The change in programme structure for the Product Design - BA (Hons) programme responds to an academic drive across the wider University that seeks to offer students more choice across subject areas. The programme offers a structure that is based on a combination of new subject-specific core and compulsory courses, with further optional courses that offer interoperability between other subjects.

Drivers for change

  • To offer students more choice in courses options, especially in the first 2 years of the programme whilst still offering coherence, subject depth and focus.
  • Make the most of being in a design school that is part of a world leading university.

Students on the current programme have inspired the changes. They told us they wanted more choice and options which could influence their academic work and extend their work opportunities.

The new programme for BA Product Design involves:

Years one and two:

  • 60 credits of level 8 core / compulsory courses in years one and two, promoting 60 credits of electives across the University.
  • The team have also written an additional 60 credits of level 8 courses designed for students to further explore technical and social themes within Product Design should students want to remain closer to the subject.
  • It is intended that all courses are open to students from across the University, promoting different skills and knowledge to percolate into Product Design studios.

Years three and four:

  • 80 credits are specified for year three, reflecting the need for students at this stage in their studies to focus on themes, skills and knowledge that is specific to Product Design.
  • 40 credits remain that allow students to retain a proportion of choice outside of the subject to inform their studies.
  • The final year remains the same as it is currently offered, with four core courses (120 credits) that support student directed projects. The broad learning outcomes offer flexibility for students to integrate prior interests and learning gained from core and elective courses in years 1, 2, and 3 into significant personal projects that lead to exposition in the summer term.

The programme team consider these structural changes, accompanied with the focus of 11 new courses that bring with them specific learning outcomes and the expertise of research active staff, an exciting and relevant curriculum that is fit for the future of Product Design at Edinburgh.

Chris Speed, Programme Director, explains some of the programme changes

"I want you to feel that you can explore different subjects. From geoscience to anthropology, engineering through to informatics - a whole world of different subjects - which, at the early years of your programme gives you much more choice."

Product Design - BA (Hons) programme outline

Year 1

  • Semester 1 | Product Design 1A: Fundamentals* | 20 credits | SCQF level 8 | Core
  • Semester 2 | Design & Screen Cultures: Modernism and After¥ | 20 credits | SCQF level 8 | Core
  • Semester 2 | Product Design 1B: TouchDontTouch* | 20 credits | SCQF level 8 | Core

PLUS 60 credits (3 x 20 credit courses) from within Design or elsewhere in Edinburgh College of Art or other Schools in the University of Edinburgh.

Year 2

  • Semester 1 | Product Design 2A: Object Autopsy* | 20 credits | SCQF level 8 | Core
  • Semester 2 | Product Design 2B: Deconstructing Social Narratives* | 20 credits | SCQF level 8 | Core
  • Semester 2 | One from: Design and Society; Contemporary Cinema; Modernism and After; Visual Narratives in Design and Screen Cultures; What's up Doc? Introducing Animation Studies; Experimental Film¥ | 20 credits | SCQF level 8 | Core

PLUS 60 credits (3 x 20 credit courses) from within Design or elsewhere in Edinburgh College of Art or other Schools in the University of Edinburgh.

Year 3

  • Semester 1 | Transactions* | 20 credits | SCQF level 10 | Core
  • Semester 1 | Connected Things* | 20 credits | SCQF level 10 | Core
  • Semester 2 | New Making* | 20 credits | SCQF level 10 | Core
  • Semester 2 | Chains to Constellations* | 20 credits | SCQF level 10 | Core

PLUS 40 credits from within Design or elsewhere in ECA or other Schools in the University of Edinburgh (options outside Design are likely to require prior study in years 1 and).

Year 4

  • All year | Design Studio 4 (Product Design)† | 20 credits | SCQF level 10 | Core
  • All year | Design Research 4 (Product Design)† | 20 credits | SCQF level 10 | Core
  • All year | Professional Design Practice 4 (Product Design)† | 20 credits | SCQF level 10 | Core
  • All year | Design & Screen Cultures: Dissertation† | 20 credits | SCQF level 10 | Core

Note: students can opt to take Design Context 4: Extended Dissertation (40 Credits) with permission of the Programme Director.

* New courses authored and owned by Product Design staff

¥ Existing courses authored and owned by Design and Screen Studies staff

† Existing course


Are you interested in studying Product Design - BA (Hons) at Edinburgh College of Art?