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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.

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

You'll be provided 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'll 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 have gone on to set-up their own business/design practice, so we aim to provide these opportunities while 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).

This course has been accredited by a professional body.
Professional accreditation
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
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up degree

This one-year programme focuses on the relationship between products and users, exploring ergonomics, usability principles and materials.

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

  • 1 Year Standard Entry W240
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

The 2019/20 costs are not yet available. For guidance the 2016/17 costs were:

Compulsory marker pen and materials costs: £200

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

Relevant HND/foundation degree pass with merit overall (55 per cent)

  • or 240 CATS points from a relevant three-year degree.
  • UK applicants will be required to attend a portfolio viewing.
  • Non-UK applicants will be required to submit an electronic portfolio.
  • 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.

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 15 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 the end of 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 1 year Apply
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

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


  • Design Futures
  • Work Based Learning

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


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'll 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.

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 5 and 6 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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