BA (Hons)
Product Design
BA (Hons)
Product Design

Key Information


Duration

3 years (4 years with Foundation Year)

Typical Offer

See More

Campus

Brayford Pool

UCAS Code

W200

Duration

3 years (4 years with Foundation Year)

Typical Offer

See More

Campus

Brayford Pool

UCAS Code

W200

Academic Years

Course Overview

Product Design is a career focused on tackling the social and environmental challenges facing our modern world - bringing to life the next generation of products and services.

On the course you'll develop an understanding of product design based on creative materials and methodologies, technical knowledge, and critical thinking, supported by an understanding of human behaviour that puts the user at the heart of your idea. Working sustainably and responsibly with traditional and emerging technologies, you'll discover how to bring your ideas to life using our digital suite of 3D scanners and printers and a range of CNC machines. You'll also have the chance to pitch ideas to professional brands and businesses, enter international design competitions, and tailor your portfolio to fit your dream design career.

This programme is also available with an Arts Foundation Year, which can provide an alternative route of entry onto the full degree programme. Find out more at https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/afyafyub/.

Course Overview

Product Design is a career focused on tackling the social and environmental challenges facing our modern world - bringing to life the next generation of products and services.

On the course you'll develop an understanding of product design based on creative materials and methodologies, technical knowledge, and critical thinking, supported by an understanding of human behaviour that puts the user at the heart of your idea. Working sustainably and responsibly with traditional and emerging technologies, you'll discover how to bring your ideas to life using our digital suite of 3D scanners and printers and a range of CNC machines. You'll also have the chance to pitch ideas to professional brands and businesses, enter international design competitions, and tailor your portfolio to fit your dream design career.

This programme is also available with an Arts Foundation Year, which can provide an alternative route of entry onto the full degree programme. Find out more at https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/afyafyub/.

Why Choose Lincoln

Subject ranked 1st overall in the UK*

Digital suite of 3D scanners and printers

Optional study trips to London and New York

Pitch ideas to businesses and brands

Take part in international student design competitions

Professional network of alumni

*Guardian University Guide 2024

YouTube video for Why Choose Lincoln

How You Study

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

The second-year builds on these foundational skills and expands into the exciting areas of sensory design, visual language, and cultures to help get a more in-depth view on the subject.

In the final year of the degree, students are engaged in independent projects alongside a dissertation on a design topic of their choice culminating in an end-of-year exhibition.

The programme has a vibrant and collegiate studio culture, where contact time can be in workshops, Mac and PC suites, practical sessions, seminars, or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. Some courses offer the opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.

Studio practice is a key element of this course, and students will have the opportunity to spend a lot time in a creative studio environment. Teaching and learning experiences may include workshop activities, peer groups, lectures, workshops, seminars, and group tutorials. Students can also benefit from one-to-one surgeries, portfolio reviews, and self-initiated work experience.

How You Study

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

The second-year builds on these foundational skills and expands into the exciting areas of sensory design, visual language, and cultures to help get a more in-depth view on the subject.

In the final year of the degree, students are engaged in independent projects alongside a dissertation on a design topic of their choice culminating in an end-of-year exhibition.

The programme has a vibrant and collegiate studio culture, where contact time can be in workshops, Mac and PC suites, practical sessions, seminars, or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. Some courses offer the opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.

Studio practice is a key element of this course, and students will have the opportunity to spend a lot time in a creative studio environment. Teaching and learning experiences may include workshop activities, peer groups, lectures, workshops, seminars, and group tutorials. Students can also benefit from one-to-one surgeries, portfolio reviews, and self-initiated work experience.

Modules


† Some courses may offer optional modules. 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.

Contextual Studies 1 2024-25DES1001MLevel 42024-25This module is designed to introduce students to relevant concepts, debates, and case studies relating to the nature creativity and the creative process, as the basis for the development of a reflective creative practice. This aims to compliment and underpin the studio work students carry out with the programme-specific team during the rest of their programme of study.CoreDesign Thinking 2024-25PRD1027MLevel 42024-25This 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 also encourages a diverse approach to idea generation and provides the opportunity to understand the intrinsic qualities of materials, visual language, and the necessity of realising transient proposals effectively and efficiently.CoreDigital Design 2024-25PRD1028MLevel 42024-25This 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.CoreDrawing 2024-25PRD1029MLevel 42024-25This module aims to provide the opportunity to develop a range of drawing skills for different applications within design. Students can explore methods of mark-making, shading, rendering, and developmental sketching. The module also introduces digital forms of 2D image generation.CoreContextual Studies 2 2025-26DES2001MLevel 52025-26Building upon issues concerning the development of a reflective creative practice, Contextual Studies 2 introduces students to relevant concepts, debates, and case study examples concerning the professional, economic, and socio-cultural contexts of design within the creative industries. It will also discuss ethical issues as they relate to this professional context of the creative industries and shape the creative motivations of areas such as design activism, ecological orientations, and socially engaged creative practices. These themes and debates will form an overarching discussion of professional design practice.CoreCultures 2025-26PRD2032MLevel 52025-26This 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.CoreSensory Design 2025-26PRD2033MLevel 52025-26This 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 proactive and reactive 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.CoreVisual Language 2025-26PRD2034MLevel 52025-26This 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.CoreContextual Studies 3 2026-27DES3001MLevel 62026-27Contextual Studies 3 is an independent research study module which takes the form either of a dissertation and/or a number of other options. The module offers students an opportunity to explore in depth a topic of their own choice, chosen generally, but not exclusively in relation to the practice and/or context of their programme-specific studies and studio practice.CoreFutures 2026-27PRD3038MLevel 62026-27The 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.CoreNegotiated Project 1 2026-27PRD3039MLevel 62026-27The 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.CoreNegotiated Project 2 2026-27PRD3040MLevel 62026-27The 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.Core

Modules


† Some courses may offer optional modules. 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.

Contextual Studies 1 2025-26DES1001MLevel 42025-26This module is designed to introduce students to relevant concepts, debates, and case studies relating to the nature creativity and the creative process, as the basis for the development of a reflective creative practice. This aims to compliment and underpin the studio work students carry out with the programme-specific team during the rest of their programme of study.CoreDesign Thinking 2025-26PRD1027MLevel 42025-26This 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 also encourages a diverse approach to idea generation and provides the opportunity to understand the intrinsic qualities of materials, visual language, and the necessity of realising transient proposals effectively and efficiently.CoreDigital Design 2025-26PRD1028MLevel 42025-26This 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.CoreDrawing 2025-26PRD1029MLevel 42025-26This module aims to provide the opportunity to develop a range of drawing skills for different applications within design. Students can explore methods of mark-making, shading, rendering, and developmental sketching. The module also introduces digital forms of 2D image generation.CoreContextual Studies 2 2026-27DES2001MLevel 52026-27Building upon issues concerning the development of a reflective creative practice, Contextual Studies 2 introduces students to relevant concepts, debates, and case study examples concerning the professional, economic, and socio-cultural contexts of design within the creative industries. It will also discuss ethical issues as they relate to this professional context of the creative industries and shape the creative motivations of areas such as design activism, ecological orientations, and socially engaged creative practices. These themes and debates will form an overarching discussion of professional design practice.CoreCultures 2026-27PRD2032MLevel 52026-27This 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.CoreSensory Design 2026-27PRD2033MLevel 52026-27This 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 proactive and reactive 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.CoreVisual Language 2026-27PRD2034MLevel 52026-27This 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.CoreContextual Studies 3 2027-28DES3001MLevel 62027-28Contextual Studies 3 is an independent research study module which takes the form either of a dissertation and/or a number of other options. The module offers students an opportunity to explore in depth a topic of their own choice, chosen generally, but not exclusively in relation to the practice and/or context of their programme-specific studies and studio practice.CoreFutures 2027-28PRD3038MLevel 62027-28The 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.CoreNegotiated Project 1 2027-28PRD3039MLevel 62027-28The 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.CoreNegotiated Project 2 2027-28PRD3040MLevel 62027-28The 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.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

As this course aims to develop a wide range of practical and intellectual skills, assessment is varied and includes presentations, written projects, individual and group practical work, projects, and portfolios, in addition to academic essays. There are no formal end-of-year examinations. Throughout the degree, students are assessed through their production of practical and written work.

How you are assessed

As this course aims to develop a wide range of practical and intellectual skills, assessment is varied and includes presentations, written projects, individual and group practical work, projects, and portfolios, in addition to academic essays. There are no formal end-of-year examinations. Throughout the degree, students are assessed through their production of practical and written work.

Industry Links

Students have the opportunity to work alongside leading specialists and companies to produce concepts and designs, which can have substantial value for our world. Some of our past student work has gone into production, providing a chance for students to appreciate the designer's role in business and commerce. We are involved with a number of partner companies who have ongoing internship and employment opportunities.

Jason Bradbury talking with Product Design students

Facilities

The University of Lincoln has a comprehensive range of facilities designed to provide a supportive environment for creative practitioners. Students have regular access to workshops, labs, studios, and industry-standard equipment, as well as highly knowledgeable technicians. This environment can help students to develop their knowledge and skills, and complements our purpose-built design studios.

Student Design Awards

Lincoln School of Design students have a long history of winning and being shortlisted for international and national student design competitions, and the last few years have been no exception.

The University of Lincoln and the Product Design team hold a special place in my heart. The community was supportive and equipped me with the tools to start my design career.

What Can I Do with a Product Design Degree?

Career opportunities exist in design consultancies and agencies, as well as in-house design departments. Some of our most recent graduates have progressed to roles including Packaging and Trims Designer at Joules, Assistant Design Manager at Playscheme, Junior Designer at GES – Global Experience Specialists, Senior Furniture Designer at Next, Design Accounts Manager at The Future Factory, Designer at Dunelm, and 3D and RP Designer at Hotter Shoes. Some become freelance designers, while others have established their own design consultancies, with the help of the University’s business incubation unit, Sparkhouse.

Graduate Joep Peters currently works as 3D Generalist at Peek Creative Studios in the Netherlands. Since graduating he has worked on films including Pacific Rim Uprising, Assassins Creed, The Martian, Guardians of the Galaxy, Prometheus, and Superman: Man of Steel.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

United Kingdom

104 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels.

International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma from a minimum of 2 Higher Level subjects.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit or equivalent.

T Level: Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 104 UCAS Tariff points.

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and do accept a combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTECs, EPQ etc.

We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.

International

Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Arts Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:
https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/afyafyub/

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 admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

Contextual Offers

At Lincoln, we recognise that not everybody has had the same advice and support to help them get to higher education. Contextual offers are one of the ways we remove the barriers to higher education, ensuring that we have fair access for all students regardless of background and personal experiences. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit our Offer Guide pages.

Entry Requirements 2025-26

United Kingdom

104 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels or equivalent qualifications.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit.

T Level: Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 104 UCAS Tariff points.

International Baccalaureate: 28 points overall.

GCSE's: Minimum of three at grade 4 or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.


The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and do accept a combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTECs, EPQ etc.

We may also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.

International

Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Arts Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:
https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/afyafyub/

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 admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

Contextual Offers

At Lincoln, we recognise that not everybody has had the same advice and support to help them get to higher education. Contextual offers are one of the ways we remove the barriers to higher education, ensuring that we have fair access for all students regardless of background and personal experiences. For more information, including eligibility criteria, visit our Offer Guide pages.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. To help support students from outside of the UK, we are also delighted to offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

Along with the software a basic materials package will be provided, including some essentials such as paper and pencils but will be required to cover additional costs specific to the study of product design. These typically include costs for rapid prototyping, art materials, printing, exhibitions, and creating a final collection for the third year’s show.

Level 1 and 2 students report typically spending £200-300 per year on course materials and equipment. Level 3-Final year expenditure can be greater due to the production of a final garment collection and portfolio.

It should be noted that successful work is not necessarily dependent on high costs but on the level of originality, innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness. It is however expected that students on the programme will have sufficient funding to support the costs of their studies without hindrance.

Students on this course have the option to undertake external visits, which can range in cost from £300 to £1,000, 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 Lincoln School of Design. Contributions help students to attend a graduate event with designers, employers, and manufacturers. The School and programme make a major contribution to the stand, production, prototyping, materials, and image costs.

Students are responsible for their own travel, accommodation, and general living costs while undertaking a work experience or an internship.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. To help support students from outside of the UK, we are also delighted to offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

Along with the software a basic materials package will be provided, including some essentials such as paper and pencils but will be required to cover additional costs specific to the study of product design. These typically include costs for rapid prototyping, art materials, printing, exhibitions, and creating a final collection for the third year’s show.

Level 1 and 2 students report typically spending £200-300 per year on course materials and equipment. Level 3-Final year expenditure can be greater due to the production of a final garment collection and portfolio.

It should be noted that successful work is not necessarily dependent on high costs but on the level of originality, innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness. It is however expected that students on the programme will have sufficient funding to support the costs of their studies without hindrance.

Students on this course have the option to undertake external visits, which can range in cost from £300 to £1,000, 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 Lincoln School of Design. Contributions help students to attend a graduate event with designers, employers, and manufacturers. The School and programme make a major contribution to the stand, production, prototyping, materials, and image costs.

Students are responsible for their own travel, accommodation, and general living costs while undertaking a work experience or an internship.

Find out More by Visiting Us

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to visit us in person. We offer a range of opportunities across the year to help you to get a real feel for what it might be like to study here.

Book Your Place
Three students walking together on campus in the sunshine
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.