Reasons to choose the programme

Our strong international reputation, the employability of our graduates and success of our alumni.
Within stimulating teaching sessions in well-equipped studios, computer labs and prototyping workshops you will learn about leading edge research and design development methods.
The programme teaches you the entire product design process and provides you with the opportunity to learn how to design innovative, desirable products that fulfil people’s needs.
Small year groups of typically 12 to 18 students coupled with extensive one-to-one studio-based teaching, guidance, support and advice.
You will have the opportunity to undertake one or more industry internships and our strong links with industry mean that each year you will work on one or more live projects.

Professor Chris Speed talks about the programme
Edinburgh College of Art

Students are coming to a college of art which has been around for over 100 years so they have access to very traditional technologies but we’re beginning to look at how new technologies change and revisit old processes. Students experience a very unique integration.

Outline

Teaching the product innovators of the future

We provide a dynamic learning experience that explores cutting-edge methods of design to enable students to operate at the forefront of the discipline. We believe that the only way to create the product design innovators of the future is to teach students the research skills needed to discover unique opportunities for design, the thinking skills to see their world critically and the design skills and technical knowledge required to develop those opportunities into desirable products that meet real needs.

Our mission is to ensure that students develop the necessary creative, technical, thinking and interpersonal skills to become highly employable graduates, entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We seek to unlock the potential of students’ ingenuity to address the challenges they will face designing new and improved products. We believe in cultivating empathic, experimental and provocative designers with excellent communication skills; flexible design thinkers, able to take advantage of change, and able to discover unique, genuine problems and opportunities for the design of original, useful and thought-provoking products.

Our definition of product design is broad; encompassing all manner of objects from mass produced consumer goods to batch-produced limited edition pieces and from commercially focused products to products designed to meet humanitarian needs. You will be taught through a hands-on, project-led approach, and will work on design briefs that enable you to design a wide range of products ranging from electronic products to furniture, lighting to fashion accessories, products designed for the home and garden to products designed for use in public environments.

You will develop a wide range of knowledge and skills including design research, research analysis, creative thinking, design sketching, critical thinking, product semantics, model making, computer aided design, computer aided engineering drawing, model making, electronic prototyping, workshop prototyping, computer-aided design, ergonomics, anthropometrics, manufacturing materials, design for manufacturing processes, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing, additive manufacturing, production economics, sustainability, computer presentation tools and visual communication, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the product design process.

We encourage students to take risks, to rebel, to reject the status quo by trying new things, to be radical, to see things differently and to work with people to develop solutions that change things. We teach students that designing innovative products is an iterative, experimental process that involves working with others, a process that often involves a great deal of risk taking, and therefore also a great deal of failure, but that failure and having to do something many times to succeed is not something to fear but to embrace as an often necessary part of the process of making things better than they are.

Who should study this programme?

If you are interested in the man-made objects that surround us, in why things look the way they do, in how things make people feel, in how things work, in materials and technology and how things are made, in questioning and challenging existing ideas and ways of doing things, in learning different ways of researching with people in order to discover their needs, in learning the methods used to help generate creative ideas, and in learning the knowledge, skills and process required to develop ideas into successful products, then we’re the programme for you.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • Our strong international reputation, the employability of our graduates and success of our alumni, who can be found working as product designers, design managers, and entrepreneurs around the globe.
  • Within stimulating teaching sessions in well-equipped studios, computer labs and prototyping workshops you will learn about leading edge research and design development methods used to discover opportunities for design, and you will learn how to develop those opportunities into innovative, useful, usable and thought-provoking products.
  • The programme teaches you the entire product design process and provides you with the opportunity to learn how to design innovative, desirable products that fulfil people’s needs. You will learn how to design products that can be economically manufactured, products that create opportunities for business, products that benefit society and products that question, challenge and provoke thought about the future of the world in which we live.   
  • Small year groups of typically 12 to 18 students coupled with extensive one-to-one studio-based teaching, guidance, support and advice from experienced and dedicated practicing product designers, design researchers and workshop technicians, all with a passion for design, and opportunities to learn from a variety of inspirational visiting designers and design researchers.
  • You will have the opportunity to undertake one or more industry internships and our strong links with industry mean that each year you will work on one or more live projects for companies. Previous industry briefs have been set by a variety of global design-led manufacturing companies including Philips, Herman Miller, Franke, Salcomp and NCR and also humanitarian organisations such as Oxfam.

Careers

Our programme is focused on developing designers who are not only able to understand consumer markets, branding, business development and manufacturing, but also environmental issues, social responsibility and people’s needs, and how product design can be used to improve our lives.


How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about fees
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for undergraduate

If you’re applying to study on one of our Art or Design degree programmes, you’ll also be required to submit a mini portfolio. Our application guide explains what you need to submit and by when.

Art & Design: How to Apply application guide (PDF)

If you have any questions about the application process, our Undergraduate Admissions Office will be happy to help you.

Email the Undergraduate Admissions Office: CAHSS.UGAdmissions@ed.ac.uk


Staff

Prof Chris Speed

Programme Director, Design Informatics

Email: c.speed@ed.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5747


Facilities and resources

Including journals, image databases, and local collections.

At the heart of the Evolution House Learning and Research Zone, the ECA Library provides an innovative environment for learning, teaching and research resources in art and design.

Welding torches, a forge, forming and shaping tools, and a 1-ton gantry crane with access to main workshop areas.

The workshop facilities include band saws, pillar drills, sanders and wire-cutters.

Screen-printing facilities, a camera room, a digital fabric printer, and drawing studios with individual workstations.

Woodworking tools and machinery, including laser cutters, a vacuum former, and a 3D scanner and printer.


3

August

27

July



Contact

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Email: CAHSS.UGAdmissions@ed.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565