A guide to studying Product Design at university - including what to expect, application tips and future career opportunities. Featuring the University of Huddersfield.

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Why study Product Design at university?

If you love sketching and drawing, taking things apart and building, then you should consider studying product design at university. This course combines creativity, technical understanding and innovations applied to real world problems.

A product design course will have a combination of theory based learning and practical work. You will develop a range of skills relevant to the current and future workplace including creativity, originality and initiative, analytical thinking, complex problem solving, technology design and programming.

What careers does studying Product Design at university lead to?

Skills gained through a Product Design course will benefit many different careers including user experience / user interface and service design, design consultancy, consumer insight and brand strategy, strategic innovation, freelance design, digital visualisation, film concept artistry, further education, research and sales and marketing. There are opportunities in many large companies, the skills sets you will gain on a Product Design course are easily transferable and applicable to many industries.

What to expect if you study Product Design at university?

In Product Design, like many other applied arts courses, you will receive mentorship which will support your journey to become part of the next generation of influential designers.

The learning environment will replicate the real world exercises and projects operating in the design industry. Work will be project based and assessed on quality, creativity and communication. You will learn how to communicate your ideas in an effective way to industry standards, using freehand sketching and software such as Photoshop and Solidworks.

You will also learn ideation and creative thinking techniques and develop visualisation skills using other specialised software such as Autodesk 3ds. You may have opportunity for a work placement year, which can be extremely beneficial as you will pitch your work to industry and will enable client feedback. In your final year, you are likely to have the opportunity to create your own product from start to finish, applying research and technical knowledge, exploring manufacturing processes and materials to build a business case to show feasibility of your product; you will use a hands-on approach across the design and making process to prove how your designs and ideas work.

Application tips for Product Design university courses

The approach varies between universities offering Product Design courses, therefore you should attend open days and talk to the students and staff who will give you an insight into the culture and approach as each course has unique aspects within the remit of the course.

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