Product Design (BA Hons)

Product Design

BA (Hons)

Now recruiting for September 2021 start

Made for success

Make the most of our industry links to get an inside-out understanding of product design.

Read Laura's Story...

Get hands on

Unique opportunities to put your skills into practice.

Student working on a design.

Our students work on 'live projects'. Past clients include Superdry and IT Schools Africa.

A group of students in a Repair Cafe.

At our Repair Cafés, students fix broken items; not only do they develop their skills, they also keep items out of landfill.

Tom Hill

Internationally-renowned model-maker Tom Hill is part of our teaching team. Tom worked on the Star Wars and Judge Dredd films.

A Complete, Creative Environment

Inspiring spaces to design. Practical places to create.

More info...

Learn from the best in the industry

Dr. Michelle Williams

Dr. Michelle Williams

Academic Course Leader, Product Design

"I have worked in industry as a project leader, have a doctorate in design and have been an entrepreneur for 10 years.

I am dedicated to giving my students real-life experiences to create a design portfolio enabling them to become successful in the direction that they feel passionate about. For example, my first year students are designing a classroom for the British charity 'IT Schools Africa'. Superdry have also recently set my students a design project to gain an invaluable insight in branding and people's lifestyle choices. Imagine writing that on your CV after your first year in university."

At the Green Gown Awards 2017, Michelle was Highly Commended for her teaching.

Prepare for the future

Develop the skills you need to find your dream job.

Course details

Students working in a Product Design workshop.

Course outline

We are in the UK top 20 for graduate prospects in design and crafts (The Guardian University Guide 2020).

Our award winning course will focus on innovation and a sustainable, user-centred approach to design. Aesthetics, function, user-centred design, sustainability and commercial acumen are all taught to develop innovative products from conception to completion. You will utilise a range of graphic skills, design and making techniques and digital technologies, turning your initial ideas into prototypes, and working with real materials and equipment used in industry. You'll also learn about the latest design thinking, disruptive and systemic design, design history and culture as well as marketing, management and user interaction design.

The course combines technology design and development with creative innovative thinking and flexes to suit your interests. You’ll collaborate with students across different courses, including interior design, engineering and music, to combine skills and ideas into enterprising projects. Previous student work has won innovation awards at New Designers and has been highly commended by Royal Society of the Arts and the Head of Sustainability at NUS. Projects included haptic feedback chairs to enhance the experience of music through vibration and new biodegradable materials for packaging that have recently been nominated for the ‘Creative Conscience’ Award.

Working in small groups, you’ll get personalised support from lecturers who’ll develop your skills and challenge your imagination to create innovative designs and forward-thinking products. This course scored over 90% satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2019 for academic support.

You’ll focus on user-centred design – creating for people, and learn essential skills in iterative prototyping, fundamentals of technology, form and branding, sustainable design and commercial awareness.

You'll have the opportunity to work for a year on a paid placement that counts as part of your studies with previous students working with companies such as Superdry, Hurricane and IT Schools Africa, designing classrooms in Malawi. The course has been designed to enable membership with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).

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Study style

You'll be assessed by coursework including portfolios of design work, product development, reporting and documentation, presentations and exhibitions. This will take place in our dedicated studios, computer labs and workshop area. You will get to grips with equipment such as laser cutters, 3D printers and CNC equipment as well as using software like Adobe CC and Solidworks. Our students also get to exhibit their work twice a year, giving practitioners the opportunity to talent scout soon-to-be graduates.

Course modules

You'll study a variety of modules like 'User Centred Design'.

Take a look at the course content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.

Andrew Shelton, Graduate.

"The vast number of placements was simply outstanding." Andrew Shelton, Graduate

Placement information

Placement type:

12-Month, Optional


12 months, full-time (minimum 35 hours per week)


Placements can be carried out in the UK or overseas; popular overseas placement destinations include the USA, China and Europe. You may even wish to source your own placement in other countries.

Visa requirements:

If carrying out a placement abroad, there may be a visa requirement.

Financial arrangements:

On your placement year you will pay a reduced tuition fee and are still eligible to apply for a maintenance loan. Financial support is also available from the Student Finance Team by contacting

Placement support:

You will have access to guidance from the Placements Team throughout your placement search, and for the duration of your placement year. You can contact the Placements Team on

Industry links

Students exhibit and sell their work annually to gain commercial and entrepreneurial experience. You can work on live projects with industry experts as well as completing work experience. Our students have gained valuable insight from guest lecturers such as Patrick Jordan, Business Psychologist for clients such as Apple Computers, Ferrari and EA Sports. There's also the opportunity to get involved with the prestigious Cheltenham Design Festival and the Repair Café where you can fix broken items or take apart existing products and make them into something new and purposeful, while contributing towards a future in sustainable design.


  • Product designer
  • Industrial designer
  • Design engineer
  • Furniture designer
  • Packaging designer
  • CAD design Model Maker

Study mode



3 Years (Full-Time)
4 Years (Placement)
4 Years (Integrated Foundation Stage)


Park, Cheltenham

Entry requirements

Tariff information for 2021 entry

Because we want to offer this course to creative students with talent and potential (and because we know that exam grades don't always tell the whole story), we invite all applicants to interview. Your suitability for the course is assessed and we will confirm your place after we've had a chance to meet you, if we feel you are a good fit. As well as unconditional offers for the right applicants, we make conditional offers based on your achieving certain grades in your A-levels or BTEC qualifications.

Check out our Interview Guide to learn what to expect and help you prepare.

This course is available with an integrated foundation stage to help you prepare.

International Students: Please see the full details of entry requirements in your country.

Grade 4/C in GCSE English and Mathematics (or equivalent) are normally required.
Please contact our admissions team if you have a question.


See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

UCAS Codes

UCAS codes available for this subject
BA (Hons) - 3 years full-timeW240
BA (Hons) - 4 years placementW241
BA (Hons) - 4 years integrated foundation stageW242

School of Arts

Our School of Arts provides specialist studios with the latest industry technology so you can develop your creative talent. You will collaborate with other artists and designers and be inspired by practising professionals to refine your own authentic voice.

This course looks amazing

How can I find out more?

Come and visit us

Our next virtual open day is on Sunday 8 November 2020

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