Course overview

Our professionally accredited four-year BEng Product Design and Manufacture course includes an industrial year during which students will gain real-world experience within design or a similar field. The course combines creativity with engineering principles and provide students with all the necessary skills to enter a design facing career.

The world around us is full of problems, some small inconveniences and other global challenges such as climate change. Product Designers combine a broad range of creative, engineering and manufacturing skills to produce commercially viable solutions to these problems.

Our course utilises modern technology - from digital sketching through to high end 3D printing, rapid prototyping facilities and virtual reality equipment, to ensure our graduates leave prepared for the modern world of product design.

Students study a broad range of modules to develop practical design skills and knowledge in key areas including manufacturing, materials, ergonomics, marketing and more.

Project work is a key part of the course, responding to challenges in a variety of sectors including medical, automotive, packaging, appliances and electronic goods and many more. Projects enable you to take a realistic approach to design, utilising your taught knowledge of manufacturing and engineering principles. You’ll develop products and components that are appropriate for mass manufacture and consider commercial factors.

Our courses are delivered by academic staff who have industrial experience, in conjunction with Product Designers who currently work in industrial roles. This ensures that our course is relevant to the current needs of employers.

On this course students undertake their industrial year in between their second and third years of study. Our dedicated faculty placement team who provide guidance on applying for placements, host employer events and help with your transition back to university life. Whilst you are on placement you’ll receive visits and support from academic staff.

Explore our Product Design and Manufacture End of Year Show

Why choose this course?


in the Complete University Guide for Manufacturing and Production Engineering

Complete University Guide, 2023


by the institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Institute of Engineering Designers (IED)

New facilities

including design studios and workshops boasting both capacity and capability.

Industry Technology

which mirrors career practices and shows you the latest industry processes.

Teaching staff

with industrial career experience

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level AAB in Clearing for home students

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our contextual admissions policy for more information.

Required subjects

B in Maths at A level in Clearing for home students.

Art or design and technology are also desirable as 2nd subjects for the course but are not required.

We do not accept the following A Levels: General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, CIE Global Perspectives and Research, CIE Thinking Skills.

It is possible to transfer to the MEng during the course subject to satisfactory progression.

IB score 34; 5 in Maths: Analysis and Approaches or Maths: Applications and Interpretation at Higher Level or 6 in Maths: Analysis and Approaches at Standard Level in Clearing for home students

BTEC and Access considered for BEng on an individual basis.

Excluded subjects in Clearing for home students

  • General studies
  • Citizenship studies
  • Global perspectives
  • Critical thinking
  • Welsh baccalaureate advanced skills challenge

Foundation progression options

A foundation year is available for those with BBB grades but not in the required subjects.

Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the mature students webpage.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Group study
  • Independent study
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Supervision
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Examinations
  • Group coursework
  • Presentation
  • Research project
  • Practical assessment

Contact time and study hours

Engineers are among the busiest students on campus. On average, you will have around 20-22 contact hours a week in years one and two. Combined with coursework and self-study, you are likely to spend over 40 hours a week on your studies.

Our courses provide the opportunity to specialise through a choice of subject modules and practical work.

Study abroad

There are study abroad options for this course.


Year in industry

There is the opportunity to spend a year in industry and we have a team of careers experts to support you in finding the right placement. During the placement you are classed as an employee of the host company and will receive a salary.

Placements are usually undertaken in the UK, but can be anywhere in the world.

Find out where our students have been on placement in the past.

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

What is it like studying Product Design and Manufacture at UoN?

Hear what our students have to say about studying Product Design and Manufacture at UoN


The first year shares some modules with the department's other engineering degrees and will therefore give you a broad foundation in engineering science and design, manufacturing processes, material selection and behaviour, mathematics and management.


Engineering Design and Design Project

In this yearlong module you'll gain a deeper understanding of engineering design principles using practical project work. You'll learn CAD from the ground up, and by the end of the module you'll be well versed in the software.

Further you'll undertake practical workshops, where you'll learn how to use fundamental engineering machinery, which forms the basis of more advanced techniques you'll learn in higher level modules.

Topics covered include:

  • Process of design supported by practical design activities
  • Engineering drawing CAD solid modelling and drawing generation  
  • Machine elements Group Design Project with Integrated Individual Element  
  • Machine shop practical training 
Mathematics for Engineers

This module introduces a range of fundamental elementary mathematical techniques that can be applied to mechanical engineering, manufacturing and product design problems.

The aim of the module is to provide engineering students with a base in mathematical knowledge which can then be built on if required in subsequent years, however as a product design student this will be the only maths module you will undertake.

This module includes:

  • The calculus of a single variable, extended to develop techniques used in analysing engineering problems
  • Advanced differential and integral calculus of one variable
  • First-order ordinary-differential equations
  • Algebra of complex numbers
  • Matrix algebra and its applications to systems of equations and eigenvalue problems
  • Functions and their properties
  • Vector spaces and their applications
  • Vector calculus
Statics and Dynamics

The aim of this module is to introduce students to fundamental concepts and principles of solid mechanics and dynamics, and their applications to mechanical engineering systems. A wide range of engineering structures and mechanical components need to be designed to support static loads and as an engineer it is important to understand the way in which forces are transmitted through structures for efficient and safe design. This module includes:

  • Static equilibrium: force and moment analysis in design; frictional forces.
  • Stress, strain and elasticity.
  • Bending stresses in beams.
  • Relationship between angular and linear motion.
  • Work, energy and power, including kinetic and potential energy.
  • Geared systems.
  • Static and dynamic balancing.
Materials and Manufacturing

A deep understanding of both materials and manufacturing techniques used to process these materials is essential for all product designers, to produce effective and commercially viable products. This year long module introduces students to the properties of materials, the main failure mechanisms which a designer will be concerned with (e.g overload, fracture, creep, fatigue) and core manufacturing methods used in engineering applications.

It includes the following topics:

  • Role of materials and material properties in the design process.
  • Selection and use of materials.
  • Basic science underlying material properties Approaches to avoid failure of materials.
  • Introduction to manufacturing in the UK.
  • Casting, machining, moulding, forming, powder processing, heat treatment, surface finishing and assembly.
  • Introduction into additive manufacturing an introduction to manufacturing metrology.
Industrial Design Professional Practice

Practising Product Designers are often referred to as a jack of all trades and a master of none; This module begins a series of modules which focus on the broader discipline of Industrial Design and many topics which influence the practice that Designers need to be well versed in to create appropriate solutions to problems! To support the learning of these topics, and to begin understanding the process of design in a little more depth, students who participate in this module will undertake a short design project.

Other topics covered include:

  • History of Design.
  • Impact on Popular Culture.
  • Role of the Designer.
  • Design Methodology.
  • Ethical Responsibility.
  • Graphical Skills.
  • Photography.
  • Portfolio Skills.
  • Sustainability and Ecology.
Drawing for Design

Sketching; an essential skill for all Product Designers. This module will develop your sketching skills, taking you from the basics of drawing simple objects through to mastering drawing in perspective and constructing complex objects. We utilise modern and up to date technologies and as such the sketching which is taught and practised within this module will be digital and produced through the use of digital drawing devices! In this module you'll learn:

  • Progressively learn to add detail to drawings.
  • How to draw in 3-point perspective.
  • How to draw quickly and neatly.
  • To draw complex forms.
  • How light and shade can explain complex forms. 
  • Exercises to help develop an understanding and appreciation of form.
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Friday 02 September 2022.

You will develop further design skills and commercial awareness in year two. There are several design projects throughout the year, complemented by modules in the areas of design techniques, manufacturing, ergonomics and business.

At the end of year two, you can opt to switch to the four-year MEng degree provided that you have obtained at least 55 percent in the end of year assessment. Alternatively, you can choose to remain on the three-year BEng degree.


Materials in Design

This module seeks to develop an understanding of materials in design across a wide range of engineering applications. The module is arranged in 4 blocks covering designing with light alloys, polymers, composites, and functional materials. This covers important functional ceramics as well as other functional materials. Each block will explore the design requirements in detail of a particular case study followed by other examples, key material properties relevant to the engineering application, manipulation of the microstructure through processing and example calculations against failure of the product/component. This module will explore:

  • Material Attributes
  • Engineering Context
  • Manufacturing of Material
  • Production Processes
  • Environmental Impact
Second Year Group Design Project

This is a project based module for Product Design and Manufacture students in their second year. The module comprises an individual and a group design project. Through practical design work the students will be faced with the problems of managing differing constraints, possibly conflicting views and workload management to produce a cohesive design proposal. You’ll spend ten hours in practicals and four hours in further activity sessions each week when studying this module.

Design Communication

Designers need to be able to communicate their thoughts and design work to a broad range of individuals, not limited to, Clients, Customers, Specialist Engineers, Advertising specialists, other designers etc. To achieve effective communication a broad range of skill sets, and techniques need to be understood and employed. The module will develop CAD skills and include content on surface modelling so that students are able to model almost any object with the appropriate level of detailing. Following on from this the module will introduce Keyshot, a software that allows the production of high-end realistic computer-generated images and animations to communicate designs.

  • Solidworks Parametric Modelling
  • Solidworks Surface Modelling
  • Digital Sketching & Rendering
  • Keyshot Photo realistic Rendering
Industrial Design and Professional Practice 2

Building on Industrial Design and Professional practice from the 1st year of the programme, the second module continues to explore the field of Industrial design in more depth. The first half of the module focuses on topics such as branding and marketing; an understanding of these practises can impact how/what we design into products. We then build on the knowledge of ecology and sustainability established in the first module, to understand the impact that our designs have, and how we can minimise our environmental impact. The module also takes a more advanced look into Engineering Drawings and teaches students how to review drawings and make necessary alterations based on feedback.  

  • Branding and Marketing
  • Company Structures
  • Product Design Industry
  • Supply Chains
  • Sustainability: the facts
  • Sustainability Design Tools
  • Engineering Drawings 
Design for Manufacture

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge, understanding and practical skills in design for manufacturing and manufacturing and product development. It covers design for manufacturability, design for assembly, rapid prototyping and manufacturing, jigs and fixtures, process planning and group technology and design for cost. You’ll spend two hours in lectures and three hours in practicals each week when studying this module.

Second Year Design Projects

This is a project based module for Product Design and Manufacture students in their second year. Through practical design work the students will be faced with the problems of managing different constraints and producing cohesive design proposals. The students will become familiar with the process of receiving design briefs, managing time and resources and presenting design solutions. You’ll spend 12 hours in practicals and eight hours in further activity sessions each week when studying this module.

User Centred Research and Design

This module will introduce ergonomics (human factors) encompassing different aspects of product design and other applications. The module will demonstrate why ergonomics input to design is important and will teach the practical application of user centred research methods, also covering research ethics and statistical methods to analyse results. Content covered includes:


  • Task Analysis
  • Anthropometric data and Understanding Humans
  • Human Factors in Design
  • Designing for Users
  • User Based research methods
  • Evaluation Methods
  • Ethics in Design
  • Emotional Design
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

The third year of this course is spent in industry. You will receive support in applying for a year-long placement with an appropriate company. During the placement you will significantly enhance your engineering knowledge and skills. You will have regular meetings with your tutor throughout the year and will remain fully registered with the University.

You continue to develop design skills through project work and the modules studied become more in-depth. This includes a major design project undertaken in the final semester along with a dissertation.


Industrial Design and Professional Practice 3B

Building on Industrial Design and Professional practice from the first 2 years of the programme, the third module continues to explore the field of Industrial design in more depth. Linked directly with the two projects within BEng 3rd Year Projects, the module provides an opportunity to practice implementing some of the theory learnt about sustainable design and Engineering analysis, to a real-world design problem.

  • Topics within this module include:  
  • Sustainable Design
  • Bioplastics + Biodegradable plastics
  • Commercial considerations of sustainability
  • Young's modulus + stress and strain
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Theory
  • FEA Drop Testing
  • FEA Static Tests
Major Project Preparation

The Major Project is the final and largest piece of work which students undertake during the final 16 weeks of their study. In this module a problem area/project title is selected, and students undertake a substantive body of research and investigation to understand the background and relevant requirements prior to entering the design phase of the project. A broad range of investigatory methods will be utilised in order to identify a profile of user requirements and desires for the product which will be designed. 

  • User based Research
  • Questionnaires
  • Empathy Studies
  • Identify Project opportunities
  • Develop requirements for the Product
  • Production of Brief
RSA Design Projects

The module comprises of two projects. In the first project, students will be able to use ‘People Centred Research’ to find creative approaches to difficult problems. In the second project, students will be able to detail a simple product for manufacture by injection moulding. You’ll spend 12 hours in practicals and four hours in further activity sessions each week when studying this module.

Materials and Manufacturing 3

Within this module we build on the materials and manufacturing knowledge developed within the first two years of the programme, with a particular focus on Polymers and the Injection moulding process; a heavily utilised manufacturing process by Product Designers. Consideration of part/component design for this manufacturing technique shall be explored in depth, and this shall be practiced in a design project that runs alongside this module. Later in the module other material and manufacturing areas will be looked at such as timber selection and metal casting.  

  • Component design and optimisation for injection moulding
  • Advanced Polymer selection
  • Mold Flow Analysis within Solidworks
  • Part costings
  • Understanding mold design - core and cavity design
  • Timber selection, production and manufacturing methods
  • Metal selection and casting techniques
BEng Major Design Project

The Major Project is the final and largest piece of work which students undertake during their studies on our programme.

Students conduct the design and engineering phase of the project over 16 weeks. The project requires students to utilise and demonstrate a variety of skills which have been learnt throughout the duration of their course and apply them to develop a fully detailed and complete design. At the end of the module students will present their final design, alongside documents such as engineering drawings which communicate all the required manufacturing detail to produce the product. These are as follows:

  • Ideation phase
  • Production of high-quality concepts
  • Development Design Detailing
  • Engineering detail
  • Engineering Drawings
  • High quality Renders
  • Design Presentation Boards
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

Per year

International students

Per year

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

The following are based on the total four years of the course. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £200.

Although most graphical materials for use in design projects are supplied there will be some Items you will have to buy, budget around £180 for this. Additionally, design projects have printing costs and you should budget for around £150.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change. (Printing presentation material is currently under review and could be eliminated completely by the time your course starts).

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Faculty-specific funding

In addition to the above, students applying to the Faculty of Engineering may be eligible for faculty-specific or industry scholarships.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships


Along with an accredited engineering degree you will have gained the practical and theoretical skills needed to design commercially viable products and services within the industrial design sector. Your skill set will be well suited to both small design-based consultancy roles as well as large multinational organisations. In addition, your abilities in communication, problem solving, and creative thinking will make you highly employable in several alternative roles.   


Our graduates work for a diverse range of employment sectors with companies including: 

  • Dyson
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Morphy Richards
  • Bosch
  • Unilever
  • Caterpillar
  • Tesco
  • Triumph Motorcycles
  • Smith and Nephew
  • L’oreal

Average starting salary and career progression

83.2% of undergraduates from the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £29,073.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

This course is accredited by the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) to meet the further learning requirements of a Chartered Engineer.

Institute of Engineering Designers (IED)

In addition to the IET, this course is also accredited by the Institute of Engineering Designers (IED). 

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" Whilst on the course we have looked at and designed a wide variety of products from medical items to kitchenware, giving us experience of designing for different sectors.  I’m doing my placement year with Mondelez International and am working in seasonal packaging. It’s enabled me to gain experience in the FMCG sector and increased my expertise in a variety of areas such as CAD and the awareness of manufacturing. "

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Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.