MA / MDes Product Design Prototyping

Postgraduate, Part-time

Explore the design of products through physical and virtual modelling. Develop creative skills and technical knowledge and apply design thinking to a range of projects.

  • Napier code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    2 years (5 trimesters)

  • Award:

    MA / MDes

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

This course explores new and emerging methods for rapid prototyping, digital crafts and the repatriation of manufacture.

You’ll use old and new technologies for the virtual and physical modelling and testing of design ideas. With highly creative projects you’ll employ design prototyping and fabrication methods for various scales of production, critically informed by design research methods.

You’ll have the opportunity to shape your own ideas, concepts and theories through a self-directed major project, informed by design research and critical enquiry.

product design

Research led and critically informed, this course encourages a process of re-thinking the form and function of prevailing design practice. Through applied research you’ll engage with speculative design provocations that test ideas through motifs, messages, signs, symbols and interventions.

In specialist prototyping modules you’ll develop specific skills and knowledge in CNC milling, laser cutting, 3D printing, digital crafts and Arduino (electronic prototyping), which will inform and enable highly developed 3D outcomes in your self-directed major project.

Collaboration with practitioners from other areas is encouraged.

We have a strong studio culture supported by our multidisciplinary staff team of academics and industry based practitioners. You’ll develop creative, professional, strategic and contextual knowledge and skills and apply design thinking to a range of creative outcomes.

This course is studied part-time for two years. With the support and guidance of our tutors you’ll develop an individualised programme of study that best suits you.

Subjects include

  • Design Research Methods
  • Sketching in Hardware & Software
  • 3D Prototyping
  • Design Management
  • Major Design Project
  • For MA Degree - Design Dissertation

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.

The repatriation of manufacture is a key theme in promoting the creative economy of Scotland and Europe. The UK is a global leader in the design industry and many of our graduates have gone on to work in leading design consultancies or have set up their own businesses.

With a physical and digital/online portfolio demonstrating industry-ready skills, graduates can apply for design jobs, freelance work or establish entrepreneurial ventures.

You may also continue to study to MPhil or PhD level.

The entry requirements for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in art & design or related subjects (including product design engineering) or evidence of industry experience in an appropriate discipline.

All candidates are interviewed with a portfolio of creative work or technical/business projects. Applicants from overseas can be interviewed by teleconference with an online portfolio.

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, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). 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 are 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 2018/19 2019/20
Home/EU Stage 1 £2,660 tba
Home/EU Stage 2 £3,190 tba
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Home EU - Total Fee £5,850 tba
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Stage 1 £5,850 tba
Stage 2 £7,150 tba
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Overseas - Total Fee £13,000 tba
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Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships