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Product & Furniture Design (BSc, BA)

Our Product & Furniture Design degree courses at Swansea College of Art UWTSD offer the best training and facilities to prepare graduates for creative jobs in product, furniture, industrial and engineering design.

Product designers by nature are visionaries, they define the world around us, giving it form and material quality. Our vision is to produce design professionals able to respond creatively to the changing needs of people in a commercially and environmentally sustainable manner.

View the Swansea College of Art Summer Degree Show 2020

PATHWAY OPTIONS AND HOW TO APPLY

Pathway Options and How to Apply

Pathway Options

Product & Furniture Design (BA)
UCAS Code: PFD1
Apply via UCAS

Product & Furniture Design (BSc)
UCAS Code: PFU1
Apply via UCAS

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

Visit the University's apply section to find out more


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Tuition Fees 2020/21:
£9,000 (Home/EU)
£11,850 (Overseas)

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Live collaborative projects with industry.
  2. Your own studio space in the Alex Design Exchange, an extension to the original 1853 College of Art.
  3. Friendly expert staff that mentor and guide you through your whole degree - and beyond!
  4. State of the art CAD and prototyping facilities.
  5. City centre campus with world-class beaches!

Take a look at our ratings and rankings page.

What you will learn

Course Overview

Product & Furniture Design is all about fulfilling humanity’s imagination by creating a blueprint for the desired future. The BA|BSc|MDes programmes philosophy and our vision is to encourage you to explore your design thinking and shape the future relationships we have with the products and Furniture we create.

It is the responsibility of the designer [you] to realise and direct human emotions and needs enabling society to evolve and function. It is this challenge, through a balance of intellectual endeavour, technology and design articulation, that these programmes address, enabling you, the student, to be inquisitive, conceptualise and explore the subtleties for good, meaningful design.

Where they differ is in their approach to new design development with the BA (Hons) focusing on product & furniture interactions and engagement from a utilitarian and emotional perspective, whereas the BSc (Hons) focuses on product & furniture design detailing, new technologies, material choice and manufacturing criteria. The MDes (Hons) pathway gives students the opportunity to extend their learning experience and pursue self-oriented and ambitious goals through innovative and exciting teaching and learning. 

When you choose to study Product & Furniture Design at Swansea College of Art in The Alex Design Exchange, you will encounter an environment that is dynamic, fun and challenging, where you can immerse yourself in innovative design experimentation, conceptualisation and practices.

You will be tasked with competition and industry-led collaborative projects; you will take ownership of your personal space in the studio, where you can sketch, create and have fun.

We are proud to be able to run concentrated, small teaching groups and regular ‘one-to-one’ tutorials. Throughout your studies, you will continually learn and grow the skills and knowledge, be invited to contribute to extra-curricular design projects with staff and to develop your ‘design thinking’ and individual professional growth as a product & furniture designer.

Module Topics

Example modules include:

Product Design 

Level 4 Modules [Year 1]
Ways of Thinking; Drawing for 3D; Making for 3D; Professional Practice 1: Digital Skills; Ways of Perceiving; Design Thinking; Technical Design; Professional Practice 2: Online identities.

Level 5 Modules [Year 2]
Design Exploration; Design Realisation – CAD; Professional Practice; Research in Context; Design for Human Experience; Design for Manufacture; Design for Simulation – Virtual; Research in Practice; International Independent Study (optional).

Level 6 Modules [Year 3]
Advanced Creative Enquiry; Advanced Creative Enquiry; Independent Enquiry; Professional Promotion; Individual Major Project.

Assessment

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 and Formal 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.

Pastoral Tutorials

These are held each semester where your progress and engagement with the programme is discussed. 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 Module and in Year 3 a Formal Presentation is part of the final assessment at the Degree Show and Professional Promotion module.

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.

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 of Product Design courses have found employment with some of the world’s established leading names in manufacturing and design consultancy, such as: 

  • Panasonic
  • Seymour Powell
  • Lego
  • Native
  • Hasbro
  • Acumen
  • Gurit
  • Zodiac Aerospace
  • Ecophon
  • Arkam
  • The Culture Group
  • Recaro

Some of our graduates have decided to establish a new generation of consultancies, such as FKCreate, Make&See and MeeCreative, or to develop specialised design centres for charities, such as Cerebra, with the support of the University. Alternatively, graduates have continued their educational development on postgraduate courses studying at PGCE [for teaching], Master’s or Doctoral level at UWTSD and further afield, including specialist postgraduate schools such as the RCA and Domus Academy.

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. 

Depending on distance and duration, optional study visits can vary in cost from approximately £10 to visit local galleries and exhibitions to £200+ for overseas visits – these costs cover things like transport, entry to venues and accommodation and are normally at reduced rates for our students.

Student Quotes

James Lewis 

“The final year was fantastic, the breadth of freedom allowed me to totally explore my design thinking and creativity.”


Gareth Lloyd

“I would encourage anyone who is interested in product innovation to study at Swansea, as I feel the course pushed me personally to define and achieve the goals I have set out for myself as a designer.”


 Matt Bellis

 “The best thing about the course was the staff, they were extremely helpful and flexible, even if at times I didn’t agree with their feedback!”


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

Erasmus 
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.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

Accommodation

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:

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