Student work from BA (Hons) Product Design, UCA Farnham

Industrial Design BSc (Hons)

Industrial Design BSc (Hons)


Course overview

Get technical as you design and create the next generation of products that will improve and enhance our lives on our cutting edge BSc (Hons) Industrial Design degree course at UCA Canterbury.

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

You’ll explore the manufacturing process from beginning to end, and even challenge the definition of modern industrial design. The transferable skills that you’ll gain on this course will include developing 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 or beyond.

Our standard three year undergraduate degree for those who meet the entry requirements for higher education.

A four year degree programme, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree.

A four year course, specifically designed to provide international students with the English language and creative skills before they embark on year one of a degree.

A four year programme, which sees you spend an entire year gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

A five year course, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

A five year course, including an international foundation year concentrating on English language and core creative skills before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

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Course details

Course Details

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.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year, based at UCA Farnham to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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:

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.

The course fees for 2022 entry will be available here shortly.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry. The details for 2022 entry will be available here in due course.

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.

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.


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.


Course studios, UCA Canterbury


FabLAB, UCA Canterbury


Campus 3D workshop, UCA Canterbury


Virtual Reality lab, UCA Canterbury

Entry requirements

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.

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

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

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.

More portfolio advice

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Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:
  • UCAS Institution


  • UCAS Code


  • UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice


  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year


  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year


  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year


  • UCAS Code for course with International Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year


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