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About the course

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, graphics, design or engineering, this innovative degree offers a perfect balance of creativity, design thinking, manufacturing and materials, and commercial awareness.

BA (Hons) Product Design scored 100% overall satisfaction for NSS 2019.

We take the approach that product design is the blend between art and engineering, and keep this in mind with the projects you will undertake, helping to ensure a balanced portfolio.  

We will provide you with a range of experiences and support to develop transferable skills that will enable you to work within the broader creative industries after graduation. Our approach is to provide a creative environment for you to thrive and achieve your full potential.

The curriculum also includes specialist study of ergonomics and human factors to ensure your designs are fit for purpose. You will also have the opportunity to test your designs with our empathy suits to ensure a fully user-centred approach to design has been adopted.

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. Our growing network of employers (currently 18) sponsor a number of units across the three year programme, from guest speaker talks, live projects, to workshops on preparation for employment, awards, internships and work placements.

Many of our students go on to set-up their own business/design practice so we aim to provide these opportunities whilst studying on the course with appropriate mentoring and support. A number of units allow you to create, make and retail products in our shop Re:So and many students work on professional freelance jobs in their second year through our Solent Creatives initiative.

All of this in a friendly, supportive and encouraging environment with small group sizes. Perhaps the reason why for four years out of the previous five we have achieved 100% in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS).

You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
This course has been accredited by a professional body.
Professional accreditation
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies

The course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).

What does this course lead to?

The transferable skills learnt on this course enable graduates to apply for a range of careers within the broader creative industries including roles in: product design, design consultancy, design engineering, interior design, special effects, exhibition design, human factors and usability, user-experience (design UX), service design, prototyping and specialist model making, advertising, product packaging and POS (point of sale), product marketing. 

Recent graduates have gone on to find roles within companies/organisations including: Bright Innovations, Fitch, ALH Systems, Alfa Display and Design, Celsus, 2LK, Kenwood, Hexatronic, B&Q, IKEA, Wiggle, Ocean Safety, Kinneir Dufort, Spinlock, Extreme Exhibitions, Innovate Product Design, JPR Lighting, Italdesign, Solid Solutions, Rolls Royce to name just a few.

Who is this course for?

Product design at Solent University is ideal for students with a background in art, graphics, design, or engineering. It’s a Bachelor of Arts - BA (Hons) programme but with sufficient engineering content and understanding to ensure you can apply for membership to the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). The course also combines both traditional and digital skills necessary for work in the creative industries.


Facts and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 4 Years Design Foundation Year PD03
  • 3 Years Standard Entry W241
  • 4 Years Design Foundation Year W2W2
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,875 per year

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2019/20 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, the 2018/19 other costs were:

Year one:
Compulsory marker pen and materials costs: £300
Optional study trips: £400

Year two:
Compulsory marker pen and materials costs: £400
Optional study trips: £400

Year three:
Compulsory marker pen and materials costs: £500
Optional study trips: £400

Bursaries and scholarships

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

Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • 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.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Design Foundation Year
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.

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
  • 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.


of students feel staff are good at explaining things

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

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.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time  3 years  Apply 

Design Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time  4 years  Apply 
How to apply

What you'll study

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 and Visualisation
  • Materials and Sustainable Design
  • Human Factors
  • Design for Manufacture.


  • Design for Industry
  • Design for Enterprise
  • New Product Development
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core units
  • Live Competition Project
  • Professional Project Research
  • Professional Project
  • Preparation for Employment.


  • Work Based Learning Unit 
  • Design Futures 

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

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

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Key figures


Assessment by coursework


Practical exams

Students' work

Meet the course team

Sarah Radif academic profile Sarah Radif Head of Subject View profile
Mark Jones academic profile Mark Jones Head of Subject View profile
Peter Jones academic profile Peter Jones Senior Lecturer View profile
Alan Manley academic profile Alan Manley Lecturer View profile
Alison Messenger academic profile Alison Messenger Lecturer View profile
Gordon Brand academic profile Gordon Brand Associate Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


The University provides excellent learning resources and facilities to its students, from campus-wide wireless to extensive library services and dedicated student working spaces with plenty of laptop points. 

Students also have good access to well-lit professional studios with fully equipped model-making and advanced manufacturing labs for composites, 3d printers and laser cutters, where you will develop both traditional and digital skills supported by good access to industry-standard software packages.

Your future

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.


of students go on to work and/or study six months after finishing the course


of students feel they are part of a community of staff and students
  • My projects have taken me from Tokyo to Buenos Aires, India, China and beyond. I am privileged to be able to travel to unlikely destinations to observe and understand how products fit into people’s lives. Then I get to help turn that research into products! At Solent I enjoyed the small class size and opportunity to develop my design skills while understanding the importance of building links between design solutions and practical industry needs.

    Chris Butler, graduate - Seymour Powell Design

  • Product design at Solent is also a community, everyone helps one another. The tutors go out of their way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your time at Southampton, helping you develop your design skills and always encouraging you to think creatively.

    James Rayner, Graduate

Industry links

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.


Students will have a number of opportunities for placement and connection with industry throughout the course. This can be undertaken either as a formal part of study by selecting optional units at level five and six or outside of your timetable utilising the freelancing service at Solent Creatives. Our course partner affiliation network also offers some placement opportunities for students. Companies include: In-Tandem Systems, Splash Displays, B&Q, IKEA, the NHS, Greaves Best Design, 2LK and In-Tandem Systems.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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