Design Management (Level 6 | Top-up) - BA (Hons)
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.
Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.
Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
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 this 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.
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.
Applications taken to the next stage must attend a 'portfolio review' in person in order to receive an offer.
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|Diploma in Higher Education (Dip HE)||Students will be required to have successfully completed both Level 4 and Level 5 in a design discipline and achieved 240 credits.|
|Foundation Degree (Level 5)||Students will be required to have successfully completed in a design discipline and achieved 240 credits.|
|Higher National Diploma (HND)||Students will be required to have successfully completed in a design discipline and achieved 240 credits.|
|Transfers from other courses or universities|
|Entry onto year three||
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 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.
|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.
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 1 year
- £9,250 per year
- Apply via UCAS
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 1 year
- £13,500 per year
- Register interest
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
Project materials (mandatory)
This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. Whilst portfolios are digital, there is an option to develop portfolio concepts or prototypes; costs will vary depending on the design specialism and chosen topic/theme but are likely to be in the region of £50 to £200.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
Field trips (optional)
This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.
Personal equipment (optional)
Whilst not essential is it adviced you have access to an Apple Mac/PC laptop for use during online collaborative workshops and when developing projects, e-reports, digital portfolios and reflective diaries. Prices vary depending on the brand/manufacturer but are likely to be in the region of £400 to £1400.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Guidance for UK students
UK 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
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
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.
Please note that the application process for this course includes an interview stage. If your application is successful, you will be contacted and invited to select a suitable interview date.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
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.
Course in Depth
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
Facilities and Staff
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the exceptional quality of our campuses. With an investment of £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
You will be based in our multi-million pound Parkside building – a state of the art facility located within our City Centre Campus. Here you will have full access to our recently upgraded, high spec CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) workstations situated within our dedicated computer labs and open access areas. We also provide access to leading edge digital design software, enabling you to explore technical drawing, graphics, 3D modelling, visualization, animation, computation, simulation, and virtual reality.
The Parkside Building is also home to our digital fabrication labs, where you will be able to explore 3D printing, laser cutting, water-jet cutting, CNC machining, ceramics, glass and traditional model-making, guided by our team of expert technicians with access to our on-site material store, and professional printing facilities.
You’ll also benefit from:
- Design studios
- Physical and digital library
- Loanable laptops
- Dedicated social spaces
From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our dedicated teaching teams and expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion.
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).More about Nicholas
Dr Mersha Aftab
MA Design Management Course Director
Mersha believed that most effective teaching happens when students have space, which allows them to ask questions, make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes. By creating collaborative and interactive sessions that are similar to working outside of academia, with industry projects and live case studies, her sessions give students critical thinking and problem-solving techniques. Within the context of the projects, student teams are encouraged to take risks and to experiment. The combination of a safe environment and the experience of working in teams, allow students to get a voice, and peer-to-peer learning flourishes.
Mersha has expertise in integrated design education. She is continuously developing opportunities for her students to interact with different disciplines and exchange knowledge. She enjoys studio culture and encourages the active participation of students in her sessions. From lectures, seminars, discussion groups, and workshops, her sessions are creative, engaging and informative. Mersha’s research informs her teaching content. This ensures that students are equipped with the knowledge of Design Management that is relevant and applicable to the industry.
In her sessions, Mersha encourages her students to think critically. Her students are risk-takers and are champions of design-led innovation practices.More about Mersha