Design Management (Level 6 | Top-up) - BA (Hons)

  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (1 year)
  • Location: City Centre

Design managers are responsible for the management of design projects, teams, contracts and the operational practice of design.

This may involve work within corporate in-house design teams or external design consultancy. Design managers have strong communication, project management and interpersonal skills.

What's covered in the course?

The BA (Hons) Design Management Level 6 course is designed to develop your professional, creative, communication, research, critical thinking and analytical skills, whilst developing your confidence, for progression into employment, or postgraduate study.

While you will retain links with design practice, you will step into a challenging environment, which reflects as closely as possible the ways of working, the practices and the behaviours that operate in the design profession.

How you will learn

You will be involved in complex problem solving, you will work individually and in team-based activities, whilst developing your negotiation and people management skills.

You will also be expected to work with external contributors, staff and students from a range of disciplines and cultures in a professional and accountable way. The course will be taught by staff in lecture, workshop and activity-based settings. This will include specialist guest lectures, project briefings and group critiques supported by industry.

We encourage you to consider studying your first two years within Birmingham School of Architecture and Design before selecting the BA (Hons) Design Management Level 6 top-up course. The School offers industry accredited courses across the design spectrum, including Architecture, Interior Architecture and Design, Landscape Architecture, and Product and Furniture Design.

Talk to the Course Director

If you would like to ask any questions about the course, or if you’d like to arrange a visit, you are welcome to email the Course Director on Nicholas.Irvin@bcu.ac.uk.

This course is open to International students

Concerns Cover

Read our Annual Review

Concerns is an annual publication by Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. In this issue, you can view final year student work and read more about the activities within the School.

Read the Annual Review 

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, or if you’d like to arrange a visit, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Nicholas Irvin.

Email Course Director

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements
Essential

Applicants will have completed Levels 4 and 5 in a design discipline and achieved 240 credits by the end of Level 5. As BA (Hons) Design Management is a top-up course at Level 6 and as entry points differ for each undergraduate design discipline, applicants must meet the course entry requirements.

We welcome applications from Home/EU and International students, who wish to transfer from their original design discipline at the end of Level 5 (with 240 credits), to pursue their final year of study (Level 6) in BA (Hons) Design Management.

Upon completion of your application, you will be invited to attend an interview and will be asked to provide evidence of a portfolio containing examples of work and your rationale for opting for this course.

You will have previously achieved 240 credits at Level 5, achieved a pass or higher, in the relevant Foundation Degree (FdA), or Higher National Diploma (HND) in a cognate design subject, or achieved a pass or higher, at the BA Level 5 equivalence, with the appropriate skills and experience.

For internal applicants, following your request to transfer at the end of Level 5, you will be asked to make a formal application. External applications are made through UCAS.

International students applying to transfer on to the course will also be required to make an application for a student visa in advance.

EU/International students

In addition to the above, students who are non-native English speakers or who have not studied their entry qualification in English, must demonstrate capability in English at the following standard: IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the listening, reading, writing and speaking components.

Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

Level 6 Top-up course

Students will have completed Level 4 and 5 in a design discipline.

Interview/Portfolio Review

Evidence of a portfolio containing examples of work.

How to apply

Internal applicants can request to transfer during Level 5. External applicants can apply through UCAS.

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £12,800 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Portfolio Guidance

If you are UK student and your application is shortlisted you will be invited to attend a portfolio review. This will give us the opportunity to ensure a good fit between you and the course in terms of your interests and aspirations. Please visit our portfolio guidance page for tips and advice on how to create your portfolio. 

If you are an EU/ international student you will be required to submit a digital portfolio at the point of application. This can be submitted via your applicant portal. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Design Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Innovation
40 credits

The module introduces you to the role of design management and involves you in a series of engaging lectures and workshops which explore the world of design practice and how complex design problems can be addressed. The teaching and learning will cover design business structures, business planning, entrepreneurship, collaboration and leadership, psychometrics, design strategy, design thinking and innovation.

Download the full module specification

Design Project Management and Implementation
20 credits

Following on from module one, you are asked to respond to the client with a detailed and fully costed project implementation plan, including a financial plan and timeline, considering charge out rates and the overall design strategy. This will be based on your chosen design discipline and will address the needs of the client.

Download the full module specification

Design Major Project
60 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. You will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a portfolio.

Download the full module specification

Further Study

Successful graduates can progress on to the postgraduate Masters in Design Management.

The BA (Hons) Design Management programme is located within the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. 

The course builds upon the School’s employability driven reputation, by providing students with the knowledge and skills to work in industry. 

As well as gaining course-specific skills, you could also gain broader tools through our Graduate+ programme, which will help enhance your employment options by helping with careers development, employability activities, volunteering and part-time work experience. 

Allied with these course-specific experiences, you will also have access to a range of support staff and services from the University’s Careers Service, who can help with: 

  • Reviewing CVs, covering letters and application forms
  • Career planning and decision making
  • Preparing for interviews and assessment centres
  • Developing portfolios
  • Networking with employers
  • Advice about self-employment and entrepreneurship

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

You’ll be based in the multi-million pound Parkside building – part of our City Centre Campus – with technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. We offer facilities which will accurately reflect the work environment you will enter after graduating.

While based in The Parkside Building, you will get sharpen your CAD and digital visual communication skills, prototyping and digital production, while also having access to a range of specialist software, workshops, computer and project learning laboratories, and a social learning space.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • Design studios
  • Computer and project laboratories
  • Social learning space
  • Café
  • Meeting point

From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion. 

Nicholas Irvin

Lecturer in Design Management

Nick is lecturer in Design Management and this programme attracts students from a diverse range of design and non-design disciplines from the UK and overseas.

The programme focuses on the strategic value of design and its importance within a business context, which aims to develop the confidence; skills and knowledge for work in industry.

A natural people person, Nick is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is keen to provide further teaching and reflective design practice knowledge and experience in higher education, based on a career spanning 18 years in creative design practices, account/project management roles and teaching environments.

Previous positions include working in design consultancy, in design/brand role for EE (formerly Orange), within further education, having worked in-house for marketing and communications and for Birmingham City Council, where he managed a range of projects, including; contract management and design of digital advertising, involving external advertising partners, Ocean and JC Decaux.

Nick is also a member of the Chartered Society of Designers (CSD).

cn

Caroline Norman

MA Design Management

Current activity:

Caroline has over 20 years’ experience in design and brand consultancy, spending seven of those as Managing Director of Boxer. Caroline’s career embraces design and business management, working with a variety of clients, SMEs and national brands, including Aga Rayburn, British Airways, Golden Bear, Halfords and Neurofen. She has a strong interest in management within the creative industries, with her current research interests focusing on work-based learning, transnational education, and the relationships between designers and non-designers, design and business, and businesses and universities.

Enquire about working with us on Design >>

Area of expertise:

  • Design
  • Design management
  • Design and brand consultancy
  • Marketing communication
  • Multidisciplinary design
  • Design strategy and analysis
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Design project management
  • Design business and strategic planning
  • Design business management
  • Design consultancy profitability
  • Creative people management, mentoring and coaching
  • KTP supervision
  • Work-based learning
  • Technology enhanced learning

Biography: 

A Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Caroline teaches on the Master’s in Design Management at Birmingham City University. A highly respected course within the field of Design Management.