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BA (Honours) Product Design

Learn the skills you need to develop original and attractive products for the marketplace.

Course length 3-4 Year(s)
Location City Campus
UCAS W240 Course code

Course description

What you study

On this creative design course you learn to design products that are original, attractive, usable and functional. As part of Sheffield Institute of Arts, which traces its history back to 1843, you work alongside students from creative disciplines including fashion, graphic design and fine art.

While gaining the skills you need to produce imaginative designs with visual flair, you also learn how to make those designs rational, suitable for manufacture, and affordable. We'll help you to think like a designer and develop the ability to design and present work to a professional standard.

Year one includes projects focusing on • workshop, drawing and computer skills • contextual, business and marketing studies • manufacturing, technology and human factors. Year two involves • live design projects • visual and presentation skills • product materials and manufacturing • an overseas study tour.

In your final year, you complete a major project in an area of your choosing.

By developing your skills in research, design and development, you develop a clear understanding of social, market, technological and materials-based trends and of what products mean to users. You also get to build up your industry knowledge by taking part in sponsored, live projects for well-known companies such as Morphy Richards and Ideal Standard.

Placements and work experience

All students on this course get to work on real projects for well-known companies. Previous students have designed kitchen appliances for Morphy Richards, personal care products for Gillette, and bathroom ware for Ideal Standard.

These projects allow you to tackle a real design challenge in a commercial context and present your designs to senior industry figures. As well as building up an impressive portfolio of work for your CV, you gain skills like presentation and teamwork that set you up for a huge range of careers. If you study abroad, or do your work placement, in another European country there may be funding available through the Erasmus programme.

In your third year you can choose to do a placement year, providing you with the opportunity to add to your CV. Placements give you the opportunity to apply your learning, develop new and existing skills and increase your knowledge and experience. Our students have secured placements with companies such as DesignFutures, Morphy Richards and DesignBridge.

This is a practical course where you can apply what you learn using equipment as good as – and in some cases better than – what you would find in a professional setting.

In our technical workshops you can practise many techniques, from sandcasting to computer modelling. We have a variety of sophisticated 3D printers, including those that can build complex assemblies using rubber and plastics. Our computers are equipped with software like Solidworks that you'll be expected to know when you graduate. And during your time here, we supply you with a free copy for your own computer.

All this means that when you move into the world of work after graduating, you will be fully prepared with the practical skills employers are looking for.

At Sheffield Hallam we know how to nurture successful product designers. We have over 40 years' experience of teaching product design – this is one of the longest-running product design courses in the country.

You are taught by product designers with valuable experience of the industry. Many of our staff continue to work in it. And our in-house commercial design consultancy, Design Futures, gives you opportunities to network with major clients, and offers a route into research.

Sheffield is also the perfect city for a budding product designer. There is a growing design scene based around several businesses – many started by our graduates, including Psalt Design, Click and Tim Fish Design.

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

A portfolio of creative design work available for consideration at interview and GCSE mathematics and English at grade C or grade 4 or above, plus one of the following

• 112 UCAS points including at least 64 points from two A levels, or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. We accept AS levels. We accept General Studies


• 96 UCAS points from three A levels, including at least 64 points from two A levels, or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. We accept General Studies

New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.

• Access – an Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 18 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above, in an art and design-related programme from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate.

• Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) – pass

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend a selection event with a portfolio of work to demonstrate your ability. Find out about the selection process and how to produce a strong portfolio.

We welcome applications from people of any age. We may be flexible in our normal offer if you can show a commitment to succeed and have the relevant skills and experience. This must show that you will benefit from and finish the course successfully.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Four years full-time (including one year work placement) or three years full-time

Typical modules may include

Year one modules

• Design principles • Human-Centred Design • Design for Manufacture

Year two modules

• Advanced Design Principles • Professional Design Practice: Product Design

Optional placement year

work placement

Final year modules

• Graduation Minor Project: Product Design • Graduation Major Project: Product Design

  • coursework


The whole course is focused around developing you for a professional career in design. Our professional studio approach, and the industrial input through live projects are fundamental to this. As you progress through the course, the design work you complete grows into a portfolio which helps you in applying for work placements whilst on the course, and ultimately in seeking professional employment.

Our graduates have gone on to work in companies including • Dyson • Volvo Cars • Ron Arad Associates • Mamas and Papas • Kenwood • AME • ASD Lighting • Evolution Power Tools • Design Futures • 93ft Design • Mothercare • Thomas Heatherwick Studios.

The skills you develop on the course are also transferrable to many careers outside design, such as teaching, retail or business management.


Home / EU student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

International student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,250 a year

2017/18 academic year

Typically £12,750 a year

Additional course costsThis link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.Additional costs information

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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