Product Design and Management BSc

Interested in design and management? This combination of skills and knowledge is highly sought after in today’s employment market.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time (Hons)

Course format

Optional placement year

Duration

3 or 4 years

UCAS code(s)

H773

Start date

Overview
Explore Product Design and Management at Aston University

Final year student Mica Mehta talks about her experience of studying Product Design at Aston.

Head of Design Dr Tim Whitehead gives a tour of some of the key facilities that our Design students use, including The Metal Shop, 3D Printing Studio, Model Shop, CDIO Workshop and Woodwork Shop. 

Jon Testimonial

"Aston provided me with better knowledge of the design process and fulfilled the academic requirements for chartership, which helped me gain my current position. My advice to future students would be to make the most of all the resources Aston provides, including academic and social!"

Jonathan Rabbette

Product Design Graduate
Current Role: Designer at Macfarlane Packaging

Jon Testimonial

"Aston provided me with better knowledge of the design process and fulfilled the academic requirements for chartership, which helped me gain my current position. My advice to future students would be to make the most of all the resources Aston provides, including academic and social!"

Jonathan Rabbette

Product Design Graduate
Current Role: Designer at Macfarlane Packaging

Course outline and modules

Are you passionate about new ideas? Do you feel inspired to think about how a product could be better designed?

If you answered yes and would like to gain the knowledge and experience you need for a career in product design, alongside a range of marketing, management and business skills, this course could be for you.

Our design courses are stimulating, relevant, challenging and rewarding and you’ll benefit from practical, hands-on experience throughout your course. We work with a number of practicing designers so you’ll have the opportunity to work on live projects, ensuring your products are technically and commercially feasible, while also being environmentally responsible.

This course will ensure you develop a range of industry-ready skills, preparing you for whatever future you have in mind, whether that’s in-house design or setting up your own business.

What you’ll learn

In the first year you’ll get a grounding in product design principles and an understanding of how design can affect the profitability of a business.

In the second and final year you will take a common core of design modules to support your projects, integrating your design specialism with the core aspects of product design. You’ll also continue to develop skills that are relevant to your future career, whichever path you choose to take, including presentations and team working. Your final year will culminate in the opportunity to showcase your project work at the Aston Inspired final year design show.

We teach using a hands-on framework called CDIO - Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate – supported by 50 of the world’s top technical institutions. This enables you to apply real-world skills as you learn, enabling you to maximise your learning. You’ll do your learning in our state-of-the-art facilities, which include advanced 3D printing facilitates and a dedicated design studio with specialist equipment designed just for you.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science has strong links to industry and this will be beneficial to you if you choose to spend a year working during your degree.

We’ll support you to find a paid, professional placement of direct relevance to your studies. This placement will give you invaluable practical experience in a real work environment and will further enhance your career prospects.

You’ll also have the opportunity to network with employers and showcase your work as part of the Mechanical Engineering and Design Industry Club, where you’ll be given opportunities to meet employers.

Modules

Year 1

•    Introduction to Engineering and Design 
•    Prototyping & Development 
•    Design Fundamentals 
•    Engineering Principles 1
•    Engineering Practice

Year 2

•    Design and Engineering for the User 
•    Design Studio
•    Digital Design Skills
•    Product Experience 
•    Design Management and Innovation
•    Product, Market and Intellectual Property

Year 3 - Optional placement year

Find out more about the Aston placement year.

•    EPS Study Placement Year  
•    EPS Industrial Placement Year 
•    EPS Study/Work Placement Year

Final Year 

•    Product Design Final Year Project 
•    Advanced Product Experience 
•    Professional Preparation for Industry 
•    Design Competitions 
•    Advanced Design Management and Innovation


Accreditation

The BSc Product Design and Management course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). The IED is the UK’s only professional body representing those working in the fields of Engineering and Technological Product Design. They are a registered charity and a Chartered body, the only organisation able to grant Chartered status to product design professionals.

Our accredited courses are fully supported by the Institution, and IED Student membership is free to full-time students for the duration of your studies. Successful students can upgrade to become a Member upon graduation.
 

International students


Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham, it’s also a great place to live. Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with one of our foundation programmes will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey.

We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes. 

For International Students intending to do a foundation year, visit ONCAMPUS.

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels
  • BBC including a science or technical subject
     
  • BCC including a science or technical subject (with an EPQ or Core Maths at grade B)
     
  • CCC including a science or technical subject (contextual offer applicants*)
     
  • Science and technical subjects accepted include: Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Design Technology, Engineering Science and Electronics
IB

29 overall points with 5, 5, 4 in Higher Level subjects including a science or technical subject at Level 5. 

BTEC, Access & other

BTEC

  • Extended Diploma and National Extended Diploma (science/technical/engineering types): DDM
  • National Diploma and Diploma (science/technical/engineering types): DM plus 1 A-level at minimum Grade B.
  • Foundation or 90 credits Diploma (science/ technical/ engineering types): DM plus 2 A-level minimum grade B 
  • Foundation or 90 credits Diploma (any subject): DM plus 2 A-level minimum grade B including a science or technical subject.
  • National Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma (science/ technical/ engineering types): M plus 2 A-level minimum Grade B
  • National Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma (any subject): M plus 2 A-level minimum Grade B including a science or technical subject.
  • Certificate/ National Certificate Level 3: Not accepted.

Access to Higher Education

Subject related Access (science or technical) with at least 30 Distinctions and 15 Merits at level 3.

Non-standard qualifications

Degree: 

  • Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a 1st year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
     
  • Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme.

    Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 65% overall and 120 credits  on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
     
  • Year 3: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3.
T Levels

The following T levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction Grade D

Digital Production, Design and Development Grade D

Building Services Engineering for Construction Grade D

Onsite Construction Grade D

Digital Business Services Grade D

Digital Support Services Grade D

Health Grade D

Healthcare Science Grade D

Science Grade D

GCSEs

Additionally to our Level 3 requirement, you will also need to have achieved:

GCSE Maths Grade C/4 and English Grade C/4 and above

Our Admissions Policy

View our Admissions Policy

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

Entry onto our Foundation Year maybe offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

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.

International students

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. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Facilities, teaching and assessment

You’ll undertake individual and team projects throughout your studies, as well as having opportunities to work in partnership with industrial partners.

The course includes analytical material provided through lectures, tutorials, labs and directed study, to ensure you have a solid understanding of engineering principles. Additional lectures and seminars provided by specialists from industry will support your learning. 

You will be assessed by combination of coursework, case studies, design projects and in-class tests.

Learn in our state-of-the-art facilities.You will gain hands-on experience in our high-spec workspaces, meaning you will be industry-ready once you graduate. Here are just a few of the exciting facilities you will be able to access and use throughout our product design courses:

  • Design studio, an interactive space with surfacing modelling and design software
  • Laser and foam cutting equipment
  • Silicone moulding and vacuum forming facilities
  • 3D printers

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International and EU students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £20,650*

During placement year: £2,500

More information

*Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

We aim to provide you with knowledge of materials, production processes and technology as well as skills in aesthetics, ergonomics and management to enable you to develop a successful career in design. Our graduates can demonstrate creative design skills alongside sound technical knowledge and experience, valued by many employers.

The kinds of roles our graduates go on to include: design engineers, CAD specialists and general management, education and administration. Alternatively, our graduates may choose to go on to further study.

Companies that our recent graduates have joined include: Laing, Goodrich, Husio International, The Eden Project, Sainsbury’s, Rolls Royce and Calsonic Kansei.

Product Design graduate to IBM

Teodora Pedra Product Design Student Teodora Preda is an Aston University alumni who graduated in 2019 with a degree in BSc Product Design and Management. When looking back on her time at Aston, Teodora states that her course provided her with an enriching environment that helped her learn and develop her skills in product design. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Product Design and Management at Aston University? 

If you want to develop the skills and experience you need to build a successful career in product design, which combines a thorough understanding of engineering and design principles alongside practical project work and a solid foundation in marketing and managment, this could be the course for you. 

What will I be doing on the Product Design and Management course at Aston? 

You’ll be learning the technical and professional skills you need for a career in product design. This will be done through a combination of lectures and seminars, individual and team projects, often working with industrial partners. 

Why should I take a year in industry? 

You will have the opportunity to spend your third year in a paid industrial placement. The value a placement adds is immense, our graduates often talk about the benefits it has given them in terms of knowledge, experience, confidence and maturity, organisational and time management skills. 

What about accreditation?

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

Why should international students choose Aston University? 

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live. 

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career.  

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. 

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