Product Design at UCA

MA Product Design at UCA Canterbury will challenge you to think beyond product design - to consider our relationship with the products we design, their impact on our environment, and processes by which they are manufactured.

This course is ideal for designers with a hands-on, making background. You’ll be encouraged to think beyond a product itself, asked to consider how the way a product is designed can influence an emotion or impact a particular space, and break away from convention as you tie in the traditional with the cutting edge with your work.

UCA Canterbury has a rich history and industry-wide reputation and on this course, you’ll learn from a team of talented academics as well as visiting lecturers and partners with a wealth of industry experience.

You’ll undertake individual research projects using an integrated product design process, and develop design solutions that fit with an overarching theme, working closely with students from MA Interior Design to consider the spatial implications for product design.

Graduates from our MA Product Design course have gone on to work in architectural firms, independent design studios, create their own businesses and roles in design management. Demand is high for graduates with technical skills in the product design industry, particularly those who have access to industry quality equipment and the know-how and passion to succeed. We aim to create product designers with a breadth of knowledge, the very latest industry experience and the passion and the drive to succeed in a fast-paced industry.


Course entry options

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

UCA Canterbury
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
1 year full-time
Entry requirements

Honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in the subject/related discipline
Relevant work experience 

UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025, January 2025
2 years full-time
Entry requirements

A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject

Start date(s)
Entry requirements
Start date(s)
Entry requirements
Start date(s)
Entry requirements
Start date(s)
Entry requirements
What you'll study

What you'll

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

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year, which is based at UCA Farnham.

On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

This intensive week of study is to help you get ready for starting your course, and getting to know your course staff, peer group and the school community in greater depth. Activities include a multi-story guest lecture super session, an all staff pecha kucher, Canterbury and surroundings walking orientation tours and a studio launch collaborative making project.

Experimentation and Innovation
A space for orientation, adventure, and exploration of your subject and practice, this unit provides opportunities to develop and discover new perspectives on design, analytical techniques and production methods. In so doing it will situate your current and future practice, expanding your critical framework for the units ahead.

Research and Professional Contexts 1
Designed to help you develop advanced skills in research, conceptual understanding, appropriate analysis techniques and application of knowledge, this unit will help position you within the contextual foundations which support the past and future of your discipline.

Opportunity Week is an intensive week of activity conceived and undertaken in collaboration with an external partner(s). Typically, this will sit outside the your subject areas, and could cover topics including politics, economics, business, culture or philosophy.

Studio Practice
Studio Practice’ extends your research and development from term one and acts as a design accelerator unit. In the early stages, in collaboration with your specialist tutor, you will formulate a research and project proposal to be carried out through the remainder of your studies. This unit is an intensive, fast paced, and productive “engine” of your course, the outcome of which will be a comprehensive and sophisticated project that demonstrates a developing mastery of your practice.

Research and Professional Contexts 2
Research and Professional Contexts 2 further extends and focuses your research, critical analysis, and communication skills through two components.

The first is a contextual practice presentation, in support of the development of your individual project. This should demonstrate your ability to situate your research, experimentation, and knowledge in a wider field, and express your comprehension of the impact of your work on that field.

The second can be either a:

  • Collaborative Practice Project – An opportunity to work with others on a collectively defined project.
  • Creative Business Start-Up – An exploration of professional business practice specific to design disciplines. This component is delivered by the Business School for the Creative Industries and the Careers Department.

Final Realisation
The culmination of your Masters course, this unit gathers all of your prior research, experimentation, concept development, and contextual analysis into a focused synoptic outcome. The project is a natural continuation and resolution of the work you began and the goals that you set yourself in Studio Practice and includes the dissemination of your work to external audiences.

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.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry: £10,500

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry (MA): £18,000
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - Sept & Jan): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - May): £8,750

Please note: the fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. For more detailed information about our course fees please see our fees and finance pages

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of financial support information available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Current UCA students and alumni may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

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 scholarships and fee discounts.

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.

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.

Visit the online showcase


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

Fabrication Lab, UCA Canterbury

Materials 3D workshop, UCA Canterbury

Studios, UCA Canterbury

Materials 3D workshops, UCA Canterbury

Career opportunities

Our range of industry contacts include:

  • Industrial Design Consultancy
  • TheAlloy (product and interaction consultants)
  • IDEO (design consultants)
  • Philips
  • Kenwood/De'Longhi
  • Priestman-Goode

And recent guest lecturers include:

  • John Gertsakis, product ecology
  • Philip Davies
  • Stuart Heron, Design Director

Our course will equip you with a host of valuable and transferable skills. Graduate opportunities exist within:

  • Product design practice
  • Independent design studios
  • Specialist design consultancies
  • Design teams in manufacturing industry
  • Design management
  • Environmental management
  • Service design sectors.

You may want to undertake further study or research to specialise even further.

Christina Fountoulaki

"I had a great year completing my MA, the facilities were fantastic and I was able to gain a lot of knowledge thanks to the expert staff. I also found the workshops to be very useful – it was amazing to see my products come to life."

Christina Fountoulaki

Entry & portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. You can either submit a digital portfolio or request an in-person portfolio review with the course team. Further information will be provided once you have applied. View portfolio advice

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