School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design with Foundation

This four-year programme of study provides an additional foundation year, enabling you to develop the required practical, technical, academic and creative skills to progress directly into Year 1 of our undergraduate BA degree at the University of Plymouth.

A top 10 UK Young University for Art, Design and Architecture

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020

Professionally accredited by the Chartered Society of Designers.

Our past award-winning alumni include Huw Evans (Furniture Designer Maker), James Otter (Otter Design), Oliver Blackwell (Industrial Design Consultant) and Laura Lane (Ceramics).

University of Plymouth ranked top for Design & Crafts in the Guardian's 2021 university rankings

  • 1st for 'Satisfied with Course' (92.5/100)
  • 2nd for 'Satisfied with Teaching' (92.7/100)
  • 7th overall for Design & Crafts (90.8/100)



Careers with this subject

Graduates from our course are adaptable and flexible and are working at major design consultancies, running their own businesses, working as freelance designers, or have moved into education or postgraduate research.

Our design projects and program of employability and creative industry skills creates graduates who are skilled, knowledgeable and professionally aligned to today's job opportunities.

What can you do with your design degree?

Key features

This course is an integrated part of the BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design degree at the University of Plymouth. Successful completion of your foundation year (Year 0) will not lead to a separate award or qualification in its own right but provides progression onto Year 1 of BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design or BA (Hons) Interior Design, or one of the following visual communication-related degree programmes after a successful interview:

Your foundation year will:

  • Prepare yourself for your dream career: our graduates are working for companies such as Tangerine, Lego, Dyson and Foster & Partners.

  • Draw on support from committed tutors with long-term industry and academic experience.

  • Join alumni and current students who have won national and international competitions such as the Royal Society of Arts.

  • Engage with live client briefs from clients like Benchmark and Vitra, giving your creativity real-world impact.

  • Explore our range of resources including wood, metal, ceramics, castings, digital fabrication labs, printmaking and photography.

  • Work in our open plan studios in the centre of Plymouth, a city at the heart of art and culture in the South West.

  • Hear from leading speakers from industry including Tom Raffield, Kenneth Grange and Sebastian Conran.

  • Welcome you to an engaging, experiential learning environment with a focus on active exploration, experimentation and discovery across a wide range of material, methods and media.

  • Help develop your practical, technical and creative skills through studio and workshop-based projects.

  • Provide training in key learning skills for further undergraduate study and build an awareness of practise, context and theory.

  • Introduce you to the accessible community of experienced academics, practitioners and technical staff that will support you on your studies.

  • Give you access to a wide range of enviable specialist workshops, laboratories and facilities across the campus and become part of our vibrant student community through the various opportunities available within the School of Art, Design and Architecture.
  • Enable you to explore and develop your personal interests and strengths as a creative practitioner.

Course details

  • Foundation year
  • You'll become part a vibrant creative community through an engaging learning environment with a focus on active exploration and discovery across a wide range of methods and media. Working in our open-plan studio, you'll learn by doing, putting teaching into practical outcomes. Upon successful completion of this year, you'll enter the first year of the BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design or BA (Hons) Interior Design.

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll explore the discipline of Product and Furniture Design with shared modules alongside the Interior Design course.

    You’ll learn how to develop and create innovative, practical and contemporary designs through gaining a hands-on understanding of material, processes, model making and prototyping methods.

    By developing your own robust ideology, you’ll gain confidence to develop ground-breaking concepts, backed by high levels of CAD visualisation skills.

    You’ll learn how to design, expand your knowledge and skills in practical design projects and develop teamwork and project skills across your discipline. You’ll interact with other design disciplines and explore links between design, art and expression, comprising culture, materials, process and market. You will develop design and employability skills and explore the limits of design of your pathway.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you will develop your creative identity within the discipline of Product and Furniture Design. You will begin to shape your career path by working on design projects that deepen your understanding and experience and expand your skills and capabilities.

    You will establish your skills as a designer, exploring methods, ideas and themes, and can choose to go on exchange programmes in Europe and Asia. You'll also set up your own exhibitions and build a portfolio of special interests, becoming proficient in design processes, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and communication methods.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you will take your specialism deeper and develop an individual philosophy to design and create a strong portfolio to demonstrate your skills. You’ll engage in real-world projects and can enter international competitions. You’ll work on your major project and dissertation with a focus on negotiated, self-directed study and managing your own work. You will exhibit your projects at our Degree Show and national events such as New Designers, taking advantage of our links with art and design institutions and the craft and design industry across Europe.

    Our employability workshops help you look beyond graduation and prepare for employment or further study.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

This programme offers access to study at university for those students who may not have the standard entry profile for BA study. Equally, it is designed for those returning to study who have relevant work/professional experience but not the required academic profile for Level 4 entry. It is also suitable for Level 3 learners whose subject choice does not include the necessary background, but who are otherwise academically capable. 

We will accept other pre-entry qualifications or combinations of different qualifications. Applications may also be considered from candidates who do not meet these minimum entry requirements. We welcome individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and previous educational or professional experiences, including those with non-standard qualifications. 

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

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.

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 international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

<p>Product and Furnitre Design - spinning top</p>
Discover our course
<p>Small group tutorials</p>
Teaching is in small groups in our vibrant studio
<p>Talk and live project with Vitra<br></p>
Engage with real clients and live projects
<p>

Superyachts competition 2018 Ashley Scott&nbsp;<br></p>
Industry experience through competitions, studio visits, visiting lecturers
<p>3D Design facilities</p>
Assessments are 100% coursework – so no exams

Design student's award-winning project to tackle "holiday hunger" in Plymouth

Sarah Boot, a third-year 3D Design student, has recently won a Royal Society of Arts (RSA) award for her Unmissable Food Organisation (U.F.O.) project, which aims to provide children living in poverty with food and education about nutrition.

Currently, “holiday hunger” affects over 500,000 children across the UK and over 30% of children are living below the poverty line, so Sarah decided to embark on a project to tackle these issues.

Read more about the project

Studio platforms

Studio X / Become a Designer Maker 
Designer Makers develop a strong imaginative personality by creating desirable objects and furniture in wood, metal, concrete and ceramics using hand, machine and digital skills. 

Studio Y / Become a Designer for Industry 
Designers for Industry create usable products and furniture. They consider emerging trends in ethics and sustainability to create experiences, services and products that solve the problems we all face.

View our visual guide to see how your interests align with our studio platforms

Follow us on social media

Get news about the course and our events by following us on:

Instagram: @Plym3d

Facebook: @DesignWithPlym

Twitter: @DesignWithPlym



Our design projects and programme develops creates adaptable graduates with a variety of industry skills, who are knowledgeable and professionally aligned to today's job opportunities.

Where could a design degree take you?

Meet your lecturers