Industrial Design BSc (Hons)

with or without Professional Practice Year

UCA Canterbury - Sept 2021

Length of study:

Three years full-time

Or, Four years full-time with Professional Practice Year


UCA Canterbury

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Course entry options:

September 2021

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UCAS institution code:


UCAS code:


UCAS code for course with Professional Practice:


Course overview

Our highly technical Industrial Design course at UCA Canterbury will give you the skills to design and produce innovative and exciting products.

With access to our extensive workshop facilities – from 3D digital design software, laser cutting, CNC technology and virtual reality and spatial tracking technology – you’ll have plenty of exciting opportunities to design and create prototypes of your work.

You’ll explore the manufacturing process from beginning to end, with an emphasis on design, and even challenge the definition of modern industrial design. The transferable skills that you’ll gain on this course will include making prototypes, presenting concepts to investors and developing a scientific understanding of materials and their interaction.

You’ll graduate with a wealth of knowledge and experience, ready to enter a variety of industries that have a production element – working on anything from cars to furniture, toys or electronic devices, or in printmaking, 3D printing and more.

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Course details

  • Year one

    In the first year, you'll learn idea pitching and presentation, generating ideas and enhancing visual skills.

    You’ll undertake contextual studies, exploring companies such as LEGO and the challenges of mass-production, and build and make your first prototypes.

    Creative Thinking
    You'll be introduced to a range of core skills in concept development, and representation, through sketching, model making, diagramming, and time-based media by engaging with a series of design projects aimed at provoking a response to a design ‘problem’. You'll be encouraged to use digital tools to record and reflect upon the design process.

    Context & History
    You'll be introduced to historical and current contexts relating to industrial design, making and crafting culture. You'll learn how to use research to drive practice and will produce structured narratives in a range of media, exploring the ways in which design has impacted culture and vice versa. This unit is delivered through a series of lectures and research seminars. The unit runs alongside the Industrial Design 01 unit so that the two combine to provide a broad introduction to both the practical design development process and the historical context of design practice.

    You'll work through analogue and digital tooling processes to explore the iterative steps of making across a range of scales and materials. You'll become familiar with specific qualities of materials and how they might be formed, crafted or otherwise manipulated through the development of bespoke tools. You'll also make use of software to develop tool design ideas.

    Industrial Design 01
    You'll explore the fundamental processes of industrial design practice through product analysis, deconstruction, documentation and augmentation. You'll develop a range of skills to aid you in this analysis process, such as sketching and drawing, assembly / disassembly, accurate measurement in 3D space, material analysis and documentation of both the physical product and its intended market.

    Embedded Systems
    In Embedded Systems you build on your understanding of material systems but expand it into the realm of fabrication and adaptation. You learn about “adaptive re-use” for electromechanical systems and are encouraged to locate and acquire low voltage devices, toys or other systems which exhibit interesting or useful properties such as the conversion of rotational force to linear actuation, or systems with sensors or triggers. These systems are usually very well designed and can provide an excellent learning experience for understanding mechanical or electrical systems through reverse engineering. You'll develop new functions for these devices by utilising rapid fabrication to manufacture bespoke components.

  • Year two

    In the second year, you'll share a unit with the BSc (Hons) Creative Computing course, alongside encouraged collaboration with the School of Architecture.

    Industrial Design 02
    This unit follows on from Industrial Design 01 and further enhances your skill set in design development and conceptualisation. Your core skills of sketching, model making, and visualisation will be further refined through a series of design projects. You'll also develop rigorous research practices, carefully examining the relationships between product, brand, user experience and form, and respond to this research through your design proposals.

    Context & Theory
    This unit follows on from Context and History. You'll further develop your skills in academic research and producing a structured narrative. Working in a research team, you will build an understanding of human centred design and design thinking, and their implications for industrial design. You'll reflect upon and analyse the philosophical and practical underpinnings of these development methodologies.

    CoLAB 01 (Diverse Practice)
    In CoLAB 01 (Diverse Practice) you will develop your creative practice and your business skills, as you learn about business management, project planning, pitching, tendering and fees.

    This unit immerses you in the world of fabrication and making. You'll gain further software skills in 3D digital design software for rapid prototyping, as well as hardware and health and safety knowledge on the use of laser cutting, 3D printing and Computer Numeric Control (CNC) technology. The unit builds on the knowledge you gained in the Embedded Systems unit. You'll learn to integrate analogue and digital fabrication technologies, to realise large scale materially appropriate, spatial interventions.

    Study Abroad (optional)
    This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution. 

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Professional Practice Year (if undertaken)

    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

  • Year three

    Pitching and Prototyping
    This unit challenges you to engage with exciting new technologies and to produce compelling digital and physical prototypes. This process expands on your experience in Industrial Design 02. You'll go on developing your individual and group working skills and start to experience the pace of work in practice as you move toward employment.

    Research Thesis
    You'll carry out self-directed research on a subject that is related to the historical, theoretical, and critical concerns of industrial design. For your assessment, you will complete a comprehensive research output in a medium agreed with your supervisor, which might combine written or visual means of dissemination.

    CoLAB 02 (Entrepreneurial Practice)
    In CoLAB 02 (Entrepreneurial Practice) you'll build a professional, cohesive profile of yourself, your skills, and your specialisms. You'll learn interview skills and further develop the business management and entrepreneurial skills you gained in CoLAB 01 (Diverse Practice), in areas such as tax, liability and networking.

    Major Project
    After writing your own brief, with the support of your tutor, you'll 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.

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:

    • UK students - £9,250 
    • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
    • International students - £16,950 (standard fee)
    • International students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)

    If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry. 

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Professional Practice Year

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course.

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course. You’ll spend two years learning in our studios and workshops at UCA Farnham, before putting what you’ve learned into practice and extending it through a year-long work placement.

The university will help facilitate your placement, making use of our extensive industry connections to help you find a paid role with a suitable employer. You will receive supervision in line with a pre-agreed schedule. On conclusion of the placement, you’ll return to complete your final year of study – applying your professional practice knowledge to help inform your graduation project work.


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.

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Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

International and EU entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course, you’ll be required to submit an online portfolio via your UCA Applicant Portal. We welcome students with a broad range of A-level subjects, as well as students with appropriate Art & Design Foundations or BTEC/UALAB diplomas which allow you to demonstrate your ability to research, evaluate and produce creative solutions. Further information on how to compile and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

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