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Product & Furniture Design (BSc, BA)

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3rd in the UK and 1st in Wales for Design & Crafts (Guardian League table 2022)

If you’re reading this you’re someone who wants to make a difference to the people and world around you. The creative nature of product design marries lateral thinking with real world applications. Designers create and change the world; here at UWTSD we aim to give you the tools to do so. We’re people-centric and so is our discipline; product design starts and finishes with people, and our mission is to allow you to understand what type of designer you are and create projects around your interests.

The ethos of the course has two central themes, Thinking and Doing. As educators we hope to inspire through the considerations of all aspects, giving you the tools to analytically approach a problem and consider a multitude of solutions through your designs. Through creative skills and application we allow you to develop a vast skillset through taught and self-driven methodologies that will enable the realisation of your concepts from start to finish, all of which are highly desired within the product design industry. 

During the course we engage with our industrial contacts, ensuring that what we teach, and subsequently the skills you acquire, are contemporary and relevant within the current industrial landscape.

We do not require previous portfolio work as a necessity, we simply ask that you are a passionate creative, and have a burning desire to improve. With these in place, we can help you become a designer that makes a real world impact.

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.


Book an Open Day Book a Taster Day Request Information
Contact Name: Matthew Archer


Tuition Fees 2022/23:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

Five reasons to study here:

  1. Student Centric Learning
  2. Live Industrial Briefs
  3. Your Own Studio Space
  4. State of the Art CAD & Workshop Facilities
  5. Studying in a beautiful part of the world

What you will learn

Course Overview

Product and Furniture Design is all about fulfilling humanity’s imagination by creating a blueprint for a desired future. The BA/BSc programme philosophy and our vision is to encourage you to discover new ways of thinking and shape the relationships that consumers develop with the environment around them. It is the responsibility of you, the designer, to reflect on the past and create a sustainable way forward. This is your chance to implement change.

Through a balance of intellectual endeavour and design articulation, you will be tasked with competition and industry-led collaborative projects, where you will have the freedom to break the rules, think dynamically, be inquisitive, challenge convention in exploring the subtleties for good and meaningful design.

Both pathways are delivered together with the BA (Hons) focusing on the user experience — on human emotion — and the BSc (Hons) on designing for today through feature detailing and manufacturing. They give you the opportunity to pursue your aspirations by immersing yourself in a vibrant studio and workshop atmosphere, allowing you to experiment and have fun.

In the first year you are introduced to core design skills and knowledge, working on a range of studio and workshop projects whilst developing your understanding of professional working practices and independent study. n the second year we up the ante, expecting greater depth to your design arguments, so by the time you reach your third year, you are higher independent, professional and conversant in critical thinking and design practice.

Module Topics

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

  • Contemporary Challenges: Making a Difference (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Design & Make 1 (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Design Thinking (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Technical Design (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Ways of Perceiving (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Ways of Thinking (10 credits; compulsory).

Year Two – Level 5 (Dip HE & BA/BSc)

  • 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)
  • Design Exploration (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Design for Manufacture (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Design Realisation – CAD (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Design Simulation – Virtual (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Research in Context (10 credits; compulsory)
  • Research in Practice (10 credits; compulsory).

Year Three – Level 6 (BA/BSc)

  • Advanced Creative Enquiry (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Independent Project (40 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Individual Major Project (60 credits; compulsory).
Assessment

Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. You are formatively assessed reviews during a module, with the summative assessment taking 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 you regularly discuss your work with a member of staff during the studio sessions, likewise in Year 2. In the third year, you tend to work more independently but benefit from weekly timetabled tutorials. We pride ourselves on the fact that you can see staff on a one to one basis.

Pastoral Tutorials

These tutorials give you the opportunity to discuss your progress and engagement with the whole programme and University life and raise any issues/concerns by either party.

Group Critiques

These are held on a regular basis, across all levels, during the course of the module, and provide an excellent opportunity for you to share and exchange ideas with your peers in a structured manner in addition to valuable input from staff.

Studio Projects

This is where you evidence your creativity, innovation and professionalism in presenting a variety of types of work for assessment such as; portfolios, sketchbooks and project journals, presentation artwork/visualization boards or real and virtual 3D models. The projects are set to examine your abilities to master the integration of new design principles and skills to your design practice.

Written Assignments

These are coursework elements that usually take the form of an illustrated paper or report that you undertake in your own time supported by scheduled tutorials. It is where you are expected to demonstrate critical insight and proficiency in articulating the results of a practice or research-based assignment.

Online Assignments

These are coursework elements which are undertaken and self-directed by yourself, usually submitted as an e-portfolio.

Informal & Formal Presentations

The nature of the presentations varies according to your level: in Year 1 informal presentations are introduced in order to help you gain confidence in talking about your work to your peers and staff. It is also usually part of the assessment process at the end of each project. In Year 2 you are expected to give more formal presentations as part of each module. In Year 3 a formal presentation and Q&A session is part of the final assessment of your Major Project Outcome.

Exhibiting Work

In Years 1 & 2, the nature of exhibiting work varies in formality from corridor exhibitions to public venues. At the end of the third year of study, you have the opportunity to showcase of your work in public-facing exhibitions within the locality of Swansea, and at the prestigious national design show in London, New Designers.

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

Staff
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, please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit and exceptional work and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

After graduating, you can look forward to highly creative, exciting and diverse careers as:

  • Product Designers
  • Furniture Designers
  • Engineering Designers
  • Design Managers
  • UX Designers
  • CAD Designers

As well as learning about the product and furniture design practices, you will also pick up a variety of transferable skills that will give you a competitive advantage in whatever career path you choose to follow, such as:

  • 2D Adobe CC software (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)
  • 3D Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software skills
  • Time management
  • Planning skills
  • Research skills
  • Design Thinking skills
  • Workshop skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Interview skills

Our alumni are working for some of the world’s established leading brands and design consultancies, such as:

  • Lego
  • Hasbro
  • Panasonic
  • Seymour Powell
  • OrangeBox
  • Adidas
  • Native
  • Culture Group
  • Acumen
  • Gurit
  • Zodiac Aerospace
  • Recaro
  • Cerebra

Many of our graduates have set up their own consultancies, such as MeeCreative and Lunia 3D with great success. Other graduates have continued their educational development on postgraduate courses, training to become teachers [PGCE] or furthering their intellectual capacity studying at Master’s/Doctoral level at UWTSD and further afield.

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, art and design students will likely incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining optional study trips, and printing. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your 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.  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

Ken Pearce

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at UWTSD and would do it all over again. As a student, I have developed into a versatile, adaptable designer who cherishes product functionality, as well as form. Resulting in the university gave me the tools and confidence to start my own company.”

Adam Higgins

"Throughout my time in university, I have been able to complete many projects which have given me client experience and have developed my design skills. The continued support and feedback from tutors throughout my time at UWTSD has undoubtedly added to the success of my final major project, one of the only two Welsh entrants to be showcased in the 2020 Global Grad Show.”

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 available funding opportunities, please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Study Abroad 

Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the Europe, USA or 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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