This Product and Furniture Design course will encourage you to make bold challenges to convention. You’ll study the functional and market-led requirements of product and furniture design, usability, manufacturing and aesthetics.
Specific areas include visual language, branding, user-centred design, computer-aided design (CAD), 3D design and modelling, and design cultures. You’ll learn about sustainability and examine the development of socially conscious products that, through their technical specification, reduce waste and conserve energy.
- Our course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers – this enables you to work towards membership.
- Gain professional experience with placement opportunities that have seen our students work at renowned names such as Marshalls Street Furniture, BMW and Howdens.
- We’ll champion your ideas and support you as you pursue opportunities to strengthen your portfolio and grow your confidence by entering national and international competitions. Our students have won prestigious prizes from Seymourpowell and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
- The award-winning Vijay Patel Building provides both the space and the facilities to foster creative thinking. You will have access to workshops focusing on wood, metal and plastics, utilising facilities including the newest innovations in additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping equipment
- Our graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of companies, including Jaguar Land Rover, Mamas & Papas, Ponti Design Studio and Mous.
- We provide core workshop materials at no cost, and give cash awards – £150, £200 and £300 in years one, two and three respectively – to support personal materials/printing costs.*
Structure and assessment
- The Principles of Design
- CAD for Product Designers 1
- Visual Communication
- Design for Manufacture
- Design Cultures 1
- Workshop Practice
- Innovation and New Product Development
- CAD for Product Designers 2
- Advanced Visual Communication
- Advanced Design for Manufacture
- Design Cultures 2
- Product Communication and Career Launch Marketing
- Product Design – Personal Project
- Product Design – Student Design Competitions
The curriculum is focussed on vocational skills and intellectual development – encompassing a broad range of content from manufacturing to aesthetics. Coursework is the main method of learning and assessment which is monitored on a regular basis via a formal tutorial system.
You are taught by design academics and visiting design consultants with specialist knowledge and skills in either product or furniture design. All our staff have worked in industry and carry out commercial activity and leading research. Visiting lecturers support week-long projects or run weekly seminars, tutorials or lecture series. Previous visiting lecturers include Steve Mosley (Mosley&), Ryan Helps (Empathic), and designers and model makers from Redline Studios.
Product and Furniture Design students have won many major awards in recent years including the prestigious RSA Student Design Awards, the Alexander Rose Student Design Awards and the Habitat Furniture Design Award.
You will have the opportunity to enter live competitions with industry partners (previous competition briefs run with Seymourpowell, Willis & Gambier and Made in Mind) plus national and international design competitions.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 13 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 26 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.
Facilities and features
rt and design facilities
Our award-winning Vijay Patel Building brings all of our product design courses together into one beautiful contemporary setting. It has been designed to provide the space and facilities where ideas can develop and flourish.
The building reflects DMU’s commitment to creative education, where we hope to give you the best experience possible and provide you with all the tools you need to realise your true potential for any career in product design.
We offer superb workshops in wood, metal and plastics latest in additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping equipment. You will be supported by specialist technicians who will help you in the use of both traditional and advanced materials and manufacturing processes.
You will also learn prototyping techniques to test your ideas during the development process and learn modelling skills to express the detail and finesse of your finalised designs. We continuously develop your computer literacy and you will work on various PC-based 3D modelling and graphic presentation packages using specialist facilities.
Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at dmu.ac.uk/aad.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.
Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse provide flexible spaces, whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.
They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities. Wi-Fi is available across all campus locations.
Opportunities and careers
Placements represent an important way of gaining real-world experience that support you to achieve better grades – as well as better jobs with higher salaries upon graduation. They are paid, usually lasting for 12 months and are normally undertaken in the third year. Previous placements include Vax, Jaguar Land Rover and Established & Sons.
DMU has dedicated resources to help you find placements and provide support if you want to arrange your own. Teaching staff support this further with an extensive network of employers and alumni.
As an alternative to a work placement you can undertake a year-long exchange with a European design school through the Erasmus scheme. Previous students have spent a year in Orleans, France and Stuttgart, Germany.
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons — helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.
Graduates go on to work as specialist professionals in a range of industries in roles from designers through to managers. Recent graduates have embarked on careers in consultancies and in design teams at companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Mamas & Papas, Sixteen3 and Vax. The skills you learn will also prepare you for a career in design marketing, design management, teaching or postgraduate research.
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