School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design

UCAS tariff 96 - 120
UCAS course code W243
Institution code P60

3 years

(+ optional placement)
Assessment breakdown 100% coursework
Course type


Study location Plymouth

Our interdisciplinary design studio inspires you to challenge, disrupt and rethink design practices to create unique and compelling objects, artefacts and user experiences. Go hands-on with materials in our extensive workshops to design products, furniture, ceramics and lighting. Develop a rich portfolio that is relevant to the evolving needs of professional design practice and become a Designer Maker, or a Designer for Industry, or combine areas of 3D design practice.

Product and Furniture Design

Careers with this subject

A creative industries careers programme runs during each year of study. 
Visits to leading design studios, talks from industry experts and our Professional and Creative Attributes programme highlight opportunities offered by contemporary design practice and inspire your ambitions. You develop the core skills and resources and produce your creative CV and a professional portfolio that celebrates your unique design voice. 
Opportunities are provided for you to enter high-profile competitions and sell your work through pop-up shops. You exhibit your work in graduate shows to build your profile.
You can include an optional year to enhance the depth of your experience and your portfolio. 
Our graduates are working in the design studios of manufacturing companies like Lego, Dyson, Macpac and Princess Yachts. Others work for leading design agencies like Seymour Powell and Tangerine, or for independent designers like Paul Cocksedge Studio and Pinch. Some are establishing their own entrepreneurial making studios like furniture designer Huw Evans, Laura Lane Ceramics and Otter Surfboards.

Key features

  • Be industry-ready. Professional accreditation by the Chartered Society of Designers ensures quality and relevance to the evolving needs of the design industry. Broaden your experience and take an optional sandwich year for work placements and international exchange.
  • Get noticed in the design community. Learn by doing to build a portfolio of design work that will get you noticed and launch your career. Develop your profile with opportunities to enter high-profile competitions.
  • Expert-led. Learn with experts; our international team have diverse professional practice and research experience to inspire and guide your creativity.
  • Gain unique insights. Understand more about the design industry with exclusive visits to leading design studios and manufacturers.
  • Get connected. Learn from inspirational talks by leading product and furniture designers. Learn from real-world contexts through regular live projects.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • You learn core design principles and technical skills within our interdisciplinary studio culture. Project work introduces hands-on making skills in a range of materials, including wood, metal and ceramics, alongside CAD and communication skills. You develop an awareness of opportunities through specialisms within product and furniture design and make choices about where your own practice might fit.

    Core modules

    • Stage 1 Placement Preparation (FAPY100)

      If you’re undertaking a company placement in your third year, this module helps you find a suitable placement, and prepares you for the placement itself.

    • Product and Furniture Discovery, Exploration, Enquiry and Culture (PFD400)

      Through the development of a portfolio of project work, Product and Furniture Design is introduced relative to the varied nature of three-dimensional design. Studio practice is linked with historical, cultural and critical contexts. Processes of discovery, exploration and enquiry introduce specialist design knowledge, core skills and stimulate reflection. The module informs the student’s choice of areas of specialism to develop further within the subject of Product and Furniture Design.

    • Introduction to Studio and Workshop Practice (TDD400)

      Students will be introduced to the wide range of materials and processes available to them as designers, and will have the opportunity to develop workshop skills in the selection and processing of materials. Students will also be introduced to CAD and digital presentation software and gather a wide range of presentation skills to develop their confidence and ability to communicate confidently, effectively, clearly and efficiently.

    • Design Carousel 1 (TDD450)

      This Level 4 module runs in parallel with a Level 5 module, enabling collaborative cross-year interdisciplinary learning. It provides the opportunity to choose a project brief from a range of options to stimulate reflection of individual disciplines and specialisms, and adds breadth to individual portfolios. Working with senior peers enables the acquisition of new skills and knowledge, and establishes cross year interdisciplinary peer learning opportunities within the design studio.

  • Year 2

  • Your second year challenges you to explore design philosophies in more detail, developing more advanced technical skills. You develop your own unique design voice and establish how you express yourself. We celebrate our achievements with an end-of-year show.

    Core modules

    • Product and Furniture Specialist Exploration and Culture (PFD500)

      This module develops specialist knowledge and professional practice skills in Product and Furniture Design. It develops making skills, design awareness, aesthetic judgement and approaches relating to self-determined practice or live project briefs. The module includes Design Culture exploration of major issues and concepts affecting design with the development of research, critical evaluation and contextualisation skills as a primer for Level 6 dissertation modules.

    • Product and Furniture Specialist Skills and Progression (PFD501)

      This module develops specific skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to the practice of Designer Makers and Designers for Industry. Project work develops practical and digital skills in 2D and 3D, knowledge of materiality and the relationships between people and products, and associated contextual and cultural issues relating to contemporary design practice.

    • Design Carousel 2 (TDD550)

      This Level 5 module runs in parallel with a Level 4 module to enable collaborative cross-year interdisciplinary learning. It provides the opportunity to choose a project brief from a range of options to stimulate reflection of individual disciplines and specialisms, and adds breadth to individual portfolios.Working with junior peers develops interpersonal and organisational skills valued by professional practice, and sustains peer learning opportunities within the design studio.

    • Common Challenge: Interdisciplinary Design (TDD560)

      This module celebrates the interdisciplinary nature of professional design practice and acknowledges the role designers can play in addressing the big challenges posed by complex sustainability themes and issues relating to global society, culture and ecology. Interdisciplinary teams contribute to a series of Design Sprints inspired by a proposed theme or issue to produce individual and group work.

    • Stage 2 Placement Preparation (TDD500)

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Stage 1 Placement Preparation module and to assist students in their search and application for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

  • Optional placement year

  • You can add an optional year between your second and final years of study. This enables you to take a year-long work placement and gain first-hand knowledge and professional experience within the design industry or to study abroad for a year within the University’s international exchange programmes.

    Core modules

    • Design Industry Placement (TDD651)

      A period of professional training of 24 weeks or more spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year

  • Your final year develops the skills and experiences you need to build a professional portfolio. You enhance your knowledge of design and business, write a dissertation, produce a significant personal major project and enter high-profile competitions. Graduate shows and exhibitions celebrate your design identity and provide a launchpad to your ideal design job, your own design studio, or progress to postgraduate study.

    Core modules

    • Common Dissertation: Critical Practices (ADA600)

      The module engages students in situating practice through research, contextualisation and critical reflection, in relation to their final stage study and post University aspirations. Programmes can offer: a traditional dissertation; preparation for an extended dissertation; situating existing practice; or the construction of a new body of work as practice-based research.

    • External Factors and Feasibility (TDD606)

      This module encourages students to challenge and develop their professional practice skills, and their emergingdesign identity, by conducting distinct projects concurrently. A significant external project brief and a self-initiatedproject brief develop a platform of knowledge and experiences on which the character of their graduating portfoliowill be based.

    • Major Project (TDD607)

      Students identify, plan, evolve and review a summative design project in the programme and awardspecialism. It allows a substantive body of work celebrating all the learning outcomes and specific skills setsattained. The project culminates with a 1 to 1 viva with an external examiner and a degree showexhibition.

    Optional modules

    • Product and Furniture Consolidation (PFD600)

      This compact module offers students the option to develop their professional practice skills to a higherlevel. Professional and creative attributes are developed to prepare students for the evolving future ofdesign practice. Sustainability principals are blended with increased knowledge and understanding ofbusiness and project management issues relevant to areas of specialism within Product and FurnitureDesign

    • Extended Dissertation (TDD600)

      This module offers students the option to develop an Extended Dissertation that builds on a proposal,structure and literature review generated within the Critical Practices module. It provides the opportunityfor extended in-depth research and to write an illustrated dissertation. Students use their creative andanalytical skills on a concentrated topic area, with a word count of 8/10k

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design programme specification_7193

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

96 - 120

A level
A minimum of two A levels; General Studies accepted.
International Baccalaureate
26–28 points overall.
18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
MMM-DDM (any subject, preferably Art and Design).
BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification, it is vital that you provide our Student Recruitment and Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information, we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.
All access courses
Pass a named Access to HE Diploma with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.
T level
Merit in digital production, design and development.
Mathematics and English Language grade C.
Portfolios are required, ideally with face-to-face interviews. International applicants can email their portfolios, which will be followed by a telephone or web interview. Students who can demonstrate excellent design skills and capabilities may receive improved offers.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications, please refer to our tariff glossary. 
Learn how you can best prepare for your portfolio submission by reading our portfolio advice. 

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

Tuition fees for optional placement years

The fee for all undergraduate students completing any part of their placement year in the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,850.
The fee for all undergraduate students completing their whole placement year outside the UK in 2023/2024 is £1,385.
Learn more about placement year tuition fees

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 
UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 
To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.
Find out more at or contact our team at

Our studio

Introducing what you'll see, do and make.

Introducing Product and Furniture Design
Watch an overview of the course.

3D Maker 2017 Workshop Chris Powell forging

Product and furniture design facilities
Gain access to extensive workshops for wood, metal and ceramics, including steam bending, casting and digital ceramics printing.

College of student work from BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design, including chairs, bowls and vases.

Studio platforms
Become a designer maker or designer for industry – follow your interests with our studio platforms.

Our students

Inspiring stories from our students.

3D Maker 2017 Will Huggons lampshade Time & Tide

Student projects
Develop your skills through diverse projects from international competitions to live briefs, student exhibitions to professional graduate shows.

UFO shaped cooking trailer in silhouette

Tackling social issues through award-winning design
Graduate Sarah Boot won a Royal Society of Arts (RSA) award for her Unmissable Food Organisation project (U.F.O.).

James Otter

Careers in product and furniture design
Our alumni work in design practices or establish design consultancies, set up as designer makers or move into education and research.

Connect with our community on social media

* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.