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

  • Big Small Design
  • Leckey
  • IRG Composites
  • Sliderobes
  • Marks
  • Consider It Design

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Product Designer
  • Product designer/technician
  • Furniture Designer
  • Designer (self-employed)
  • Design Engineer
  • Industrial Designer
  • Head of Design


Design for the future.


Study Product and Furniture Design at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

This adaptable and unique course is designed primarily for students from either an Art and Design or Technology and Design background who wish to follow careers within the Design Industry specifically in the areas of Product or Furniture design, who wish to teach in either Art and Design or Technology and Design or who wish to undertake further design related studies at Masters or Doctoral level.

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.

Within the Furniture strand of the course the emphasis is towards Design rather than Craft, making is still seen as very important with model making and materials testing a key part of design development. 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.

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 .

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About this course

In this section


The course is based on a modular structure with four modules of study in each year of the three years. Students share a common First Semester with Architecture where they are introduced to the key skill sets and methodologies common to all areas of study. They are given the opportunity to sample short projects from a number of specialist areas before going on to select specialist areas of study in years two and three. At the end of final year of studies, students will have gained a range of design skills and have developed a personal, innovative approach to the practice of designing.

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.

Students are encouraged to join the 'Chartered Society of Designers' or 'The Institute of Designers in Ireland' as student members. Full professional membership is gained after required application and folio interviews post final year of the course. A Bursary Prize exists for the best performing student in Year One, whilst First Year students are eligible to apply for the prestigious Dr Gerard O' Hare travel bursary award that funds study related travel between years One and Two of study up to a value of Five thousand pounds. Every year two students from our first year Cohort are awarded the Prize based on a short presentation of their suggested itinerary.

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 largley studio based, four days per week with 15 hours staff contact time and 35 hours self directed study per week.

Start dates

  • September 2017
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 CCC (one of which should be in an art and design related subject).

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for one of the ‘A’ Level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined By UCAS.


The BTEC Extended Diploma requirement for this course based on an overall BTEC award profile of MERIT, MERIT, MERIT to include 15 merits.

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is based on an overall Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) profile of B2, B2, C1, C1, C1 and Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) English Language at grade C or above.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBB.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 points (12 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 55%.


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

Submission of a satisfactory portfolio.

Teaching and learning assessment

Product and Furniture Design course is very applied in it’s nature. All of our outcomes will mean the production of physical models and prototypes to justify a solution. The course’s main focus is to enable students to understand and learn the processes, make models, test their ideas, develop core design skills and learn about the culture of Design. The most beneficial way to enable the pedagogy of Design education is to deliver it in a Studio environment. 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:

  • Big Small Design
  • Leckey
  • IRG Composites
  • Sliderobes
  • Marks
  • Consider It Design

Job roles

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

  • Product Designer
  • Product designer/technician
  • Furniture Designer
  • Designer (self-employed)
  • Design Engineer
  • Industrial Designer
  • Head of Design

Career options

Graduates from the course find employment in areas as diverse as Product Design both consultancy based and corporate, Industrial Design, Vehicle or Transport Design, Furniture Design both as a maker designers and in volume production. Students with an additional PGCE go on to teach both Art and Design and Technology and Design at secondary and tertiary level.

Students who achieve grades of a 2:1 can go on to develop their studies further on taught Masters programmes or research degrees offered within the university as well as throughout the UK and further afield.

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 happen 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.


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.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:

Additional mandatory costs

Student Product & Furniture Design Materials- Approx £50 per semester (May icrease for Final Major Projects in Final Year)

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

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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