Computer Aided Product Design
Incorporating creativity and technology
Why take this course?
Combine elegance and beauty with functionality and performance, and you get the art of product design. Used creatively and practically to produce visual product designs, the computer takes a vital role in our course. You will develop keen computing skills to bring innovative product designs to life.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Get a feel for your designs using our sophisticated computer software and rapid prototyping equipment
- Put learning into practice by doing a paid work placement, either in the UK or overseas
- Work on real-life projects through our links with industry and various design centres
What opportunities might it lead to?
This course has been accredited as fulfilling the requirements for membership of the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). It has also been accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for Incorporated Engineer status (IEng). Accreditation ensures that the course maintains its academic relevance and enhances the value of your course to subsequent employers.
You can expect to find careers in the fields of computer-aided design, visualisation, product data management and other related fields.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- Research and development
- Product manufacture
- Project management
I like the way our course allows students to have their own independence.
Felicity Fuller, product design student 2013
Apply for September 2016
If you're still considering your options, we’re here to help you make the right decision.
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
- 240-300 points to include 160 points from A levels or equivalent. 2 A levels or equivalent in Science, Technology or Design subjects required. Applicants may be requested to provide a portfolio to support their application. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £13,700 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2555
- School of Engineering
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
You will be introduced to the concept of product design and innovation as well as computer aided product design. Also we’ll work on bridging any gaps in your artistic and technical knowledge, providing an all round basis for further study.
Core units in this year include:
- Introduction to Design
- Introduction to Technology Concepts
- Introduction to Materials and Manufacture (PD)
- Communication and IT
- Introduction to Illustration Techniques 1
- Computer Aided Product Analysis and Illustration
In this year you will be given choices in the direction of your studies. You’ll have the option of these two routes of study: Computer Aided Product Design or Product Design and Innovation.
Core units in this year include:
- Technology Concepts
- Materials and Manufacture
- Computer Aided Visualisation
- Conceptual Design
- Product Analysis
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Illustration Techniques
- Research Methods for Product Designers
In your final year you will have the opportunity to put into practice all your new skills in both group and individual project work. There is also a range of topics covered for you to really cement your knowledge of product design.
Core units in this year include:
- Individual Project
- Advanced Modelling
- Integrated Engineering Business Project
- Product Electro-Mechanics
- Product Modelling for Manufacture
*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials (personal and academic), laboratory and project work, CAD system activity and open access study. The course has a strong practical emphasis and we pride ourselves on working at the leading-edge of technology and learning practices.
How are you assessed?
A range of assessment methods encourages a deeper understanding of engineering and allows you to develop your skills. Here’s how we assess your work:
- written examinations
- multiple choice tests
- coursework and portfolio
- practical tests
Dr Ivan Popov
We will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to create effective and innovative products for suitable and profitable manufacture. Starting at the drawing board, we will take you through modern workshop activities, mastering mechanical engineering technology and science involving state-of-the-art CAD/CAM systems and rapid manufacture facilities.
Facilities & Features
We offer you a range of labs such as the Analogue Electronics and Control Engineering Laboratory and the Telecommunications and Signal Processing Laboratory. From Digital Signal Processing (DSP) kits to walking robots, all are well-equipped with industry-standard experimental and computational facilities.
As well as purpose-built studios for our material workshops, we also have a variety of digital studios. Design, construct and trial your product designs – it’s important for you to envisage how things work and are made to become a good designer. Our design facilities can cater to whatever project you are working on.
Drop in any time and get one-to-one help with that tricky maths or stats problem. With handouts on key topics to take away and computer aided learning packages, we can get the problem solved and help you improve your numeracy skills.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Other costs to consider
There will be occasional trips to London for which you will be asked to contribute £25 a trip.
Careers & Opportunities
In our high tech world there is still a shortage of people who are skilled in the use of CAD software. Computer aided product designers are the key to success and profit, especially in mass domestic markets. As a result, getting yourself a well-paid job at the end of this course is more attainable than most.
You could work in key roles within every type of manufacturing business, working on and improving many of the products we all take for granted including cars, computers, furniture and household appliances.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- product design engineer
- CAD Designer
- design manager
Taking a placement year in industry could be one of the best decisions you make as more often than not, it leads to further opportunities after graduation. SPEC, our Student Placement and Employability Centre, not only helps you to arrange your placement but acts as a source of information and guidance throughout the recruitment process and beyond. We help on anything and everything related to employability skills as well as assisting you in gaining other types of work experience.
Here are some examples of the roles our students have secured for their placements:
- CAD Designer at Paradigm
- AutoCAD Assistant at Celab
- Designer at Pall Europe
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.