Product Design BSc (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: Art & Design

Product Design at Dundee

Product designers explore existing and emerging technologies in a playful way, using them as a creative medium throughout the design process.

Work by James Rice

We develop designers who explore existing and emerging technologies in a playful way. Our students go on to use these technologies as a creative medium throughout the design process. 

We will work with you in our studios, helping you to become part of the next generation of leading designers. You will become equally comfortable programming electronics, working with clients, making models or using computer-aided design methods. 

We will help you to develop the essential skills to respond to people's needs. We teach our students to find out what people want and how to design the right products for them. We are particularly interested in digital technology and the role it plays in people's everyday lives.

 

Did You Know?

  • Our graduates have worked for Dyson, Lego and Nokia

Study abroad

Our students can study abroad with partner universities for either one or two semesters. Students have studied in Italy, Spain and Canada, among others. We also take overseas students from partner universities into our course for the same period. 

 

What is so good about this course?

  • we encourage you to become a leading designer
  • you become comfortable with programming electronics, talking to people, making models and rendering in computer-aided design
  • we have strong relationships with employers, including high profile companies like Microsoft, making it easier for you to find a job
  • you can enter national and international competitions
  • you can exhibit your work at our end of year exhibitions in both Dundee and London

 

Learn more about DJCAD

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the DJCAD website.

How you will be taught

Key to the philosophy of BSc (Hons) Product Design is an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. This means that students are taught modules in both design and technology subjects. You will have technology lectures and labs alongside design lectures and product design studio classes. Staff on the course work closely with you to help you use a range of acquired skills through a carefully tailored programme of product design products. In Levels 3 and 4 you can tailor your individual learning programme through a suite of elective modules. The course aims to give you the space to be trained but importantly to build the kind of strong product design portfolio that employers are looking for.

Another unique feature of Product Design is the close relationship that we share with the Digital Interaction Course at the university of Dundee. Facilitated by some shared modules you will have the opportunity to design great new experiences through physical objects and also begin to understand and develop digital interactions, which may be embedded within products or be screen-based.

How you will be assessed

Typically, assessment in the design modules is through designed products, services or interactions which are presented to the class. You are trained and encouraged to present in a range of formats in such a way that you are given a good grounding in graphics, media (web-pages, blogs, short-films) prototyping and verbal skills. In technology modules, assessment is through a mixture of coursework (technical reports), exams and team practical projects. Through this variety of ways of assessing we build your skills and confidence in the life-long skill of presenting your thinking and skills to an audience.

What you will study

Level 1

Ways of Seeing (20 Credits: Level 1, Semester 1)

On this module you will:

  • develop visual practice and thinking in 2D for communication and problem solving
  • experience a range of methods of 2D practice and expression through iteration
  • review visual practices used across design disciplines with a contextual purpose for application in Digital Interaction Design and Product Design
  • develop self-confidence in handling verbal and visual communication within a Social Digital context
  • respond critically to design related literature resources

Picture, Symbol, Icon (20 Credits: Level 1, Semester 1)

On this module you will:

  • develop basic skills relating to both screen and print based media
  • develop a range of visual communication methods in both print and web environments
  • develop an understanding of how 'tone of voice' affects communication
  • review ways in which information/media may be used in Digital Interaction practice
  • develop skills in collecting, identifying, categorizing and reinterpreting substantial quantities of media
  • develop self-confidence in handling verbal and visual communication within a Social Digital context

Ways of Making (20 Credits: Level 1, Semester 1)

This module introduces how we communicate our ideas in 3-dimensions. It will introduce tools and methods to understand how we make with meaning in the Social Digital domain and share these insights with others. You will be taught various physical prototyping techniques, with the aim of developing 3D sketching skills to develop both products and experiences.

Design Methods for Insight Gathering (20 Credits: Level 1, Semester 2)

This module investigates the principals of design practices in understanding people and their use of physical and digital technology. In this module you will

  • develop ways of recording and evidencing practice through observation
  • experience design research methods and evaluate the process
  • develop self-confidence in creative thinking and insight gathering
  • review practices used across design disciplines and place these practices in a Social Digital context
  • verbally present ideas and arguments to others

Introduction to Social Digital (40 Credits: Level 1, Semester 2)

This module will introduce you to practice-based design projects in both Digital Interaction Design and Product Design. This learning experience will give you the opportunity to decide which of the two areas you would like to study upon entering Level 2. In this module we will cover:

  • basic design techniques used in Digital Interaction Design and Product Design
  • the simple design process
  • key historic and contemporary agendas in both Digital Interaction Design and Product Design

 

Level 2

Technology for Designers (40 credits: Level 2, Semester 1)

The aim of this module is to introduce you to a selection of fundamental engineering concepts that have particular relevance to Product Design. The secondary aim is to give you the opportunity to contextualise theoretical learning through design-related exercises. We will cover:

  • key concepts in materials and manufacturing
  • key concepts in structural mechanics
  • key concepts in electricity

Data Visualisation (20 credits: Level 2, Semester 1)

The aim of this course is to provide you with the experience of developing professional applications, emphasising Human-Computer-Interaction from theory through to practical project experience with graphics in a socially challenging situation. Topics covered include procession, programming, animation, programming interaction, rich media, getting data from the web and engaging people.

Form & the Role of the Prototype (40 credits: Level 2, Semester 2)

This module will introduce you to a wide variety of prototyping techniques and you will gain understanding of the roles that these different forms of prototype can play in both developing and communicating ideas at different stages in the design process. You will also develop your understanding of form both in terms of creating it and also contextualizing it in historic and contemporary practice.

Physical Computing (20 credits: Level 2, Semester 2)

 

Level 3

Interaction Design - Physical Digital Products (30 credits: Level 3, Semester 1)

On this module you will gain direct experience of conceiving, designing, prototyping and crafting interactive physical digital products. You will

  • reflect on the cultural and social roles of physical digital objects
  • explore emerging opportunities between interaction design and product design
  • build, explore and refine the interactive behaviour of electronics and software
  • build appropriate interactive physical models incorporating electronic components
  • develop a hypothesis through the written word
  • write a cv and demonstrate good interview techniques

Design Products (30 credits: Level 3, Semester 2)

This module aims to provide you with the appropriate understanding and skills to design and make functional, persuasive and highly resolved design prototypes. You will respond to a brief set within an internationally renowned design competition, the D&AD New Blood awards. This is an opportunity for you to bring together all of your learning to date - research, aesthetics, socio-cultural issues, engineering, technology and making - to produce a highly resolved piece of work.

Alternative Futures 2 (30 credits: Level 3, Semester 2)

Select one of the following:

  • Research & Creative Practice 2
  • Design Enterprise 2
  • Made in China Part 2

 

Level 4

Personal Honours Project (90 Credits: Level 4, Semester 1 & 2)

This module aims to provide you with a platform for bringing together chosen elements that you have learnt so far in the form of a personal project. You will produce design outcomes to your own project brief, drawing on the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout the programme. At the end of this module you will have a refined online portfolio in preparation for graduation and will be in an informed personal position as a designer. You will exhibit your work at the DJCAD Degree Show and will have the opportunity to exhibit your work at New Designers in London.

 

Employability is the fundamental driver for our course. We pride ourselves on building strong relationships with employers throughout our students' education, enabling a smooth and quick route to industry and further academic training on graduation.

Our graduates are employed as product designers, service designers and interaction designers across the globe for companies such as Lego, Dyson, Orange, Nokia, Alpkit, Microsoft and NCR.

Graduates from BSc (Hons) Product Design have gone on to have successful careers in the following fields:

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

Our graduates have worked for companies such as:

  • Dyson - designing products which work in different and better ways than their predecessors
  • rAndom International -developing projects and installations that re-interpret the ‘cold’ nature of digital-based work and emphasise the interaction between the animate (audience) and the inanimate (object)
  • Nokia - the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communications industries
  • Alpkit - designing Camping equipment for mountain activities including climbing, camping, mountaineering and trekking
  • Novalia - printed electronics specialist
  • Foundry - a research team at MintDigital who explore physical objects which connect to the web through digital technology
  • Lego - providing toys, experiences and teaching materials for children in more than 130 countries

Chris McNicholl, Product Designer, James Leckey Design

"During my time in Dundee, I learnt and developed a broad range of the fundamental skills of a product designer - from research and sketching to electronics and prototyping. But where the course stands out from others is in the emphasis on ‘design thinking’. Enabling me to think like a designer and therefore approach tasks creatively is by far the most valuable asset I attained from the course The Product Design programme at DJCAD is at the forefront of design."

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.

Courses starting 2016

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher BBCC BBBB
GCE A-Level CCC BCC
ILC Higher BBBB
IB Diploma 30 points
Essential Subjects One or more from Art & Design (or other creative subject), Product Design, an appropriate technical subject (e.g. Computing, Information Systems) plus an appropriate literate subject (SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher level)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC with B in the Graded Unit
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL
Advanced Diploma Grade C with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at BC
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at BC
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in an Art & Design subject and 7 in a literate subject

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher level)
Essential Subjects One or more from Art & Design (or other creative subject), Product Design, an appropriate technical subject (eg Computing, Information Systems) (SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher level) plus an appropriate literate subject (SQA Higher, GCE A-Level or IB Higher level)
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject

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 2016
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

Application consideration process (Overseas and Rest of UK students)

Based on the information contained in the UCAS application, selected applicants will be invited to attend an interview to present their creative portfolio.

We encourage all applicants to prepare their personal statements with their specialist discipline in mind (change as applicable) Digital Interaction Design/ Product Design/ Interior & Environmental Design. It is also very important to select a Referee who will fully support your application.

Investigate your discipline -Your personal statement should demonstrate your interest in (change as applicable) Digital Interaction Design/ Product Design/ Interior & Environmental Design as disciplines.

 

Preparing a Creative Work Portfolio

We recommend you prepare a creative work portfolio that demonstrates quality rather than quantity of work. Be selective of your project work, showing ideas as well as finished artefacts or presentations.

We understand that by its very nature, creative work can be diverse. Applicants to (change as applicable) Digital Interaction Design/ Product Design/ Interior & Environmental Design are engaged in computing, technology, art & design and spatial design in very different ways.

We consider all creative portfolio work including: websites, videos, blogs, computer graphics, sound recordings, things you have engineered, photographs, sketchbooks, posters, paintings, drawings, models, 2D & 3D prototypes you have made by hand or digitally drawn.

Creative work may also include inspiration or creation of music, dance, drama and poetry.

 

Attending an Interview

Selected applicants will be invited (via email) to attend an interview. You will be given notice to allow you to prepare your creative work portfolio and make any necessary travel arrangements.

You will be given a tour of the studios/facilities as well as meet with current students, individual interviews will take place thereafter. This is as much an opportunity for you to ask questions relating to teaching & learning, as it is for us to get to know you and your interests. There will also be an opportunity to take a campus tour.

 

Interview Preparation

Learning how to visualize your creative ideas is part of the course content, so if you lack a traditional portfolio, it is more important that you are able to talk with enthusiasm about what you do.

If you’ve not been involved in structured creative project work, we want to hear what you have been doing: events, exhibitions or on-line forums you’ve engaged in.

What aspects of the discipline, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and the University of Dundee appeal to you? We really want to know why you want to study on the programme to make sure you have applied for the right course.

We look forward to meeting you soon and hearing what People, Place, Design and Technology mean to you.

  • From a People perspective, we all have different needs and we want to hear how you think your designs will make people’s lives better. Who would you like to design for? What problems did you notice that inspired you to redesign an existing product or devise a new one? What did you learn from prototyping and model-making? How did others respond to your designs? How did you resolve issues around form, aesthetics and ergonomics?
  • From a Place perspective, what types of environments interest you in terms of places of work, home or play?  Which artists, designers, architects and mavericks do you admire?  How do you generate ideas?  Which creative processes and skills do you like to use to express your ideas (digital, hand-made etc.)?  How do you relate to people and places when you develop interior ideas
  • From a Design perspective, what designers or companies do you admire? Is there a period in design history that inspires you? What tools and techniques do you use in the design process that shows your skills? What aspects of the thinking and making process do you enjoy?
  • From a Technology perspective, you need to think and plan how you tell your story: tell us how you perhaps use open source code or deconstruct your computer. Are there tech trends that interest you, screen designs, human interfaces or social networking platforms? Have you worked with materials, structures or electronics to develop designs? Explain why you love working with technology and what got you started.

 

Digital Portfolios

If you are unable to present your creative work portfolio in person, we offer submission of a digital portfolio and an interview via Skype as an alternative; however we strongly encourage all those invited to attend interview.  Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design have a digital portfolio submission format, which we will forward to you when necessary.

 

Application Decision

Based on your application/interview, a decision will be made and notified to you via UCAS Track.

Application Consideration Process

Based on the information contained in the UCAS application, selected applicants will be invited to attend an interview to present their creative portfolio.

It is also very important to select a Referee who will fully support your application.

Investigate your discipline -Your personal statement should demonstrate your interest in Product Design as a discipline.

Preparing a Creative Work Portfolio

We recommend you prepare a creative work portfolio that demonstrates quality rather than quantity of work. Be selective of your project work, showing ideas as well as finished artefacts or presentations.

We understand that by its very nature, creative work can be diverse. Applicants to Product Design are engaged in computing, technology, art & design and spatial design in very different ways.

We consider all creative portfolio work including: websites, videos, blogs, computer graphics, sound recordings, things you have engineered, photographs, sketchbooks, posters, paintings, drawings, models, 2D & 3D prototypes you have made by hand or digitally drawn.

Creative work may also include inspiration or creation of music, dance, drama and poetry.

Digital Portfolio Guidelines

Within your portfolio submission, we would ask that you evidence work that connects with our core values: People, Place, Technology and Design.  

Please select no less than 15 images based on the information provided below.

You can also provide us with the URL of your blog, website and any on-line folio of creative work. We can look at this as well as review your images.

If you are unable to present your creative work portfolio in person, we offer submission of a digital portfolio and an interview via Skype as an alternative; however we strongly encourage all those invited to attend interview.  

Digital Portfolio Content

The main content of your portfolio will demonstrate aspects of your design process, a variation of the Design Council’s double diamond Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver. 

You will select how you structure your portfolio, either by projects or themes.  We would like to see your comments on our core values, either in the narrative of you annotations or project analysis.

People, Place, Technology and Design

Our values emerge as themes through design practice: People, Place, Technology and Design.  Ideally, we want to view your digital portfolio/read your supporting statement/question responses as if we are having a face-to-face conversation with you.

We want to know if you are comfortable with our values and share them. 

We have prepared some probing questions connected to our three values and themes to encourage you to have a conversation with us while preparing your digital portfolio.

We realise that the UCAS personal statement does not allow you to fully express specific interests in either studying at Dundee or Design education if you are interested in and apply to several courses/institutions and therefore we would like to know more about your reasons for studying Product Design at Dundee.

Top tips

  • We suggest that your digital submission does not exceed 5MB
  • Create a contents page to structure your projects and demonstrate your skills
  • Make sure your images are clear, bright and a scale suitable to view online
  • Use a typographic font that is legible for online viewing

Digital Portfolio Submission

You will be prompted by our Admissions Team to submit your digital portfolio (and answer a few questions in respect of your interest in studying art & design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), via the University of Dundee Applicant Portal, thereafter, if required, we may contact you to arrange an interview in person or via Skype.

Attending an Interview

Selected applicants will be invited (via email) to attend an interview. You will be given notice to allow you to prepare your creative work portfolio and make any necessary travel arrangements.

You will be given a tour of the studios/facilities as well as meet with current students, individual interviews will take place thereafter. This is as much an opportunity for you to ask questions relating to teaching & learning, as it is for us to get to know you and your interests. There will also be an opportunity to take a campus tour.

Interview Preparation

Learning how to visualize your creative ideas is part of the course content, so if you lack a traditional portfolio, it is more important that you are able to talk with enthusiasm about what you do.

If you’ve not been involved in structured creative project work, we want to hear what you have been doing: events, exhibitions or on-line forums you’ve engaged in.

What aspects of the discipline, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and the University of Dundee appeal to you? We really want to know why you want to study on the programme to make sure you have applied for the right course.

We look forward to meeting you soon and hearing what People, Place, Design and Technology mean to you.

  • From a People perspective, we all have different needs and we want to hear how you think your designs will make people’s lives better. Who would you like to design for? What problems did you notice that inspired you to redesign an existing product or devise a new one? What did you learn from prototyping and model-making? How did others respond to your designs? How did you resolve issues around form, aesthetics and ergonomics?
  • From a Place perspective, what types of environments interest you in terms of places of work, home or play?  Which artists, designers, architects and mavericks do you admire?  How do you generate ideas?  Which creative processes and skills do you like to use to express your ideas (digital, hand-made etc.)?  How do you relate to people and places when you develop interior ideas
  • From a Design perspective, what designers or companies do you admire? Is there a period in design history that inspires you? What tools and techniques do you use in the design process that shows your skills? What aspects of the thinking and making process do you enjoy?
  • From a Technology perspective, you need to think and plan how you tell your story: tell us how you perhaps use open source code or deconstruct your computer. Are there tech trends that interest you, screen designs, human interfaces or social networking platforms? Have you worked with materials, structures or electronics to develop designs? Explain why you love working with technology and what got you started.

Application Decision

Based on your application/interview, a decision will be made and notified to you via UCAS Track.

If you require further information on any aspect of the application consideration process or the undergraduate programme in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.

djcadundergraduate@dundee.ac.uk



  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowProduct Design BSc (Hons)W240