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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Duku Design
  • Big Small Design
  • Leckey
  • Movement Biomedical
  • Zespoke Design
  • Dolmen Design
  • See.Sense
  • BT
  • Lava Group

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Product
  • Industrial
  • Textile
  • Designer
  • Design Engineer
  • Technician
  • Teacher
  • Furniture Designer
  • Maker
  • Enterprise


Design for Today, Design for Tomorrow, Design for Life. Creative, Practical, Innovation.


This Product Design course develops ambitious and aspiring designers to become strategic thinkers, creative professionals and game changers of tomorrow.

Products come in all guises but they all share a unity in addressing human centered needs. Here on the course students learn how to create, innovate and think differently about real life problems. Students become well versed with embedding change into our world through a creative and hands-on approach. This unique course suits students from either an Art & Design, or Technology & Design background that wish to follow careers within the Design industry.

Progressive year’s of study challenge students creatively and intellectually, while building transferable employability skills needed for a career within Design. Students have the opportunity to prototype their ideas through 3D CAD, 3D printers, CNC, Laser Cutters, and experiment with a broad range of materials, such as wood, textiles, foams, or castings.

On completion, students will have developed a personal and innovative approach to the practice of Design, which is both bespoke to each student’s skillsets and ambitions.

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About this course

In this section


The course provides stimulating and challenging practice based design education within a multidisciplinary studio environment with making and prototyping at the core of what it does.

Workshops offer facilities for the manipulation of soft materials for model making as well as wood, metal and plastics for prototyping.

Practice is informed and underpinned by a strong culture of contextual understanding and critical reflection. Students engage in multidisciplinary work based learning through collaborative projects and industrial placements underpinned by teaching in professional practice, strategic business thinking and entrepreneurship.

Students are encouraged to undertake group study trips in years One and Two to London and a European destination, respectively. The aim is to broaden their contextual knowledge of design and to undertake a series of industrial and professional study visits to gain insight into professional practice within their chosen discipline.

Student choice is a feature in a number of areas within the course especially at level 5 where students can choose between an optional industrial placement (DPP) or take advantage of the opportunity for international academic study at a number of European or US institutions through the Erasmus and BEI initiatives respectively.

Students have the choice to explore a diverse range of specialist subject areas in their final year through self-generated project briefs, learning contracts, choice of dissertation topic and alignment with specialist teaching staff and tutorial/seminar groups.

The Goal is to produce design graduates who are informed thinkers, fluent communicators and highly skilled makers that have the requisite technical, intellectual, creative and entrepreneurial skill sets to make a meaningful contribution within the context of the creative industries.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards


Attendance is largely studio-based, with our fantastic Belfast city-wide views from the top of the Belfast Campus. Attendance is four days per week, with 15 hours staff contact time and 35 hours self directed study per week. Students can access the campus 7 days a week, and work here whenever required out of scheduled teaching studio time. This is a real strength of what we have to offer, here at Ulster.

Start dates

  • September 2018
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB (one of which should be in an art and design related subject).

Applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.


The BTEC Extended Diploma requirement for this course based on an overall BTEC award profile of DDM to include a minimumof 9 distinctions.

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is based on an overall profile of H3, H3, H3, H3, H3 and English Language at grade O4 or above.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points (13 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 70%.


GCSE Profile to include English Language at minimum grade C.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants may be selected through interview and/ or portfolio submission.

Teaching and learning assessment

Product and Furniture Design is extremely practical in it’s approach to solving real-world problems, expressed within studio based projects.

All project outcomes require the production of physical models and prototypes to justify a proposed solution from the student. The course’s main focus is to enable students to understand and learn design processes, make, test their ideas, develop core design skills and learn about the culture of Design through becoming critically aware of the world around them.

Assessment for the studio projects is continual, we have no exams throughout the course, but the student is continually assessed throughout each project brief undertaken and awarded marks for each project throughout. Feedback is continuous, as lecturers work 1-1 closely with each student, guiding them along the way and teaching them as they go, attending to the individual needs and requirements of each student as required.

Every student will have their own space to conceptualise, make and deliver their projects under the tutelage of our experience and passionate academic team.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Duku Design
  • Big Small Design
  • Leckey
  • Movement Biomedical
  • Zespoke Design
  • Dolmen Design
  • See.Sense
  • BT
  • Lava Group

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Product
  • Industrial
  • Textile
  • Designer
  • Design Engineer
  • Technician
  • Teacher
  • Furniture Designer
  • Maker
  • Enterprise

Career options

Graduates from the course gain employment in a wide spectrum of Design practices. Typical employment areas are: Product Design, Creative Design, Textile Product Design, Smart Clothing, Consultancy, Manufacturing, Human Factors Research, Service Design, Furniture Design, Teaching.

Students can progress to further studies on a Masters Degree, or PhD. Students obtaining a PGCE can go on to teach Art and Design / Technology and Design within schools. Selected candidates will a require Portfolio at interview.

If creativity, problem solving, a need to define yourself and a desire to change the world is appealing, then this Design course will be for you!

Work placement / study abroad

The Product and Furniture Design course offers two options for a year out. This year is sandwiched between Year 2 and 3.

• Option 1: Students have the option to study abroad, in either the USA or at one of our linked Universities across Europe. Successful students that pass the modules taken at the linked University will receive a Diploma on top of their Degree when they Graduate at the end of their Fourth year.

• Option 2: Students have the option to look for placement within a company for 1 year. This must be associated with the discipline of Product or Furniture Design to ensure that the correct experience and learning is achieved. Students find this placement themselves, but full support in identifying appropriate opportunities and preparing for interviews etc is given. A range of Careers Fairs are held in the University to help students link with potential employers. The Year out is assessed and successful students will then receive a further Diploma on top of their Degree when they Graduate after their Fourth year.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

We also take successful students directly from the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Ulster University.

Applicants may be selected through interview and/ or portfolio submission.

Start dates

  • September 2018

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages to find out more

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,000.00  Discounts available
£13,240.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Discounts for student from England, Scotland and Wales:

You have three discount options to choose from:

£2,000 discount on tuition fees. £1,000 discount on tuition fees

  • Plus £1,000 towards accommodation
  • Plus £500 towards travel

£1,000 discount on tuition fees

International Undergraduate Scholarship

  • Open to all new international (non-EU) entrants on the first year of a full-time undergraduate course delivered on one of our Northern Ireland campuses, commencing September 2018.


£2,000 scholarship applied as discount to your annual tuition fee.

  • Information on other scholarships available to international students

Other awards and prizes:

Information provided is for guidance only as scholarship details are subject to change - please refer to the source website for up-to-date and accurate information.

Additional mandatory costs

Students purchase materials for their own coursework.

Consumable workshop contribution of up to £100 is optional and contributes to materials used by students.

Field trips may incur additional costs.

Student Trips: Approx £250 Year 1 & 2 (Elective)

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Mr Martin McGinn

Course Director, BDes Hons Product and Furniture Design.


Student Services Centre

Belfast campus

T: +44 (0)28 9536 7202