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Automotive and Transport Design (BA)

Apply VIA UCAS - Full Time

This programme aims to equip you with comprehensive knowledge, practical skills and innovative approaches to sustainable automotive and transport design processes, developing a critical awareness of the environmental, social, legal and ethical framework within which you will work. The programme is highly successful and has produced several notable graduates who have gone on to lead their field.

The programme is delivered by an experienced team of established Automotive Designers, supported by visiting lecturers and practitioners and an experienced technical team. It includes a four-year BA programme with an optional industrial placement.

Traditional skills, including clay modelling, are taught alongside newer technologies such as computer-aided design (CAD), Virtual Reality and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).

The programme aims to educate designers, clay and digital sculptors and hard modellers in the automotive and transport design industry (including yacht and motorcycle design) who are proficient in meeting the needs of both a contemporary and future environment.

By adopting a more comprehensive approach, you will be adaptive, resourceful and productive in meeting the challenges of the future of automotive and transport design with a mindset that will consider environmental, social and sustainability aspects. 

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Pathway Options

Automotive & Transport Design (BA)
UCAS Code: AMT1 (3 years full-time) 
Apply via UCAS 

Automotive & Transport Design with Placement Year (BA)
UCAS Code: AMT4 (4 years full-time with placement)
Apply Via UCAS

Automotive & Transport Design (Cert HE)
UCAS Code: AMT6 (1 year full-time)
Apply via UCAS

Automotive & Transport Design (Dip HE)
UCAS Code: AMT5 (2 years full-time)
Apply via UCAS

The Professional Placement year gives the students the option to engage for a professional exchange or internship in a real design studio and to gain valuable experience that will support their professional and Academic development. After completion of their second Academic year the students could find themselves working on real live projects learning directly from the top Industry professionals, in the UK or abroad gaining valuable experience that will surely enhance their work when back in university to complete the final year.

Please note that the Professional Placement is subject to self-initiated application, and might incur additional costs such as travel and accommodation.

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 courses come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.

Book an Open Day Request Information

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Live industry supported projects with major manufacturers.
  2. Lecturing and technical support staff with many years of industry experience. 
  3. Your own studio space and dedicated clay and digital modelling studios with plenty of one to one support.
  4. Progress from BA to MA Transportation Design or even PhD in a very cross-disciplinary environment.
  5. City centre campus close to excellent social life and the Gower beaches.

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What you will learn

Course Overview
  • 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.

Module Topics

Year One – Level 4 (Cert HE, Dip HE & BA)

  • 3D CAD & Visualisation (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Automotive Design Techniques 1 (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Automotive Design Techniques 2 (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Contemporary Challenges: Making a Difference (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Vehicle Technology (20 credits; compulsory). 

Year Two – Level 5 (Dip HE & BA)

  • Advanced Automotive Surfacing (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Changemakers: Building your Personal Brand for Sustainable Employment (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Changemakers: Creativity and Value Creation (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Advanced Digital Visualisation (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Professional Practice 1 (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Professional Practice 2 (20 credits; compulsory).

Year Three – Level 6 (BA)

  • Independent Project (40 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module).
  • Individual Major Project (60 credits; compulsory)
  • Major Project: Design Research (20 credits; compulsory).

Independent Professional Placement

The optional placement year gives students the opportunity to engage with a professional exchange or internship in a real design studio between the second and final years of study.


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 includes amongst others;

Informal Tutorials 

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.

Formal Tutorials

These are held twice a term with at least 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.

Group critiques

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 halfway 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

Exhibiting work

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.

Graduate Attributes Framework

This Framework aims to develop your professional skills and competence alongside your academic subject knowledge. You’ll study up to 40 credits per level throughout your programme from the Graduate Attributes Framework.

The Graduate Attribute modules are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focused skills related to your subject area. These skills include digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal competencies as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving. 

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

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 artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from our courses have found employment with some of the world’s most established names in manufacturing and design consultancy such as:

  • PUMA
  • SAIC
  • TATA
Additional Costs

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.


There will be an additional fee of £1800 for students who choose to study the programme with the optional year in industry placement.

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Student Quotes

Emily Sharwood-Smith

“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 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”.

Alistair Barkley

“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”.

William Pickance

“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”.

Tom Ingell

“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”.

Lloyd Morgan

“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! "

Sean Deacon

“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”.

Bursary / Scholarship Information

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.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Study Abroad

Students can also take up the opportunity to study a year in Europe, USA or Canada.


In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including:

Map View

Further Information

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions related to the University or to this course in particular.