Course Information

BA (Hons)

Visiting Lecturers

Jason Bradbury YouTube red hoodie

Presenter of Channel Five’s The Gadget Show and Author Jason Bradbury is a visiting lecturer on the Computer Science and Product Design degrees. Find out more on YouTube.

3 years School of Architecture & Design Lincoln Campus [L] Validated BBC (or equivalent qualifications) W200

#1 Product Design is one of the University’s Design courses ranked 1st in the UK for student satisfaction according to the National Student Survey 2016.


The BA (Hons) Product Design degree at the University of Lincoln has been developed with people’s needs at the fore, concentrating on the generation, delivery and communication of ideas that challenge conventional thinking and open up new markets.

Students will be provided with the opportunity to become highly skilled, creative designers and shrewd product developers, with an understanding of target markets and consumer experiences, and an appreciation of how to design an object that will sell.

With strong ties to the design industry, collaboration with agencies, placement opportunities and support to launch a business, this course aims to prepare students for a career as a successful product designer. From a theoretical perspective, students have the opportunity to study trends, brands, cultures and ethics, as well as creative approaches to design.

Is This Course Right For Me?

Product Design encourages applications from a range of Art and Design backgrounds, from students interested in 'classic' product and graphic digital design, to those from a conceptual and fine art background. The programme is an ideas-based design course and works closely with industrial partners to promote ideas and concepts for production.

How You Study

In the first year, students have the opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of product design based on technical skills acquisition — from nurturing an idea to following a client brief and producing prototypes in 3D form.

Design development practice continues in the second year, covering topics such as sensory design and visual language. At the end of this stage, students may opt to complete a paid work placement year in industry. The potential costs for this placement are outlined in the Features tab.

In the final year of the degree, there are both live and independent projects alongside a dissertation on a design topic of the students choice. Students are expected to exhibit work in an end of year show, largely within the School itself and at a industry event, which is attended by members of the design and production industry and the general public.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours may vary for each year of a degree. When engaging in a full-time degree students should, at the very least, expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term time (including independent study) in addition to potentially undertaking assignments outside of term time. The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

University-level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

Please see the Unistats data, using the link at the bottom of this page, for specific information relating to this course in terms of course composition and delivery, contact hours and student satisfaction.

How You Are Assessed

Students are assessed through an ongoing number of formative and summative presentations. These range from verbal, visual and written and take advantage of a number of scenarios which develop an awareness of industrial practice; for example, students will present individually and in groups and also, at some point in their student experience, have an opportunity to pitch ideas to live project clients. This can form part of the assessment process, alongside more recognised academic submissions of course work. Product Design currently has no examinations.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above)..

Methods of Assessment

The way students will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. It could include coursework, such as a dissertation or essay, written and practical exams, portfolio development, group work or presentations to name some examples.

For a breakdown of assessment methods used on this course and student satisfaction, please visit the Unistats website, using the link at the bottom of this page.

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

Interviews & Applicant Days

All applicants to the programme will be invited for interview. The interview process usually involves a short presentation to applicants about the programme and current projects.

Programme staff will review all portfolios without the applicant present and will then interview the applicant to find out more about their work and to ask possible questions relating to the personal statement. The programme team will provide feedback on the portfolio of work on the day.

What We Look For In Your Application

We look for creative ability and primarily an enthusiasm for ideas and concepts; this can come from presentation of artworks which can be considered for three-dimensional manipulation, to recognised design projects in product, furniture, any three-dimensional area.

An ability to communicate in two-dimensional and three-dimensional formats is desired, from quick idea sketches through to photography, digital manipulation and presentation of proposals in a range of communication formats.


Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our School of Architecture & Design Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2017-18

GCE Advanced Levels: BBC, including grade B from an A Level art, design or media studies related subject.

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall, with 5 at Higher Level from an art, design or media studies related subject.

BTEC Extended Diploma in an art, design or media related subject: Distinction, Merit, Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma in an art, design or media related subject: A minimum of 45 level 3 credits at merit or above will be required.

Applicants will also be required to have at least five GCSEs at grade C or above (or the equivalent), including English Language.

Applicants will need to complete a successful interview.

We will also consider those with extensive relevant work experience and a portfolio of work.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Level 1

Design Contexts 1

In this module students are expected to actively participate in directed design research and develop a strategy for the collation of targeted information relevant to product design.

Elements of methodology and design styles are to be explored with a view to providing a comprehensive document profiling historical, contemporary and future directions.

Design Thinking

The module aims to provide an introduction to design methodologies and the influential contexts associated to the process of design. Emphasis is to be placed upon developing an understanding of analysis and synthesis as a fundamental element of design development. The module encourages a diverse approach to idea generation and provides the opportunity to understand the intrinsic qualities of materials, trends and the necessity of realising transient proposals effectively and efficiently.


The module provides the opportunity to probe approaches from a diverse range of disciplines and to exploit constraint in the potential development of creative concepts. The emphasis of the module is to comprehend and question conventional drawing approaches and to employ tangential thinking to initiate or regenerate identified ideas and markets. An ability to communicate ideas of a conceptual nature, supported by tangible research demonstrating cognitive design development is desired.

Visual Language 1

The module introduces the principles of using physical and screen based applications within the design process and developing an awareness of the properties of materials and objects. Initial emphasis is directed towards appreciating the interaction of 2D and 3D applications for effective and efficient communications. The contextual aspects and an awareness of applications in associated disciplines are promoted.

In the later stages the module addresses the application of 3D design within the development process and explores various attributes adopted for the generation of convincing 3D models and materials.

Level 2


The module focuses on encouraging students to develop a responsible approach to product development, and creates an awareness of sustainability in design. Students have the opportunity to explore and challenge issues surrounding social vanity, interaction and exclusivity, in addition to understanding the need of developing markets and appreciating strains on natural resources. The module aims to promote an understanding and relevance of soul references in culture and developing an appreciation that changes in society can influence the range of creative responses available.

Design Contexts 2

The module aims to prepare students effectively for undertaking an in-depth study of a particular area related to their major subject study, which will develop and demonstrate their capacity for original and critical thought and action.

Sensory Design

The module aims to promote the significance of arousing feelings and expressing emotions through added value in design solutions. The ability to create a controlling influence utilising pro-active and re-active responses to an observer is explored. Communication of emotions associated with the psychological aspects of design are explored, with reference to both the inherent qualities of products and the exploitation of constraints in provoking a response from the user; the emphasis therefore focusing on communication not decoration.

Visual Language 2

The module provides the opportunity to investigate and explore visual languages within the context of 3D design communication and aims to address the process of transferring an idea into a realistic proposal. The module expects the student to identify and achieve empathy with a target audience, using a range of communication methods.

Level 3


The module seeks to recognise and define issues, which are influential to the future direction of design strategies. The module adopts a standard driven approach for analysis, and evaluation of design intelligence supports effective responses to fresh perspectives and provides opportunities to determine market potential and the influence of brands. An ability to drive creativity and challenge conventional boundaries is explored to target and generate innovative design proposals. Emphasis on the evaluation and the critical comparison of future materials is promoted.

Negotiated Project 1

The module encourages self-initiated learning, critical evaluation and analysis within the initial stages of the design process. Focus is directed at the ability to formulate judgements and reasoned argument, through research methods, to support the proposal of developing creative design solutions for identified or potential target markets.

Negotiated Project 2

The module aims to further promote self-initiated development and provides the opportunity to evolve identified design proposals, to viable solutions effectively and efficiently. The autonomy of the module facilitates motivation and relevance, enhancing development and supporting design realisation to identified criteria.

Product Design Dissertation

The dissertation offers the student an opportunity to explore in some depth a topic of their own choice, via self-directed study and research. The module aims to broaden the scope of the student’s degree programme by allowing them to identify and pursue relevant academic interests. The module emphasises skills in developing and taking responsibility for an independent research programme and aims to enable the student to develop relevant research skills, critical judgement and appropriate methodologies for study at this level.

The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Special Features

Students have the opportunity to work alongside leading specialists and companies such as MetsaWood, Slam Design, Jason Bradbury and Fizzco to produce concepts and designs, which can have strong commercial value. A number of past student work has gone into production, providing a chance for students to appreciate the designer’s role in business and commerce.

Partner companies have ongoing internship and employment opportunities for a number of design students and graduates.

The course has a working partnership with the Industrial Design department at Philadelphia University.

The programme has a strong role in providing creative design provision for the School of Architecture and Design’s Technology Hub, which provides creative consultancy for external clients.


Students on this course will receive a licence for Adobe Creative Cloud free of charge


Placements are an optional part of the programme and are taken either as part of a year in industry or during the Summer period between levels 2 and 3. Costs relating to these are outlined below.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.


Students have access to a wide range of equipment in our Art, Architecture & Design Building, which comprises specialised studios, workshops, Mac suites, idea rooms and a public gallery. Facilities include conventional prototyping machinery, 3D printers, a large flatbed CNC router for furniture design, rapid prototyping and laser cutting, alongside traditional workshop and assembly spaces, which form part of the School provision.

At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

View our campus pages [] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

95% of Lincoln’s Product Design students are in work or further study within six months of finishing the course according to the latest (2014/15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey.

Career opportunities exist in design consultancies and agencies, in-house design departments or for graduates to become freelance designers. Lincoln graduates have gone on to work as product designers for Berghaus, Suck UK, Burberry and HTI Group, and as furniture designers for Next, Jonathan Carey Design and Searchlight.

Some have established their own design consultancies, such as Swift Medals, with the help of the University of Lincoln’s business incubation unit, Sparkhouse. Some have gone on to study at postgraduate level.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with students to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during their time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing a course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise our graduates future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information. []

Additional Costs

For each course students may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on their subject area. Some courses provide opportunities for students to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and meals may be covered by the University and so is included in the fee. Where these are optional students will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay their own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that students are required to read. However, students may prefer to purchase some of these for themselves and will therefore be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Other Costs

Students on this course have the option to undertake external visits, which can range in cost from £300 - £1000, dependant on the destination. The participation in these trips will have no impact upon your final award and savings and contribution plans are put in place for these.

Students are also invited to participate in an optional graduate exhibition event and to make a £200 (approx) contribution, which is financially supported by both the programme and by the School of Architecture and Design. Contributions help students to attend a graduate event with designers, employers and manufacturers present; the school and programme make a major contribution to the stand, the production, prototyping, materials costs, image costs.

Related Courses

Design for Exhibition and Museums focuses on the design of narrative environments for commercial exhibitions, events, retail spaces, visitor attractions and museums. The programme specialises in ‘storytelling’, whether for a brand, a collection or an idea.
The BA (Hons) Fashion degree is a highly-creative course that aims to promote innovation in all aspects of student work. The breadth of the creative experience provides students with the opportunity to both challenge and inspire contemporary fashion.
The BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree encourages students to become skilled visual communicators and provides the opportunity to work on project briefs that require practical skills and creative insight to find innovative solutions using a variety of media.
The BA (Hons) Interactive Design degree at Lincoln is a broad-based design course providing opportunities to work on inspiring briefs to develop the innovative thinking, artistic creativity, flexibility and technical ability needed to succeed in the digital design industry.

Tuition Fees

Full-time £9,250 per level £14,500 per level
Part-time £77.09 per credit point  
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

The University undergraduate tuition fee may increase year on year in line with government policy. This will enable us to continue to provide the best possible educational facilities and student experience.

In 2017/18, subject to final confirmation from government, there will be an inflationary adjustment to fees to £9,250 for new and returning UK/EU students. In 2018/19 there may be an increase in fees in line with inflation.

We will update this information when fees for 2017/18 are finalised.

Please note that not all courses are available as a part-time option.

For more information and for details about funding your study, please see our UK/EU Fees & Funding pages or our International funding and scholarship pages. [] []


Product Design Student Work

  • Visiting Lecturer - Jason Bradbury

    The Gadget Show host and author Jason Bradbury is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Lincoln, teaching students on the Computer Science and Product Design programmes. 

    Student Success

    Product Design students are encouraged to engage with industry across all levels of the programme. Our students have benefitted over the years from working alongside industry partners such as Slam Design and Fizzco and in 2014 saw one of the programme’s graduate alumni take the reins of his own company and enter the University’s Sparkhouse Studios with his commercial venture “Swift Medals”.

    Student designers’ maths-inspired 3D printed furniture wins international prize

    White Matter, a collaboration between four undergraduate Product Design students at the University of Lincoln, UK, won the inaugural Designing the Future competition, hosted by leading US-based design hub Cubify. Full story | Slideshow

    Winners’ of the Vodafone 24 Hr Design Challenge

    2014 Level 3 students Richard Kennedy and Jack Merritt are announced as ‘Winners’ of the Vodafone 24 Hr Design Challenge with their entry for the Medical & Healthcare design brief. Their ‘Relieve’ proposal is considered an excellent aid in helping people to quit smoking and is a very prominent issue today. Their efforts result in members of the team receiving an eight-week internship at Vodafone’s Newbury campus, along with an iPad Air each. Richard is now a design employee at Vodafone as a result of his efforts.

    Alexander Rose 2014/2015 Highly Commended

    Product Design students from across all levels complete entries for the prestigious Alexander Rose furniture design competition 2014 and 2015. Jonathan Hutchinson’s submission is “Highly Commended” in 2014 and Amy Stoddart’s submission has repeated success in 2015, resulting in both Jonathan and Amy being invited to the company headquarters to discuss possible production of furniture proposals as part of the Alexander Rose growing range of outdoor and patio furniture. Jonathan’s design is now in production. Both pieces of furniture form part of the Alexander Rose Trade Show at the SOLEX (Summer Outdoor Living) Exhibition and trade fair in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

    Fizzco 2015

    Fizzco engage Level 2 Product Design students with large-scale ‘shopping mall’ and hotel interiors projects, to develop new products and new looks for customer experiences. Students are currently working on proposals, which will be presented to the Lincoln Waterside Shopping Arcade for 2016 and also designs for the Christmas at Kew Gardens experience, amongst a range of others. This provides excellent engagement with clients and an insight into professional design presentation and pitching.


    Graduate, Daniel Poynton secured a Graphic Designer post with Joules after submitting a impressive speculative application and portfolio which was tailored to them. This secured him a position which had requested 2 years experience which he did not have.

    Learn more about the School of Architecture and Design, our courses and what we do.

    Study Visits

    Over the years Product Design have visited design consultants and exhibitions all over the world. These visits widen appreciation and enrich the students vision of the design world and the world around them.
    Study visits are optional, the costs of these trips are not included in course fees. We have included information about aditional costs in the Product Design Fees section.

    Past visits have included:

    Design Offices

    • WILD Design, Shanghai, CHINA
    • Speck Design, Shanghai, CHINA
    • IDEO, Palo Alto, US
    • Lunar Design, San Francisco, US
    • Whipsaw, San Jose, US
    • Antenna, New York, US
    • Astro, San Francisco, US
    • RKS Design, Los Angeles, US
    • Rockwell Lab, New York, US
    • ECCO, New York, US
    • Naço, Shanghai, CHINA
    • SMART Design, New York, US
    • Frog Design; San Francisco, US
    • Ron Arad Associates, London, UK.


    • New York
    • Kyoto
    • Milan
    • Shanghai
    • San Jose
    • Philadelphia
    • Tokyo
    • San Francisco.

    The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions. []