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BA (Hons) Product Design

Design the products, tools and appliances of tomorrow's world

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Are you fascinated by how design can influence and improve modern life? Do you want to design the products, devices and solutions of the future? Ideal for students with backgrounds in art or engineering, this innovative degree offers a perfect balance of fabrication, design and manufacturing study, focusing specifically on the relationship between products and their users. The curriculum also includes intensive study of ergonomics, usability principles and materials.

With a strong industry focus, product design at Solent is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). This mark of quality is reserved for courses that are best suited to preparing students for employment in engineering design roles.

  • The course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).
  • Teaching is delivered by a team of experienced industry professionals who have extensive design backgrounds. 
  • Students can enjoy access to industry-standard facilities including an advanced manufacturing lab. This lab provides additive and subtractive computer-aided modelling technologies, as well as 3D scanning, laser cutting, rapid prototyping, 5-axis routing and 3D printing equipment.
  • Students are encouraged to enter design competitions to showcase their products and have the opportunity to get noticed by employers.
  • The degree focuses on the relationship between products and users, and explores ergonomics, usability principles and materials.
  • The course curriculum is built around practical insights into the industry, allowing students to discover the process of taking a product from concept to marketplace.
  • Solent’s strong industry links and partner affiliation network can provide work placement opportunities for students. Student projects have been supported by B&Q, IKEA, the NHS, Greaves Best Design, SIG, Adris and In-Tandem Systems.
  • Solent encourages a cross-disciplinary collaborative culture and students studying product design can have the opportunity to work with students from other courses, in areas such as special effects, animation, computer generated imagery, computer and video games, and animation.
  • Students are also encouraged to get involved with our in-house creative design agency, Solent Creatives, with opportunities to gain valuable hands-on experience working on live client briefs.

The industry

Product designers focus on developing new and improving existing products across a wide range of industries. Potential roles for talented graduates can include exhibition design, packaging design, design consultancy and product design within large companies.  

Southampton Solent University was named as one of Britain’s top 20 universities for graduate start-ups in the 2015 Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCI), testament to the support given to entrepreneurial students by the University for starting their own business.

The programme

The course aims to equip students with fundamental skills in design and manufacturing techniques. Studies are aided by industry-standard facilities, including well-lit professional studios with fully equipped model-making and prototyping workshops, together with access to the latest rapid prototyping software and facilities.

An important element of the course is its accreditation by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). Students on the product design degree can enjoy free student membership for the duration of their studies, as well as their first year of graduate membership. There are many benefits to membership of the IED, most notably the opportunity to gain professional registration and recognition of expertise, to network with other designers and to continue professional development.  

Next steps

If you think a career in product design is for you, Southampton Solent’s innovative, industry-focused product design degree will equip you with the knowledge and skills to help you on your way to an exciting and inspiring career.

Have you got a question about applying?


Don't just take our word for it...

Chris Butler
James Rayner
"My projects have taken me from Tokyo to Buenos Aires, India, China and beyond."
  More from Chris
"The tutors go out of their way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your time at Southampton..."
  More from James

UCAS codes


  • 4 Years Design Foundation Year W2W2
  • 3 Years Standard entry W241

Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
280 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
112 UCAS Tariff points

Year one:


Core units

  • Design Visualisation
  • Design Exploration
  • Design Process
  • Commercial Studies
  • Technical Studies
  • Modern Design (Themes and Issues).

Year two:


Core units

  • Computer Modelling
  • Creative Applications
  • Human Factors
  • Design for Manufacture.


  • Design for Industry
  • Design for Enterprise
  • New Product Development
  • Curriculum Plus
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Model Your Business.

Year three:


Core units

  • Design Futures
  • Live Competition Project
  • Professional Project Research
  • Professional Project
  • Preparation for Employment.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Students’ design skills are monitored and enhanced through regular small group critiques, integrated with lectures and seminars on other subject areas.

Practical skills such as drawing, model-making and computing are developed from the ground up, assuming no previous knowledge.

Work experience
Opportunities for work placement are provided through the course partner affiliation network, which encourages professional input and work placement opportunities for students. Companies include: In-Tandem Systems, B&Q, IKEA, the NHS, Greaves Best Design, SIG, Adris and In-Tandem Systems.

The course is assessed through a mix of practical projects, written assignments and presentations. There are no formal exams.

Our facilities

Well-lit professional studios with fully equipped model-making and prototyping workshops, together with access to the latest rapid prototyping software and facilities.

Study abroad

The Erasmus+ programme gives you the opportunity to spend between a term and a year of your course studying abroad at one of our partner universities, or undertaking a work placement for a company in Europe.

For more information see

If you are a student at one of our Erasmus partner institutions in Europe, then you may have the opportunity to come to the UK and study product design units at Solent for either a single term or a full academic year as part of your degree programme.

If you’re studying outside Europe, then you may be able to study with us as an exchange student if there is a partnership agreement in place. If you are studying at a university which does not have a partnership agreement with us, then you could apply to study at Solent under our Study Abroad programme.

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

Meet the Team

 An inspiring course team with current industry experience and a wealth of research interests will bring the subject to life.

Particular strengths exist in the fields of material aesthetics, ergonomics and product marketing.

UCAS codes


  • 4 Years Design Foundation Year W2W2
  • 3 Years Standard entry W241

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

As a design-trained graduate, your creative-thinking, problem-solving and communication skills are in high demand among employers and open up a range of career options.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Product design
  • Design consultancy
  • Design engineering
  • Interior design/space planning
  • Exhibition design
  • Special FX model-making
  • Graphics/packaging/point-of-sale design
  • Product marketing or research.

Links with industry

Tutors have extensive industry experience, helping students to relate projects to the real world. The course team maintains strong links with industry and has set up a partner affiliation network (PAN) which provides live project briefs, professional input on course content and various student design competitions, together with extensive work placement opportunities.

The University also helps nurture and protect your ideas and innovative designs by providing you with support and advice on intellectual property protection.

We also have a comprehensive programme of guest speakers throughout the course, giving you access to a formidable selection of industry professionals delivering up-to-the-minute case studies.

Transferable skills

Throughout the course you’ll develop a broad range of skills in IT, creative thinking, presentation, project management, visual communication and problem-solving.

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

Graduates have gone on to find roles such as design engineer or junior product designer at organisations including Bright Innovations, Fitch, ALH Systems, Alfa Display and Design, and Celsus.


Key facts


Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time

Entry requirements


UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

280 points (for 2016 entry) or 112 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* or equivalent.
  • UK applicants are required to attend a portfolio viewing.
  • Applicants from outside the UK will be required to send an electronic portfolio.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.

Portfolio interview requirements

Before attending your interview or sending us your portfolio, please read the following: Portfolio interview information

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

Other costs

Compulsory marker pen and materials costs in years one, two and three: £100, £100 and £200, respectively

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit:

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply


Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.

UCAS codes


  • 4 Years Design Foundation Year W2W2
  • 3 Years Standard entry W241


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