Shahid Abbas, MA Product Design, UCA Farnham

MA Product Design

Product Design MA

Course overview

MA Product Design at UCA Farnham will challenge you to think beyond product design - to question its place and importance in the world.

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 Farnham has a rich history and industry-wide reputation for its design courses 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, and for added inspiration you’ll have the opportunity to go on a study visit abroad alongside undergraduate design students and alumni, maintaining the sense of community among students.

UCA is extremely proud to encourage and develop more sustainable design, and our Farnham campus is home to The Centre for Sustainable Design - a research centre that facilitates discussion and research on eco-design, and broader sustainability considerations in product and service development.

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.

Length of study 1 year full-time
Campus Farnham
Entry requirements Honours degree and/or relevant work experience
Course entry options Sept 2021, Sept 2022
Course details

Course details

You'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first term includes a range of lectures and seminars and you’ll start to explore your creative practice.

Theory and Analysis
You’ll challenge and confirm your practice through critical reading, observation and handling. You’ll think deeply about products and craft artefacts and investigate contexts associated with your own work.

Exploratory Practice
You’ll explore creative product design practice based around a theme of transportation and journey – physical and emotional – and this will help inform the development of your own project proposal for stages two and three of your course. There will be a structured framework to allow you to investigate the potential of methods, ideas and themes in your discipline.



During term two you begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal over a sustained period of self-directed study.

Reflective Practice
Using the knowledge you’ve gained through the first term, you’ll reflect upon your own practice and consider the practice of others to develop your own sense of critical awareness and creative independence. You’ll build on the research questions you explored in Exploratory Practice, and establish a clear line of enquiry through selected materials, concepts and a clearly articulated context. You'll also have the opportunity to complete a period of professional practice during this unit.



In the third term of the course, you'll apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work.

Major Project
The final phase of your MA study requires the production of a portfolio, including finished interaction models and high-quality product prototypes – the realisation of the concepts and explorations you will have made already through the course. In addition to considering the aesthetics and form of design studies, the final product design should represent the quality and purpose of your design process, combining academic and practical skills.


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

  • UK students full-time - £10,400
  • UK students part-time - £5,200

  • EU students full-time - £10,400 (see fee discount information)

  • International students full-time - £17,500 (standard fee)
  • International students full-time - £16,800 (full early payment fee)

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.

To support our students and alumni to progress to the next level of study, we have developed a new range of fee discounts across a range of courses.

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.


Our product design facilities include well-equipped workshops, providing both hand and mechanical processes for model and product making, a digital suite with 3D printers, laser cutters and rapid prototyping, a resin room with ventilation, work benches and safety equipment, and open spaces for personal studio work, group sessions and discussion.


Product Design Digital suite, UCA Farnham


Materials workshop, UCA Farnham


Resin room, UCA Farnham


Product Design Digital suite, UCA Farnham

Course connections

Course connections

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 also wish to progress onto a PhD or MPhil research degree.

Explore our Gradshow

Visit our 2021 grad show site to see the incredible work created by our graduating students

Visit the 2021 Gradshow
Christina Fountoulaki
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."

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • An honours degree or equivalent qualification in the subject or a related discipline


  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

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. 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

Apply now

UK applications

International & EU applications

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 International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892838 or

When to apply:

You can apply throughout the year but we recommend you try and apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas, if required.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

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