Product Design BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    BA: W240
    BA with Foundation:

  • Level:


  • Duration:

    Full Time: 3 years
    Full Time Foundation: 4 years
    Part Time: 4 - 6 years

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK 22/23:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,500 per 20 credit module
    Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250

  • Fees International 22/23:

    Full Time: £14,000
    Integrated Foundation Year: £14,000

  • Location:


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 893981


On Product Design BA (Hons), we believe in teaching you to challenge ideas of functionality, aesthetics, materials, sustainability, social contexts and ethics so that you can design products that work and make a difference to society. This mindset will be put into practice with industry projects and contemporary technologies.

Updated 18/08/2022


    • Degree show to showcase your work.
    • Live-client projects – working with local businesses and international companies.
    • International competition briefs, for example, Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and Design and Art Direction (D&AD).
    • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
    • HP laptop and software included with this course for eligible students* (*see Eligibility criteria and Terms and Conditions)

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Course Content

  • Creative and innovative design is built on the fusion of visual, technical and emotional considerations. We will teach you these skills throughout this Product Design BA (Hons) course, developing and nurturing them through studio-based, practical problem-solving activities.

    Our course team are dedicated to working with you on an individual basis so that your learning experience is personalised and tailored to you – supporting you to flourish as a capable, confident and entrepreneurial Product Designer.

    In the first year, you will be introduced to computer-aided-design (CAD), modelmaking, design drawing, graphic communication, contextual theories and professional studies. Your learning will be consolidated by short projects that are relevant to technical, commercial or social issues.

    Your second year will include professional development, through commercial projects and/or competitions briefed by local, national or international companies. These projects will develop your creativity, design knowledge and communication skills – providing the confidence to present your design concepts effectively and professionally.

    During your final year, you will work on a self-focused design project – identifying, researching and solving a problem, as a culmination of your studies. You will also participate in briefs from international competitions, such as the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and Design and Art Direction (D&AD). In recent years our students have won these prestigious accolades.

    Student work

    Students are encouraged to create products which solve problems, inspire change and look to make a difference in every day life. Product Design student, Oliver Beard, who was knocked unconscious in a rugby match, designed a high-tech skull cap that can detect concussion in people playing full-contact sports. You can read Oliver’s story here.

    roduct Design - Oliver BeardStudents have also invented products that have gone on to receive media recognition. Danny O’Beirne, devised a simple solution to help the visually impaired navigate railway stations. Danny’s research found that many people with visual impairments are put off travelling by train in the UK due to the potential for confusion when they arrive at a station. Danny’s solution – the Tellway Sound Shower – harnesses ultrasound technology which can project a beam of sound via an overhead speaker. You can read Danny’s story here.

    Joshua Taylor, a Product Design undergraduate, had a flash of inspiration which has led to him designing a phone case that alerts users when their posture needs correcting, which in turn, prevents the risk of text neck. You can read Joshua’s story here.


    Year 1:

    • 3DD1044 – Materials and Processes
    • 3DD1054 – Form and Colour
    • 3DD1065 – Design Project 1
    • 3DD1066 – CAD – 3D Modelling
    • 3DD1067 – CAD – 3D Animation
    • 3DD1069 – Sketching and Graphics
    • 3DD1070 – Design in Context
    • 3DD1071 – Design in Practice

    Year 2:

    • 3DD2015 – Contextual Studies 2
    • 3DD2017 – Professional Practice 2
    • 3DD2046 – Materials and Processes 2
    • 3DD2065 – Form and Colour 2
    • 3DD2075 – Design Projects 2A
    • 3DD2076 – Design Project 2B
    • 3DD2077 – 3D Modelling and Manufacture
    • 3DD2078 – 3D Modelling and Simulation

    Year 3:

    • 3DD3019 – Final Major Project – Realisation
    • 3DD3045 – Final Major Project – Research
    • 3DD3046 – Final Major Project – Development
    • 3DD4003 – Minor Design Project

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 22/23. The modules relating to the academic year 23/24 will be available from June 2023.

  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A-Level or DMM at BTEC. We will also accept a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

    Applicants are interviewed and are requested to provide a portfolio of their own work. International students may submit their portfolio electronically. Students with a relevant HND or Foundation Degree with a suitable profile of achievement may be admitted onto Stage Two or Three of the BA Product Design programme.

    If you would like to make an application as a Home or EU student, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year Entry Requirements

    Admission to this foundation programme is normally DEE at A-Level or MPP at BTEC. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2022/23 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 22/23 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,500 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250 for the foundation year; thereafter standard fees apply
    • International – Full Time: £14,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £14,000 for the foundation year; thereafter standard fees apply
    Additional costs

    Equipment and trips: (approx pricing)

    • Year 1 – £250 toolbox, modelling tools, drawing equipment
      Year 1 – £50-100 materials & printing
    • Year 2 – £75-150 materials and printing
      Year 2 – £350 design trip (optional)
    • Year 3 – £150-300 materials & printing
      Year 3 – £75-150 degree show & New Designers exhibition
    21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £13,000 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA rate)
    Additional costs

    Equipment and trips: (approx pricing)

    • Year 1 – £250 toolbox, modelling tools, drawing equipment
      Year 1 – £50-100 materials & printing
    • Year 2 – £75-150 materials and printing
      Year 2 – £350 design trip (optional)
    • Year 3 – £150-300 materials & printing
      Year 3 – £75-150 degree show & New Designers exhibition

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time degree at Northampton, you will receive a laptop when your course begins. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks, visit our Student Perks page.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • Final year students display their work at the Art Degree Show. Our students have delivered some stunning designs – below you will see an example of this work and the students who made it possible.

    Take a look at some recent press releases featuring our Product Design students and graduates:

    Haddonstone Project.
    Concussion Guardian.
    Tellway Sound Shower.

  • What specialist equipment will I need?

    To study on the Product Design course a high-specification laptop capable of running Adobe Creative Cloud and professional CAD software is essential. You will require a laptop, with the following specification:

    PC Laptop specification – preferred option:

    • CPU: Intel/AMD Processor scoring a single thread CPU Mark of 2,200 or higher. (Such as the AMD Ryzen 5 2600, Intel Core i7-4790 or better)
    • System Memory : 32GB (16GB minimum)
    • Graphics Card: a GPU scoring a G3D Mark of 14,000 or higher with up-to-date drivers. (Such as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070, AMD Radeon RX 5700XT, Quadro RTX 3000 or better)
    • Graphics Card Memory: 8GB or more
      Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
    • Hard Drive: 500GB SATA3 SSD or NVME m.2 storage
      Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit (up to date)
    • Wi‑Fi networking: 802.11ac

    MacBook specification with additional required software*:

    • CPU: Apple M1 chip (or Intel)
    • Memory: 32GB (16GB minimum)
    • Operating System: MacOS 11 Big Sur
    • Hard Drive: 500GB Solid State Drive (SSD) (256GB minimum)
    • Wi‑Fi networking: 802.11ac
    • Software*:  Windows 10 64-bit, Bootcamp and/or Parallels

    You will need to budget approximately £200 per academic year for extra materials to cover the costs of sketch books, marker pens, modelmaking materials, 3D printing, and 2D printing of presentation graphics. This amount is a guide based on what successful current students and recent graduates have spent and will depend upon the projects you choose to undertake.

    You will need to purchase, drawing and modelmaking equipment such as digital Vernier callipers, cutting tools, basic hand tools, plus a toolbox to contain them. A comprehensive list will be provided prior to starting the course.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be continually assessed during the course through studio-based design projects and written assignments. In the final year, you will have a minor design project and a final major project which will both be exhibition-based.

    Are there any specialist facilities on campus?

    The course is based in the Creative Hub and utilises the following facilities.

    Specialist facilities include:

    • MakerSpace – 3D polyjet printing & XYZ deposition modelling
    • CAD Suite – SolidWorks, Vectorworks & Cinema4D
    • Mac Suite – Adobe Creative Cloud software
    • Photo Studio – infinity curves & controlled light facility
    • Electronics Lab – PCB soldering & Arduino Uno Micro Controller
    • Engineering Test Lab – tensile, bending, deflection & hardness testing
    • Workshops – wood, metal & plastics machining and & laser-cutting.
    • Special features and events include:

    Students will be able to showcase their final year design projects at the University’s Art Degree Show. The private view is attended by local dignitaries, design alumni and potential employers.
    Product Design BA (Hons) has participated in the New Designers exhibition, in London, for over twenty years – you may get the opportunity to display your final year design project.

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