Our Automotive & Transport Design courses will give you the opportunity to develop the technical and intellectual abilities and knowledge to undertake the design and development of new vehicles (cars and motorcycles, boats, trucks, public transport & transport systems.) based on a clear understanding of proportion, volume and surface design principles.
Pathway Options and How to Apply
Automotive Design (BA)
UCAS Code: W240
Apply via UCAS
Automotive Design gives students the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and abilities to undertake the design and development of new production cars and motorcycles, based upon a clear understanding of proportion, volume and surface design principles.
Transport Design (BA)
UCAS Code: 9R37
Apply via UCAS
Transport Design explores transportation in all forms from a concept design approach, including boats, caravans, concept cars and motorcycles, agricultural vehicle, trucks, motorised 2/3 wheelers, transport systems, ‘blue skies’ concept vehicles to film set vehicles and so on.
Automotive Design (MDes)
UCAS Code: 7F3T
Apply via UCAS
Transport Design (MDes)
UCAS Code: 04G6
Apply via UCAS
(The MDes gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth-year modules focus on the application and transfer of design thinking to real-world engagement with an in-depth project linked with an Industrial Partner).
How to apply
All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David
All our course come under the institution code T80
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University of Wales Trinity Saint David
5 reasons to study this course
- Live industry supported projects with major manufacturers.
- Lecturing and technical support staff with many years of industry experience.
- Your own studio space and dedicated clay and digital modelling studios with plenty of one to one support.
- Progress from BA to MA Transportation Design or even PhD in a very cross-disciplinary environment.
- City centre campus close to excellent social life and the Gower beaches.
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What you will learn
- Small student classes
- The Academic team consists of highly experienced Designers
- Live Design Projects
- State of the art facilities
- Industry contacts
- Chance to progress into a Master Degree Program
- Set by the sea in an area of outstanding natural beauty
Our Courses have been designed to facilitate the development of a designer through the replication of a professional environment, encouraging graduates to approach the design challenge in the same way as a professional automotive designer.
Our graduates will be able to generate ideas around engineering packages, set new trends in terms of design language and learn about proportions. Link a particular design to a brand, imagine the mobility of the future in the most efficient, sustainable and attractive way, design forms of transport with an ‘inside out’ approach and most importantly translate a drawing into reality.
Year 1 / Level 4 Modules
Design Methods 1
Design Methods 2
3D CAD Visualisation
Creative Design Development
Materials & Manufacturing
First year modules are designed to encourage the development of core design skills, knowledge and experience required by industry:
Design thinking – creative and analytical methods;
Design sketching, rendering, prototyping and communication skills;
Familiarity with a range of industry-standard digital design tools; and,
Knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes
Year 2 / Level 5 Modules
Group Design Practice
Advanced Digital Visualisation
Advanced Automotive Surfacing (Advanced 3D CAD for Transport Design)
Second year modules on the BA Automotive Design course are specifically designed to develop skills and experience in:
Sustainable design strategies and tools;
Visual and 3D development;
Market research and brand ‘DNA’ analysis;
User-centred design research methods;
Advanced computer-aided 3D surface modelling and visualisation; and,
Team working and professional practice.
Year 3 /Level 6 Modules
Major Project: Design Realisation & Communication (60 credits)
Major Project: Design Research & Manifesto
Minor Project: Professional Promotion
Year 4 / Level 7 Modules
The Design Experiment
Creative Enterprise & Practice
Research Methods & Communication
The fourth-year modules focus on the application and transfer of design thinking to real world engagement with an in depth project linked with an Industrial Partner.
The final year modules are designed to allow students to formulate their own individual career direction and aspirations as BA(Hons) Automotive Design graduates. Students select and manage their own Major and External projects with the support of the staff team so that they can demonstrate their core skills and experience and develop:
- Advanced knowledge of contemporary design research, thinking and practice in a specific industry sector;
- A personal design philosophy to underpin their current and future practice; and,
- Advanced awareness of the value of their intellectual and creative ability and a well-defined strategy for personal brand and career development
Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which include amongst others;
These tutorials are held on a regular basis, across all levels. In Year 1 each student sees and discusses his / her work with a member of staff at each studio session, likewise in Year 2. Third and fourth year students tend to work more independently and sign up for tutorial when she/he feels the need arises. However, as a team we ensure that every student in Year 3 is seen by at least one member of the academic staff each week. We pride ourselves on the fact that there is the opportunity to see staff as regularly as you may require.
These are held twice a term at the student’s desk with two members of staff. The work is discussed, practical and conceptual development, future intentions of the student etc. It is an opportunity for any issues/concerns by either party, to be raised. A written account of the tutorial is duplicated, one copy kept by the student the other stored in his / her records file.
These are held on a regular basis, across all levels, with one member of staff. They provide an excellent opportunity for students to share and exchange ideas with their peers in a structured manner in addition to valuable input from staff.
Informal & Formal presentations
The nature of the presentations varies according to the level: in Year 1 informal presentations are introduced half way through the first semester in order to help students gain confidence in talking about their work to their peers and staff it is also usually part of the assessment at the end of each project. 2nd year students are expected to give a Formal Presentation as part of their Professional Practice & Group Design Module and at the end of the year as part of their Major project. In Year 3 a Formal Presentation is part of the final assessment at the Degree Show
Again the nature of this varies within the context of the projects, the work to be assessed and the stage of the programme – it can range in formality from a public venue to the individual student’s desk space.
Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links
Student and Swansea Life
We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.
Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:
- Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
- Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
- BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
- International Baccalaureate score of 32
- Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis
Qualifications are important, however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email email@example.com as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.
Graduates from our courses have found employment with some of the world’s most established names in manufacturing and design consultancy such as:
- ASTON MARTIN
- DAIMLER TRUCK USA
- ENVISAGE GROUP
- FUTURA DESIGN
- GORDON MURRAY DESIGN
- LAND ROVER
- MCLAREN AUTOMOTIVE
- PRIESTMAN GOODE
- RDM GROUP
- ROLLS ROYCE
Career opportunities available are:
- Clay Sculptors
- Designers (exteriors and interiors)
- Digital Sculptors
- Graphic Designers
- Hard modellers
- Product Designers
Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.
However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.
Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course. We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.
A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first. Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase.
“From a young age I always had a keen interest in cars amongst other modes of transport. Combing this passion with my love of design enables me to essentially work on my hobbies every day. My favourite thing about the course is the small class sizes and regular one to ones with lectures, this means it is easy to I know if I’m on the right track with regards to my work. Additionally, the lecturers really know me as a person, rather than just seeing me as another student”.
“I was drawn to the Automotive Design course in Swansea due to the uniqueness of the setup. The atmosphere was very friendly and the staff and students are all very welcoming, making it an easy decision to study here. Having small numbers on the course makes it more competitive to get on to, therefore, I knew that I had to strive to produce the best portfolio I could to enable me to obtain a place. The feedback is always extensive, another positive is having our own dedicated workspaces – with no desk sharing”.
Evangelos James Manolikas
“I have always been infatuated with cars and it was my dream to study car design at University in the UK. The Automotive Design Course at UWTSD is amazing and everything I hoped it would be”.
“I have always wanted to study this course. When looking at Universities, UWTSD seemed to be very passionate about this subject and meeting the lecturers made the choice very easy. This course allows me to do cars as well as transport which is important as I want to specialise in boats”.
“I cannot remember a time when I have not drawn cars, so automotive design feels like a course made for me. I like the satisfaction of seeing your work translated into an art form, that's what makes the course unique from others. I enjoy the tasks set, and the challenge of sketching every day”.
“As soon as I found out that there was an automotive design course out there, I've had my heart set on it. I adore the amount of space and technology that is offered throughout the campus and course. The facilities are perfect for anything, from Photoshop rendering to model making, I'm excited to see where these next few years will take me! "
“I've always had a strong passion for and interest in cars and, after viewing the universities that offered this course in the UK, I chose this one because of the balance of the quality of the facilities and smaller class sizes meaning better opportunities for 1-2-1 tutoring. I've particularly enjoyed the involvement in our course from the wider industry”.
You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.
During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.