Course overview

Product design is the process of turning ideas into successful products. Using the latest manufacturing processes and technologies, our course combines design and creativity skills with engineering, science and technological knowledge.

You will be taught by teaching staff, experienced in areas including:

  • medical
  • office and kitchen equipment
  • electronic goods
  • automotive goods

Designers will support you to become confident in using digital presentational and prototyping techniques expected in industry. The course is very project-based and you are encouraged to submit your work to design competitions outside the university.

This BEng programme is a three year accredited degree. You will have the possibility of moving to a MEng masters degree at the end of your second year if your performance meets the criteria. This provides the preferred route to achieving Chartered Engineer status.

In year two you will study abroad.

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, 2022

Top 20

UK department

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2021

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 ABB
Required subjects

Maths is required.

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 32 including Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches - 5 at Higher Level or 6 at Standard Level or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation – 5 at Higher Level only. Visual Arts is desirable for the course (but not required).

BTEC and Access considered for BEng on an individual basis.

Foundation progression options

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

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

Explore the world, experience different cultures and gain valuable life skills by studying abroad.

As well as starting an international network of contacts, you will discover new strengths and abilities – helping to enhance your future employment prospects.

See our study abroad pages for full information.

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

This year long module introduces students to basic concepts and practice of design and manufacture with a semester long group and individual project. It includes the following topics:  

  • the process of design supported by practical design activities
  • engineering drawing 
  • solid modelling and drawing generation  
  • machine elements 
  • group Design Project with Integrated Individual Element  
  • machine shop practical training 

Student groups will undertake a different group design project in semester two aligned to their subject stream: Mechanical, Manufacturing Engineering or Product Design and Manufacture

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. It includes:

  • the calculus of a single variable, extended to develop techniques used in analysing engineering problems
  • techniques for solving selected first-order and second-order differential equations
  • the algebra of complex numbers to provide a key mathematical tool for analysis of linear mathematical and engineering problems
  • the complexity of solving general (large) systems of equations 
  • 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

An introductory module covering analysis methods applicable to engineering design including:

  • review of basic mechanics: vectors, units, forces and moments, Newton’s laws
  • static equilibrium: force and moment analysis in design; frictional forces
  • free body diagrams and Pin-jointed structures
  • stress, strain and elasticity
  • multi-axial stress-strain; thin walled vessels under pressure
  • shear stress and torsion of shafts
  • plane stress; Mohr's circle analysis
  • beam bending: shear force and bending moment diagrams
  • second moments of area of cross-sections
  • bending stresses in beams 
  • linear and rotational motion: displacement, velocity and acceleration
  • relationship between angular and linear motion
  • newton's Laws for linear and rotational motion
  • linear and Angular Momentum, including conservation of momentum
  • work, energy and power, including kinetic and potential energy
  • geared systems
  • drive systems, including tangential drives and vehicles
  • load characteristics and steady-state characteristics
  • flywheel design
  • static and dynamic balancing
Materials and Manufacturing

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:

  • the role of materials and material properties in the design process
  • the selection and use of materials
  • the basic science underlying material properties and approaches to avoid failure of materials to provide the knowledge with which to design materials with better properties. For each property (or group of properties), a case study of practical design application will be addressed
  • an introduction to manufacturing in the UK 
  • an introduction to high value – low volume and low value – high volume manufacturing processes including: casting, machining, moulding, forming, powder processing, heat treatment, surface finishing and assembly
  • an introduction into additive manufacturing an introduction to manufacturing metrology 
Industrial Design Professional Practice

This module provides an introduction to Industrial Design; a brief history of its leading practitioners, its impact on popular culture, the role of the designer, design methodology and ethical responsibilities of the designer.

The module also contains sessions teaching design project practice, graphical skills used in design, photography and the production of a portfolio of skills for the first year of your course.

Drawing for Design

This module will teach and develop skills in constructed and freehand drawing in perspective. It will teach you the rules of perspective drawing and basic pen control. You will develop their skills from sketching simple boxes to sketching complex forms with detail and contour lines.

You will progressively learn to add detail to their drawings and learn to draw quickly and neatly. You will be taught how light and shade can explain complex forms. You will learn how to use markers to add tonal work to sketches and to combine all these skills to produce sketch pages for design projects. The exercises will also help develop special awareness abilities and an 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 26 November 2021.

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.

During year two, you will also have a unique opportunity to see your academic subject from a different perspective by studying abroad in China or Malaysia. As well as starting an international network of contacts, you will discover new strengths and abilities – helping to enhance your future employment prospects.


Materials in Design

This module aims to introduce students to methodologies for materials selection and process selection for design improvement. This module seeks to develop an understanding of the role of materials in the design of a range of components, from consumer goods to large scale structures.

Advanced Mathematics and Statistics for Mechanical Engineers
Design, Manufacture and Project

This module will introduce design methodology through the entire design cycle from establishing users' needs and generating creative concepts to developing fabricable engineered solutions.

You will develop knowledge of machine elements and mechanical systems and develop enhanced skills in communicating effectively in a team environment and operating machine tools for manufacturing and testing of design.


This module aims to introduce concepts of rigid body dynamics, vibrations and feedback control, and develop the student's ability to analyse these aspects in simplified engineering situations. 

Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics 2

In this module you will apply concepts and principles of thermofluids to fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer situations in simplified applied situations.

Mechanics of Solids

The aim of this module is to introduce more advanced topics in linear elastic solid mechanics, plasticity and failure, introduce relevant analysis methods for this materials behaviour and demonstrate the application of these methods to the design of engineering components. 

Engineering Management 1

To introduce students to the principles of modern Engineering Management, how projects are selected and financially evaluated, how sustainability is assessed and lifecycle assents are constructed, how health safety and ethics are maintained, and the construction and monitoring of the elements of an engineering or business programme.

This module introduces students to basic concepts and methods relevant to professional management practice, with an emphasis on the commercial engineering context and project management. Topics include introductions to the following:

  • history of management
  • the private enterprise
  • the economic theory of the firm
  • sustainability and lifecycle assessment
  • health
  • safety and ethics,
  • financial project evaluation
  • project planning and scheduling
  • risk management,project monitoring
Electromechanical Devices

This module aims to explain how electricity and electronic principles can be used to achieve practical tasks in mechanical engineering, measuring mechanical quantities and provide mechanical power. It also aims to give students an understanding of the importance of electrical and electronic subsystems in mechanical designs. A further aim is to prepare students for the use of electrical and electronic approaches within their individual and group project work.

Electrical machines and circuits: DC circuits, electromagnetism, capacitance, transducers, AC circuits, rectification, transistors, induction motor, amplifiers, combinational & sequential logic, transformers. Sensors: application of basic electrical and electronic principles to sensors for position, displacement, velocity, acceleration and strain, rotary sensors. Actuator: solenoids, stepper motor, DC permanent magnet motor. Signals and conversion: analogue and digital data, ADCs, DACs.

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

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
Major Project Preparation
Materials and Manufacturing 3
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.

BEng Major Design Project

This is a project based module for Product Design and Manufacture students in their third year. It is the final project of the BEng degree programme. The module comprises of one project, which develops and showcases the design skills of the student. This work will form the basis of the end of course exhibition. You’ll spend 20 hours working practically each week when studying this module.


Computer Aided Engineering

In this module you will start to develop one of the key skills for an engineer – that of being able to program. You will gain the skills required to analyse, design and implement solutions to practical engineering problems through the use of computer aided design tools and the development of software based solutions.

Cognitive Ergonomics in Design

This module will provide you with a thorough understanding of cognitive ergonomics and the way in which the consideration of cognitive ergonomics can impact on human performance in the workplace. 

Simulation, Virtual Reality and Advanced Human-Machine Interface (autumn)

For human factors/ergonomics work, simulation tools can enable designers, managers and end-users to experience products and systems in realistic, interactive environments. Such advancements have significant cost implications, enabling designs and their implications to be visualised early in the development life cycle. In addition, virtual/augmented reality and other advanced human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are being developed in many different industries to support different user needs.

This module will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to understand and utilise computers as human factors tools for understanding peoples’ interactions with new technology. Moreover, the module will consider HMIs that are increasingly common in modern life and frequently designed and evaluated using simulation techniques.

The module is a mix of practical and research-oriented content, and you will make extensive use of the simulation facilities and on-going research projects within the Human Factors Research Group and elsewhere in the University.

Topics include:

  • virtual reality technologies/environments/interfaces
  • augmented reality; fidelity and validity of simulators
  • presence factors for simulation
  • understanding and minimising simulator sickness
  • multimodal interfaces including the use of natural language and gesture interfaces, computers and collaborative/social interfaces, accessibility, in-car interfaces 


Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Practicum 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 50.00 Report (approx. 3,000 words) on the use of simulation to aid in the design/evaluation of specific products
Coursework 2 50.00 Presentation arguing for the use of advanced Human-Machine Interface solutions in a specific design context
Polymer Engineering (autumn)

A broad-based module covering the chemistry, material properties and manufacturing methods relevant to polymers.

Topics include:

  • Polymer chemistry and structure
  • Routes to synthesis, polymerisation techniques, practical aspects of industrial production
  • Viscoelasticity, time-temperature equivalence
  • Rheology of polymer melts, heat transfer in melts, entanglements
  • Properties of solid polymers, yield and fracture, crazing
  • Manufacturing with polymers, extrusion, injection-moulding
  • Design/ processing interactions for plastic products

Method and Frequency of Class:

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Seminar 11 weeks 1 week 1 hour

 Method of Assessment:

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 25.00 Report on multidisciplinary design exercise covering the chemistry, processing and properties of a polymeric product
Exam 1 75.00 2 hour exam
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 starting your course in the 2022/23 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

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 three 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 improve the production systems for manufacturing industrial products and assemblies efficiently. Your transferable skills will also include effective communication skills and problem solving

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

  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Tata Steel
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Ford
  • Thales

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.

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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.