Product Design (with an industrial placement year) BSc (Hons)

Key information

Duration:
4 years full time
UCAS code:
HW1F
Start date:
September 2025

At Sussex, you’ll learn to create products that satisfy the needs and behaviours of people and our rapidly changing society – both now and into the future.

During your studies, you’ll:

  • be taught by design experts with industry experience
  • combine design, art, environment, science, business and technology skills, reflecting the multifaceted subject of product design
  • work with industry professionals on live creative briefs that will challenge you and develop your understanding of how design fits in different sectors
  • get guidance on how to develop your products beyond university
  • have the opportunity to apply to for a placement where you can gain experience working in industry.

We’ll ground you in critical design thinking and research. This helps you develop informed solutions and produce them through responsible prototyping and manufacturing models. You’ll also design your products to fit within the circular economy – a complex systems-based model of working that is regenerative to the planet and takes sustainability to a new level. 

Your degree prepares you for success. In recent years, our students have:

  • won international awards from design leaders such as Dyson, LEGO and Hasbro
  • taken their own designs to market through the Sussex Innovation Centre
  • a wide range of career options – from stepping into design jobs after graduation, to setting up their own design studios.

Accreditation

  • Accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirements for Registered Product Designer (RProdDes). Find out more

To help you gain experience and increase your employability, you can apply for an optional placement as part of your course. This can be a fantastic opportunity to gain real-life insight into industry as well as skills valued by employers. You’ll be responsible for applying for and securing your placement. Our dedicated careers team can help you:

  • find an employer
  • draft an application
  • prepare for interviews.

Don’t worry if you’re not successful, you’ll simply transfer to a non-placement version of your course.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

BSc or BA?

Course Overview
Product Design BSc

You learn to apply advanced mathematical and engineering principles along with human-based methods to evaluate, analyse and design material objects, systems and environments.

Product Design BA

You learn to apply foundational mathematical and engineering principles along with human-based methods to evaluate, analyse and design material objects, systems and environments.

It doesn’t matter who you are, I feel everyone has an entrepreneurial spirit inside them and I’m grateful that Sussex helped to bring that out within me.Emmanuel Oyemade
Product Design (with an industrial placement year) BSc
Student Coonector (Entrepreneurship)
Read Emmanuel’s story

Product Design student Jake Thompson’s cycling app, Flare, attracts global interest

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are currently under review – please check back in early March 2024.

Modules

This is a single-honours course, allowing you to focus in depth on your core subject.

Find out about our types of undergraduate degrees, their structure, modules and credits

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Live briefs

You’ll have the opportunity to work on live briefs. You’ll gain valuable experience working with leading experts from a broad range of companies. Recent collaborations include:

  • IBM
  • Aardman Animations
  • Dyson
  • Lush Cosmetics,
  • Viva Magazines
  • Surfers Against Sewage
  • Brighton Museum.

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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

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:

  • Rolls-Royce
  • IBM
  • Black+Decker.

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

Find out more about placements and internships

Our careers team offers dedicated support to help you obtain a placement, including:

  • finding an employer
  • drafting an application
  • preparing for interviews
  • ongoing help throughout a placement.

Don’t worry if you’re not successful in securing a placement, you’ll simply transfer to a non-placement version of your course.

I spent my sandwich year in a real commercial environment that allowed me to apply the skills I’d learnt on the degree.”Sam Foreman
Product Design (with an industrial placement year) BSc 

Please note that if you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t undertake your placement in the USA if the number of credits for the placement/internship exceeds 25% of the total credits for your course. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Product Design Degree Show

This year culminates in an exhibition at the annual Product Design Degree Show where students meet trade professionals, potential employers and the media. 

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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Find out about Product Design at the University of Sussex

TEF 2023 silver

Silver

The student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality.
This rating was awarded in 2023, for four years.
(Teaching Excellence Framework 2023)

Find out more about our approach to teaching and supporting you to thrive

Our staff

Students have free rein to conduct real research within a supportive environment. This allows them to gain experience while still knowing that I’m right behind to guide them.Professor Marianna Obrist
Professor of Multisensory Experiences

Fees

Fees are not yet set for the academic year 2025/26 – please check back in September 2024. 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

Find out about our terms and conditions

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2025/26.

Careers

During your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to work on live industry briefs. You’ll gain valuable experience working with leading experts from a broad range of companies. Recent collaborations include:

  • IBM
  • Aardman Animations
  • Big Potato Games
  • Stanley Black and Decker
  • Dyson
  • Bird and Blend Tea
  • Paladone
  • Lush Cosmetics
  • Brighton Museum.

In recent years, a team of product designers won the Inventors Workshop New Designers Award, creating the brand-new toy concept Bandit at the Toy and Game Fair in London. The students worked together as a team on an industrial live brief, using the skills they gained at Sussex.

You’ll develop creative, problem-solving and project-management skills throughout your course. There are tailored careers events opportunities including drop-in sessions, industry talks and one-to-one supportYour Product Design degree prepares you for jobs in manufacturing, consultancy-based design and the wider creative industries (graphics, marketing, research and digital design).

Product Designers can work in a variety of roles including:

  • industrial, packaging, toy or furniture designer
  • design engineer or product developer
  • design researchers, strategists and consultants
  • UX (user experience) designer and 3D visualiser
  • UI (user interface) designer
  • specialist designers within sectors such as aviation/automotive
  • designer makers with their own studios.

 

Working while you study

Our Careers and Entrepreneurship team 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 
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