Product Design MSc

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • School: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

The MSc Product Design programme will prepare students for working in the most exciting global industries, where designers meet with creative technologists. The programme has established a world-class reputation across industry, research and teaching. We have strong connections to the UK and global design economy – with tutors collaborating on research and industrial projects with successful design consultancies that operate on a global scale. 

MSc in Product Design at Dundee

Our students develop socially relevant design responses in a world where digital technologies are changing the way we live our lives

Why study an MSc in Product Design at Dundee?

Our unique learning philosophy is to work with students to develop socially relevant design responses in a world where digital technologies are changing the way we live our lives. Ultimately, we are exploring how humans and technology co-evolve and how design and storytelling can shape our future experiences.

Our approach is simple: we work collaboratively with enabling technologies through playful thinking and making. We see these changes taking place locally and globally: from the hacking and making cultures of major cities like Bangalore in India, the start-up fuelled digital economy of the bay area, to the emerging technology-led social hubs of Stockholm in Sweden. 

What's so good about an MSc in Product Design at Dundee?

The programme will provide you with:

  • an ideal launch pad for entering the fast moving and exciting world of creative technology
  • an ability to make highly resolved product prototypes that explore and harness socially relevant design responses, thereby challenging the way people and society interact with creative technologies
  • an ability to interact and co-create with others, enabling you to become leaders in helping industry and society navigate the incredible opportunities and challenges that lie in our imminent futures
  • the tools and techniques for embedding cutting-edge technology into products
  • an internationally leading educational environment building on research and industry relationships, so ensuring a market readiness and entrepreneurship at the highest level
  • new perspectives and frameworks on problem-finding/solving, prototyping, design thinking and making, drawing upon an integral theoretical approach
  • the professional expertise and experience to work in cross-disciplinary teams to address contemporary real world issues 

The MSc Product Design Programme is timetabled for full-time study over 12 months or part-time over 24 months (Home/EU students only).

Semester 1 will cover core skills for people, design and technology and modules will be delivered in block mode over 3/4 weeks.

Semester 2 enables students to evaluate their skills and design ability in the context of a research & development (R&D) project. The following modules will be taught in the conventional distributed pattern of delivery over 11/12-weeks.

Semester 3 provides students with the studio environment to undertake a major project in an area of professional interest chosen by them. Students will demonstrate their ability to realise a project to Masters Level. To help kick-start projects, the module will be frontloaded with presentations and group activities closely aligned to the Small Society Lab at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA).

See below for more details.

Key to the philosophy of the MSc Product Design programme is a research driven and interdisciplinary approach to learning and teaching. This means that students are taught modules in both design and technology. Where possible, students will also collaborate with internal research scholars and groups, as well as external organisations and practitioners. Developing the research potential and impact of our postgraduate students is integral to our vision for research. As such, guidance is given for those who wish to continue to MPhil and PhD.

Teaching will be delivered through lectures, workshops, practical work and e-learning materials. Typically, teaching will happen in the studio, where staff and students will work together on specific issues and problems, and where students will be held responsible to drive their learning through effective interaction with tutors, peers and others. However, academic support and guidance will be provided through regular group tutorials and individual drop-in appointments.

The MSc Product Design Programme is timetabled for full-time study over 12 months or part-time over 24 months (Home/EU students only).

Semester 1 will cover core skills for people, design and technology and modules will be delivered in block mode over 3/4 weeks, consisting of the following:

  • Accelerator (20 credits)

This module aims to accelerate students’ learning around the core values of the programme enabling them to fast-track a shared studio community that will build a common platform for understanding their journey through the remainder of the programme.

  • Creative Technologies (20 credits)

In this module students will gather new theoretical and practical understanding of what it means to be a creative technologist. Through learning how to tell stories about and with technology, students will gain a deep understanding of how open hardware and software platforms can be used as prototyping tools within socially motivated design projects. This will most likely include open hardware platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Electric Imp. The module will also be closely aligned to the new Make Space facility at DJCAD.

  • Changing Populations (20 credits)

In this module, students will learn about the human lifespan and their changing capabilities and experiences in the context of design. Students will also be introduced to different design research methods to help understand and empathise with the people for whom they are designing.

Semester 2 enables students to evaluate their skills and design ability in the context of a Research & Development (R&D) project. The following modules will be taught in the conventional distributed pattern of delivery over 11/12-weeks:

  • Prototyping: Insights to Innovation (20 Credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the “conventional” and “unconventional” use of prototypes and methods of prototyping in academic and commercial practices and to be able to differentiate the two in problem finding/solving situations. In addition, the module will explore the expanded notion of prototyping, paying particular attention to evolutionary techno-biological systemic prototyping.

  • Interdisciplinary Research Project (40 Credits)

In this module, students will work as a team alongside internationally-leading researchers to address a specific brief set by an external problem holder. Skills developed in Semester 1 will be utilised to gather insights and requirements and prototype solutions.

Semester 3 provides students with the studio environment to undertake a major project in an area of professional interest chosen by them. Students will demonstrate their ability to realise a project to Masters Level. To help kick-start projects, the module will be frontloaded with presentations and group activities closely aligned to the Small Society Lab at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA).

  • Studio Practice: Independent Project (60 Credits)

This module aims to provide students with an extended opportunity to demonstrate their ability to self manage their own learning and for them to develop highly resolved product prototypes that explore and harness socially relevant design responses. Students should use this module to help position themselves for a professional career in product design or creative and high-tech industries.

There are no examinations associated with this programme. Assessment comes from the completion of coursework produced during each module. This may include practical work, written assignments and oral presentations. 

Graduates from Product Design have gone on to have successful careers in the following fields, among others. 

  • consumer electronics
  • sports equipment
  • medical products
  • automotive industry
  • large and small businesses
  • independent consultancies in the UK and abroad

Product Design research at the University of Dundee has attracted a number of substantial grant awards, including a £1.1m UK government award to explore new ways to connect disadvantaged communities to the digital economy; a three year research project to investigate how co-design and wearable technologies can improve the mobility and wellbeing of older people in care homes; and a Digital R&D Fund for the Arts to investigate information sharing and big data analytics.

Navid Gornall
Creative Technologist, at agency Ogilvy & Mather.

"I loved how Product Design was part of the greater art school. All the facilities were open to me – it didn’t matter what discipline I needed to work in. If I needed to polish metal in the jewellery work room or screen print a design, it was all at my disposal. I definitely took that for granted. Every time I want to do something now I get a quote back with a huge string of zeros attached. I absolutely loved living in Dundee. It’s just a big village. Every time you walked across campus, you’d bump into someone you knew. It has that strong community feeling."

Jack Chalkley 
Head Creative Technologist at the Knit agency in London

"The course topics and skills taught are extremely relevant and in many ways ahead of the general industry practice and understanding. Even 3 years into my career I still find myself quoting MSc Product Design projects, briefs and techniques learned in reference to current commercial projects."

Year of Entry: 0

Entry Requirements: You will need to upload a portfolio of 3D based design / technology work. You can submit

  • Sketches
  • freehand drawing
  • modelling
  • any design work
  • relevant work/ industry experience examples.

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 6 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

Please check our English language requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English language courses.

 

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2015/16
Scottish students £4,500 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £4,500 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
EU students £4,500 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

Please read the Postgraduate "How to Apply" section for information on how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Apply online via UKPASS


Course Contact

Mr Fraser Bruce
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
f.bruce@dundee.ac.uk
+44 (0)1382 388101