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

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
219%81% 0% 
313%87% 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


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 disabled students, LGBTQ+ 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