Product Design Degree
Level 4 Student Work
CREATE NEW PRODUCT DESIGN SOLUTIONS FOR A CHANGING WORLD
Do you think in 3D? Do you have creative 3D design ideas? With IDI you can now study for a Product Design university degree by distance learning, gaining an accredited product design qualification valued by employers and universities worldwide.
If your ambition is to become an innovative 3D designer, this could be the course you're looking for. For further details contact one of our product design course experts.
Product Design or 3D Design (three dimensional design) has come to play an increasingly important role in the creative industries. It’s widely understood by companies who manufacture and market products of any description, that good product design gives their business a competitive edge.
As a result, 3D design courses are growing in popularity, and employers are looking for recognised product design qualifications. Graduates who hold a product design degree are highly sought after in the employment market, so having a BA (Hons) Product Design degree from a UK university can be the starting point for a rewarding – and profitable – career.
IDI’s BA (Hons) Product Design qualification is awarded by the University of Hertfordshire and is one of the top 3D design courses. It differs from other courses in that it offers a real focus on user needs, product design trends, innovations and predictions. The overall aim of the product design degree is to prepare students to meet the expectations of the professional product design industry.
IDI is the UK’s leading provider of online product design courses. We bring it all to you – a product design course delivered through a world beating study environment, fantastic learning materials, and unlimited support from expert tutors. Also tuition fee loans are available for students in England.
Unlike other 3D design online courses, with IDI you can study product design from home and combine your studies with work or family commitments; this is a lifestyle choice as well as an investment in your future.
We have three start dates a year so apply now and we’ll take you through the next simple steps.
We offer discounts and flexible payment options. You can save £400 on your course fees if you pay for one level in full by 31st May 2013. If you are resident in England you may also be eligible for a tuition fee loan. Contact us for more information.
This programme specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the course and the intended learning outcomes that you might be expected to achieve.
Module Descriptions Level 4 (Year 1 of Degree) click here
Critical and Cultural Studies L4
This module deals with the history and context of design. Students are introduced to some of the main themes running through design and are asked to explore a chosen theme in detail.
3D Design Projects
This module will bring together all of the key skills that you have begun to develop in research, design and problem solving by tackling a set brief involving context research, needs analysis, design development and practical skills.
This module will enable you to further your general knowledge of the different aspects of 3D design and extend your range of approaches to design development, experimentation and problem solving.
Your brief asks you to produce a design or an object that is capable of enhancing the ‘human experience’ of the person using it, in particular for your defined ‘nomad’. How you wish to define ‘nomad’ is up to you. This aims to enable you to gain a greater understanding of the needs of the user, construction of objects and environments and to further explore the creative potential of visual languages, materials and techniques.
3D Design Practices
This module will introduce you to the process of responding to a brief and encourage you to distinguish between emotive and rational design decisions. It will also develop exploration and use of materials whilst
enabling you to gain an understanding, at an introductory level, of user and audience within your design practice.
Your summative assessment will involve the design and creation of a vessel. This vessel will be designed hold an object which has significant value to you or which ‘expresses your personal philosophy’. However, you will not be producing the vessel you have designed. Your design will be constructed by one of your fellow students and you will be making theirs. This process will introduce you to build a coherent argument to justify your personal ideas as well as prototyping and testing some of the skills integral to practicing product design in addition to enhancing your collaboration skills.
3D Creative Processes
3D Creative Processes will enable you to apply basic tools of research, sourcing and analysis.
The module will be centered around your brief which requires you to create a sculptural object which reflects the different visual and textural qualities of man-made and natural materials. You will not be limited in which materials you can use, however you must be able to justify your choice and chose a material that is available for your use.
On completion of this module you will be able to express yourself creatively in three-dimensional language, identify the cultures of particular user-groups and the implication in designed products.
Product Design Skills
This module aims to introduce you to the core skills of product design. You will begin with an introductory section which is designed to enable you to operate equipment safely and with competence within a typical 3D working environment. The completion of a tutor lead small table project aims to help you establish safe working practices and gain an understanding of the tools available to you on a digital and practical level.
In the second part of the module you will be asked to build on these skills and respond to a simple design brief: The design and construction of a simple utilitarian object based on the notion of a milking stool. As the brief is deliberately restrictive, it will allow you to explore the use of CAD and modelling packages within the realms of product design and use your own creative skills to put a spin on a normally simple piece of utilitarian design.
Module Descriptions Level 5 (Year 2 of Degree) click here
Critical and Cultural Studies L5
In this module theories of visual communication are introduced or refreshed so that students may use these to evaluate their practical work. Moreover, a written piece allows students to demonstrate their specific areas of interest and show their ability to research and theorise on a chosen subject.
Employability and Professional Development
Through this module you will gain an understanding of your developing practice in relation to the dynamics of industry, including processes of 'life cycle' of design. Professional Development is an integral part of any success you will have in securing employment as a Product Designer. Therefore this module will enable you to acquire the self-promotional and marketing skills necessary to establish contacts and work experience through live work and case study research.
You will be encouraged to develop knowledge of business and industry structures and roles in order to give a sense of the potential options for career progression or to enhance your own practice. This module will allow you to develop an awareness of contemporary industry practice and critically evaluate a range of significant current issues and debates affecting the broader industrial design sector.
You will also be encouraged to develop a range of professional skills appropriate to industry including collaborative working, presentation and time and project management.
You will undertake pertinent self reflective research led projects to ascertain a sense of your own identity as creative practitioners and your place within the market.
This study will enable you to realise the creation of your own design style, lead to the production of an initial design 'collection' and to identify the direction of your practice in preparation for Level 6.
The provision of 'learning contract' based study in this module will introduce the disciplines of personal responsibility, initiative and negotiation skills within your studies.
You will demonstrate your understanding of research methods and design practices and be expected to evaluate your work in the context of professional design practice and some of the broader issues currently affecting design.
Product Reality and Commercial Viability
This module enables you to develop professional awareness and gain an understanding of some of design considerations within the product development process. This will be achieved through research into recent, current and emerging technologies, processes and materials available to the product design practitioner and designer.
Through relevant research, you will gain an understanding of the range of factors which influence the success and viability of a product as well as having the opportunity to explore the notion of potential ‘futures’ processes and material developments.
Lifestyles and Futures
The Lifestyles and Futures module is designed to give you an understanding of how design can be utilised to shape lifestyles and futures. You will develop this understanding by referencing the potential audience for your intended design practice.
You will gain an awareness of current trends and lifestyles to become familiar with your potential audience and become more reflective regarding design solutions with your own practice.
You also will gain an understanding of trend predictions and customer needs and through due reflection, be encouraged to demonstrate a growing sense of identity as a creative practitioner.
Product and the User
Within this module you will be encouraged to question the current paradigms through which Product Design is utilised by society. Through a framework of online materials, activities and projects, you will be introduced to the notion of design as a future proofing mechanism through which emerging technologies and materials are used. Design is introduced as a pro-active tool for change in response to an understanding of eco design.
This module asks you to create a case study based on a product you have chosen because of its significance in terms of global sustainability. This will enable you to develop your research skills by gaining an understanding of how design can be utilised to shape social, economic and environmental futures. You are encouraged to create your case study by employing a range of current and emerging media, which will enable you to employ the use of video or blogs to communicate your ideas.
Module Descriptions Level 6 (Year 3 of Degree) click here
Design and Industry
This module enables you to extend and consolidate a range of cognitive, creative and practical skills in the context of either a national or international competition or an industry set, live brief.
These briefs are designed to challenge your ability to undertake high quality research, an appropriate approach and effective execution, in addition to introducing you to the competitive nature of the industry.
This module will also provide you with the opportunity to increase your awareness of current issues and professional developments in the field of product design. At Level 6 study you will be expected to exercise self-management and critical awareness in approaching a design brief as well as expanding the breadth of you final design portfolio.
The Product Design Project
Throughout The Product Design Project you will be expected to demonstrate the acquisition of detailed knowledge and systematic understanding of key aspects of Product Design. This will include, knowledge of current developments and debates in the discipline by producing a substantial body of work demonstrating your own practice. During this practice you will be expected to demonstrate an awareness of professional contexts, markets and audiences within your design practice.
You will be expected to exercise independent judgement and decision making at an appropriated level and will be expected to plan, manage and assemble a body of work appropriate to gaining employment or for further study in the field of product design. This will be achieved through writing and negotiating your own design brief and implementing a creative design process to solve design problems producing a body of work that clearly demonstrates the creation and consolidation of your own design identity as a product designer.
This module will enable you to facilitate further development of your personal, intellectual, language and oral skills and you should be able to apply a personal visual, written or oral language which clearly communicates and presents design ideas in a context appropriate to the project in a professional manner appropriate to the practice of product design.
Critical and Cultural Studies L6
In this module students are required to negotiate, research and present an honours level essay that presents and in-depth critical examination relevant to their own practice. Students will consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding of some of the ways in which histories, theories, cultural, social, technical or ecological issues inform contemporary professional design practice. These theoretical investigations will culminate into a 6,000-word essay.
Critical Reasoning and Evaluation
This professional reflection module consolidates the knowledge, understanding and process of the Design Project module. During this module you are required to justify your consideration to market, user, materials, technology, opportunity, form and function of the final design output. The reflection document/report and presentation will contain key information and decisions made while undertaking the project.
Product Design Minor Projects
This module provides you with the opportunity to further contribute to your portfolio from a an area of study of your choice. This will enable you to demonstrate your design capabilities and develop skills in communication through negotiation with your tutor. You will submit a written project proposal outlining the scope of the project, your aims and intended outcomes and a projected project timetable.
Your design project should address a particular problem or need as defined by you and must clearly display the correlation between research, development and final design.
Level 4 (Year 1 of Degree) Certificate of Higher Education
Throughout your first level of study you will focus on developing the basic design ‘toolbox’ skills required by all product design students. This will include the ability to operate equipment safely and with competence.
Completion of set briefs will enable you to become familiar with various design practices and processes. You will be encouraged to distinguish between emotive and rational design decisions and develop communication skills allowing you to justify your personal ideas. Such briefs will allow you to gain an understanding of the different tools, both practical and digital, available to you as an aspiring product designer.
Throughout the modules you will also be given the opportunity to develop knowledge in different aspects of 3D design using CAD and modelling packages.
Level 4 study of Product Design aims to arm you will the skills you require to begin your journey towards becoming a successful Product Designer.
Level 5 (Year 2 of Degree) Diploma of Higher Education
At this level of study there is a greater emphasis on working at a professional level. You will be encouraged to develop a range of skills appropriate to working in the product design industry such as collaborative working, presentation and time and project management.
Research of business and industry structures and roles will grant you an insight into your own potential career routes and help to develop your own practice. Further research will allow you to gain an understanding of the range of issues product designers face, such as customer needs, when designing a successful product.
This Level of Study allows you to specialise in your chosen area, therefore asking you to reflect on your identity as a creative practitioner and your own place in the industry.
Level 6 (Year 3 of Degree) BA
At Level 6 the emphasis is to prepare you for the world of work through the development and consolidation of key skills. You will also be given the opportunity to work on live and project based briefs allowing you to demonstrate your ability to design products in your chosen area of specialism. At this level of study you will also be expected to produce a substantial body of work in the form of a Major Project. This Major Project should display your range of knowledge and understanding of key aspects of Product and Furniture Design.
Product designers design most objects that we use in our day-today lives as well as specialist products, for example medical equipment. Their aim is to improve the way that existing products work and look, and sometimes to produce them at a lower cost, as well as designing entirely new products.
Product designers work along-side collegues and clients as well as consulting with engineers, model makers and sales and marketing staff. They should understand technology, production methods and materials, and be able to meet deadlines and work within budgets.
Employers include manufacturing companies and design consultancies throughout the UK and overseas. New entrants face strong competition for jobs, but demand for experienced designers is high. New entrants usually need a degree or an HNC/HND in product design.
Salaries may range from around £17,000 to over £45,000.
On completion of this activity you will begin to explore your concept in three dimensions.
During this activity you will be expected to start making models of your concept.
The suggested time allocation for this activity is 10 hours.
You will need the following resources and materials for these activities:
Sketch book drawing and mark-making equipment
model making equipment, card, paper, glue, cutting mat, craft knife for example.
At this stage your ideas should be becoming clearer and more defined. This is often a good stage to begin looking at how your ideas look in three dimensions. A useful way to explore your ideas in three dimensions is to make a series of maquettes. A maquette is a scaled down sketch model.
The making of a maquette begins to give you a clearer idea about the exact proportion and scale of your final piece. It allows you to see how the final piece might feel in your hand and look from all angles. It may suggest where you need to make adjustments to your ideas and which type of materials you should use and where.