Sustainable Product Design BA(Hons)

Sustainable Product Design_Main
Falmouth Campus
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 254350

Challenge yourself to consider how design can create positive environmental, ethical and economic change. You'll harness your creative skills and innovation through cutting-edge design methods and digital prototyping.

During this course you'll gain the professional skills to communicate your ideas in an industry setting, through powerful visuals, prototypes and verbal presentations. Working with real clients on live briefs, you'll gain confidence in professional practice. You'll also develop industry-ready technical skills in drawing, model-making, and 3D CAD to enable the creation of excellent concept prototypes through digital manufacturing technology including 3D printers, CNC milling and laser cutting machines.


  • Live projects with local and national organisations
  • 3D CAD and digital prototyping skills
  • Material and manufacturing process knowledge
  • Professional Practice skills to promote and protect your designs
  • Career planning and business skills workshops


Fees, Costs and Funding

Tuition fees 2018-19

£9,250 - full-time UK/EU

£15,000 - full-time international

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

Additionally, 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

How to Apply

You'll need to apply via ucas using University code F33, and course code W250 

For detailed information on the application process and entry requirements, use our application guidance.

Successful applicants will then be invited to attend an interview. For details on what to expect and how to prepare, read our course interview information.


All UK/EU applications must be made through UCAS by 15 January. Late applications will be considered if there are places available on the course.

International fee payers may apply after the deadline but are encouraged to apply as early as possible, to have plenty of time to make visa and travel arrangements.

Course-specific tasks

This course requires all eligible applicants to attend an interview and show a current portfolio of work. Applicants who are based outside of the UK may request an online interview. Take a look at our Portfolio Advice

Once you’ve applied, we’ll email you with a personal login for the Falmouth Applicant Portal where you will see more information about these requirements.

Entry Requirements

A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points for entry to undergraduate courses, primarily from Level 3 equivalent qualifications such as A levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.

You can check how many points your qualifications are worth using the online UCAS Tariff Calculator
Due to the creative nature of our courses, you will be considered on your own individual merit and potential to succeed. We encourage you to get in touch if you are predicted points below this range, thinking about transferring from another institution, or if you have other qualifications or professional experience as we may be able to consider you. More information is available on our Apply page
English language requirements
You must have a minimum of Grade 4 (or C) or above in GCSE English Language, or equivalent, for entry to our undergraduate courses.
If English is not your first language, we accept a range of recognised language qualifications that are equivalent to the IELTS Academic minimum score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you must take an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) to fulfil government visa requirements. Please read more about language requirements on our Apply page
Our Applicant Services team are here to help you with advice and guidance throughout your application journey. We invite you to contact them with any questions you may have.
+44 (0)1326 213730
Online enquiry form

How the course is taught

This full-time, modular course is delivered through project work and supported by lectures, demonstrations, seminars and tutorials. Small groups called learning teams are created in the first week of study to help you foster close working relationships and encourage focused peer-to-peer evaluation of design project work.

How you'll spend your time 

YearTime spent in timetabled teaching and learning activityTime spent in guided independent studyTime spent on placements
225%75% 0% 
334%66% 0% 

How you'll be assessed 

Year   Assessment by written exams                                                        Assessment by practical exams                           Assessment by coursework     

What you'll do

Year one

You'll explore the major issues of our time using design probes and visioning tools. You'll also be introduced to the critical and theoretical processes and visual language of sustainable design as a holistic process, encouraging the development and application of critical, conceptual and creative skills.

You'll develop technical skills in drawing, model-making and 3D CAD, and be introduced to digital Rapid Manufacturing technologies, which will help you to communicate your ideas in a professional way. National and international excursions are timetabled to coincide with major exhibitions and events, such as the Milan Furniture Fair.

  • Design in context
  • Materials, form & aesthetics
  • Sustainable design concepts
  • Designing for the real world
  • Digital manufacturing
  • Sustainable design practice

Year two

Through a range of lectures, seminars, tutorials and professional experience, you'll learn the principles of inclusive design and how to apply user-centred research methods. These skills will be developed through collaborating on specific projects with a diverse range of industry partners, leading to meaningful and realistic design solutions. You'll become confident in working in multidisciplinary teams and start to discover interesting career pathways.

You'll continue to develop CAD techniques and engage in contextual, conceptual and ethical debates that inform the practice of sustainable product design. You'll also develop an understanding of the business of design, exploring the professional practice areas in taking a product to production, such as intellectual property and the costs and profitability of design. Our students get the opportunity to study abroad – previous students have studied in Finland, Iceland and the Netherlands.

  • Inclusive design
  • Community
  • The business of design 
  • Networks
  • Personal project
  • Design portfolio

Year three

You'll become an expert in the field of sustainable product design by applying a sophisticated understanding of research tools and methodologies. You will complete a concentrated design probe stage that identifies current, innovative areas for sustainable design opportunities. Regular tutorials and learning team discussion forums will provide guidance and help you to progress the development of design visions. Masterclasses and access to digital manufacturing workshops will enable you to transform your design concepts into convincing prototypes.

Emphasis is placed on professional practice, management and initiative and this is reinforced through one-to-one and group presentations. There will be opportunities to work directly with external project partners, providing a professional context to your work and developing your ideas in a real-world scenario. Employment and entrepreneurial opportunities are nurtured by engaging with relevant external networks, project partners and graduate business start-ups.

  • Design vision
  • Designing change
  • Dissertation project
  • Change maker


  • 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

Take a virtual tour of our facilities


Our staff are practising designers, researchers, journalists and academics. They use their research and experience to inform their teaching, ensuring students are at the forefront of sustainable product design. You'll also benefit from and be inspired by our Visiting Professors, such as Sir Kenneth Grange.


Assessment is a supportive two-way process that actively rewards learning and provides feedback to define your areas of strength, as well as opportunities for improvement. You'll be marked through:

  • Continuous assessment with no formal examinations
  • Visual, verbal and written assignments, and your final year projects


  • Work in product, toy, lighting and furniture design, service or sustainable design companies and agencies
  • Career as a design consultant
  • Work as a self-employed designer-maker
  • Portfolio career including teaching and postgraduate study

Graduate destinations

  • Surfboard designer: Driftwood Surfboards
  • In-house toy designer: Hamleys
  • Design researcher: DCA international, PDR :The National Centre for Product Design and Development Research, MedIQ Medical
  • Product designer: Tangerine, Lowe Alpine, Design Wright
  • Consultant: Brand Union, Root, Environmental Resources Management
  • Project Managers: Thomas Reuters

Student mentor scheme 

Falmouth's student mentor scheme matches new starters with a second year student, to help you settle in and find your feet.

Our mentors can be reached on the Sustainable Product Design BA(Hons) Facebook group

They'll help with topics like living in Cornwall, what to expect at Falmouth, and the course itself.

Also worth a look are additional groups that offer assistance for LGBTQ studentsdisabled studentsmature studentsinternational students, and Cornish locals

You'll need to join the groups before you can post. If you don't have access to Facebook, please email your name and proposed course to