Industrial Design

BSc (Hons) - UCA Canterbury - 2019, 2020

On our BSc (Hons) Industrial Design course at UCA Canterbury, you’ll explore the small or large scale manufacture of everyday objects we interact with. You'll experiment with materials and design, creating your own prototypes. 

This highly technical course will teach you the manufacturing process from beginning to end, with emphasis on design. You’ll challenge the definition of modern industrial design, innovating and developing towards a new model for the future. 

You'll combine creative flair and vision with sound practical knowledge and experience of the industry.

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement between Years 2 and 3 to gain invaluable industry insight into the relationship between design research, development and production.

Building transferable skills throughout your studies, you’ll learn to make and create prototypes, present concepts to investors and develop a scientific understanding of materials and their interaction.

Industrial Design graduates will be able to enter a variety of industries with a production element – automotive, furniture, toys, electronic devices, printmaking, 3D printing and more.

As a student on this course you’ll have access to our extensive workshop facilities to develop and prototype your ideas.

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Canterbury

Start month:


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Entry year(s):

2019, 2020

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCA Open Day Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Saturday 2 November, 2019

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Course details

  • Year 1

    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 2

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

    You’ll build an understanding of business management within industrial design, mirroring running a small business or working freelance.

    You’ll learn practical skills in 3D printing, laser cutting and model making. You may undertake a year-long industrial work placement between Years 2 and 3 to gain industry insight into design research, development and production.

    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 Year (Optional)

    Students in the School of Crafts and Design have the unique opportunity within UCA to add an additional year of study at an overseas institution (either at a higher education establishment or workplace).

    This optional year is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity, enabling you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives. 

    Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience. Living in another country, you'll experience new places, people, cultures and possibilities. You'll develop initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where you go, a working knowledge of another language – all qualities employers are looking for. You will return to complete your degree with all the benefits of the International Year experience behind you.

    To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Year 3

    You’ll undertake a dissertation, providing the foundations for your final major project.

    You’ll create and present ideas, fine-tuning your portfolio into your desired industry to enter your chosen career.

    Pitching and Protyping
    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 2019 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
    • International students - £14,880 (full early payment fee)

    The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2019 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.


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 equipment as well as virtual reality and spatial tracking technology. Campus 3D workshop with machines for working in wood, metals, plastics and ceramics.

Programme Director

UK/EU applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

International applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting January 2020:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2019:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or

When to apply:

We are still accepting applications for 2019 entry - get your application in now.
If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

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
  • 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 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 UCA International College

Learn more about the UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. At the Applicant Day you will have a chance to meet the course team and other applicants, and take a tour of all our facilities. Students from diverse educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 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 a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

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