Undergraduate › Product and Furniture Design - BA (Hons)
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A plant pot with a lamp built into it
A plant pot which grows mushrooms
A dirt bike mid-jump
An ergonomic chair

Product and Furniture Design - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

Our Product and Furniture Design course focuses on the design and development of creative, contemporary and innovative products and furniture, considering user centred design, social context and commercial understanding....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

Doris Van Roojen: Everything we use in our lives has been designed from your pen, your phone. So, designers is really underpin everything that we do and it is really important that universities teach these courses and give us the tools to do that because without design, we'll never move forward. We'll just stay where we are at the minute.

Mat Jones: So the courses in the School of Architecture and Design are all about enabling students to find their own voice, to bring their own ideas to their studies, and develop the projects that are of interest to them in places that they're interested in.

Miruna Oprean: It was quite interesting because all this project for me has been a roller coaster, but then the tutors were very, very supportive and they were there to kind of like, help me out, get out of those moments. And now, of course, they love it.

Mat Jones: I think the purpose of the inspired festival is really to connect the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media with the city and with the people of the city through the different events, the activities, the billboards and advance and so forth. It's a really strong way of connecting our students with the city and the communities that they live in and work in.

Doris Van Roojen: You've worked on this for so long and it's your little baby, and then it's like, well, well, what's next? And the inspired festival is really allowing us to kind of present our work and get it out there, which is just an amazing opportunity.

Edith Chirapa: Making all of this and then showcasing it and people actually talking about it and actually thinking, Oh wow, it looks really good. And I'm thinking, actually, I did make that.

Mat Jones: For the students, it's a really proud moment to see their work exhibited, see the outcome of their studies shown to a broader audience, shown to industry professionals, to the creative industries.

Murina Oprean: I just feel like it's highly important to have this space to show, because it just felt like a massive reward after all these years of hard work. Um, to kind of have this little space of yours and people see what you're capable of.

Doris Van Roojen: And it's absolutely amazing. It really kind of makes us feel as well, like, they're reaching for us and they're helping us make the next steps by getting our work out there and hopefully noticed by someone.

Edith Chirapa: In all builds on something. But every day is a learning experience. So just enjoy it.

Our Product and Furniture Design course focuses on the design and development of creative, contemporary and innovative products and furniture, considering user centred design, social context and commercial understanding. Throughout your degree, you will be encouraged to explore materials, techniques and processes in relation to scales of manufacture, from one-off bespoke design to design for standardised mass production.

You will learn a range of research and design methods alongside continual practical skills development. Live student projects take place throughout the course to enhance your employability, communication skills and professional practice.  

Professional Placement Year

This course offers a professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, between the second and third years of your degree, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

The University will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. If you do not find a suitable placement, you will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year (£1,850 for UK students).

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

You will examine the process of designing and developing functional and desirable products and furniture, examining how social and cultural factors influence design decisions. You will develop knowledge and understanding of design in response to collaborative, professional, commercial and economic considerations.

Alongside research and design development skills, you will also increase your practical knowledge through extensive hands-on exploration. Engaging with making from the outset enables you to fully realise design concepts and create convincing models and prototypes. Underpinned with strong contemporary design thinking, you will explore the breadth of scales of manufacture across product and furniture design to be able to position yourself within a global industry.

By working on live projects, work placements and collaborative projects, you will explore how businesses operate at a commercial, technological, ethical and sustainable level. Second year students recently worked with Philips, developing user-centred lighting applications and third year students exhibited and sold work at Minima: one of Birmingham’s key contemporary design showrooms. You’ll also benefit from the insight of guest speakers from across the design spectrum from designer makers to industrial designers and product and furniture developers

Whilst studying product and furniture design at BCU I have discovered who I am as a designer whilst also making the best friends and memories both in Uni and on the study trips. This course has helped me to develop a strong skillset in all aspects of the design process and I have become extremely competent in using the Adobe Creative Suite, as well as 3D CAD software - in particular SolidWorks. Lastly, I’d like to say thank you to all the staff at BCU, both the tutors and technicians who have offered great guidance and support throughout my time at University.

2021 Graduate - Sophie Hickman  (Winner – New Designers 2021 – Habitat Award)

Why Choose Us?

  • 95% of students are satisfied with this course (National Student Survey 2022).
  • Live projects and industrial collaborations provide you with invaluable real-world experiences and hone your communication and professional development skills.
  • You will develop practical skills through extensive workshop practice within our Ceramics, Plaster, Wood and Metal workshops.
  • From water jet cutting, to 3D printing, you will develop skills in rapid prototyping and digitally driven techniques.
  • Whole course international trips provide new cultural perspectives and create shared common experiences.
  • You’ll develop design communication and visualisation skills using recognised industry standard programmes such as SolidWorks, Adobe Creative Suite and AutoCAD.
  • Our location provides a perfect opportunity to engage with manufacturing industries.
  • Two-thirds of the impact of our research was judged to be very considerable (3*) or outstanding (4*) - REF2021

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Day: Saturday 22 October 2022

Book your place

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.


In addition to qualification applicants will also need a good portfolio.

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
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.
AS and AS VCE Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3.
  • BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design & BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture - Construction, Planning, Built Environment and Art and Design subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • BA (Hons) Art and Design, BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Jewellery and Objects, BA (Hons) Horology - Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • BA (Hons) International Jewellery Business - Arts, Media and Business subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • BA (Hons) Graphic Communication, BA (Hons) Illustration, BA (Hons) Photography, & BA (Hons) Design for Performance - Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
DMM
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Distinction
  • Can be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 112 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 112 UCAS Tariff Points
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects.
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma DMM
Scottish Advanced Higher
  • Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).
T-Levels
  • Merit overall
  • Design, Surveying and Planning T Level considered for BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design & BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture courses
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Merit overall
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.

Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

In addition to qualifications, EU and international applicants will also need a good digital portfolio.

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Mature Applicants

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

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Professional Placement Fees

The tuition fee for your first year of study at the university is shown above. Full-time courses with a Professional Placement also incur a fee during the placement year. The fee for your placement year will be £1,850, which is equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • TBC
  • Full Time
  • 4 years (with Professional Placement)
  • Show fees

Professional Placement Fees

Full-time courses with a Professional Placement also incur a fee during the placement year. The fee for your placement year will be equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that 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.

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.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

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.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

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. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected, but are likely to be in the region of £50 to £100 in year 1, £100 to £150 in year 2 and £200 to £300 in year 3.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment in order to use the workshop facilities, including safety shoes/boots.

Media consumable items (mandatory)

You may use outside processes that will incur charges such as plating, powder coating, casting or specialist 3D printing. Depending on the processes used, you may spend between £200 to £600. The total cost for art supplies, such as sketchbooks, markers, drawing equipment and consumables is likely to be between £120 and £300.

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.

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

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Guidance for 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

You will be required to submit a portfolio to complete your application.

A digital portfolio can be submitted via your applicant portal, and we ask that this is submitted within four weeks of making your application. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.

Applicants from selected locations in the West Midlands may also be offered an opportunity to present a portfolio in person. If this option is available to you, you will receive an email with further details once you have submitted your application.

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.

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

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

Course in Depth

Year one

First-year modules introduce key principles, processes and methods. 

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

Modules include:

Year two

Employability-focused modules during your second year year enhance industry knowledge and experience. 

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits)

Modules include:

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Professional placement year

Professional Placement 60 credits

Final year

Modules in your final year encourage individual direction through live projects/competition and a self-written major design project.

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

Modules include:

Download course specification

Download now

Taught by experienced designers, makers and academics, this course combines practice with theory to give you a fully rounded learning experience.

Extensive workshop facilities will help you to realise your proposals, creating functional and commercially viable designs. This hands-on approach allows you to understand the opportunities and limitations of materials and construction methods.

First year students design solitary bee habitats

First year product and furniture design students were provided with a fascinating introduction to solitary bees by insect expert Aaron Bhambra from the Wildlife Trusts.  Students conducted further research into different species and their habitats in addition to consumer perceptions and functional factors. 

Each student created a range of proposals and had the opportunity to develop a working prototype of final designs. With lockdown affecting the final making stages, students had to be creative and resourceful in generating physical representations of their designs. 

The project was part of a module exploring scales of manufacture, focussing on sustainability and the environment. The final bee house designs were intended to attract a new customer base that appreciate good design with sustainable credentials.  

See what they created


Success at New Designers Awards 2021

New Designers is the UK's most important exhibition for emerging design talent. This year the New Designers Awards featured two winners from the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Sophie Hickman and Dominik Bondicov.

As in 2020, the much-anticipated New Designers exhibition was unable to go ahead, but the awards were presented in a virtual ceremony on 30 June. Viewers heard from keynote speakers, ceramic artist Kate Malone and WeTransfer’s Creative Director Nessim Higson, who shared words of wisdom and encouragement for the graduates of 2021.

Success and New Designers Awards 2021

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

The course has a vocational emphasis and is focused on employability. Throughout your study you will engage with real briefs, collaborative opportunities and external industry links. You will develop skills in a broad range of working approaches, from synthesising and applying problem solving and creative thinking skills, to 3D computer modelling, where you will use the latest industry standard software.

Extensive workshops support modelling and prototyping skills, and you will create high-quality outcomes using a wide range of materials, techniques and processes. The course supports personal development as a creative, knowledgeable designer, maximising the potential to obtain positions in national and global companies. 

The course develops skills and experience in and around the subject of scales of manufacture, from bespoke, one-off and batch production to standardised mass production. The interdisciplinary nature of design engages relationships across a broad spectrum of specialist areas of study, and we nurture this philosophy through collaborative and professional practice approaches. 

Placements

This BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design course offers you the opportunity to gain invaluable work placement experience during the second year of the course, through modules and industry collaborations.

The Faculty also offers a specific optional work placement module, which can be taken up in your second year. The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional attributes as well as subject and transferable skills through experience in the work place, and tasks course participants to critically reflect upon your learning in that context. Students are normally expected to arrange their own placement, with support from academic staff and BCU Careers.

As part of the work placement module, students have the opportunity to attend specific sessions, which relate to the development of their digital presence, portfolio content and presentation, and the formulation of CV’s and covering letters for potential work placement providers and future employers.

We also have a continually evolving and expanding data base of industry partners within and outside of the West Midlands, who have collaborated with the course on various projects and have taken on students within their practices, either whilst students continue to study on the course, during the summer break or once their academic studies are completed.

Testimonials

Many of our graduates return to where they spent time on placement during their second year. 2019 graduate Jodie Mairs undertook a placement at MacMaster, and returned as an employee after graduation. 

Speaking about the work placement afterwards, Jodie said:

“My placement at MacMaster Design during my second year was a valuable experience. Being in a real life working environment taught me many things including efficacy without compromising quality, and gave me the opportunity to exhibit at 100% Design during London Design week.

The placement proved so important when wanting a career as a maker, as you never stop learning. It gave me more confidence going into my final year and resulted in a full time position at MacMaster after graduation.”

More about our placement opportunities

Our Graduates

Courtney Dilks, graduated in 2016
Furniture & Home Accessories Designer at Dunelm

“I am currently working on the Design team at Dunelm head office. My categories include Furniture, Dining, Gallery and Home Décor. I absolutely love my job, every day is different! The Design team work on a 6 month basis which involves lots of research, setting the key Trends, presenting, lots of trips out and abroad including the Far East and of course a lot of designing and development. The most exciting part of my job is receiving samples that I’ve designed and seeing them in store. A very rewarding role!” 


Mario Georgescu, graduated in 2016
CEO, Danube Footwear

“I love skateboarding. For my dissertation I made my first pair of skate shoes. It was then when I realised along with my partner Lidia that we need to make a fully-fledged skateboarding brand. It’s been almost three years, with ups and downs, from which we learned a lot about entrepreneurship and even more about the footwear industry. We are proudly producing in Romania limited edition batches of premium quality footwear. We are actively pushing the local skateboarding community and wish to inspire as many to push themselves to become a better skateboarder and, of course, a better person.”


Dan Dixon, graduated in 2016
Owner of Blue Whale Design

"The School of Architecture and Design at BCU equipped me with the skills I needed to start my multidisciplinary design studio; Blue Whale Design. Since graduating and setting up my business, I have had the pleasure of working with clients including Vans, Timberland, The North Face, H&M and Marks & Spencer, amongst a host of other brands. I thrive on variety and working as a freelancer has allowed me to experience multiple design disciplines; from brand experiences to premium lighting installations to pure end user product design – I could not have achieved this without BCU's engagement in my growth as a designer."


Helen Martin, graduated in 2016
CAD Technician, Dunster House Ltd.

“I currently work for the UK's leading designer, manufacturer and designer of timber garden buildings and climbing frames. My role involves designing the 3D models using Autodesk Inventor, helping to construct prototypes in the workshop, creating production manuals for the factories and installation manuals for the customers. I have worked on everything from sheds and garden offices, to play systems and rabbit hutches. It's very rewarding to see each project from concept to completion!” 


Hanz Raman
Freelance industrial designer

"My creative approach to product design is backed up with extensive analytical thinking skills learnt at BCU. My primary focus begins with the user which then continues to a holistic methodology throughout the entire design process. My experience in design spans from working as a freelancer as well as for design houses and design consultancies. I have presented my work at numerous events including; the London Design Festival, and London Design Fair - and have been recognised for a number of awards, including: The Design Museum's Design of the Year, NASA Tech Briefs, World Design Impact Prize, and INDEX Design to Improve Life Award." 


Thom William Madoc Hughes, graduated in 2017
Design Engineer, SBFI Group

"I am currently producing commercial furniture for control rooms and specialist offices, using the skills I acquired from BCU every day e.g. Computer Aided Design, production methods, organisational and people skills. I had the chance to do paid work in the workshops at BCU, learning skills such as laser cutting and 3D printing, wood working and manufacturing techniques. I also got a chance to take a trip to Hong Kong, presenting my project to real industry experts and a chance to commercially prototype the design. By the time you leave a BCU design course you are not just a graduate, you’re a designer."


Product and Furniture Design graduate takes his work worldwide

Alex Round, a 1st class graduate from BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design, has designed ground breaking safety features for ambulance trolleys carrying neonates, a term for a newborn child, in the UK and worldwide.

The UK Neonatal Transport Group statistics show that there are approximately 16,000 transfers of premature and ill babies each year. The transfer of neonates is a stressful process that could contribute to long-term health complications caused by excessive movements of the neonate during acceleration and deceleration or in the event of a crash of up to 40MPH.

Find out more

International

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:

Our international students

Our course is popular with students from around the world, particularly China, Hong Kong, Brazil and Malaysia.

David's story

Chinese student David Wang recently graduated with First Class Honours, specialising in Product Design. The course allowed David to develop his knowledge and understanding of the subject, but also allowed him to develop interpersonal and communication skills.

David developed a final range of products using structural bamboo, demonstrating cross-cultural connections with urbanisation, material use and lifestyle patterns. All prototypes were made by hand in the extensive, on-campus workshops, and he also had access to the Birmingham School of Jewellery workshops for some silver component parts.

Julia's story

Brazilian student Julia Damiati Rezende developed a significant portfolio of work during her studies on the second year of Product Design. We welcomed Julia from the Brazilian scholarship programme Science Without Borders. As well as completing the second year of the BA, Julia has continued to work with postgraduate staff and students, developing her conceptual approach to design. She is currently researching Arts, Design and Behaviour: Convergences Between Body and Digital Technology.

Facilities & Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

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
  • Café’s

Take a look around on our virtual walkthroughs

Photo Gallery

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.

Making

Workshop facilities are integral to the programme and you will have access to an extensive range of prototyping equipment, including wood machining equipment, metal fabrication, CNC router, four axis milling, waterjet cutting, plaster, ceramic, glass workshops, 3D printing, laser cutting and etching, plastic forming, and ply moulding. A large range of hand and power tools also support model making and prototyping for Product and Furniture Design.

Our staff

Jason Nicholson

Product and Furniture Design Course Leader

From a career journey beginning in metalsmithing and related products, Jason has a wide experience in various product design sectors – in particular furniture and lighting design. He has taught across a range of specialist courses, focussing and developing ‘making’ as an integral part of the design process. A ‘hands-on’ member of staff with...

More about Jason

Wayne Pottinger

Product and Furniture Design lecturer

Wayne Pottinger is a lecturer and coordinator of the level five (second year) Product and Furniture Design course. Before joining Birmingham City University Wayne established his own design practice alongside Natalie Cole. Pottinger and Cole’s practice designed and developed products for retail and their objects were stocked in well-respected...

More about Wayne

Natalie Cole

BA Product and Furniture Design lecturer

Natalie is a Lecturer on the BA (hons) Product and Furniture Design programme. She currently teaches Level 4 students, as well as being the Link Tutor for Birmingham City University International College. Prior to joining the University, Natalie managed and curated the craft programme for Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage Service, where she worked...

More about Natalie