AD3025 - Product Design - Foundation

What will I learn on this module?

While completing this module, you will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of Product Design and its related disciplines of Industrial Design and 3D Design, and learn to appreciate their role within the broader field of professional design. You will be introduced to design processes relevant to producing products and services in a professional, practice-based environment. You will learn to conduct research necessary to successfully complete challenges and briefs, and gain enhanced skills in 2D and 3D conceptualisation, sketching and model-making. Working towards a portfolio-based assessment of your work you will become familiar with how to communicate and present product design work to graduate standards. In addition, you will further your skills, knowledge and creative design practice by working both independently and collaboratively with peers and by observing and reflecting upon each other’s design practices. Through discussion with peers and tutors you will quickly learn to conduct fruitful thought experiments, express and iterate ideas, evaluate your designs and develop novel solutions to challenging problems.

How will I learn on this module?

The School of Design operates an extended studio approach (X-Studio) that embraces our physical studios and making workshops as well as our virtual spaces to create a flexible and rich environment that is responsive to our learners’ needs. You will learn through a blend of directed and self-directed studies that feature a range of practice-based challenges and briefs. You will learn to engage with peers, tutors and those in the product design community by documenting your projects as well as key aspects of the discipline in a portfolio of work. Academic staff from across the department will give presentations on their design practice and relevant research activities outlining the range and reach of this creative design discipline through a number of diverse design case studies. This research-rich and research-informed environment for learning will enable you to gain an appreciation for the wider contexts within which Product design is practiced, furthering your knowledge and development in this dynamic field of study.

Your learning will be enhanced through either onsite visits or virtual tours that will enable you to experience key Product Design topics, such as learning about key individuals and historical movements within the discipline, Product Design methodologies and processes, understanding market opportunities, identifying customer insights and opportunities through to concept generation, ideation and the development of the final design solution and finally learning how to test and validate your design solutions.

This module represents an entry point into subject-related undergraduate programmes. Introduction to the 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional aspect of design activity will encourage you to consider the way designed products and, more generally, 3-dimensional design influences the wider environment. You will be given formative feedback on the progress of your work to support your development toward final outputs. This module consists of two, semester-long, components. Each component of the module will be assessed upon submission, giving you the opportunity to rapidly build upon prior learning and accelerate skills and knowledge development.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through a blend of onsite and remote teaching practices. The module handbook provides you with details of sessions, reading lists and assessment criteria. The same information, in addition to teaching and learning materials, are made available on the e-Learning portal. Whether onsite or online, module tutors will be available to guide taught sessions, as well as for feedback during consultation hours and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you may have about how to succeed on the module. Moreover, feedback on formative work and the first summative assessments you receive will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving you guidance on how to improve during the module.
In addition, you have a designated Personal Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Personal Guidance Tutor’s role includes:

• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)

You are advised to meet with your Personal Guidance Tutor at least three times each semester to review your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding
1. Demonstrate your awareness of widely recognised theoretical, technical and professional practices in Product Design and an understanding of how they both inform and give context to your work.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities
2. Demonstrate appropriate use of fundamental principles of design in your conceptualisation of products.

3. Demonstrate your ability to balance considerations of form and function in the realisation of 3D designs.

Personal Values Attributes
4. Demonstrate your commitment to studies and learning by engaging in strategic conversations with tutors, peers and craftsmen.

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment
Formative feedback is provided as an integral part of teaching and learning sessions, which may take the form of individual or small group critiques that include tutor and peer review.

Summative Assessment
Portfolio submission of research, design development and a final presentation of design work (MLO1, 2, 3).

Demonstrate that this is based on the processes of design and is enquiry led (MLO1, 2, 3).

Portfolio submission and evidence/documentation of studio/ workshop-based activities that are linked to the development of creative and technical skills (MLO 2 and 3, 4).




AD3023 40 YL Design Portfolio Skills
AD3024 20 Credits - Communication YL
AD3026 20 Credits – Fashion YL
AD3027 20 Credits – Interiors YL

Module abstract

The Product Design module will introduce you to the fundamentals of both Product Design and 3D Design. A basic introduction and overview of creative tools, skills and design processes will give you confidence to explore Product Design / 3D Design as a potential route for further study. Drawing on research-rich learning and Technology Enhanced Learning techniques, specialist design staff will guide you as you acquire a deeper understanding of Product Design practices. Hands-on experimentation supplemented by sketching and model-making (at an introductory level) will enhance your development as a designer and inform your design direction. The module is designed to further your understanding and knowledge of objects, forms and function through a series of short challenges and sustained briefs. These will be delivered by tutors with extensive industry backgrounds and knowledge. The module consists of two components. Each culminates in a summative presentation of work. Completion of this module will help you gain entry into subject-related undergraduate programmes which represent pathways to employment and a career in design.

Course info

UCAS Code W270

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time followed by a further 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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