Industrial Design BSc (Hons)

an industrial design student in an engineering lab
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019


Industrial design is where creativity meets technology. If you want to learn the skills to design, create and develop products, then this BSc (Hons) Industrial Design degree course is for you.

You’ll fuse elegance and beauty with functionality and performance. You’ll harness technology and learn computing skills that’ll put your innovative ideas on screen and then bring them to life as real products.

With the expertise you develop on this course, you can consider a career working on and improving many of the products we all take for granted including cars, computers, furniture and household appliances.

You'll graduate from this degree course able to work in areas such as product design, design management, consultancy, engineering, marketing and graphic design – and you'll be eligible for membership and Registered Product Designer status (RProdDes) from the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) as well as Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • Develop your understanding of computer-aided illustration and design (CAD), as well as manufacturing and technology concepts
  • Tailor your studies to your career ambitions by specialising in subjects that interest you most,
  • Learn how businesses apply design for their products and production processes
  • Bring your ideas to life using our sophisticated computer software, 3D printing and rapid prototyping equipment
  • Work on real-life projects through our links with design centres and big players in the industry such as Anglepoise Lighting, Raymarine, Frictec and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
  • Have access to our computer labs and workshops to construct and trial your designs
  • Learn how to use professional software including Photoshop, AutoCad, Creo, and Keyshot

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have completed work placements at companies such as:

  • Pall Europe
  • Condair
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Stannah
  • Paradigm
  • Celab
  • Dstl

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Careers and opportunities

Armed with the expertise and knowledge you develop on this course, you'll be set for a career in fields such as:

  • computer-aided design (CAD)
  • visualisation
  • product data management.
  • project management
  • manufacturing
  • research and development

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • product design engineer
  • CAD designer
  • design manager

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course fulfils the membership requirements of the Institution of Engineering Designers as a Registered Product Designer (RProdDes) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng). This assures potential employers of the quality of your degree and gives you an edge over candidates who didn't do an accredited degree course when you apply for jobs.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

Selection Process

Applicants may be requested to provide a portfolio to support their application.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

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.

You’ll go on occasional trips to London over the course of your study. You’ll need to contribute £25 for each trip.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Design
  • Introduction to Technology Concepts
  • Introduction to Materials and Manufacture
  • Communication and IT
  • Introduction to Illustration Techniques
  • Computer Aided Product Analysis and Illustration

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Technology Concepts
  • Materials and Manufacture
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Conceptual Design
  • Product Analysis

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Illustration Techniques
  • Research Methods for Product Designers

Core units in this year include:

  • Individual Project
  • Product Electro-Mechanics
  • Product Modelling for Manufacture
  • Advanced Modelling
  • Ergonomics in Product Design

There are no optional units in this year.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Maths and stats support

The Maths Cafe offers free advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop or use our online resources.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • laboratory
  • project work
  • CAD systems

There's an emphasis on using the latest software and technology and putting what you learn in the classroom into practice.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 25% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 75% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 26% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 74% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 17% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 83% studying independently

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written examinations
  • multiple choice tests
  • coursework and portfolio
  • practical tests
  • presentations

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 34% by written exams and 66% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 32% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 56% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 17% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 80% by coursework


How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – HH18
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.