course page main image

Product and Furniture Design - MA

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

The programme acknowledges and contributes towards Birmingham’s vast industrial heritage and geographical position, maximising professional links, trade fairs and its transportation network.

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

Overview

The programme acknowledges and contributes towards Birmingham’s vast industrial heritage and geographical position, maximising professional links, trade fairs and its transportation network.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

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.

An ideal course for students who seek that competitive edge when entering the real design world. The course allows you the opportunity to promote your thoughts and ideas and in turn builds up your confidence in knowing you can be an influential designer.

Thomas Parry, graduate

Why Choose Us?

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.

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 from our academics.

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements
Essential

A good Honours Degree in Product Design or a closely related three-dimensional design discipline, or equivalent qualifications.

Non-standard applicants with a non-design related degree and/or extensive work experience are offered a place on the course on a case-by-case basis. They may be invited for an interview.

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 should have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands.

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).

International Students

Entry requirements here

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: MA

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £7,900 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £8,690 in 2022/23

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: MA

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £16,300 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £17,930 in 2022/23

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 is likely to be around £550.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment in order to use the workshop facilities.

Media consumable items (mandatory)

This course requires the use of consumables which are likely to be around £50.

Travel (mandatory)

You will be required to cover the cost of your travel to sites, where applicable.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

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.

*Professional Placement option

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, 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. You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course. All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Portfolio Guidance

You will be required to submit a digital portfolio to complete your application. This can be submitted via your applicant portal. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.

Personal statement

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:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

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.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

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.

Relevant academic or work experience

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.

Course in Depth

Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE and OPTIONAL modules (totalling 180 credits):

Major Project: Product and Furniture Design 60 credits

Download course specification

Download now

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.

Assessment methods

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.

Employability

Enhancing employability skills

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.

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:

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.

Our staff

Mr Nuno Lourinho

Course Director

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.

More about Nuno