Sustainable Product Design BA(Hons)
Immerse yourself in the future of sustainable product design on a course that’s driven by the major challenges facing humankind today. Develop your skills as a designer and critical thinker, identifying your own niche and career direction.
|Course Duration||3 years|
You’ll explore the social, environmental and ethical aspects of product design, learn how to create products with a lifetime far beyond what’s typical, and consider how to create positive changes in human behaviour to improve sustainability.
- Develop digital design and manufacturing skills with access to cutting-edge 3D printing and CNC technologies.
- Get hands-on in the workshop to prototype your ideas through a broad range of materials and processes.
- Harness your creativity to design innovative solutions that address global sustainability challenges.
- Design and create your own projects, either independently or with an industry partner.
- Proactively build your network and develop career pathways, with opportunities to meet industry practitioners.
- Have the opportunity to go on study week trips such as the Milan Furniture Fair and Stockholm Design Week.
What our students do
Fresh from Falmouth October edition
Student designs future-proofed sustainable sunglasses
Student to exhibit sustainable design in Milan
Sensory Experience for Students
Student Designs Motorbike Luggage for Merlin
Designing Consumer Electronics Packaging for Easy Access and Sustainability
Student Aims to Make Medical Casts More Sustainable with the Help of 3D Tech
Sensory Toolkit Showcased at London Design Fair
Learning from the Best: Design Students Explore Milan
Product Storytelling with Paul Tudor
See a selection of project work from our recent Sustainable Product Design BA(Hons) graduates.
What our graduates do
Our Sustainable Product Design graduates have taken on careers ranging from in-house toy designer for Hamleys, to product designers for Tangerine and Lowe Alpine, to consultant for Environmental Resources Management.
Innovative graduate creates robotically recycled footwear
Designed for life: Graduate success
Graduate Finalists in Nike Sustainable Design Challenge
Creative Conscience Honours Design Graduate
Tom Raffield's Design Success
What you'll learn
As part of this future-focused product design course, you’ll learn how to become a practitioner with a strong understanding of truly sustainable products. You’ll develop a broad range of creative and prototyping skills and critical thinking, to bring ideas to life through the design process. Your work will reflect your own experiences and interests, developing a personal direction towards the designer you want to become. You’ll nurture strong networks within the course and the wider design industry, which will support your ongoing development as a product designer.
You’ll develop creative and conceptual skills by exploring major modern issues, the visual language of sustainable design, and its critical and theoretical processes. We’ll help you professionally communicate your ideas by teaching you drawing, model-making and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) skills, and introducing you to fundamental manufacturing technologies. You’ll also have the chance to go on local, national and international trips to exhibitions and events like the Milan Furniture Fair.
Introduces core aspects of product design practice that affect the form and function of objects for people. Ergonomics, anthropometrics, semantics and aesthetics are discussed and practiced through a series of design workshops and studio-based team projects.
Form & Materials
Developing CAD skills to create dimensioned drawings of 3D designs that are translated into real materials. Practical skills are honed through a series of workshops using hand- and machine-based processes using wood-based materials.
Introduces ethical contexts by examining key global issues such as food and water, energy, housing, population and resources that are informing design debates for sustainable change. Thematic human-need-based studio projects are aimed at developing innovative design solutions.
Introduces strategies and tools for informing sustainable material and manufacturing selection. Practical skills are developed in forming and fabricating with metal and plastic materials, through a series of product deconstruction and technical processes workshops, in order to create prototypes.
You’ll study inclusive design and human-centred research, before collaborating on projects with industry partners. This will build your teamwork skills and uncover possible product design career paths. You’ll also develop your CAD and digital manufacturing skills and debate the contexts, concepts and ethics of the industry.
Focusing on the business of design, you’ll explore what’s involved in producing a product - from intellectual property to cost and profitability. And you’ll have the chance to study abroad in countries like Finland, Iceland and the Netherlands.
Working with digital resources such as 3D printing, CNC milling and 3D scanning technologies to create digital data and produce advanced prototypes. Digital collaborative working is introduced and tested through design projects.
Introduces the principles of inclusive design and Human Centred Design (HCD) strategies. You’ll learn primary research methods such as observation, shadowing, simulation and empathy. We’ll also cover data collection techniques, recording and documenting research findings, as well as evaluation strategies.
Design for Manufacture
You’ll explore multiple manufacturing processes and industries to experience and understand various production methods at volume. Design projects examine how similar production techniques can be employed at an industrial scale and at a range of volumes, from one-off commissions to batch and mass production.
Places you at the centre of live projects with industry to support the design of innovative products or services. Your design skills will be tested in real contexts through project partnerships and mentoring with external organisations. This module will also equip you with business skills focused on Intellectual Property and design protection.
You’ll explore current and original design opportunities, develop your ideas through tutorials and team discussions, and turn your concepts into prototypes using skills like digital manufacturing. By delivering one-to-one and group presentations, you’ll focus on professional practices and management. There’ll be opportunities to gain real-world experience by working with external project partners, and to make potential work connections through external networks, project partners and start-ups.
There’ll be opportunities to gain real-world experience by working with external project partners, and make potential work connections through external networks, project partners and start-ups.
You’ll develop and articulate critical rationales and professional practice skills that underpin the final year of study in studio design practice modules. Ethical, moral and social challenges are researched to create critical thematic drivers that are articulated through a written essay.
This module underpins the inspirational and contextual drivers for the final year of study. Research is applied in and to real-world contexts, providing insights that inform and guide the creation of personal design briefs and the creative process.
The final and largest module of the undergraduate programme will provide you with the time and support to develop resolved design outcomes to a professional standard through advanced prototypes and communication materials.
How you'll learn
On top of regular project work, you’ll take on live projects with local and national organisations, supported by lectures, demonstrations, seminars and tutorials. You’ll also evaluate your own and other students’ work in a small learning team, and attend masterclasses and workshops on career planning and business skills.
How you'll spend your time
How you'll be assessed
The above percentages relate to 2019/2020 data.
- Continuous assessment with no formal examinations.
- Visual, verbal and written assignments, and your final-year projects.
You’ll learn from practising designers, researchers, journalists and academics, as well as our visiting professors like Sir Kenneth Grange.
Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every member shown here.
Drummond trained as a 3D designer, at Grays School of Art, Aberdeen and at postgraduate level at...
Simon Andrews is course leader on the Sustainable Product Design programme at Falmouth University...
Clive Goodwin has over 25 years of experience in the design business having worked with, and for,...
Product designer educated in Ensaama, Paris and BIAD, Birmingham, over the last ten years évY has...
Gary Allson trained as an industrial designer at the RCA in London. He worked for Raffo...
Robert is a design strategist and academic. He consults on creative strategy and design research...
- High-spec workshops and exhibition space.
- Rapid prototyping equipment.
- CAD/CAM equipment including laser cutters, CNC milling and routing machines.
- A range of digital printing capabilities, plus industry-standard 2D and 3D software.
- Sustainable auditing and lifecycle design (LCD) software.
How to apply
Apply via UCAS
Ready to join us? You can apply for September 2022 through UCAS Apply and Track. You'll need to reference the University and course codes below.
- University code: F33
- Course code: W250
We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.
As a guide our typical offer at undergraduate level is 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points, primarily from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.
For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.
If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard, which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.
If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you'll need to take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.
UK applications: 26 January 2022 (for equal consideration)
Late applications will be considered if there are places available.
International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.
What we're looking for
We want someone who:
- Understands drawing/mark-making, including composition, colour, form, graphical presentation, creative exploration and development.
- Knows about 3D/product design practitioners or other artists and designers, and can relate this knowledge to their own work.
- Understands the design process, including concept development, investigation into materials and production methods, and technical skills.
- Has research and analytical skills.
- Shows commitment and enthusiasm for the subject, as well as motivation, communication skills and creative thinking.
Fees, costs & funding
Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
Typical course costs
- £380-£700 - Recurring annual costs
- £250-£370 - One-off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, final portfolios or shows, etc)
- £550 - Optional study visits and placements for the course duration
If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.
The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs
For information about funding available, please visit our undergraduate funding page
Ask a student
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