Product Design BSc

Product Design

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
ABB-BBB
UCAS code:
HW12
Start date:
September 2018

At Sussex, you’ll be taught by design experts with industry experience combining art, science and technology. You’ll learn to design products that satisfy the needs and behaviours of people and society.

Our teaching prepares you for success: our students have won awards from design leaders such as LEGO and Hasbro. They’ve also taken their own designs to market through the Sussex Innovation Centre.

This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED).

Studying product design has provided me with a skill set that will benefit me in life beyond my studies.”Tala Jarallah
Product Design BSc 

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

ABB-BBB

Subjects

A-levels should include Art or a design subject. Without A-levels in these areas you will still be considered but will need to demonstrate a strong, recent background in art and design through other means. 

GCSEs

You must have GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics, at least grade C (or grade 5 in the new grading scale), and Art or Design Technology (if not offered at A level) at grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass in the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma will need to contain substantial amounts of Level 3 credit in Art or design. Applicants without an Access containing Art or Design will still be considered but will need to demonstrate a strong, recent background in art and design through other means.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics, at least grade C (or grade 5 in the new grading scale), and Art or Design Technology (if not offered at A level) at grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

At least 30 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

Higher Levels should include either Visual Arts or Design Technology. Applicants without one of these at Higher Level will still be considered but will need to demonstrate a strong, recent background in art and design through other means.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

Subjects

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma would normally be in Art and Design. Applicants without this will still be considered but will need to demonstrate a strong, recent background in art and design through other means.

GCSEs

You must have GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics, at least grade C (or 5 in the new grading scale), and Art or Design Technology (if not offered in the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma) at grade B (or 6 in the new grading scale).

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

ABBBB

Subjects

Highers must include Art or a design subject. 

GCSEs

You will also need Mathematics at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and BB in two A-levels.

Subjects

A-levels should include Art or a design subject. Applicants without A-levels in these areas will still be considered but will need to demonstrate a strong, recent background in art and design through other means.

GCSEs

You must have GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics, at least grade C (or grade 5 in the new grading scale), and Art or Design Technology (if not offered at A level) at grade B (or grade 6 in the new grading scale).

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

At least 30 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Subjects

Higher Levels should include either Visual Arts or Design Technology. Applicants without one of these at Higher Level will still be considered but will need to demonstrate a strong, recent background in art and design through other means.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 75%

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results is essential.

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, such as a Business related course, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 5.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results is essential.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.2 or better.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results is essential.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H2 H2 H2 H3 H3.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results is essential. You will also need to have Mathematics with at least grade O4.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 78/100.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results is essential.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of at least 4.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in Art or science or design with good results is essential.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 7.5.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies in Art or science or design with good results is essential.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies in Art or design with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

InterviewYes
Portfolio reviewYes
Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • From day one, you’ll be working with industry professionals on live creative briefs, and you’ll have opportunities to commercialise your products.
  • Grounded in design thinking, you’ll develop informed solutions and produce them through prototyping and manufacturing models.
  • Designing for the circular economy, you’ll consider how your products may be recycled or re-purposed at the end of their life – a skill desired by the industry.

Course information

How will I study?

Year 1 provides the core foundation to the degree. Areas covered are divided equally between design-based topics and technical engineering topics.

Design topics include:

    • visual communication
    • drawing for design
    • prototyping
    • modeling through computer visualisation and graphics software.

Technical topics include:

  • applied technology
  • materials and manufacture
  • mechanical workshop skills
  • mathematics.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2016. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

How will I study?

You further develop your understanding of design thinking and the design process, and address human interaction with products and systems. Topics include toy and game design, and design for society.

Alongside Engineering students, you gain key professional skills and knowledge such as project management, technical communication and professional ethics. You also undertake an interdisciplinary module, which introduces you to the techniques of design and manufacture.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2016. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Industrial placement (optional)

An industrial placement gives you the chance to spend a year working with an organisation, in an area relevant to your course, while being paid. It’s a proven way to fast-track your career.

Recent students have gone on placements at:

  • IBM
  • i-Ride
  • IMRA Europe.

You develop your technical, team-working and transferable skills, and apply what you have learnt in your studies to a business environment. 

There is guided preparation early in your course to help you find, secure and succeed in your placement. Find out more about placements and internships.

This has given me a year to develop my skills while working in the industry, and will make me a more employable graduate when I leave Sussex.”Rosie Claydon
Product Design BSc

How will I study?

You apply your knowledge and design skills to a substantial individual project of your choice, with associated training in project planning and management.

At our annual Product Design degree show you present your design project. This is attended by many guests, including industry representatives and potential employers. You exhibit at New Designers at the Business Design Centre in London.

You also study advanced topics in design philosophy, design for the circular economy, and sensory design.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2016. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

 

Winning a recent competition really challenged our students – it was a great opportunity to practice the design process learned at Sussex.”Diane Simpson-Little
Senior Teaching Fellow and Course Convenor, Product Design BSc 

Fees

Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Recent Engineering and Design graduates have started jobs as:

  • junior furniture designer, Ben Whistler
  • design engineer, James Dyson
  • packaging designer, John Lewis.

(Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015 and Department of Engineering and Design careers database)

Your future career

You develop creative, problem-solving and project-management skills throughout your course. You can attend tailored careers events, including drop-in sessions, industry talks and one-to-one support.

Recently, some of our Product Design undergraduates won a design competition, creating a brand new toy concept at the Inventors Workshop conference. The students worked together as a team on a live brief, using the skills they gained during a module on Toy and Game Design at Sussex. Their ‘Bandit’ wristband concept won the Inventors Workshop New Designers Award.

Your Product Design degree prepares you for jobs in manufacturing, consultancy-based design and the creative industries (graphics, marketing, research and digital design). You can work in a variety of roles, including as:

  • an industrial, packaging or furniture designer
  • a UX (user experience) designer and 3D visualiser
  • a design engineer or product developer.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Through the Sussex Plus scheme I got a work-shadowing placement at the BBC.”Sam Foreman
Product Design (with industrial placement year) BSc 

Applied Technology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Topics covered on this module include:

Statics
Forces, equilibrium and stability, in particular an analysis of (statically determinate) frameworks, mechanical advantage, friction, buckling, beam bending and torsion in a shaft.

Dynamics
Distance, velocity and acceleration; simple vibration.

Thermodynamics
Thermal properties of solids, liquids and gases; gas laws; equivalence of work and heat (1st Law); introduction to thermodynamic cycle analysis.

Simple DC Circuits
Ohm’s and Kirchoff’s laws; formation of equivalent circuits.

AC Circuits
Waveforms, current and voltage in AC circuits; capacitance, inductance and the concept of reactance; introduction to three-phase AC.

Electronics
Diodes; transistors; characteristics of amplifiers (gain, frequency response and feedback).

Electromagnetics
Simple relations of electromagnetic theory; applications to electrical machines.

Computer Aided Visualisation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

 This module is an introduction to the fundamentals of computer aided design software and its relevance, limitations and application within the product design industry and the design development process. This module is in three parts and covers three software programmes:- Adobe Photoshop, Adobe In-Design and Solidworks.

Introduction to the basic tools, techniques and operations will be given as a starting point to master each programme, you will then practice the skills they have learned by being introduced to a hands-on project(s), the results of which will be presented and assessed at the end of each introductory topic.

Drawing for Design

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Drawing and other visual practices have an important role to play not only in Product Design but in every discipline. Drawing helps to sharpen observational skills and enables rapid and accurate recording of key details.

Drawing and sketching enables you to understand abstract or complex ideas and processes, and make them clear and tangible. This ability provides a basis for these ideas to be discussed, explored and challenged, and is a powerful way to develop critical thinking, reinforce memory and create understanding.

Drawing, sketching and other visual images also provide a trigger for discussion and dialogue which means they can be used to both develop communication skills and also to encourage you to reflect on your own experience, goals and plans for development.

This module is about exploring the rich variety of drawing methods used to generate, develop and present ideas and in so doing you will understand how to use drawing as a tool for observation, communication, reflection, dialogue, development, testing, evaluation and analysis.

Experience Prototyping

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Prototyping is a key activity in the design process, which informs both the process and design decisions. This is a hands-on module on how to make prototypes, starting with the basics of card/foam/paper and moving through different levels to 3D printing. It enables design students to gain a first-hand appreciation of active engagement with developing prototypes. This illustrates the value of prototypes in three critical design activities:

  • understanding materials
  • exploring design ideas
  • communicating design concepts.

This module will also ensure correct methods are utilised and understood as far as health and safety is concerned.

Global Design Challenge

  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

In this module you can participate in the Engineers without Borders (EwB) Challenge. Interdisciplinary teams of 5 or 6 students develop design solutions from project briefs provided by EwB.

Project briefs address real-world, sustainable development projects proposed by EwB partner organisations, who are embedded in communities around the world. In this way, you are brought into contact with novel problems from real communities. You must consider both the technical and cultural dimensions of a design problem in arriving at an appropriate solution.

The module is project-based with weekly, facilitated workshop sessions and further support from EwB UK. As part of the 'Challenge', teams attend dedicated, weekly 2 hour workshop classes. During these they are expected to work through a range of structured activities, including:

  • initial choice of project brief
  • appropriate research
  • development of a design concept fulfilling the brief.

Trained project mentors facilitate the workshops to help teams through the process, ensuring they meet progress goals. Assessment is based on a short, group presentation and group portfolio put together during the workshops. The best projects may be put forward to the national EwB Challenge final.

The module is pass-fail and does not contribute to student credit.

Materials and Manufacturing Processes

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module will cover topics including:

  • approaching engineering problems from first principles
  • the practice of formulating and modelling a problem and applying relevant concepts to describe and study system behaviour
  • critical evaluation of solutions to engineering and design problems
  • introduction to materials and material science: principal characteristics and applications of plastics, metals, composites, ceramics and natural materials
  • historical and recent developments in material science with respect to design and engineering applications
  • introduction to atomic and macroscopic level properties of materials
  • key chemical, electrical, mechanical, thermal, environmental and manufacturing properties of materials
  • how material properties arise from atomic level interactions
  • atomic bonding
  • the basic force/separation curve and the development of the stress/strain relationship
  • introduction to behaviour of materials under load, introduction to forces and basic types of loading cases
  • stress and strain curves
  • mechanics of materials under axial tensile and compressive forces
  • stress concentrations
  • introduction to design stresses and factors of safety
  • selection of materials: basic methods of material selection, use of software in material selection
  • engineering failures: typical failure mechanisms of materials such as fatigue, creep, crack growth, and corrosion
  • case studies of engineering failures with respect to material selection and design
  • introduction to manufacturing processes: casting, moulding, forming, machining, joining, rapid manufacturing and 3D printing
  • correct machine shop working practice and related health and safety considerations
  • practical lathe or milling exercise to understand feeds and speeds, operation, parting off, surface finish, tool selection, and cutting fluids/coolants
  • engineering tolerances
  • cost of manufacture and materials, and related design considerations.

Mathematics for Product Design

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

In this module, you cover topics including:

  1. Numbers
    • basic number theory
    • dimensions
    • units
    • constants
    • ratios
    • bases
    • powers and logarithms
    • imaginary numbers
    • functions.
  2. Algebra
    • manipulation of equations
    • simultaneous and quadratic equations
    • common factors and denominators
    • simple iteration
    • matrix algebra.
  3. Geometry
    • area and volume of common shapes
    • trigonometric functions
    • Pythagoras
    • angles
    • simple plane geometry (intersecting lines, properties of circles, triangles etc.)
    • vectors.
  4. Graphs
    • 2-D representation of data in Cartesian and polar coordinate systems
    • logarithmic scales
    • bar charts
    • gradients and rates of change
    • area under the curve and Simpson's Rule
    • curve fitting.
  5. Statistics
    • average
    • median
    • mode
    • standard deviation
    • the normal distribution
    • Student's T distribution.
  6. Calculus
    • simple differentiation and integration of functions of a single variable and (crucially) relating it to graphical and physical information.

The Narrative of Design in Modern Culture

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module considers the history of design, and in particular the most impactful design movements in the industrialised world, their theories, methods and influence.

The objectives are to:

  • identify the main periods and movements of design in the modern world
  • understand the dialogue of designing and culture creation
  • be familiar with major trends in design in the modern period
  • recognize the political nature of designing
  • identify key designers in modern culture
  • consider the place of designing in human society with reference to the elements of design.

Visual Communication

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

The aim of this module is to help develop a wide range of transferable art and design skills, techniques and processes. It introduces design methods and encourages originality, independent thinking and critical reflection. The module provides an opportunity to expand skills in visual research, experimentation, the exploration of ideas and design layout. It consists of short individual and group project assignments that will enhance creativity and develop the imagination. Project solutions are presented for critique and feedback in class, providing essential guidance before the final portfolio and visual research books are submitted for assessment.

Design for Industry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module reflects the international nature of product design by optimising skills needed for a full understanding of the holistic industrial, technical and product design processes with their associated specifications. This includes techniques to catalyse product design, including how to locate sources of inspiration for genuine product innovation and the external influencing factors that help govern and create a successful concept.


The module will provide an overview of key design process stages for new design concept development. Subjects include historical and designer appreciation, industrial production techniques, 2D, and 3D presentation skills. In addition, there is a consistent emphasis throughout the module on appreciating the user and market contexts whilst designing for commercial and industrial customers. The module involves a series of seminars including the above that will enhance your ability to develop and present a design concept taken from an initial group project brief. The group brief will ideally be associated with an industrial partner and include an interim group visual and verbal presentation, as well as a final individual design portfolio-report presentation. All the above will extend your personal professional development, final year project awareness and later career preparedness. Where possible a related design visit will be included.

Design for Manufacture

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Engineers and designers alike need to think creatively in the design of solutions, often in teams, and ensure the solution:

  • can be presented 'sold' to a customer external or internal;
  • complies with any specified constraints;
  • can be manufactured, and the requirements of those manufacturing the parts/assembly can be communicated in a form that is universally understood, ie to international standards;
  • has a known cost, specifiable as a sum of all the contributing elements from design to deployment, and delivery time.

Thus the module includes:

  • the generation of design concepts, ranking and concept selection;
  • the conversion of a concept into a full specification, including detailed design, manufacturing processes and the associated tolerances (process capability);
  • full solution costing (concept to implementation) for one-off and mass production.

Implemented through:

  • combining mechanical, product design and customer requirements and brand, the project is both baanced and encourages an inter-disciplinary approach;
  • team work and project management;
  • CAD based drawings and models via CAD tools;
  • critical skills are developed by design review and evaluation.

Assessment components reflect the needs of real industrial environment, and include individual logbooks, which are to be submitted for individual assessment with the group project.

Design Techniques in Practice

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The module provides methods for managing and coping with the risks in modern design development and production, including design for uncertainty. This includes an understanding for the main empathic and intuitive (non-systematic), design methods to further inspire and develop design thoughts and subsequent potential concepts. There is appreciation for the relevance and importance of the Product Design Specification (PDS), with an understanding for how it changes during a typical product design development process.

In addition, there is an introduction to the design process in industry, with the related importance of good planning and scheduling for successful product design development. This includes the values and relevance of using two and three-dimensional sketch concept work, along with other typical design development techniques used within the product design process as a whole. Subjects also include; the use of two and three-dimensional Computer Aided Design (CAD) for application to the associated and underlying year-long project design brief. This will complement an introduction to modern Rapid Prototyping (RP) and Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) methods of product creation. The module content and associated project brief includes the presentation for potential design concepts that will be taken to the eventual physical creation and presentation of a full-sized, three-dimensional functioning model. This is associated with the product concept designed and developed throughout the second year.

Human Factors & Design for Society

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module provides a foundation of principles for human-centred design that will be relevant throughout your degree programme. Initially there is a focus on physical considerations, including a study of human limits for inclusive design. Later on people's behaviour is considered and how design can help to address significant issues for society. We also consider contemporary adaptations that embrace social factors, including consumer behaviour and a services approach to design. Finally we adopt a global perspective and understand more about society in developing countries and how design can help to address concerns.

Topics will include:

  • introduction to human factors
  • ergonomics
  • anthropometrics
  • the senses
  • mock ups to evaluate ergonomic principles
  • designing a handheld object: anthropometrics, anatomy and physiology of the hand
  • consumer behaviour
  • inclusive design
  • design for a sustainable society
  • cradle to cradle approaches
  • taking a systems approach to design
  • research methods for understanding lifestyle and context of use
  • global issues and design concerns.

Interaction Design 1

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Interaction Design runs over both terms as two modules, Interaction Design 1 and Interactions Design 2. The theme as a whole is about achieving the best possible fit between people and products; intellectually, physically and emotionally.
Interaction Design I conveys the basic understanding of interaction - conceptually, theoretically, and with a special focus on the relationship between humans and products/interactive systems. We begin with an understanding of the primary aims for interaction with products.
The main concepts and characteristics of human interaction are explored including an overview of the human sensory system (vision, auditory, touch, taste, and smell) and their relevance for interaction design.
This module will subsequently emphasise the visual channel, considering relevant expert theories on Perception to inform both the three dimensional form and screen design.
It will also build on Semiotic studies. As the module proceeds we will also emphasise the relevance of research methods (in particular empathy tools, personas, scenarios) as well as digital mobile and web-based interactive rapid prototyping tools to evaluate and present design ideas.

Content includes:

  • Concepts, theories, frameworks for Interaction Design,
  • Human sensory system, interaction modalities, with emphasis on visual and screen design, 
  • Semiotics for Design . Studies in Perception and HCI relevant to product interfaces, for example: Gestalt Theory; Gibson & Affordance. 
  • Creating basic multimedia prototypes to evaluate interfaces

Interaction Design 2

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

During the second term we will deepen the knowledge gained in Interaction Design I, especially the research methods part and the understanding of the human sensory system including all five senses: vision, auditory, touch, taste and smell. This module will build on an understanding of Design for People, with an emphasis on the experiential and sensory characteristics influencing an interaction. To foster the information and skills gained throughout the previous and this term you will work on a dedicated creative project, which will enable you to apply the gained understanding, specify a specific problem and come up with creative design solutions. There will be a special emphasis of the sense of touch, taste, and smell as these senses are increasingly entering the realm of interaction design. Since this may lead to the development of new and less typically categorisable artefacts the module covers methods of designing from new perspectives and the perspective of others, building on approaches such as experience prototyping, visioning and other creative techniques (eg allowing the engagement with a variety of materials and tools). 

The module content includes: 

  • Experience-centered design and multi-sensory design space
  • Understanding of the experience-centered design process (personas, scenarios, storytelling and narrative methods)
  • User research methods for analysis (eg probing, experience sampling method) and evaluation (eg. lab and field methods)
  • Experience prototyping, visioning and creative design techniques 
  • Exploration of touch, taste and smell as interaction modalities on the basis of a dedicated Ccreative project

Professional and Managerial Skills

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module covers the technical communication, project and financial management skills, and the understanding of the importance of ethics required of professional engineers. In addition, it encourages a holistic view of the engineering degree programme and how it fits the graduate for their future career.

Teaching and learning methods include specialist lectures on technical communication and careers planning (supported by Study Direct resources and online exercises), lectures and workshops leading to a management group project based on a computer based simulation, and lectures and seminars based around case studies on the application of ethical principles.

Topics covered include:

  • technical reports and presentations
  • project planning and management
  • Gantt charts
  • financial management and control, cost management, application to projects
  • financial models and return on investment
  • risk management
  • professional ethics
  • health and safety
  • preparing CVs and career development.

Toy and Game Design

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Toy and Game Design involves the design and prototyping of a toy or game. The module covers each stage of the design process and provides an opportunity to expand skills in the areas of research, experimentation, exploration, visualisation, evaluation, communication and presentation. It introduces further design methods and encourages originality, independent thinking and critical reflection. This results in a portfolio of work showing a visual representation of how the final concept was achieved, a prototype of the toy or game, a short video (sizzle), packaging and graphic material to enhance the final presentation.

Business and Project Management

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module addresses wider business and project management issues that affect the technological and engineering environment. Some of these issues include:

  • principles of strategic management
  • project management and planning
  • the business environment
  • auditing and control
  • organisational structure
  • business legislation
  • resource management
  • global markets and supply
  • forecasting.

Design Philosophy

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Design philosophy is about developing an understanding of how designers think and work. The focus is on revealing what designers do during the activity of designing and on building an understanding of the nature of design ability. You will gain insight into past design movements, what it means to be a designer, how designers employ creative thinking skills and what is known about different aspects of design ability and its development, from novice student to expert professional.

The module aims to give a deeper understanding of the nature of design thinking, and will give commentary and advice and provide the opportunity for you to initiate and develop you own research in relation to their design practice and thinking, aiding them to better understand - and perhaps also to question - the things they do in their work life, and why they do them.

This will result in a series of essays, which together will culminate in a sustained piece of research.

Design Project

  • 60 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3
Year 3 individual projects are designed to give you a taste of real-life design practice in which you must develop your skills in product design and realisation and interact with skilled people across a range of specialisms. The work must be completed within budget, using available resources, by an agreed deadline, and then presented to an audience not necessarily familiar with the work you have done. Projects are designed to expose you to issues of project management, resourcing, planning, scheduling, documentation, and communication. This may involve different types of activity such as: marketing, specification, concept development, detailed design, build, development, testing, and research. A good project will demand varying degrees of creative thinking, analysis and implementation.

The Role of Design in the Circular Economy

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module will address current and future trends in design, including:

  • design for longevity
  • re-designing the future
  • design for leasing/service
  • design for re-use in manufacture and design for material recovery.

It will prepare our future designers to embed circularity into their design process. The delivery will include engagement with design practitioners through guest seminars and real-world briefs.

Thinking Big: The 5 Senses

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will offer a unique and interdisciplinary perspective on how to design novel (interactive) experiences with products. We will recognise the rich potential of the human senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell) for designing the interaction with the product exploiting and creating novel experiences based on specific design briefs (eg the brief for the 1st edition focuses on ‘Spatial Design for Food Experiences’ – engaging you in the design of physical objects involved in the experience of eating, such as cutlery, plates, tables and rooms, in restaurants vs the home).

To cover the interdisciplinary perspective, the module will invite guest lecturers, experts in their field, in order to ensure a broad perspective on the human senses and their relevance for product design emphasising multisensory experience design. You will obtain a variety of skills including ideation techniques in-situ (eg contextual enquiries, situated bodystorming), user research methods (eg ethnographic methods), and video production skills for professional design presentations.

The main goals of the module are:

  • confront you with a real world design problem
  • apply experience-centred design methodology
  • exploit the opportunities to design for the five senses individually and combinations of them to enhance people’s experiences with products and their environment
  • learn how to best communicate your design solutions to stakeholders, especially fostering your presentation skills through the use of digital media (eg video production).

If you meet the academic requirements for this course you will be invited to a portfolio review to discuss your portfolio and your design abilities.

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