This course focuses on developing innovative designs for the consumer market, in areas of commercial and domestic furniture, interiors, lighting and homewares.
Our course is a designer-centred programme, encouraging you to develop your own individual style, vision and philosophy. You'll spend time in our industry-standard workshops, developing concepts and learning about principles of effective design. You'll develop your communication skills through drawing, model making, computer aided design, prototyping scale and full-size realisations of your designs, working on a range of diverse and challenging design projects.
Why study this course?
- Benefit from excellent employability prospects. 100% of our BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design sandwich students are in work or further study, just six months after graduating (DLHE 2015-2016).
- NTU is ranked among the top 150 universities in the world for Art and Design (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).
- Benefit from our Building Blocks financial package, supporting you throughout your time at NTU and enabling you to make the most of your studies. As well as money towards the cost of your course materials, you'll also benefit from study trips and live projects, included in the cost of your course fees, free personal protective equipment (PPE) and a pre-paid printing allowance.
- Our course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD), recognising the quality and relevance of our course content.
- Gain vital skills and experience in the workplace by undertaking a one-year placement.
- Work on project briefs from companies such as John Lewis, Umbra, Isokon and QFC.
- Experience design inspiration with trips in the UK and abroad included in your course fees. Recently students have travelled to Paris as part of the course to visit the Maison&Objet design fair, and to collaborate with students at the Parisian Strate Design School on a joint lighting project.
- Learn how to use a range of design tools and techniques in our industry-standard facilities and design spaces, including metal, concrete and timber workshops, supported by expert technical staff.
- Turn your ideas into a viable business with help from The Hive, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.
- Have the option to study abroad for a semester as part of the European Project Semester (EPS) programme.
- Exhibit your work at our Degree Shows and at national events such as New Designers in London.
- Add to your CV and challenge yourself by taking part in competitions and national events, producing innovative and exciting designs to complex briefs.
How does the course differ from our BA (Hons) Product Design and BSc (Hons) Product Design courses?
- Our BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design course specifically focuses on furniture and homeware product design. Our BA (Hons) Product Design course concentrates on the design of products, systems and services including consumer goods, electronic gadgets, sustainable products, sports and healthcare equipment, packaging, and transportation.
- Our BSc (Hons) Product Design course is a technology-centred programme that places the requirements of manufacture, technology and scientific advancement at the core of the product development process.
How you're taught
- Based on 40-hour weeks during term time, approximately 19 hours per week is spent in scheduled learning. Course content is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory sessions and workshops. You will also be involved in self-directed project work with the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.
- Outside of timetabled sessions, you will need to undertake self-directed independent study. This will include preparing for lectures, researching, completing coursework, developing a portfolio, and directed reading to expand your knowledge.
- This course is supported by external professional practitioners, ensuring that your learning is continuously enhanced through exposure to real-world perspective.
Trips and study visits
- The delivery of the course is enhanced by fieldwork and site visits. Recent trips have included visits to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the V&A, amongst others across the UK.
- During your second year you'll go on a week-long European study trip, designed to help you investigate and research aspects of design, the cost of which is included in your course fees. In recent years students have travelled to Paris, Berlin and Porto as part of the course.
BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design students on a European study trip to Paris
You'll be assessed through coursework, which will consist of projects, reports, presentations, essays and a portfolio.
A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:
Careers and employability
Our course is designed to prepare you to succeed in the design industry, through work placements, working on real projects from industry, input from industry professionals, and regularly updated course content. 100% of our BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design sandwich students are in work or further study, just six months after graduating (DLHE 2015-2016).
Where do Product Design graduates from NTU work?
NTU has a strong product design alumni community, with many graduates working in senior positions in leading national and international companies.
Recent graduate destinations include G-Plan, John Lewis, Benchmark, Nestle, FBC London, Object Design, DFS, Games Workshop, Roundhouse Design and Kitchen Architecture.
Our Employability team
Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course. Find out more about the service.
Competitions and awards
Our students are consistently recognised in national awards. Recent award winners include: Chartered Society of Designers Award, winner of the Bespoke category at the Wood Awards and the One Year On invite at New Designers.
Nav Bains, BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design, displaying her work at New Designers 2017
Excellent placement opportunities
NTU is ranked first in the UK for the number of year-long placement undergraduates, studying design-related courses (HESA 2015-16).
By choosing our sandwich (4 year) route, you'll have the opportunity to take a year-long work placement during your studies, giving you the opportunity to gain real experience in industry. The majority of our placement students receive a salary.
Where can I work on placement?
Students typically gain placements in product design companies across the UK and abroad. Recent destinations have included Disney, Hasbro, Nestlé, Tesco and Philip Watts Designs.
There are a wide variety of placement roles available within the industry, and the majority of our students have worked as packaging and design interns and product development roles.
Successful completion of the 36 weeks leads to an extra qualification – the Diploma in Professional Practice, which will further enhance your CV.
Facilities for Product Design students
You'll benefit from our high-quality engineering laboratories, extensive modern studios and workshop facilities, and full IT and CAD suites.
Specialised equipment includes the following.
- Rapid prototyping modellers: these machines quickly create a 3D object from a virtual computer model using a highly advanced laser process.
- Waterjet cutter: the latest generation precision technology capable of cutting up to 150mm in almost any sold material such as glass, steel, granite, marble, aluminium and rubber.
- You will have access to a CNC (computer-numerical control) router and a brand new laser cutter.
Take a look at our comprehensive gallery of the facilities, equipment and workshop spaces used by our Product Design students.
Access to our workshops and labs
- You will have timetabled access to the workshops and labs in Year One, and project-specific access in Years Two and your final year. There is also access to studio spaces, which can be booked on a daily basis. Some machinery will be available outside timetabled hours. Timetabled students have priority, but other students can access the workshops at any time, provided there is space available.
- The Maudslay workshops are open Monday to Friday, from 9.00 am to 4.45 pm. Please note the workshops are closed on Wednesday afternoons.
- The workshops are normally closed for lunch from 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm. However, during busy periods the workshops do not close for lunch.
Dedicated resource centre
Students in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment have access to a dedicated resource centre. This centre, based in the Maudslay building, enables students to undertake private study in a facility equipped with computers, large format plotters and desk space, together with the latest, and archived, journals and publications.
This resource centre is open from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday to Friday.
Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the City Campus, with PCs providing access to Microsoft Office, email, web browsing, networked file storage and high-speed online printing services (with a free printing allowance for each student). Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.
Books and library resources
In the library, you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within Product Design. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our electronic resources, journals and books.
Within the library there is a liaison librarian who has specialist subject knowledge. They can offer detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources and support on things such as Harvard referencing and research skills.
Bonington Art Shop
Our specialist in-house art shop is based in the Bonington building. Run by experienced and friendly University staff, the shop stocks a wide variety of arts and crafts materials to support your project work.