BA (Hons) Product Design

3 reviews
  • Well organized course, very productive and intense.
  • I just finished Module Three – the designer that I was interning for hired me full time, and I'm working with them! Since then, I have been very busy working on large-scale residential projects all over the world.
  • My teacher, Andy, was very understanding and helpful, giving us tips and direction when we needed and the freedom develop our own style and ideas.

Bachelor's degree

In London

£ 9,250 VAT inc.


  • Type

    Bachelor's degree

  • Location


  • Duration

    3 Years

BA Product Design believes product design solutions should meet the wants and needs of real people. Widely recognised externally as an environment in which rigorous thinking generates creative, commercially relevant work, this course gives you the intellectual, academic and subject-specific skills you need to define your own professional practice.Central Saint Martins' Product and Industrial Design courses are recognised for world-class excellence by the award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education 2013.This course is part of the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design Programme. Great reasons to applyUndertake projects in direct contact with relevant industrial contacts and social enterprises including DESIS Network, Heinz, Procter and Gamble, Nokia, Alessi, Whirlpool, Unilever, Samsonite and DiageoOur lecturers and alumni have been associated with the production of groundbreaking products since 1947, including the first production laptop, the original London Routemaster bus, and the Apple iPhoneWe have produced more Royal Designers for Industry in the subject than any other undergraduate course in the worldThe course has been recognised for world-class excellence by the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education 2013.Benefit from a multi-disciplinary art school environment made up of an exceptionally diverse community of creative individuals.Open daysMonday 6 November, 10amWednesday 29 November, 12pmWednesday 29 November, 3pmScholarships, awards and funding Mead Scholarships and FellowshipsYat Malmgren BursaryThe Fung ScholarshipsQueen's Anniversary Award awarded for Innovation in Design Education.Student workI wanted to study at the school with the best reputation .Courtenay Inchbald, alumBA Product Design news1 of 6MullenLowe NOVA Awards announcement2 of 6Show Two Theme: Beyond Borders3 of 6Take Five: Ellen...



Start date

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1 Granary Square

Start date

On request

About this course

Entry requirementsEntry to this course is determined by the quality of the application, indicated primarily in your portfolio and written statements. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design .Applicants are normally expected to have achieved, or be expected to achieve, the course entry requirements details below:Foundation Diploma in Art and Design1 GCE A Level3 GCSEs grade C or aboveORPass at BTEC Extended Diploma3 GCSEs grade C or aboveOROther University of Arts London awarded level 3...

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  • Well organized course, very productive and intense.
  • I just finished Module Three – the designer that I was interning for hired me full time, and I'm working with them! Since then, I have been very busy working on large-scale residential projects all over the world.
  • My teacher, Andy, was very understanding and helpful, giving us tips and direction when we needed and the freedom develop our own style and ideas.

Course rating


Centre rating

Former Student

What I would highlight: Well organized course, very productive and intense.
What could be improved: .
Would you recommend this course?: Yes

Eleanor Busing

What I would highlight: I just finished Module Three – the designer that I was interning for hired me full time, and I'm working with them! Since then, I have been very busy working on large-scale residential projects all over the world.
What could be improved: .
Would you recommend this course?: Yes

Silvia Zecca

What I would highlight: My teacher, Andy, was very understanding and helpful, giving us tips and direction when we needed and the freedom develop our own style and ideas.
What could be improved: .
Would you recommend this course?: Yes
*All reviews collected by Emagister & iAgora have been verified


  • Presentation
  • Problem Solving
  • Approach
  • Design
  • Innovation
  • Branding
  • Model Making
  • Materials
  • Packaging
  • Drawing
  • School
  • Project
  • Industry
  • Production
  • Product Design

Course programme

Course detail

BA (Hons) Product Design is part of the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme. Product and Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins is concerned not only with the skills and professional practice of the subject, but also places an emphasis on the role of creative experimentation and critical evaluation.

These help to challenge the assumptions and ideas around design and design practice and its relevance in the wider social, cultural, economic and environmental contexts.

Since 1938, our lecturers and alumni have been associated with groundbreaking products. These include the first laptop computer (Bill Moggeridge), the original London Routemaster bus (Douglas Scott), and the Apple iPhone (Daniele De Iuliis/Apple Industrial Design Group) among many others. We look to BA Product Design graduates to carry forward this tradition, to be innovators, to be questioning practitioners who understand the potential and the responsibilities implied by their contributions to the material world.

Since its first introduction as a discrete subject area, the professional practice of the Product/Industrial Designer has evolved to reflect other changes in manufacture, consumption and the wider concerns of society.

Most recently, this has informed a shift in the focus of BA Product Design students’ activities away from a purely market-orientated and problem-solving approach to a more analytical and critical approach. This accommodates an increasingly complex series of reference points including those provided by related and emerging disciplines such as sociology, politics, ethics, interaction design, service design, and experience design.

Design is about people

Designers have to understand people and their behaviours before formulating a response to their wants and needs. BA Product Design students’ understanding of people and their behaviour is informed through a consideration of ergonomics and usability as well as the ability to read and interpret market drivers and the softer, less tangible emotional responses to the material world. This approach is incorporated into increasingly complex projects that emphasise and develop appropriate research methods. In some cases, this is also enhanced through collaborative working methods. The programme reinforces deep learning through collective as well as individual activity.

Design is a process – not a thing

Whilst the output of the Product/Industrial designer is predominantly concerned with manufacture and production, the subject is predicated on the notion that design is a process-driven activity: the practice of applying a relevant process to a particular context. Out of such a process a very broad range of design outcomes might emerge: consumer durables, personal accessories, packaging and branding, furniture and lighting as well as other outcomes which might be categorised as service or system design, or even design strategy. The subject is therefore unconstrained by the conventions of specific typologies or pathways, and it is an approach that we believe enables you to be flexible, confident, creative and open to a broad range of unfamiliar and new high level design opportunities in strategic innovation and the design and creative sectors.

Design is about the future

Product and Industrial Designers are frequently called upon to conceptualise new products and systems of which consumers and users will have had no or little previous experience. You are encouraged to consider the impact of technology, consumer attitudes, environmental issues, cultural shifts and many other factors in the development of work directed at a future scenario. You are invited and encouraged to embrace change and to challenge accepted cultural and commercial norms. This flexibility makes you highly valuable in the more strategic and management roles that lie beyond mainstream design practice.

BA Product Design runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels (or Stages), each lasting 30 weeks. The whole degree course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level (Stage).

The Diploma in Professional Studies provides you the optional opportunity to secure an industrial placement (or series of placements) related to product design to be carried out over 20 weeks in an additional year between stage 2 and 3. The DPS is an additional award credited at 120 credits.

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).

There’s a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.

If you’re unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.

To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.

Course dates

Autumn term:
Monday 24 September 2018 – Friday 7 December 2018
Spring term:
Monday 7 January 2019 – Friday 15 March 2019
Summer term:
Monday 15 April 2019 – Friday 21 June 2019

Related content
  • 2016 Degree Show website

Course outline

BA Product Design is arranged over three academic years and is designed to offer you an experience in which you learn and apply product design processes to a progressively challenging range of contexts. In this way the degree course builds your capacities as confident, questioning, highly creative practitioners capable of dealing with complex issues in the development of product design responses.

Stage One builds your subject knowledge and skills while introducing you to our brand of studio working and integrating you within our community of practice. Through a series of projects you’ll go on to focus on specific product design skills such as computing, 2D and 3D sketching, and workshop skills in wood, metal, and plastics. You also build knowledge of design for manufacture, and intellectual skills in areas like semiotics. The year finishes with a tour of London design studios intended to give you an insight into the breadth of practice labelled product design.

Stage Two extends your skills and locates you in professional contexts through external briefs provided by industry. Here you get the opportunity to consider and plan your future as a practitioner and to take more responsibility for initiating and managing your own work. You will, for instance, be exploring the relationships between branding and product design, and how ideas from outside of the discipline can be used to explore and inform creative design responses.

Stage Three provides you with a sustained opportunity to pursue your own agenda through writing and design exploration. This is your chance to bring together creative, intellectual, entrepreneurial and practical capacities developed over the previous two years to forge a product design outcome limited only by the time allocated and your own ambition. The final year closes with a real-world scenario in which you partner an external client to deliver a specific project. Absolut, Body Shop, Habitat, Kodak, Proctor & Gamble and Samsung are among our recent collaborators. This project represents a really useful springboard to professional design practice.

The degree course has three closely interrelated areas of study that are delivered through project work, lectures, seminars, workshops and assignments. Areas of study are:

  • Design studies
  • Technical studies
  • Contextual studies

Design studies

The ability to generate and translate ideas into resolved designs is crucial. Design Studies develops your creativity with idea generation, problem solving, drawing and presentation technique, sketching and finished model making. It also helps build the project management and verbal presentation skills you’ll need in order to develop and communicate your designs.

Technical studies

Technical Studies enables you to gain an understanding of materials and processes, manufacturing methods, and 2D and 3D CAD skills within industrial contexts of batch and mass production. It develops your ability to research and specify components, materials and manufacturing processes for any product design project.

Contextual Studies

Contextual Studies examines some of the key historical, theoretical, and social contexts from which products acquire meaning and in which product design practice operates. Crucially in our programme it’s taught in-studio alongside Design Studies to allow ideas and thinking from radically different disciplines to inform and energise.

Bigger picture unit

The bigger picture unit brings together students from across the school to work in mixed groups. The unit promotes critical thinking through the presentation of ideas, debate and discussion, and requires you to consider your subject in a wider context and to position your practice within the ‘ bigger picture’ of cultural production and meaning making.

Personal and professional development builds the skills and knowledge you need to be an active member of a learning community, to become a self-sufficient learner, and to be able to enter the professional world and manage your subsequent career development.

Developing your skills - external activities

A high proportion of tutors are practicing designers and many student projects are informed by direct contact with relevant industrial contacts. Recent examples include Nokia, Procter and Gamble, Liberty, Unilever, Samsonite and Diageo. While significant focus remains on the practical skills necessary to successfully bring an object into physical being, students are encouraged to precede this activity by identifying appropriate problems and design outcomes that successfully meet the physical, psychological and emotional wants and needs of real people.

BA Product Design Programme Specification 2018/19 (PDF, 525KB)

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value.

Recent client projects in the Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design programme include: Nespresso, Roche Bobois, John Lewis, Canal and River Trust, Action Dog.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.


  • Course Leader: Paul De'Ath
  • Stage 1 Leader:David Scothron BA (Hons) MDes RCA
  • Stage 2 Leader:Jane Penty
  • Stage 3 Leader: Paul Sayers BA (Hons) PGCHE
  • Contextual Studies Leader: Pras Gunasekera
  • Contextual Studies Tutor: Clare Barry
  • Technical Studies Leader: Rob Thompson

BA (Hons) Product Design

£ 9,250 VAT inc.