Panch Suntharalingam

MA Design and Visualisation

   Panch - PG team profile  

MA Design and Visualisation

Find out more about the course

Could you tell us about what you do and how this feeds into your course?

I am the Course Leader for MA Design and Visualisation at Birmingham City University.

I teach on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Product Design, Interior Design and Interior Product Design in the UK, India, Hong Kong and China. My areas of expertise and interests include design and visualisation, engineering product design, industrial design, knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) programmes, software programming, enterprise development, medical product design, interior products, research methods, rapid prototyping and computer-aided-design (CAD).

I have design and scientific knowledge in interdisciplinary fields and have published international papers and designed well known opening title sequences featured on BBC and ITV networks such as 'Top Gear'. My wealth of experience with the manufacturing industry includes 18 KTPs, with companies such as AGA Rangemaster, gaining three 1st class Technology Strategy Board (TSB) awards for achievement in innovation. I am also an external examiner at various national and international universities at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level.

I was educated in the United Kingdom gaining my PhD from Birmingham City University, a MSc. with distinction from the University of Birmingham and a BSc (Hons) from Middlesex University.

What is the philosophy of your course? 

Interdisciplinary: this allows students from various backgrounds to study elective modules to enhance their employability skills.

Students can tailor their module choices to suit their career aspirations and create a stronger set of appropriate professional and employability skill sets.

If you had to name one thing about your course that makes it distinct, what would it be?

The course reflects changes in Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) design practices where there is an emphasis on graduates with transferable skills. The course will help you to identify and communicate design opportunities in addition to solving given problems.

Why is Birmingham a good place to study/work?
  • Excellent student environment with an Art and Design student population of over 4,000
  • Birmingham City University is one of the largest providers of Art, Architecture, and Design education outside London
  • Very high student employability and strong links with industry including student work placement schemes
Why do you believe it’s important to study an MA and why might students want to study your course?

To differentiate yourself from an undergraduate degree. A Master’s degree can boost your career prospects but does not guarantee you a job. Professional roles are generally held by those who have had more advanced training making an MA necessary or beneficial as a hallmark of graduate employability.

There is also a rapidly growing need for experts with a good grasp in different fields of design that are specialised in advanced 3D visualisation, animation and simulation are desired by various industries including product / interior, furniture, construction, architecture, manufacturing, graphics, games etc.

The design industry is increasingly seeking graduates with 3D visualisation skills in animation and simulation to facilitate collaboration across different disciplines.

The course is designed to develop the value of the students’ toolbox skills at all stages of the design process and to educate them as to the strategic role that visualisation techniques can play.

The degree utilises the Faculty’s digital facilities and workshops with 2D and 3D computer controlled systems, which is a significant resource.

Where will the students be based in their time here and what will their learning environment be?

You will be studying at Parkside building based in the city centre of Birmingham. As a student of the Arts Design and Media (ADM) faculty you will be working from a core studio in one of the floors of our five-floor building. There is also a ‘collision space’ where students and staff from different courses see each other to pass the time of day and exchange thoughts and ideas.

What can students do to help prepare them for the course?

You should prepare a portfolio that demonstrates a personalised visual language through visual thinking combined with traditional and contemporary media. You should be able to express your final ideas with the production of Digital 3D visuals/artefacts that are aligned with your specialist area of interest.

What’s the favourite element about working at Birmingham School of Architecture and Design?

Our expertise, experience and research is contemporary and issue-based, focusing on socio-political, cultural, environmental, professional and technological concerns.

An active and ambitious school with a broad-based portfolio of postgraduate courses that creates a lively environment for learning and other extra-curricular activities

A School that is based in one of the largest Art, Design and Media faculties in the UK, with a very diverse local, national and international student population that gives a very cosmopolitan feel.