BDes (Hons) Product Design

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Learn how to design innovative, attractive and usable products and explore the dynamic world of product design while gaining vital industry experience.

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  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BDes (Hons)

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

Every product we buy, from an MP3 player to the chair we sit on, has been designed to look and work in a certain way.

BDes (Hons), Product Design course covers design activity and innovation from commercial 3D objects to conceptual design interventions in spaces and communication.

With an emphasis on innovation and user-focus, you’ll learn a range of practical skills in visualisation, prototyping, CAD, materials, fabrication, business and marketing skills to prepare you for a career in design.

safi shoes

You'll gain practical skills in design, sketching, use of digital media, 3D modelling, materials and manufacture, plus business and marketing skills.

This course will address future technologies, changing consumer culture and the impact of carbon neutral lifestyles, both locally and globally.

You’ll gain an understanding of the creative economy and professional design practice. You’ll work with our industry partners on live projects and have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. We encourage links with industry through external lectures, placements and participation in competitions.

In Year 3 you can also study overseas with one of our partners in Europe, China, Australia or North America.

You’ll develop your skills in research, problem solving, conceptual development and initiative and apply these to other creative areas such as branding, interaction design and service design.

The course is supported by designated studio spaces for you to learn and practice in, and a modelling workshop with rapid prototyping and excellent computing facilities.

Based at a multi-disciplinary campus, you'll be in close contact with students and staff involved in other aspects of design, giving you access to a breadth of inspiration and expertise that can add further depth to your study.

Our graduates enjoy a high success rate in gaining employment after graduation, and our alumni form an important part of our industry network.

This is a full-time course studied over four years. You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and independent study.

What you'll study

Year 1

  • Foundation product design 1 and 2
  • Debates in design 1
  • Foundation digital media 1 & 2
  • Visual research methods

Year 2

  • Materials for inspirational design 1 and 2
  • Product design studio 1 and 2
  • Debates in design 2
  • Design and business

Year 3

  • Materials for inspirational design 3
  • Product design studio 3 and 4
  • Design & urbanism or Branding
  • Design research methods
  • Prototyping interactive experiences
  • Optional work experience or overseas study

Year 4

  • Professional practice
  • Major project
  • Dissertation

You'll also enter your work into competitions.

Work placement

Optional supervised work placement or overseas study module.

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

This qualification can lead to a career in various areas of design including.

Career opportunities

  • product design
  • industrial design
  • medical equipment design
  • sports equipment design
  • carbon neutral design
  • brand management
  • advertising
  • graphic design
  • web design

After successful completion of the degree you can go on to develop more targeted research and practice and have the opportunity to progress to postgraduate level within our Master of Design (MDes) courses.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

BBBC including English or other literary subject* and preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

A Level

BCC including English or other literary subject* and preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre 2017: B1, B3, B3, B3 at HL including English or other literary subject* and preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

2017 onwards: H2, H3, H3, H3 at HL including English or other literary subject* and preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades MMM (Merit, Merit, Merit) in a related subject.

BTEC (QCF) Diploma

Minimum grades D*D (Distinction*, Distinction) in a related subject.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Award of Diploma with 27 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6,5,4 including English or other literary subject* at Grade 5 and preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

Minimum year 2

SQA Advanced Higher

BBC including English or other literary subject* and preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.

A Level

AAB including English or other literary subject* and preferably one of: Art, Product Design, Design, Technology.


Pass HNC in a relevant subject with Grade B in the graded unit.

Minimum year 3


Pass HND in a relevant subject with Grade B at SCQF Level 8 in all graded units.

Literary subjects accepted

*Modern Studies, History, Psychology, Sociology, RMPS, Theology, Media Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Geography, Latin and Classics.

Other entry requirements

As part of the selection process suitably qualified applicants will normally be required to submit a portfolio/attend an interview. This applies to all years of entry.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,250
Overseas £13,900 £14,350

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

The constant design briefs allow you to build up a portfolio and explore different areas of design.

Jack Lennie, 1st Class (Hons) Product Design, New Designer of the Year 2015.

Jack now works as a Junior SFX Designer at Warner Brothers.

Find out more