Product Design BSc (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

Why study Product Design at Dundee?

Product design at DJCAD, University of Dundee will train you to design products that work - products people can get their hands on, play with, admire, tell people about and ultimately want as their own. Our aim is to develop designers who can explore existing and emerging technologies in a playful way and use them as a creative medium throughout the design process. We don't think that it is all about products that work though, our students are taught how to find out what people want, to understand their needs and to design products for them. We are particularly interested in exploring the roles that digital technology plays in people's everyday lives.

In our studios we will work with you so that you can become part of the next generation of leading edge designers that are comfortable programming electronics, talking to people, making models or rendering in CAD. It is not about presenting ideas of what a product might be, or building a technical prototype of how a product might work - we will help you to develop the skills to respond to people's needs and design products that work.

Through our Erasmus exchange programme our students are also able to study abroad with partner universities for either one or two semesters. We also take overseas students from partner universities into our course for the same period. This has proved to be hugely successful with students studying in Italy, Spain and Canada.

What's so good about Product Design at Dundee?

  • We encourage you to become a leading edge 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

Related Courses

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.

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
  • exprience 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 opportunitiy 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 learing 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 techniquest 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 behviour 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 Honors 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 porfolio 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.


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.

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

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
IB Diploma 30 points
Essential Subjects One or more from Art & Design (or other creative subject), Product Design, an appropriate technical subject (eg Computing, Information Systems) plus an appropriate literate subject (SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, ILC Higher or IB Higher level)
EU & International Visit our Your Country webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
Scottish Baccalaureate
SWAP Access
Advanced Diploma
Welsh Baccalaureate
European Baccalaureate

Courses starting September 2015

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
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
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at AH
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 September 2015 or January 2016
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
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."
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
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 and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

Once we have reviewed your application and have checked that you meet our qualification requirements, we will invite you to attend an interview. You will be asked to bring your portfolio with you which can include creative work examples including:photographs, sketchbooks, websites, videos, posters, paintings, drawings, computer graphics, models, prototypes, clothes, sound recordings, things you have engineered, sewn, etc.

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