Product Design and Technology

BSc (Hons)

Discover limitless creativity with our product design and technology course, where innovation combines with digital to shape a dynamic future.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Entry requirements

3 or 4 years

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course overview

Unleash your creativity with our accredited product design and technology degree. Immerse yourself in this future-focused discipline, blending innovation and engineering expertise. Complete challenges set by real companies, cultivating practical problem-solving skills through the Conceive Design Implement Operate teaching method. You will collaborate in diverse teams of engineers and designers, mimicking the typical working world with a wide range of technical and professional capabilities. Upon completion of this course you’ll be technically skilled, inspired, and at the forefront of design innovation.


“My favourite part of the course has been bringing my ideas into reality, transforming any idea I have into a real, physical product. Another favourite part of the course was presentations, as they help to build up your confidence, and also you get to see everyone present and be really enthusiastic about the projects they’ve been working on.”

Marco Sousa Lau
UX, UI and Visual designer at IBM

Why Product Design and Technology at Aston University?

Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold- the highest possible rating for Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
Excellent graduate prospects
Manufacturing and Production Engineering ranked 1st in the UK for graduate prospects Complete University Guide 2024
Institution of Engineering Designers for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirements for Registered Product Designer (RProdDes).

Course description

BSc (Hons) Product Design and Technology

To design is to create something new or different. When you look at a product, do you sometimes think ‘I could have designed that better’?If you answered yes, would like to work in an innovative and enterprising sector and gain the skills necessary to create user-centered design, this could be the course for you.

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What we will provide
A wealth of opportunities are available to you on this course. We’ll ensure you benefit from strong industry connections through our industry club and gain real experience working on design challenges through Design Factory, a commercial enterprise offering design consulting services. We’ll provide you with membership to the Institute of Engineering Designers as well as access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks. All design students are welcome to work, create and collaborate in the Design Studio with 24/7 access to equipment, facilities, and materials that will bring your ideas to life.

We are an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry. To find out more, visit here.

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What you will provide 
As a student on our product design and technology degree, you'll be required to think outside of the box, reimagine inventions and empathise with the audiences you’ll be creating for. You must embrace challenges and have a willingness grow through failure. Fuel your passion for innovation and emerge from your time with us as a visionary ready to shape the future.

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What skills we teach
On this course you will learn a variety of crucial technical skills such as CAD. You will thrive with the tools needed to create fresh innovations with user-centered design. With a combination of hand and digital sketching, you will develop prototypes to practical test your creations. You will evolve your model-making skills with 3D printing, foam, and clay. Whilst enhancing your ability to work in a team, communicate well, and critically think to solve technical challenges.

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Placement year
During your placement year, you will gain invaluable industry experience through our well-established links with companies and excellent Careers & Placements team. This practical exposure enhances your understanding of product design and technology and will prepare you for a successful career in the field.

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Career prospects
Recent graduates of our course have progressed to enjoy excellent careers. Many have secured positions through their placement year, with notable companies like JLR, Seymour Powell, Dyson, and Mattel. Lots of our alumni have gone on to excel in diverse roles, including Creative Directors, while others advance into managerial and leadership positions with design at the core.


How you will learn

This degree adopts a dynamic teaching style with 100% coursework assessment. Focusing on studio and project-based learning, you will engage in practical and applied exercises. Our community-based approach encourages collaboration in a design studio setting, whilst theory-based elements are covered through classic lectures, the focus remains on hands-on, experiential learning.

There is a plethora of extra-curricular activities to enrich your time with us at Aston University. You can participate in Engineering Without Borders, and contribute to the Formula Student team where you will compete at Silverstone. The Design Factory will offer summer internships and projects, while Design Live Challenges can provide paid opportunities to work on real company briefs. You may also like to join societies like WEST, CAD, and Engineering to enhance your networking. The Industry Club fosters industry connections. Finally, the Aston Inspire design show allows you to showcase your design-focused final-year projects.

What you will learn

Driven by the needs of industry and individuals, our course provides you with a comprehensive understanding of key product design and technology and an ability to critically analyse these, alongside the opportunity to specialise in areas of product design that interest you.

First year

During your first year, you will enhance your skills through project-based learning, with emphasise on both creative and technical aspects. You will engage in group work projects alongside engineers, such as building a car racing track around campus. This hands-on approach will help you build a well-rounded foundation for your product design and technology journey.

Second year

For your second year, you will further develop your skills by delving into more advanced digital design techniques, including advanced CAD applications. The curriculum also introduces specialised modules that will allow you to explore specific areas. This specialisation will enhance your expertise and prepare you for more focused career paths within the field.

Placement year

Mandatory placements will enrich your degree and knowledge. This immersive industry experience establishes connections and gains you a competitive edge for your career.

Final year

In your final year of the product design and technology degree, your focus will be on the individual project, where you will work and dedicate your studies to a particular area of interest. The remaining part of the year will anchor on a more technical-driven and theory-based approach, allowing you to delve deeper into your subject discipline and reflect your comprehensive understanding of product design and technology.

Product Design

Product Design graduate to IBM

Teodora talks about her experience at Aston


Our product design and technology degree boasts world-leading facilities to support your creative pursuits. Our Design Studio provides a collaborative space for ideation and innovation. Equipped with state-of-the-art Wacom tablets, interactive sketching becomes seamless. The Model Shop offers 3D printing capabilities, laser cutting, and water jet cutting, enabling you to transform your designs into tangible prototypes. Additionally, our Wood Shop provides resources for woodworking projects. These cutting-edge facilities will empower you to bring your visions to life with precision and craftsmanship.

Your learning and support is always at the forefront of all we do whilst you can benefit from PAL (Peer Assisted Learning) which offers assistance from students in higher year groups to those in lower years. Our dedicated technicians provide excellent support for CDIO team projects and practical sessions. Personal tutors, including year tutors and program directors, ensure you have regular scheduled meetings throughout the year. Additionally, you will have access to wider university support services, ensuring your overall well-being and academic success.

Course objectives

  1. Provide you with appropriately structured curricula, combining teaching and learning in theoretical design issues with practical skills training.
  2. Provide you with an up-to-date and professionally focussed curriculum; and offer you the opportunity to obtain relevant industrial experience by providing the option of a sandwich placement year.
  3. Provide you with a grounding in the principles of design practice, manufacturing, concept development and relevant technology.
  4. Provide you with the underpinning engineering principles and technology to support product design work.
    Prepares you to be a capable graduate who are highly valued by a range of employers in both the product design and design engineering sectors.


Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Introduction to Engineering and Design30
Design Practice30
Design Fundamentals30
Engineering Principles 115
Engineering Practice15

Year 1 outcomes 

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of fundamental mathematics, science, and technology underpinning management and product design.
  • Have the knowledge of fundamental concepts, principles, and methodologies of product design.
  • Be able to utilise the basic design techniques appropriate to managers in the engineering and design sectors.
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to select, test, and exploit materials and manufacturing processes in the synthesis of product design solutions.
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to analyse and solve simple design problems.
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources.


Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Design and Engineering for the User30
Design Studio30
Industrial Product Design15
Engineering Principles 215
Digital Design Skills15
Product Experience15

Year 2 outcomes 

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Be able to show the ability to demonstrate visual literacy and use proprietary CAD/CAM packages, including 3D solid modelling.
  • Be able to utilise analytical skills using a range of IT and CAD based software.
  • Be able to demonstrate modelling skills using appropriate prototyping processes.
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate a complicated design problem, and create a solution to the design problem (being aware of business constraints and environmental impact) and evaluate the design and make improvements. 
  • Be able to demonstrate the ability to balance engineering constraints with the design intent.
  • Be able to demonstrate the application of technology and engineering principles related to design solutions. 

Placement year modules

You will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement Year

Module TitleCredits
IePS Placement Year

Placement year outcomes

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of business and the relevant commercial environment and/or intercultural study and their role within it.
  • Gain knowledge of key aspects of good practice relevant to industry and/or intercultural study context.
  • Develop new knowledge and understanding appropriate to the industrial, business, study or research sector related to degree programme.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of ways in a professional and industrial environment and/or in an intercultural study context.

Final year modules

In your final year, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Product Design Final Year Project60
Advanced Industrial Product Design15
Design Competitions15
Professional Preparation for Industry15
Advanced Product Experience15


Final Year Outcomes 

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Use fundamental concepts, theories, principles and methodologies of product design into problem-solving process. 
  • Demonstrate creativity, consultancy, time and resource management and user centred problem solving skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to learn independently and to facilitate professional development.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of the product designer in society including professional skills, ethics and sustainability.
  • Demonstrate the relevant use and application of technology in the design process

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.


Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBC to include a science or technical subject
    BCC to include a science or technical subject (with an EPQ or Core Maths at Grade B) (standard offer)
    CCC to include a science or technical subject (contextual offer)

    Science and technical subjects accepted include: Art and Design, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Design Technology, Engineering Science and Electronics.

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

  • Extended Diploma and National Extended Diploma (science/ technical/engineering subject): DDM
  • Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering with an overall grade of Distinction
  • National Diploma and Diploma (science/ technical/ engineering subject): DM plus 1 A-level at minimum Grade B
  • Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering with an overall grade of Distinction plus an A-Level in any subject grade C OR achieve overall grade Distinction plus a BTEC Sub Dip/ Extended National Cert in any subject at grade Merit
  • Foundation or 90 credits Diploma (science/ technical/ engineering subject): 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-levels at minimum Grade B
  • National Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma (any subject): M plus 2 A-levels at minimum Grade B including a science or technical subject.
  • Certificate/ National Certificate Level 3: Not accepted.
  • 29 overall points with 5, 5, 4 in Higher Level subjects including a science or technical subject at Level 5. 

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

Non-standard qualifications

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.

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
  • Design and Development for Engineering Manufacturing Grade D
  • Engineering Manufacturing Processing and Control Grade D
  • Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering Manufacturing Grade D

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

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. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

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. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students

Annual tuition fees:£21,100
During placement year:£2,500

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.


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.

Explore our scholarships 


The way we assess you will be diverse, blending exams with coursework, portfolio submissions, and digital design on platforms. Assessing you through different practices will help gain an overall understanding of your knowledge.

Career prospects

Our graduate prospects for our product design and technology students are vast and hugely exciting. Previous graduates have excelled at renowned companies such as Bentley Motors Concepts, Gas Data Limited, Fitch, Invizil, IBM, Samsung, Goodfish Ltd, DK, Elestial, and Gilroy. These roles span across design engineering, UX/UI design, product management, technical sales support, and digital design, reflecting the diverse and promising career prospects available for you.


Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Product Design and Technology at Aston?

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 principles alongside practical project work, this could be the course for you.

How will a placement year benefit me?

We think that the knowledge you gain through your studies are best applied to real life and the most effective way to do this is by working in a company. As well as the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned, you’ll also gain invaluable communication and team skills. 

We have excellent links with industry and will help to arrange this placement for you. 

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

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