with an aesthetic awareness. Assessment method: 50% coursework 50% exam.
- Design for a sustainable society
Knowledge of sustainability is of paramount importance to designers because they make a significant contribution to the majority of designed products. Therefore, this module introduces you to the three fundamental principles of sustainability (environmental, social and economic factors) and highlights the importance of their integration in order to create properly sustainable design output. The module also helps you develop your creativity and problem-solving skills to produce aesthetically pleasing and intuitive design proposals at the same time as developing fundamental understanding of technological principles and applications (general mechanical, electrical, electronic concept, trigonometry etc.). In addition to learning about sustainability, the module will educate you for sustainability by encouraging you to practice sustainability in other aspects of your life and become a sustainability literate graduate. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Design thinking and applications
This module will build on the experience gained in the first year Design Thinking and Practice module and other first year modules and aims to develop design thinking methodology and product development practice for the placement (sandwich) year and the final year projects. The module will aim to allow you to experience a thorough range of design process cycles and develop various resolution prototypes in relation to the weighting of the assignments; you'll need to reflect on the increasing diversity in product, service, interaction design and “design thinking” as a component of business development. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Design contexts and communications
This module will enhance fundamental employability skills for a graduate in the contemporary design industry. It builds on the concepts that were introduced in Level 4 modules, with a view to creation of a professional portfolio that reflects your design capabilities, in order to leave you in a strong position for gaining a work placement and/or graduate employment. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Design futures and emerging technologies
This module will raise your awareness of new design approaches, emerging technological and scientific research, as well as ethical, economic and sociocultural changes in the society. It will enhance your ability to address and think critically about future challenges. It will also explore new design methods to provide opportunities for interdisciplinary skills to be developed. Projects will encourage you to be informed by different perspectives, people and disciplines, enabling collaborative exchange of knowledge. Assessment method: 70% exam 30% coursework.
- CAD 2
This module develops advanced Computer Aided Design skills and introduces you to the principles of Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM), and communication and demonstration of these ideas through photo-realistic rendering, and digital animations. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Design interactions
This module explores new roles, contexts and approaches for design in relation to the social, cultural and ethical impact of existing and emerging technologies. Projects will encourage you to be informed by different perspectives, people and disciplines, enabling collaborative exchange of knowledge. Assessment method: 70% exam, 30% coursework.
- Design and manufacture project
This module will allow you to apply ‘design thinking’ techniques and methods coupled with their user centred-focus and practical skills, to the design, development and production of a working prototype of a product. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Optional placement year
Students benefit enormously from spending a period of time in industry, whatever course they undertake. This module is designed to provide you with first-hand knowledge and experience in an appropriate industrial setting. Some design and creative industries work largely on the basis of long-term salaried positions, others work on the basis of subcontracted and specialist working, usually of a short-term nature. You're required to work in a situation where you're accountable to an outside company or person for the work you carry out. The employment in total needs to be the equivalent of at least a complete academic year in some form of appropriately employed or voluntary capacity within the industry, in its broadest terms. You're required to have access to the local management in order to understand the ways in which management decisions and actions take place, as well as concentrating on achieving the best performance possible in the technicalities of the placement work. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Research methods for design project
In this module you'll identify a suitable subject for your Design Project; you'll then develop a project brief and work plan, which will be presented visually and verbally in addition to your preliminary contextual research and justification for the proposed project. You'll also develop brand identity for the Design Degree Show, which may be pitched to experts and/or design professionals. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Service and System Design
This module aims to augment your design portfolio with subsidiary projects in addition to your major design project. These projects and their communication (both physical and digital) will be useful to students preparing for graduation and life after University. The module will give you a chance to give breadth to your professional portfolio and perhaps develop ideas and concepts that demonstrate different thought processes to those demonstrated in your major project. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Design and culture
In this module you'll engage in primary and secondary source research to investigate and critically analyse a subject related to the profession and practice of Product Design in order to produce a well written and illustrated dissertation that broadens your understanding of the various factors that influence the design process and profession. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Product design project
The Product Design Project requires you to develop a solution from concept through to artefact based on the subject that is identified via the Research Methods for Design Projects module. The artefact may be physical and/or digital, and the design output could include system or service design. The project deliverables will include a detailed record of the design development, a fully developed artefact, and an analytical and reflective review. The project provides an opportunity to explore a chosen specialist field in order to develop expertise and demonstrate depth of understanding. In order to execute your individual project you'll draw on selected tools and resources learned in previous modules and produce a coherent and professional methodology for the intended solution. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
Combining flair and vision with practical skill, Product Design is an exciting course that will set you on course for a creative, fulfilling career.
Our recent graduates are pursuing successful careers with companies like LEGO, VosLED, Cogent Healthcare Systems, BDP and Complete Fabrication. Others have set up businesses or work as freelance product designers. From design consultancies to manufacturing companies, there’s a wealth of choice for you.
The course has a focus on studio-based design assignments and design project work. You'll learn how to propose workable and functional solutions within financial constraints whilst still delivering compelling, aesthetic products. These are the very skills that will set you in high demand from industry employers!
Take a look at some potential careers, including product designer, in our Prospects section.
Graduate success stories
As well as recent graduates going into jobs with design consultancies and manufacturing companies, they have also excelled in design competitions:
- Jack Ogborn (winner, IED Student Design Award)
- Matilde Rodriguez and Izzatullah Ahmadi (winners, Design Factory @ Design Museum)
- Andrew Hodgson (winner, DFI furniture design)
After graduation I went to work for LEGO in Denmark where I spent four years working as a design/model maker before coming back to London to work for WOW Toys as a Design Manager.Peter Grinsell, Alumnus, BSc Product Design
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
To us, your professional career begins as soon as you start the course, so we continuously prepare you for real-world challenges from the first day of your study.
Our professional links with the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) mean that our course content is regularly reviewed and revised, making absolutely sure that we are teaching the skills and techniques that the design industry needs from graduates.
The IED is the UK's only professional body representing those working in the field of Engineering Design. Members work in a diverse range of industries that span product design, architecture, mechanical, automotive and aircraft design, design education, IT and computing.
Recent guest lecturers have included:
- Andrew Ritchie (MD of Brompton Bicycles)
- Stephen Edwards (sustainable designer, Bioregional)
- Hannah Lewis (manager and community worker, The Brixton Remakery)
- Andreas Molgaard (user experience consultant at RMA Consulting)
- Peter Grinsell (global design manager, Reckitt Benckiser)
- Nick Groves (senior designer, LEGO)
Work experience opportunities
Most of our third year students choose to improve their employability by undertaking a year-long placement in industry, and we help you to find your placement. The rewards speak for themselves; work experience gives you the opportunity of testing and adapting the skills that you have learned in class within a workplace environment. It also builds your professional network. Placement jobs often lead to 'live' projects in their final year that are sponsored by the companies, and many of our students have been employed by their placement companies on graduation.
You are encouraged to spend your third (sandwich) year on placement in industry; this gives you the opportunity of testing and adapting the skills that you have learned in class within a workplace environment. It also gives you an invaluable networking opportunity. Placement jobs often lead to 'live' projects in their final year that are sponsored by the companies, and many of our students have been employed by their placement companies on graduation.
Our course philosophy places making at the heart of the design process; you'll learn in an environment that is highly in tune with refined technologies. You'll gain the knowledge and training needed to meet future demands for products and services, and the requirements of employers in the design industry.
Well-placed and considered investment means you'll have access to up-to-date and large-scale workshops, laboratories and design studios. Through hands-on engineering experience you'll learn how to test, measure, design and produce your own prototypes, bringing ideas off the drawing board or computer screen and into full-size and functional 3D models.
Our workshop capabilities include:
- 'Soft' modelling operations, for prototypes in card, clay, foam, or wood;
- Machining capabilities using milling machines, lathes and others, both manually and CNC controlled;
- Welding and metal fabrication;
- Digital prototyping including laser cutting, silicone soft tooling and resign casting, and a range of 3D printing technologies;
- Paint finishing facility;
- Reverse engineering through CMM and 3D scanning;
- Composite manufacture in fibre glass and carbon fibre;
- Electronics and robotics laboratories;
- Material testing laboratories;
- Photography and video editing studios; and
- A virtual engineering suite for 3D visualisation and testing.
Find out more about our workshops and industry-standard software packages.
The workshops are great and really inspirational environments. The tutors have expert knowledge and can provide insight from their own professional design careers.Kadeza Begum, Alumna, BSc Product Design
Teaching and learning
Our teaching staff are experts, with a great deal to share. Whether they're teaching, carrying out research or involved in consultancy for industry they have the skills to make a difference to you. You'll learn both intellectual and practical skills in a modern, well-equipped environment that blends traditional manufacturing equipment and sophisticated technology.
Applied approach to learning
You'll learn through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work. Taking on both group and individual projects, we assess your work through a mixture of coursework and exams, with project and laboratory work counting towards your final award. We also teach you the life skills of effective communication, problem solving, project planning and team working that will set you apart and give you the best chance of getting the job you want after you graduate.
|Lectures, tutorials, seminars and lab-based study||Self-directed study|
- A Level BBB or;
- BTEC National Diploma DDM or;
- Access to HE qualifications with 24 Distinctions 21 Merit including a minimum of 3 Merits in Design Technology, Maths and Physics or;
- Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 122 UCAS points
- Level 3 qualifications must include art/ design or show evidence of engagement with creativity
- Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C
We normally require a portfolio of work and in many instances will also interview potential applicants to assess suitability for the course.
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.
Prepare to start
After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.
Fees and funding
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.
Zack Daniels and Alex Pullen, Mayor's Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition finalists
LSBU Product Design students Zack Daniels and Alex Pullen were finalists in the Mayor's Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition.
Kadeza Begum, BSc Product Design
After finishing her studies Kadeza decided to start her own business—with mentoring and support from LSBU's Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme.
George Mabey and Benjamin Hunt, Product Design, Power of Aluminium Awards
George Mabey, Engineering Product Design student, and Benjamin Hunt, Product Design student, were honoured in ALFED's Power of Aluminium Awards.