If you are a forward thinker who is intrigued about what the future might look like, this course will not just help you to understand what to expect – it will help you design it. Product Design Futures looks at the future of design, challenging existing design direction and thinking and consideration of where it needs to go, informed by the exploration of design trends, societal change, emerging technologies and environmental issues.
Our innovative course has been developed to meet the future needs of design in a market where automation will transform professions and create new opportunities. Our graduates will be well placed to apply the knowledge and skills acquired on the course to future-proof their career.
This course focuses on the ethical development of new products whilst being sustainable and having less environmental impact. The industry increasingly needs to consider ethics and sustainability, so you will concentrate on the ethical development of new products and how they can be designed to solve real-world problems without causing environmental issues further down the line. Your learning will be informed by the exploration of design trends, societal change, emerging technologies and environmental considerations. You’ll develop your understanding of the impact that the design of products has on the world and the way we live. You will learn to take into account environmental and ethical issues such as the choice of materials, the use of energy, disposal and potential recyclability, which are key concerns for sustainable product lifecycles.
The entry requirements for this course are 104 - 120 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent.
Numeracy and Literacy requirement: GCSE English and Mathematics grade 4 (or grade C in the old grading system). We also accept iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills and other qualifications at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework.
A-level and AS levels: 104 – 120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two A-levels.
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate – Skills Challenge Certificate: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Access to HE Diploma: 102 – 118 UCAS tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
International entry requirements
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.
On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.
Design Projects 1: The unit aims to develop a holistic approach to design that is creative, dynamic and structured, thereby encouraging the development of creative and analytical thinking in design. You will create a physical and/or digital model, prototype or visual and present the results in a professional manner.
Design Studies 1: This unit will develop your understanding of contextual and historic design issues and perspectives and your understanding of the application of psychology and physiology for effective ergonomic product design.
Design Communication: You will apply key aspects of manual drawings through the exploration of both form and functional elements of idea generation. You will use digital image manipulation to edit and enhance a variety of photographic manual and computer generated output.
Materials & Technology A: Lab sessions will develop your ability to select, test and exploit materials and manufacturing processes in the synthesis of product design solutions. You will learn to apply a range of fundamental mathematical and engineering principles to analyse basic product design problems.
Materials & Technology B: This unit will further develop your knowledge of a wide range of materials and their basic properties in order to understand how these properties may be exploited or modified to satisfy a design requirement.
Team Project: You will practise collaborative work to generate a wide range of design ideas, concepts and design proposals in response to set design briefs, and effectively present to different audiences to communicate your ideas.
Manufacturing & Technology: This unit will build up your understanding of the properties and uses of functional materials used in modern manufacturing for competitive product development.
Product Design Tools: This unit will broaden your understanding and application of the principles of product design visualisation, presentation, tools and techniques.
Design Futures Projects 2A: The unit will enable you to solve increasingly complex design problems in a creative, dynamic and structured manner, applying a holistic approach to design, and present your design solutions in a professional manner using appropriate communication techniques.
Design Futures Projects 2B: You will expand your ability to employ materials, media, techniques, methods, technologies and tools associated with product design through drawing, modelling, computer visualisation and 3D printing using your skill and imagination.
Management & Commercialisation: This unit will introduce students to key aspects of business and management that relate to the development and delivery of commercial value, and the issues facing business functions such as marketing, operations and finance.
Future Trends & Sustainability 1: You will explore how designers can learn from other examples of good practice and consider alternative philosophies in order to inform the design process and develop design sense in order to challenge the current patterns of design for manufacture and develop products to add value to the lives of their users.
Future Trends & Sustainability 2: You will be expected to be able to challenge existing design practice and enable the application of the knowledge of ethics and sustainability to the design of products.
Design Futures Projects 3: This project will combine the broad range of skills and understanding gained during the whole course to create 3D models, CAD and visualisations of your final product design.
Business Development: Approaches to strategic management and thinking will be examined to capitalise on your entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen.
Visual Concept Communication: Developing your strategic thinking in terms of designing and communicating digital prototypes effectively, you will validate and sell designs before they are produced, using high-impact visuals, virtual interaction, accurate lighting effects and animations.
This course incorporates the latest design thinking and technological tools to produce graduates who understand global trends, challenges, and opportunities to advance innovation and shape the future of the design industry and environment.
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