The Role of Design in the Circular Economy (H7098)

15 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

You examine the role of designer in the regenerative and complex system of the circular economy. With 80% of a product’s environmental impact being decided at the design stage, it is critical that designers understand how to create products that cover a multitude of criteria, such as:

• designing for longevity, disassembly and repair
• designing for collaborative consumption and leasing systems
• the complexities and ethics of material supply chains
• understanding consumer behaviour and emotional attachment
• global legislation, life-cycle analysis and standards
• how to think in cross-sectoral systems.

Embedding circular economy principles and practices into the design process is not only a skill highly desired by industry, it ensures that designers create the best possible products for now and into the future. 


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio, Presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 117 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: