Product Design BSc
Year of entry 2023
- UCAS code
- Start date
- September 2023
- Delivery type
- On campus
- 3 years full time
- Work placement
- Study abroad
- Typical A-level offer
- AAA (specific subject requirements)
- Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements
Product design spans a wide variety of sectors and requirements by combining creativity with technical skills. The next generation of product designers could find themselves working on the design and development of physical products, such as electronics, furniture and other manufactured goods, but also on digital products such as software or apps.
Successful product designers bring together a variety of skills from different specialisms including the arts, engineering and technology, visualising and creating new products to meet the demands and challenges of the modern world.
Studying product design at Leeds will open up a whole world of opportunities for your career. You’ll develop your abilities and knowledge and gain the broad base of skills needed to work with designers from both arts and engineering backgrounds. You’ll also understand how to see a product development process through from developing user insights and creating concepts through to detail design and production.
This is a practical course, so you’ll benefit from specialist facilities including computing and prototyping facilities, as well as the technical expertise of our staff. Our design studios are equipped with the latest design software including SolidWorks, and the Adobe Creative Suite, and our model-making facilities include forming, laser cutting, foam model sculpting and CNC machines. You’ll also have access to a 3D printing system to convert your ideas into physical prototypes and test for form, fit and function. All of this means you’ll have everything you need to get started on your career in product design.
Why study at Leeds:
- Work on your own design projects, putting into practice what you have learned by designing and producing prototypes and testing their performance.
- Develop your experience and boost your career prospects with our paid industrial placement opportunities or study abroad programmes.
- Experience cutting-edge learning and teaching from a programme team with extensive industry experience either as product designers or as active researchers in related fields.
- Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our student society for Product Design. It’s a great opportunity for you to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds who share your passion for Product Design.
Institution of Engineering Designers (iED)
Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
Our Product Design course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (iED) and by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council.
Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students. An accredited course must meet the quality standards set by the awarding bodies.
The course is accredited as fully satisfying the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer by the iED and IMechE.
An Incorporated Engineer is an engineer who has become professionally registered with the Engineering Council. After registration you’ll be able to use the initials ‘IEng’ after your name, which signifies that you have met the necessary competence and commitment standard.
Years 1 and 2
During the first two years, the course is divided into three broad subject areas: design studio, design technology and design awareness.
Design studio modules will help you develop important design and communication skills through design project work. These projects vary in length and focus. Some are driven by research, others are connected to national and international competitions, while others still are supported by industrial partners through ‘Live’ projects which have real world applications.
Modules on design technology provide you with the technological understanding to create and deliver efficient and effective designs, covering the basics of mechanical, electronic and materials engineering. This will support you to deliver solutions that have an awareness of state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, environmental implications of a design and the ability to engage with both user experience and user interaction for products that are becoming increasingly electronically focused.
The design awareness modules include visualisation techniques, design context and history, creativity and innovation, design information, computer-aided design systems and business. These form the basic technological and design process skills you’ll need to tackle complex design problems, giving you the ability to respond to any challenge you face in your professional career.
Approximately half of your final year is dedicated to a major design project where you’ll have the opportunity to develop a 3D design in an area of your choosing. This choice allows you to develop a project that is focused on an area of your interest and will give you the best opportunity to progress your career after you graduate. You will be supported by regular meetings with a project supervisor which will be a combination of small group sessions and individual 1-2-1s.
During this major project, you’ll be able to demonstrate all of your design skills and capabilities including user-centred design, mechanical and electronics design, low and high fidelity prototyping, design for manufacturing and business case development.
Additionally, you’ll develop a project from market and user needs, through design generation and evaluation to a working prototype. As well as a technical understanding, you’ll gain the planning, time management, presentation and report writing skills that are in demand from employers.
At the end of the project, you’ll showcase your work at our annual Product Design degree showcase event.
In your final year, you can select discovery modules to customise your study. Discovery modules allow you to choose subjects from across the university. Look online here at the subjects available. Current product design students choose a wide variety of subjects including colour science, geography, sustainability, innovation and languages.
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
To advance your skill set and boost your experience, you can apply to take up an industrial placement or study abroad at one of the many universities we’re in partnership with worldwide. Both of these options will extend your degree by 12 months.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Product Design BSc in the course catalogue
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Contextual Studies and Ergonomics||20|
|Engineering Analysis for Product Designers||20|
|Basic Electronics for Product Design||10|
|Design Studio 1||40|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Economics and Management||20|
|Design Studio 2||40|
|Creativity in Professional Practice||20|
|Design for Manufacture for Product Designers||20|
|Advanced Electronics for Product Design||20|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Professional and Portfolio Development / Creative Professionals||10|
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
This course combines design theory and technology with practical design work. As a result, you’ll benefit from a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, design studio work, tutorials and interactive workshops that mix teaching with practical work. In your final year around half the course is dedicated to a major design project, which will allow you to develop your ideas and skills independently.
You’ll have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds, who will be an academic member of staff. In your first year, you’ll have academic tutorials in your tutor group (of typically 5 students). In addition, across all three years, you’ll have one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor once or twice per semester. In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries. You’ll also receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways; through coursework such as design portfolio work and exhibitions, written reports and examinations.
A-level: AAA in an Art and Design related A-level such as Design, Design Technology or Art and Design is desirable but not essential.
Where an A-level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-level at the stated grade.
Excludes A-level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Whilst a portfolio is not required as part of the decision/offer making process, successful offer holders will be invited to attend in-person offer holder events, which will include an interactive portfolio review session with department academics. This is a prime opportunity to get feedback, including areas of strength and for development, regarding your portfolio, so you will be asked to bring a piece of work or full portfolio with you if you attend such an event. Please note that digital portfolios cannot be reviewed on the offer holder events.
Applicants should include two to three projects which demonstrate design abilities. These can include extra-curricular design projects or samples of work which demonstrate skills associated with design, for example: art work, photography, CAD, engineering or technical projects.
Extended Project Qualification and International Project Qualification: Whilst we recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, we do not currently include them as part of our offer-making. We do, however, encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement.
GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above or an appropriate English language qualification, plus a minimum grade B (6) in Mathematics and B-B (6-6) in Combined Science or equivalent. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above, preferably including an Art and Design-related subject.
DDD in Product Design, Engineering or an Art and Design-related subject.
D3, D3, D3 preferably including an Art and Design-related subject (desirable but not essential).
35 points overall, with 18 points at higher level preferably including an Art and Design-related subject (desirable but not essential).
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H1 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 preferably including an Art and Design-related subject (desirable but not essential).
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AA at Advanced Higher level preferably including an Art and Design-related subject (preferable but not essential), and AABBB at Higher Level.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer: ABB, and minimum grades of 5 and 6 (B) in Mathematics and Science (in any order) at GCSE.
Please note that the Access to Leeds offer is dependant on completion of the Access to Leeds Scheme.
For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £27,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We typically receive a high number of applications for this course. To ensure we treat all applications fairly, we may put your application on hold until after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision. All applications received before the UCAS deadline are guaranteed equal consideration.
This course is not accepting applications for deferred entry.
Read our admissions guidance and see ‘application decisions’ for details.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
School of Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Admissions
The employment opportunities in the field of product design are far-reaching, with the potential to take you all over the world. The range of roles includes Design Manager, User Experience Designer, Product Engineer, Product Designer, Design Researcher, Enterprise Consultant and Brand Manager.
University of Leeds graduates are among the top five most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2022, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.
Qualifying with a degree in product design from Leeds will set you up with the core foundations you need to pursue an exciting career across a wide range of industries, including:
- Professional services
The breadth of knowledge and experience you’ll gain – including design, problem solving, design and engineering ethics, numeracy and analysis skills, together with communication and teamwork skills – are widely transferable and desirable to a whole host of employers.
Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our most recent graduates have obtained:
- Design Engineer, Dyson
- Design Project Leader – Jaguar Landrover
- Design Engineer, ETT Industries
- Mechanical Design Engineer, Tesla Motors
- Associate Consultant, Collaborative Solutions
- Experience Designer, Future Platforms
- Insights Researcher, Household
- Digital Analyst, BT
- Marketing Manager, Silver Fox
At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.
You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.
You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Study abroad and work placements
This programme offers you the chance to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year between years two and three.
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.
From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers and improve your chances of securing the career you want.
Benefits of a work placement year:
- 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
- All placements are salaried
- Build industry contacts within your chosen field
- Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
- Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
- Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
- Improve your employability
If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.
With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.
Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:
- Product Developer, Axora
- Customs Design Engineer, MTO, DePuy Synthes
- Retail Design, L'Oréal UK Ltd
- Product Designer, Sensio Ltd
- Project Management Intern, BMW Group Financial Services
- Junior Producer, Glass Eye Ltd