BSc (Hons) Product Design Engineering

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply


Right from the start, our Product Design Engineering degree is all about developing your creativity and problem-solving skills. Even the introduction is a team-based design-and-build challenge – reflecting the kind of project-based, hands-on approach to learning you’ll experience throughout your time with us.

It’s a degree that provides the specialist knowledge and expertise required for a career in commercial product design, introducing you to industry-relevant methodologies, materials and production methods. You’ll also look at the influence on the design of history, culture, markets, materials and lifestyles. And in our specialist laboratories, you’ll get to grips with some of the latest technologies such as 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

More generally, you’ll learn to look at the world around you through the eyes of a designer, as you establish the fundamentals of design and technology, together with the relationship that products have with their users and their environment.

Study Product Design Engineering with us and in your final year you’ll be ready to put these skills into practice in a new product design challenge and an individual project. You’ll then have the chance to showcase your work in front of industry representatives at the Department's degree show as you look to kick-start your career in this challenging and rewarding field.

This course is available with a Foundation Year.

Features and Benefits

  • You will be taught by staff drawn from both academia and industry, providing you with an understanding of the latest design thinking alongside an appreciation of the commercial environment.
  • Tackle real challenges from the world of engineering. Every year, the Department of Engineering invites businesses and academic colleagues to set new, live projects that challenge our students to devise innovative solutions to current problems. You’ll get feedback and advice directly from industry insiders and have the chance to find out exactly what it takes to impress a potential future employer.
  • Gain valuable industry experience by taking the four-year sandwich route and spend your third year on industrial placement.
  • Have access to the latest digital fabrication technologies at our 3D printing centre, PrintCity.
  • Showcase your design and engineering skills in extra-curricular group projects like the Formula Student racing car competition or the Engineering For People Design Challenge.
  • Create a professional design portfolio celebrating your work which will assist you in your next steps to becoming a professional product designer.
  • Adapt your schedule to meet your needs through our drop-in workshops and laboratories.
“I have worked in industry for a number of years, developing a keen understanding of what employers in the design engineering sector want. I bring this to my teaching every day, to give my students experience of real world challenges and to help develop the engineers and product designers of tomorrow.” Haydn Insley, Senior Lecturer in Product Design Engineering

"The tutors are brilliant – each one has a different experience of academia and industry and as such, they offer students a broad, well-textured view of the world. They have encouraged me to be determined, ambitious and to challenge myself throughout my studies."

Sarah Scholes-Lawrence, BSc (Hons) Product Design & Technology

Career Prospects

There is a high demand for design engineers and product designers in small to medium enterprises and industry. Our Product Design Engineering graduates occupy a variety of design roles across many industries.

Employers outside of design and manufacturing sectors also recognise the skills and problem-solving capacity of the product design graduate, and there may be opportunities in sales, commissioning, finance, teaching and management, as well as roles managing technology to support a range of organisations.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required


A levels ­– BCC-BBC, to include Mathematics or a Science, Engineering or Technology subject.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (1080) in Applied Science or Engineering – DMM

Equivalent qualifications and combinations will be considered, including Extended Project (EPQ) at grade C or above. Other AS levels (or qualifications equivalent to AS level) are not accepted.

Please contact the University directly if you are unsure whether you meet the minimum entry requirements for the course.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C/4 in English Language or Level 2 Functional Skills English


GCSE grade C/4 in Mathematics or Level 2 Functional Skills Mathematics


GCSE grade C/4 in Science or BTEC Level 2 in Applied Science with grade merit

The level 2 requirements may also be met through the level 3 course requirements for the course; please contact the University directly if you require further information.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in Engineering or Science with a minimum score of 106 UCAS Tariff points

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma Points including HL Mathematics or a Science, Engineering or Technology subject

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 overall with no individual element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Further information

This is a new course for the 2020 intake - advanced entry to the course is not available. 

Course details

Our degree in Product Design Engineering has been designed through our close industry links with leading engineering and design companies and provides the specialist knowledge and expertise required for a professional career in product design. Project-based learning in all years, including live industry-led projects, will help you develop the transferable skills and multi-disciplinary awareness so highly prized by industry.

Study Product Design Engineering at Manchester Met and in the first year you will learn the fundamentals of design and technology and the relationship that products have with their users and their environment, developing your practical and project skills in our specialist workshops. Alongside this, you will begin to develop your design communication skills through both manual sketching and computer-aided design (CAD).

Year 2 will further enhance your practical skills through the workshop based Prototyping and Making unit whilst you consider the global impact a designer can make by developing sustainable and environmental products. You will also take on a specialist role in a group project and start detailed planning of your career. In addition, you will learn about how to incorporate electronics and connectivity into your smart design proposals.

Year 3 will see you embark on your Individual Project, where you will create your own design brief informed by our active research and industrial partnerships, and also improve your analytical skills through the study of design methods and the influence of history, culture, markets, materials and lifestyles on design. In addition, in your final year you will explore the latest developments in the communication of design, such as virtual reality, through the use of various industry standard software platforms. You will round off your final year by creating a professional design portfolio celebrating your work, which will assist you in your next steps to becoming a professional product designer.

Your first year begins with an interactive, hands-on practical induction to give you the opportunity to get to know your fellow students and the academic and technical staff who will support your studies. You will also work on a series of mini-challenges that will include activities in our specialist laboratories and workshops. After induction, Year 1 begins with a short team-based design and build project, ending with a presentation event. You will study product design from the standpoint of users and technology. Throughout your first year, you will learn about materials and production methods, develop design skills, learn how to use computer-aided engineering (CAD) and work on a series of product design projects. In your first year, you will typically study the following units (the list of units is indicative and may be subject to change).

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Digital Design

Introduces the learner to Computer Aided Design and other digital media options for representing design proposals. You will cover a variety of industry standard CAD packages and discover how to transform your design ideas in to 3D data and digital renderings. 

Design and Materials

This unit looks at differing types of materials, their properties, benefits and limitations. You will learn how you can evaluate those properties so appropriate materials are selected for product proposals.

User Centred Design

In this unit you will learn about human interaction with products and how the design of products are influenced by their users and environments. You will also learn about Design Thinking and how a user centred approach can be applied in the development of products.

Design and Manufacturing

This unit will help you develop an understanding of the relationship between design and  manufacturing. You will cover a variety of  manufacturing techniques and learn how designs can be optimised for manufacture and assembly.

Project Skills

Students are introduced to the practical and skills based elements of a broad range of concepts and practices in practical aspects of engineering and design. 

Design Project

In subject specific areas students will work in teams to design, develop and build a tangible solution to a set design brief. 

Design Practice

Unit introduces manual techniques for communicating designs including sketching, rendering and foam modelling. You will learn ideation techniques through the use of hands-on prototyping and pen and marker rendering. 

You start the second year with an industry-led group project, working with students from your own and other courses, to give you a flavour of what it is like to work in a multi-disciplinary engineering team. We will encourage you to develop your career plan and to apply for a sandwich placement year. The multi-disciplinary and global theme continues in your project-based activity throughout the year, alongside an in-depth study of your degree's specialist technical topics. You will also have the opportunity to learn about the work of our research groups, to help you choose an area for your individual, final year project. In your second year, you will typically study the following units (the list of units is indicative and may be subject to change).

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Mechanics for Design

This unit will provide knowledge and understanding of how to apply key mechanical principles and be able to employ basic mechanisms within design proposals.  In addition students will learn about techniques for engineering analysis and simulation.

Group Design Project

Students will work on realising their design solutions and concepts through to prototype and review stage and present their solutions to their project sponsors

Professional Practice

Students will be introduced to project management processes and context. Working in teams students will develop a project management plan and design a solution for an industrial case study on a topical subject. Students will be introduced to professional practice and their personal and professional development. 

Smart Design

This unit will explore the fundamentals of electronics and how they are incorporated within products. The unit will introduce various types of components and systems and how their characteristics can be utilised to enhance design proposals.

Sustainable Design

Introduces the learners to the considerations for designing products for a sustainable future. You will gain an appreciation of the resource and sustainability requirements of materials and related industries. You will also consider the role of a Designer in the following arears: minimizing environmental impact, using appropriate and alternative materials and technologies and lifecycle analysis.

Prototyping and Making

This is a workshop based unit in which students develop and apply various practical techniques to produce effective prototypes in order to communicate design proposals. You will learn about fundamental manual techniques to advanced digital fabrication processes.

Digital Design 2

Developing skills using Computer Aided Design (CAD) to analyse the design proposal in a variety of industry standard software and digital media options. You will advance your CAD knowledge and discover how to make advanced forms, multipart assemblies and photorealistic digital renderings and images. 

The final year of your Product Design Engineering degree will include a major individual project and study of the latest developments and challenges in your chosen specialist area. In your final year, you will typically study the following units (the list of units is indicative and may be subject to change).

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Digital Design 3

This module explores a variety of software and digital media options for communicating design proposals. In addition, students will further develop their skills using Computer Aided Design software to create increasingly complex products.

Advanced Design Practice

This unit develops an in-depth understanding of design methodologies and other advanced design theories. You will consider appropriate design methodologies and how to implement them. You will learn about emotional design and how products communicate with us considering product semantics. 

Design Culture

Exploring, understanding and developing visual aspects of products and the influence of design history and culture. This unit will look at design cultures around the world and explore the impact that they have had and their influence on contemporary design.

Professional Design Portfolio

This unit explores the role of the professional product designer and leads the student through key aspects of presenting themselves as professional designers. This unit culminates with students creating their professional portfolios, utilising a variety of media, that can be used to apply for future positions within industry. 

Commercial Design

The development of a wider appreciation of the commercial aspects of product design and development. You will learn what it takes to make a product commercial viable. You will explore product life cycle curves, product costing and market and competitor analysis. 

Project Design and Implementation

Students will learn and develop in their ability to deliver complex engineering and/or design projects. In this unit students will learn about innovation and solution realisation and implementation in a key sector within their discipline.

Individual Project

Students working within project themes will work on implementing their project proposal drawing on knowledge they have gained throughout their academic careers. They will then progress their project, culminating in a showcase event to academics, peers and industrial partners.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:



Placement options

All of our degrees offer the chance to spend a year getting a taste of professional life. If you choose to go down this route, your degree will take one year longer, with the third year spent working in industry. These optional placements not only give you the opportunity to develop your core skills and learn about how a business really operates in your industry, but also shows employers that you’re ready to get to work. We offer a range of services to help you find the right placement, including employer presentations, advice and placement fairs.

Department of Engineering

Our Department of Engineering comprises more than 60 academic staff and post-doctoral researchers, supported by an experienced technical team and a wide range of specialist equipment and resources.

The department strives to align their research to the needs and challenges of industry and society, ensuring that research has a wide impact. Teaching and learning in the department are employability-focused, with a focus on practical skills and knowledge that reflects what students will do in engineering roles when they graduate.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


Foundation Year students

Fees for this course have yet to be confirmed and will be updated as soon as more information is available. The standard tuition fee for home, EU, and Channel Island students is set by the University subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students. For reference, the home fee for the full 120-credit 2019/20 academic year is £9,250.

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing. Total optional cost: £600


Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

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UCAS code(s)


Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


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