MFA Product Design Making

Postgraduate, Part-time

Product Design Making MFA

Develop your skills in a range of design prototyping and making methods.


Product Design is a rapidly changing discipline, elements of which are converging with craft-based practices to occupy new hybrid maker spaces and a growing redistributed manufacturing network. This programme develops your skills in a range of making methods, with both traditional tools and materials and digital prototyping technologies (including CNC routers, laser cutters and 3D printers).

Part of the MA/MFA Design Suite, the course benefits from bringing together designers from a range of disciplines into core modules, as well as modules specific to your chosen pathway such as 'Making as Thinking', 'Sketching & Prototyping in Hardware and Software' and ‘Design for Makerspaces’.

All students complete the Live Project and you will study 'Thinking: Research for Creative Practice', which will help you to determine your Research Portfolio (MA) or Major Project (MFA) topics.

The MFA is recognised as an advanced masters level degree and students already holding an appropriate MA can apply to enter the programme directly into the second year of study.

To ensure there is sufficient time to process your application, we encourage you to submit your application by 30th June.

Sauce bottle cap prototypes.

Mode of Study:

Part-time (available as Part-time)


4 years

Course details

The programme aims to develop your creative practice through hands-on making and promotes “knowing-by-doing” and “making-as-knowledge”. You will undertake a number of projects led by material enquiry and processes and explore making as a process of growth. You will develop advanced workshop skills with hand guided tools and digital hardware. As your skills develop, you will work in the context of localised (re)manufacture and “manu-digi-facture”, seeking out entrepreneurial and/or social development opportunities. Sustainability and circular economic thinking are core values of the programme and you are encouraged to work with alternative consumer models.
The programme is supported by the Edinburgh Napier design team who are actively engaged in research, knowledge exchange and/or consultancy work as part of the Art & Design Research Centre (ADRC). We have a cluster of externally funded research projects focussing on making and materials, redistributed (re)manufacture and sustainability, led by Ian Lambert, Dr Sam Vettese, Paul Kerlaff and Colin Malcolm.

Ian Lambert is an Associate Professor and a practicing product and furniture designer. Specialising in making and sustainability, Ian is currently working on projects with Ocean Plastic, and improvised aluminium sand casting methods. Ian has over 25 years of experience in design education and has exhibited work widely across the UK, including at London Design week and the Lighthouse in Glasgow.

Dr Sam Vettese is a Reader in Design and Applied Arts. Trained as a jewellery designer, Sam has recently undertaken a number projects funded by the AHRC, Textile Forum Scotland and Interface. Sam is currently working on the integration of textile waste into 3D printing filament (Selvage PLA), as well as leather waste.

Paul Kerlaff trained as an architect before undertaking an apprenticeship in furniture making and becoming a furniture designer. He has almost 15 years of professional experience in design, 10 of which have also been in design education. He is currently working on a remanufacturing and repair project funded by the Manufacturing Institute of Scotland.

Colin Malcolm trained as a shipbuilder, and then worked in vehicle prototyping, before completing an MA in Product Design Prototyping. Colin has recently worked on several projects with the iconic band New Order. Colin is a highly skilled maker and active design researcher, and head of the design workshop.

You'll study a variety of modules during the course, including:

  • Making as Thinking
  • Sketching in Hardware and Software
  • Maker Space module
  • calendar How you’ll be taught The programme has studio learning environment, and uses practice-based learning, workshops, seminars, lectures guest speakers and supported on-line learning in which core knowledge and understanding of design and making are acquired and assessed in tandem with their specific application to your own individual projects.
  • note and pen Assessments We take a common approach to learning, teaching and assessment in studio modules where practice-based student output is collated as a portfolio presentation.
  • briefcase 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.
  • library Facilities All design programmes in the School of Arts & Creative Industries are delivered in studio learning environments. We have two workshops, one equipped with more traditional machines and tools, along with a 3 axis CNC router, and the other with a range of 3D printers, and laser cutters. Workshops in the School of Engineering can also be accessed by prior arrangement.


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

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above in an art & design or related discipline (architecture, creative computing & engineering design)

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry.

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.

The University does not sponsor students to study on part-time programmes in the UK under the Student Visa route. International Applicants must therefore have other valid immigration leave to study on this programme.

English language

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.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2022/23 2023/24
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £5,000 tba
Overseas and EU £10,915 tba
You study this course over two academic years, fees listed are per annum.

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.


Graduates from this programme pathway can pursue careers in: 

  • product design
  • digital crafts
  • remanufacturing
  • furniture design
  • interaction design and prototyping
Handmade modular library.