The programme acknowledges and contributes towards Birmingham’s vast industrial heritage and geographical position, maximising professional links, trade fairs and its transportation network.
MA Product and Furniture Design challenges perceptions around 'alternative living', exploring what else might be possible in a world already full of things.
You’ll be prepared for a successful career in a wide range of product design related roles.
You will also benefit from studying in a large, diverse and dynamic postgraduate community brought together through a well-equipped workspace at our City Centre Campus.
Our course, which is part of one of the largest arts, design and media faculties in the UK, has been established for over 40 years and has an excellent reputation.
Learn from our successful collaborative projects with renowned organisations such as Marks and Spencer, Cadbury, Pashley Cycles, Triumph Motorcycles and Saint-Gobain PAM.
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.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
A good Honours Degree in Product Design or a closely related three-dimensional design discipline, or equivalent qualifications.
Applications from European or International mature students (+21) with alternative quailfications and/or substantial work experience will be considered on their merits/portfolio.
Good quality language skills are essential as this is a taught MA and all project work requires accurate and appropriate communication in English language.
Non-English speakers ideally should have IELTS 6.0 overall. However, applicants may apply with lower IELTS if they successfully participate in the BCU Pre-sessional English Language courses that are delivered just before the main programme begins.
As a minimum, applicants should have a portfolio demonstrating their critical thinking, technical abilities and creative process in a range of media.
Portfolios can be either posted or sent digitally (e.g. in the form of an easily accessible website link, PDF or PowerPoint format and not larger than 10Mb).
|MA||Sep 2019||FT||1 year||
|MA||Sep 2019||FT||1 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. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. 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.
Applicants should have a portfolio demonstrating their critical thinking, technical abilities and creative process in a range of media. Portfolios can be either posted or sent digitally in the form of an easily accessible website link, PDF or PowerPoint format and not larger than 10Mb in file size.
Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.
On receipt of your application form, your application will be considered and you may be called for interview. After interview, if you are considered suitable for the course you will receive an offer of a place.
The programme includes activities such as exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts, which may require you to purchase specific equipment, books, materials, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
Taught modules are assessed through assignments. These account for half of the credits available on the course. The majority of the remaining half of the course consists of a personal project involving a negotiated combination of research and practice. You will receive regular feedback on your performance throughout the course.
Realism and Conceptualism
This module provides you with a broader and clearer understanding of 'typical' product design outputs and the associated design processes behind them. Through drawing upon both established and conceptual theories, policies and practice, and exploring case studies and the core principles of product evolution/revolution, you are encouraged to identify and appreciate the key issues that designers are likely to engage with at different stages of a product’s development.
This module considers the cultural, aesthetic, political, economic and social influences upon the development of individual, corporate, national and global design ‘cultures,’. This module also investigates how these macro issues effect the individual designer’s decision making processes.
Exploratory Research Practices
This module will introduce you to a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies relating to advanced research practice. These academic processes and theorems are evaluated in terms of their potential to support a deep and meaningful self‐directed investigative study, that includes authoritative secondary sources and critically sound primary research.
This module provides an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create a group project with students from complementary disciplines. The ability to work collaboratively in a team is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries.
The purpose of the Major Project 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. Through interaction and collaboration, students will forge strategic creative devices for their own unique research projects.
You’ll enjoy an extensive programme of lectures and assignments, delivered by an enthusiastic team of staff made up of theorists, practitioners and researchers.
The course is focused around a creative studio hub and provides a supportive environment where you can develop your personal design agendas.
Studio-based sessions are complemented by a virtual learning environment, giving you 24/7 online access to the latest information, course documentation and examples of previous student work.
You will study for 18 hours split from Monday to Friday, which breaks down into the following percentages:
Studies include structured, project based learning activities which develop creative, design and making skills, research and investigative abilities, evaluation and independent learning to an advanced level. It includes individual and group tutorials, tutor-led and student-led seminars, lectures, and workshops as well as report writing and project work.
Our graduates have an excellent track record of employment in the design industry and are well-equipped to enjoy opportunities in a variety of professional destinations, including manufacturing, design consultancy and management, academic research and teaching.
Students will explore research methods that can both explore how design practices and theories can produce new perspectives.
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.
Recent graduates have secured employment with organisations including:
Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of different roles, including:
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:
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 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.
Our course welcomes students from across the world. We have an excellent reputation globally, and have over 20 years’ experience teaching international students. Our students come from around the world but our product design course is most popular with international students from:
Over the last few years we have had students from all over the world, mostly from China, Taiwan and Europe/UK (50% male and 50% female).
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. These include Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) and a computer-generated Virtual Building Site, creating real life scenarios for you to work on.
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:
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.
Nuno Lourinho is the programme director for the MA Product and Furniture Design. As an active researcher, he is currently interested in work that addresses re-valuing artefacts examining user practices.
Nuno’s research looks specifically at the development of products and new definitions of durability from a sustainable perspective.