BSc Transport Product Design

Product Design Aston University

The best thing is that we really get to know our students. We see them develop and grow through both successes and challenges."

Dr Becky Mallaband
Product Design Teaching Staff

Entry requirements

BBB - BBC (or equivalent) including a science or technical subject

Our students are able to demonstrate creative design skills alongside sound technical knowledge and experience, a balance employers consider to be an advantage. Recent graduate destinations include design or technical roles for companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Network Rail, Nissan, Ford, Honda Research & Development, and Volkswagen AG. 

Ranked Top 10 in the UK for Graduate Prospects (Complete University Guide 2018)
Accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED)
72% of our Research Excellence Framework submission for General Engineering has been awarded World Leading or Internationally Excellent
Integrated placement year

Entry requirements

3 years full-time / 4 years full-time with integrated placement year

UCAS Code: H331

Please note

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements  

GCSE requirements: Maths Grade C and English Grade C

Typical offer level 

BBB-BBC to include a Science or Technical Subject.
A Design, Art or Creative A Level is desired but not essential. (For those students who do not have formal qualifications in these subjects, a discretionary process where examples of work are provided can be arranged.) 
General Studies accepted.
32 overall points with 554 (including a science subject at Higher Level).
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: D*DD including minimum 13 Distinction out of 18 Units from a relevant Science or Technical Diploma.
A subject related Access to Higher Education with 45 credits at Level 3 and at least 30 Distinctions and 15 Merits.

£9,250 (£1,250 during placement year) for UK/EU students (2018/19)                             
£19,000 for Outside EU students (2018/19)
Placement Year: £2,500 for International Students

More on fees 

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Transport Product Design Aston Uni
To design is to create something new. This requires innovative thinking. Looking at products do you sometimes say “I could have designed this better”?

Do you want to work in an innovative and enterprising arena that would challenge your creative and problem-solving abilities? Our Product Design programmes offer all these opportunities.

A fast moving and rapidly developing product design sector. This programme will encompass a wide range of design opportunities using a mix of technological applications and innovation with function and style. Live projects include the Formula Student racing team - design, build and race a car against other universities. We also have excellent placement links with the UK automotive industry.

Subject guide & modules

In the School of Engineering and Applied Science we aim to develop a new generation of creative product designers with knowledge, skills and ideas that will be valued by all sectors of design, development, production and business. This aim is achieved by providing project driven degree programmes that include creative thinking and design visualisation, in parallel with studies in engineering science, materials and manufacturing and the management of innovation.

All our first year programmes give you a grounding in the principles of Product Design together with flexibility to change streams at the end of the first year to reflect your own design interests.

In the second and final year you will experience a common core of five design modules to support your design projects that integrate your design specialism with the core aspects of Product Design.
Our design courses are stimulating, relevant, challenging and rewarding. We aim to provide you with the knowledge of materials, production processes and technology as well as skills in aesthetics, ergonomics and management that will enable you to develop a successful career in design. These aims include:

  • developing your understanding of the significance of design to the profitability of business, commerce and the economy as a whole
  • continual development of relevant skills including presentation, ICT and team working which are sought after by employers
  • expanding your knowledge, confidence, professional values and attitudes essential for a successful career in Product Design

Year 1

  • Design & Experimentation 
  • Prototyping & Development 
  • Design Fundamentals 
  • Design Practice
  • Engineering Principles
  • Engineering Practice

Year 2

  • Design and Engineering for the User 
  • Engineering for Industry
  • Digital Design Skills     
  • Product Experience 2 
  • Engineering Principles (2) 
  • Transport Design (2)

Year 3 - Optional placement year

See placement year section or find out more about the Aston placement year.

  • EAS Study Placement Year  
  • EAS Industrial Placement Year 
  • EAS Study/Work Placement Year 

Final Year

  • Product Design Final Year Project  
  • Advanced Product Experience 
  • Professional Preparation for Industry  
  • Design Competitions
  • Advanced Transport Design 
Automotive product design

Our programmes are application-led through a provision of core case studies and projects, the majority of which are team-based and simulate the actual work of product development. You will also undertake individual projects throughout your studies, which will enable you to create a balance between group and individual work. There are opportunities to undertake projects that have industrial partners.

To ensure you gain a thorough understanding of fundamental engineering principles as well as practical skills, the programme encompasses relevant analytical material, which is provided through lectures, tutorials, labs and directed study. The programme is supported by additional lectures and seminars provided by specialists from industry. Assessment is by a combination of continuous assessment, case studies, design projects and in class tests.

Our current and recent placement employers include companies in the UK and abroad such as: BNFL, ConocoPhillips, GSK, Kraft, Alfa Laval, Thames Water, AMEC and 3M.

Find out more about placement years at Aston.

Go Kart Aston University
Students on this course will benefit from CDIO modules. CDIO stands for Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate. 

It's an innovative, operational framework fostering deeper learning of engineering and design fundamentals. 

We work with our students using a much more practical, project-based approach to teaching and learning. We want to move away from intense, assessment-heavy teaching and move to a culture where students have space and encouragement, and can discover "learning to learn" for themselves.

iED logo

This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).
Automotive Product Design

Career opportunities exist for our graduates in design, general management and consultancy, technology, engineering and education (e.g. teaching), areas where Aston graduates have been successful over many years. Our students are able to demonstrate creative design skills alongside sound technical knowledge and experience, a balance which employers consider to be an advantage.

Recent graduate destinations include design or technical roles for companies such as Laing, Goodrich, Husio International, The Eden Project, J Engineering, SMK, The Marketing Company, Sainsbury’s, TNA Europe, Hives, Rolls Royce and Calsonic Kansei.

Recent graduate roles include:

  • Design engineers
  • CAD specialists
  • Management trainees
  • Further study in Industrial Design
  • General management, education and administration
You will have access to Adobe Suite of programmes such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign in dedicated design studio.  Surface modelling uses Solidworks or Alias and Keyshot for product rendering.  Model making workshop facilities typically include CNC milling, turning and laser cutting together with rapid prototyping machines.  Maker lab 3D printing facility. Extensive laboratories to demonstrate engineering and manufacturing principles.

Miss Elaine Mackie
Undergraduate Programme Director: Product Design 
Elaine joined Aston’s School of Engineering and Applied Science at the beginning of 2016, having previously been a Senior Lecturer in Automotive and Transport Design within the School of Art and Design at Coventry University. Prior to that she was a Senior Designer at Atkins Rail and Vehicle Designer at Interfleet Technology (which has been part of the SNC-Lavalin Group since 2011).

Dr Becky Mallaband
Senior Lecturer in Product Design
Becky is a lecturer in Product Design and has been based at Aston University, in the Mechanical Engineering and Design department since 2015, having previously been a Research Associate and Lecturer in the Loughborough Design School. Her research and expertise are in the area of User Centred Design and much of her research has been conducted in the Domestic Energy domain.  

Dr Timothy Whitehead
Lecturer in Product Design
Timothy joined Aston University is 2017 having previously been a programme leader of Digital Product Design and at De Montfort University. He has previous experience as an industrial designer and works on research relating to the design of products for low income economies.

Dr Gareth Thomson 
Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering 
Gareth joined Aston University in January 2009, having previously been the course director of the Mechanical Engineering course at the University of Dundee. In his time at Dundee he was involved in not only the Mechanical Engineering programme but also set up a joint Product Design degree with Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. Prior to this he was a researcher involved in laser applications at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.  

Dr Philip Davies 
Head of Group
Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering 
Philip Davies is a member of the Sustainable Environment Research Group.  His main research activities are in developing renewable and efficient energy systems and in the treatment of water for drinking and sanitation.  Philip has held appointments at the University of Oxford, the Universidad Politécnica in Madrid, the University of Warwick, and in manufacturing and consulting companies. He holds a B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London, and D.Phil from the University of Oxford. 

Dr Mark Prince 
Head of Mechanical Engineering
Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering 
Mark is a former Aston graduate with experience in mechanical design and analysis.  His research interests are in ophthalmic and medical device development and he has experience in designing microsystems for biological structure interfacing, and exploiting vision technologies. Mark has expertise in 3D computer solid modelling, rapid prototyping and rapid manufacture, computer aided engineering, electronic/mechatronic design, and optical and contact microscopy and imaging techniques.

Dr Laura Leslie 
Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering
Laura teaches on the CDIO modules and the first year Engineering Science module. Her research interests include Biomaterials and medical device testing, the interaction between artificial implants and the human body and Alternatives to animal testing

Mr David Smith  
Projects Coordinator / Teaching Fellow 

Dr David Upton  
Research Fellow  

Mr Jon Hewitt 
Visiting Design Lecturer
As a practicing designer, Jon brings day to day experience from the commercial world into the learning environment at Aston. His work affords opportunities to design for differing consumer markets and demographics, working with varied sizes of company and studios globally.  Jon's students benefit from this industry exposure in terms of learning approaches that are focussed on creating relevant, compelling and meaningful product experiences.

Alexander (Sandy) Grant
Sessional Design Lecturer
Sandy brings 40 years of experience from product design consultancy - (Allied International Designers and BIB Design Consultants, London) - university teaching (De Montfort and Birmingham City universities) and self-employed practice (Alix Arts and Praxis Product Design Ltd). Sandy has designed products from darts and toothbrushes to computers and anaesthesia machines.  He has taught BA, BSc, BEng, MSC and PhD students.

Mr John Owen
Sessional Design Lecturer
John's main area of industrial experience has been associated with ‘styling’ in the automotive industries, representing designs in three-dimensional form using high level computing and automotive clay modeling techniques. He has collaborated in producing concept vehicles, hybrid vehicles and devising training programmes for designers for a range of large and niche car companies.

EAS Undergraduate Admissions Office
+44 (0)121 204 3400


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