Product & Furniture Design at UCA

If you're passionate about turning the everyday into the extraordinary, then our BA (Hons) Product & Furniture Design degree at UCA Canterbury is the perfect course for you.

You'll explore the fundamentals of thinking, analysing, drawing, making, and testing through a mix of digital and analogue methods. Along the way, you’ll discover the importance of the relationship between products, furniture items and the spaces they occupy, working alongside students on our other architecture and design courses.

Throughout the course, you’ll have access to our extensive facilities, and work on live project opportunities to get you ready for the workplace.

By the time you graduate, you’ll be an intelligent problem solver with a curious outlook and a bold approach to exploring how product and furniture design can serve society, both today and in the future.

 

Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated Foundation Year

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated International Foundation Year

Launch
Launch Week is the first week of your academic journey in the Canterbury School of Architecture and Design where you get to know your course staff, peer group and the School community in greater depth.

Design 01 – Sketch and Build
You will be introduced to a range of core skills in concept development and representation, through sketching, model making, diagramming, and time-based media. You’ll do this through a series of design projects. We want you to experiment and develop skills that are personal to you alongside skills that embrace the integrated nature of design production.

Design for Equity 01
In this unit, you will be introduced to the technological principles, civil regulations, and societal challenges that inform contemporary design and manufacture. There are two key areas of consideration – social justice and equitable design, and the climate crisis. We want you to think critically about how the detailed design of spaces and objects (including the measures, standards and tools of our industry) impacts upon gender, race, sexual and bodily equality.

Briefs and Positions 01
You’ll prepare a basic set of briefing materials that will inform and guide your development of a small-scale design proposal in the subsequent design unit Design 02 – Iterate and Adapt. To achieve this we want you to engage in creative studio-based speculation, professional site or scenario analysis and culturally critical research.

Opportunity
As you start Term 2, Opportunity Week is an intensive week of activity conceived and undertaken in collaboration with an external partners, with the aim of broadening knowledge and skills.

Iterate and Adapt 01
Explore the fundamental processes of design practice through spatial or product analysis, deconstruction, documentation and augmentation. In this unit you’ll enhance your skills in sketching and drawing, assembly/disassembly, accurate survey and measurement in 3D space, material analysis and documentation of both the physical space or product and their intended programme or market.

Critical Analysis 01
We want you to understand that the role of the designer is not always in isolation. This means seeing that objects, spaces, and systems can be designed and built by ‘constellations’ of different actors, in which the designer is situated. We’ll show you this through critical engagement with histories and theories of spatial and object design practice.

Material and Digital Practices
This unit introduces you to basic ideas around representation as a critical practice, and core theories of the design and production of small-scale objects in 2D print and 3D physical form. Working between the physical and virtual worlds, you’ll build the foundation on which you begin to develop your visual communication skills and technological competence.

ATOM Activities
ATOM activities are tiny pieces of individual learning that facilitate interdisciplinary exposure across the university. Collectively they form a small fraction of your curriculum that is determined through your own personal choice and interest.

Launch
Launch Week for the second year will be spent gearing up for your study objectives and re-orientating after your first summer break.

Design 03 – Fabricate and Form
In this unit you’ll further refine your skills in sketching, model making and visualisation, with specific focus on digital representation methodologies, and material and manufacturing constrains and opportunities. We’ll also ask you to develop research practices, examining the relationship between place/product and user, brand value, user or spatial experience, and form – and respond to this research through your design proposals.

Design for Equity 02
In this unit, you will expand your knowledge of the technological principles, civil regulations, and societal challenges that inform contemporary design and manufacture. You’ll focus on how non-western perspectives, culturally diverse contexts and vernacular practices can inform low-carbon approaches to spatial and product design

Briefs and Positions 02
In this unit, you’ll prepare a developed set of briefing materials that will inform and guide your development of a medium-scale design proposal in the subsequent design unit Design 04 – Fabricate and Form. You’ll do this through three processes - creative studio-based speculation, professional site or scenario analysis and culturally critical research.

Opportunity
The second term begins with Opportunity Week, an intensive week of activity conceived and undertaken in collaboration with external partners.

Context and Constraint
You’ll expand your conceptual approach to constraint-based design by undertaking a detailed design project which brings together your technical, conceptual ideation, iterative testing, and narrative production skills in a confident and holistic way. During the process, you will explore ideas of transformation, surprise, and unknown futures through a range of possible design challenges. 

Pathways and Mentors
In this unit, we’ll challenge you to reflect on the design skills, knowledge and techniques you are acquiring and identify potential alternative career paths that you might not yet have considered. In the course of this unit, all students will have the opportunity to engage with a design professional in a structured series of engagement and mentoring sessions.

Critical Analysis 02
The unit, a progression from your first year of study, is primarily concerned with theory and represents a step-up in challenging you to interrogate ideas, designs and actions. Specifically, it asks you to use theory to develop understandings of the ways in which ideas are both contextual and connected to wider logics and world views.

ATOM Activities
ATOM activities are tiny pieces of individual learning that facilitate interdisciplinary exposure across the university. Collectively they form a small fraction of your curriculum that is determined through your own personal choice and interest.

You may enrol to undertake an additional ‘Professional Practice Year’ as an integral part of this course.

This will take place in year three. You will undertake a work placement with a subject appropriate employer to further develop your skills and CV.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Launch
For your final Launch Week, you’ll spend the week getting ready for your final year of study, and re-orientating after your first summer break.

Design 05 – Pitch and Prototype
This unit challenges you to engage with exciting new technologies and to produce compelling digital and physical prototypes through the rapid acquisition and integration of new skills within your workflows. You will go on developing your individual and group working skills and start to experience the pace of work in practice as you move toward employment.

Critical Analysis 03
You’ll produce a piece of self-directed research on a subject that is related to the historical, theoretical and critical concerns of your subject discipline. The subject matter will be informed by the specific interests that you have developed on your course to date.

Briefs and Positions 03
This unit is about preparing an advanced set of briefing materials to inform and guide your development of a medium-scale design proposal for the Final Major Project. You will consider a context at the scale of an expanded spatial or material network, through creative studio-based speculation, professional site or situation analysis and culturally critical research.

Opportunity
Opportunity Week is an intensive week of activity conceived and undertaken in collaboration with external partners.

Major Project
After defining your own brief during the preceding Briefs and Positions 03 unit, with the support of your tutor, you will develop and complete an expansive project that uses all your skills in design, making, research and project development. The finished work should reflect your deep understanding of contemporary practice.

This course is designed to offer you (if eligible) the opportunity to study part of your degree aboard at a UCA partner university, while still earning credits towards your UCA degree.

For more information please visit the Study Abroad section

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course may be offered support to identify and prepare for an industry placement according to their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to help provide you with opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Explore our gradshow

Each year, we’re privileged to be able to share our graduates’ incredible work with the world. And now’s your chance to take a look.

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Fees & funding

Fees &
financial support

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

UK students:

  • Integrated Foundation Year - £9,250
  • BA course - £9,250

EU students:

  • Integrated International Foundation Year - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • BA course - £9,250 (see fee discount information)

International students:

  • Integrated International Foundation Year - £16,950
  • BA course - £17,500

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850 (UK students) and £3,390 (International students). You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only, for details of previous years please see the full fee schedules

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources.

Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

You'll find everything you need to know for your level of study on our scholarships page.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Facilities

UCA Canterbury has open plan studio spaces offer a flexible learning environment, used for tutorials and independent working. Fully equipped Mac and PC computer labs with software for design and coding. Access to a purpose built FabLAB with laser cutters, 3D printers and CNC milling and injection moulding equipment, as well as virtual reality and spatial tracking technology. Campus 3D workshop with machines for working in wood, metals, plastics and ceramics.

View 360 virtual tour

Studios, UCA Canterbury

Materials 3D workshops, UCA Canterbury

Fabrication Lab, UCA Canterbury

Materials 3D wokshop, UCA Canterbury

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