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Product Design Engineering BSc

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Mode of study

3-year full-time; 4-year thick-sandwich


WH27, WHF7 with Professional Practice

Start date


Placement Offered This course has a Professional Practice option


Design at Brunel is ranked 5th in the UK and 2nd in London for Art and Design.
(Complete University Guide 2018)

Brunel University London’s impact on the future wages of its graduates is among the best in the country compared to other universities, according to a new analysis of government data by The Economist (2017).

About the course

Brunel’s design degrees are some of the most renowned and respected in Europe and our students and graduates have won many prestigious design awards.

This course in Product Design Engineering is for creative thinkers who are also comfortable with mathematics and who enjoy deeper analysis of functional and technical design challenges. The course spans design and engineering, meaning students can develop products that both look good and work well.

This BSc degree course runs in parallel with BSc Product Design and becomes uniquely specialised in the third year. The particular blend of creative and technical subjects prepares students for this final year, in which further in-depth technical and engineering knowledge build to form a unique, technically strong design degree experience.

The final year has a strong technological and engineering focus, and your major project, which represents about 400 hours’ work, is likely to include a functional prototype incorporating mechanics and/or electronics.

To view the Made in Brunel – Design showcase video please click here.

Request the Fresh Perpectives book


Our Product Design Engineering programme develops versatile designers with a sound knowledge and broad understanding of the technological, manufacturing and creative aspects of design, principally focused on industrially-manufactured products.

This course suits pragmatic problem solvers who combine their numeracy with the creative motivation to underpin exciting, commercially viable projects with a deep functional and manufacturing understanding.

The focus is on integrating your commercial awareness, technical ability and innovation, equipping you with a broad portfolio of transferable skills and the ability to:

  • function in a professional context as product design practitioners
  • respond to design challenges through expert technical and manufacturing skills
  • understand design for analytical and observational techniques used by ergonomists and human-centred problem identification within consumer product design.
Brunel’s design courses are highly rated in University league tables and our graduates enjoy excellent career prospects: read more in 'Special Features'.


Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)

Course Content

All the BSc undergraduate Design programmes have a similar first year of compulsory modules to ensure that you have a sound understanding of the technological, creative and practical skills necessary for a degree in the discipline.

We emphasise the application of technology throughout all the courses, with integrated project work forming a substantial part of the course at all levels.

Typical Modules

Level 1

  • Mechanics for Design
  • Design Process 1
  • Electronics and Mathematics
  • Materials with Manufacturing
  • Graphic Communication 1.

Level 2

  • Electronic, Programming & Interfacing
  • Design Process 2
  • Dynamics, Mechanisms and Stress Analysis
  • Design for Manufacture
  • Design Communication.

Level 3 Compulsory

  • Major Project
  • Innovation Management
  • Computer-based Design Methods

Level 3 Options (choose two)

  • Environmentally Sensitive Design
  • Graphic Communication 3
  • Contextual Design
  • Embedded Systems for Design.

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.


We have an established reputation for producing high quality graduates. Our graduates enjoy superb employment prospects and enter careers in a wide spectrum of environments, including the manufacturing, service and engineering industries, design management and consultancy companies. Many go on to set up their own businesses.

Design at Brunel has evolved to meet the needs of industry worldwide, by teaching highly motivated students, through in-depth professional studies, to become imaginative yet practical professional designers.


Our graduates are highly sought-after in a wide range of business sectors. As well as the prestigious companies who offer work placements to our students, employers of our graduates include:

  • Accenture
  • Apple Computers
  • BAE
  • British Telecom
  • Dyson
  • Eurostar
  • Fitch
  • Habitat
  • IBM
  • Land Rover
  • Lego
  • Microsoft
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Nokia
  • Orange
  • RNIB
  • The Technology Partnership
  • Virgin Atlantic.

Work Placements

Along with the knowledge and skills built during the courses, work placements offer students direct industrial experience of working on ‘live’ design projects with some of the best companies in the world. A high percentage of students choose to take advantage of this year long work placement and this contributes to the excellent graduate employment record of our students.

Our exchange programme allows students to study and equivalent course abroad in locations such as the USA, Milan, Hanover and Antwerp.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Entry Criteria 2018/19

  • GCE A-level ABB, including at least Grade B in Design and Technology, Product Design, Art ,or Art and Design, and at least grade B Maths or Physics (General Studies not accepted).
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*DD in an engineering subject including Distinctions in Further Mathematics for Technicians, and Further Mechanical Principles.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-Level at grade A in Maths or Physics.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in any subject with A-Levels grade AB in Design and Technology, Product Design, Art, or Art and Design, plus Maths or Physics.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 31 points, including 5 in Higher level Design and Technology, Product Design, Art, or Art and Design, and 5 in Higher Level Maths or Physics.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass Access to Engineering course with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. All Maths units must be Distinctions at level 3.

Five GCSEs at grade C or grade 4 and above are also required, to include Maths and English Language.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

All applicants are required to attend an interview including a portfolio review as part of the selection process before a formal offer is made.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English. Find out more information about English course and test options.

Teaching and Assessment


Expert teaching

You will be taught by experts in their fields. Many of your lecturers will be internationally and nationally recognised for their innovative work.

Our lecturing team provide a unique resource of cross-disciplinary expertise: we have mechanical and electrical engineers, computer and materials scientists, mathematicians, psychologists, human factors specialists, practising designers and graphic communication experts on hand to support your studies. This distinguishes us from most design and engineering departments in UK universities.

How will I be taught?

Practical design projects

We emphasise the application of technology throughout the course, with integrated project work all levels. In the earlier part of the course, design focuses on closely defined and monitored tasks which lead to more open-ended projects in the final year. As the course progresses, students have more opportunity to develop their own individual strengths and portfolios towards the design career of their choice.


Students are guided through a comprehensive workshop practice course as an integral part of their Level 1 studies. This gives you a grounding in production processes and a feel for materials and their potential. Most importantly, you learn the craft skills needed to construct models and prototypes later in your course. Our workshops are a pride to us and our technicians are second to none.


These provide a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to your course and give you a framework from which to carry out in-depth study.


You will have tutorials for all project work, typically in small groups in the early part of the course, through to one-to-one tutorials in the final year. If you go on a placement you will also be allocated an industrial tutor who will help you to set objectives, monitor your progress, and provide further support if you need it. You will also have a personal tutor who is available to discuss both academic and personal problems.


Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark. Level 2 is worth a third, and Level 3 is worth the rest. The final year project is worth a third of Level 3 marks.

Knowledge and understanding are tested by means of a range of assessment tasks, including:

  • written and multiple-choice examinations
  • laboratory reports
  • written coursework
  • individual and group design projects
  • problem-solving exercises
  • oral presentation
  • visual media projects
  • computer programming exercises.
The range of assessment methods listed above will form the basis for assessment throughout the programme. You will be expected to discuss or demonstrate the approaches and methods you used to solve design problems as well as their final solutions. In written-based activities you will be expected to have researched and critically analysed the material gathered, appropriate to the level.

Where practical skills are taught on the programme these will be assessed by coursework requiring the application of the skill in question, eg workshop skills are tested by the production of various artefacts in wood, metal and plastic, and computing skills are assessed by the generation of suitable programs or models depending on the software used.

Reports and oral presentations in various modules assess written and oral communication skills. Self-organised learning is encouraged at all levels of the programme and increases as you progress, but is mainly demonstrated through the undertaking and completion of the final year Major Project.

Group projects are used in various modules, which will show the ability of students to work in teams. Managing time and resources is demonstrated by professional standards for submitting work by specified deadlines, and late work is penalised in the mark awarded.

Special Features

  • We have very close links with industry. This has many advantages for our students in terms of learning opportunities and contacts for your future career.
  • Students frequently work on collaborative projects with industrial partners, including British Airways, Bentley Motors, Marks & Spencer and Samsung.
  • Many students take advantage of exchange programmes that can take them to Europe, the USA and Australia.
  • Design students have won many prestigious awards and gained widespread media attention for their innovative work further contributing to impressive CVs.

Highly rated in league tables

Brunel Design is historically amongst the highest rated for product and industrial design in all the major UK league tables:

  • 3rd in 'Art and Design' - The Complete University Guide 2017
  • 5th in ‘Art and Design’ - The Times University Guide 2016
  • 5th in ‘Art and Design’ - The Complete University Guide 2014
  • 2nd in ‘Art and Design’ - The Guardian University Guide 2013
  • 3rd in 'Art & Design' - The Sunday Times University Guide 2013
  • 6th in 'Art & Design' - The Times Good University Guide 2013.

Excellent student satisfaction

We consistently achieve high student satisfaction based on Unistats data.

Links with leading employers

Over 75% of our students have a placement year in industry with leading companies and consultancies.

At Brunel, your learning experience will be created on a broad base of knowledge, skills and industrial experience, distinguishing you from other design graduates. To enable this, we will provide you with tuition from an extensive cross disciplinary lecturing team including mechanical and electrical engineers, computer and materials scientists, mathematicians, psychologists, practising designers, and graphic artists.

Along with the knowledge and expertise accumulated throughout the courses, you could participate in our exchange programmes or undertake work placements with some of the best companies in the world.


All our design courses are accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) to ensure that the courses maintain their academic and commercial relevance.

Student membership of the IED is free and encourages continuous professional development through journals and conferences. On graduation, students are eligible for full membership, with further career and training options which can lead to Chartered Engineer status.

Fees for 2018/19 entry

UK/EU students: £9,250 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £18,000 full-time

Additional course related costs

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase.