Product Design combines creative design, science, engineering, and business studies. Product designers plan and develop items for use in homes, businesses, and industry. From creating a new lightweight kayak or a phone app, to formulating natural cosmetics or a virtual training world, studying product design will equip you for a wide range of occupations.
UC's Product Design degree offers majors in:
- Applied Immersive Game Design
- Chemical, Natural and Healthcare Product Formulation
- Industrial Product Design
Graduates will be able to develop creative ideas based on their knowledge of related sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as gain the practical business skills needed to commercialise new product ideas. This degree will prepare you for a modern career path in many areas of Aotearoa New Zealand's innovative economy.
- The Bachelor of Product Design (BProdDesign) is a three-year professional degree – the only university degree of its kind in Te Waipounamu the South Island.
- Conjoint programmes leading to a BProdDesign/BCom, or a BProdDesign/BSc, can be completed in just four years.
- Product Design is an interdisciplinary mix of creative design with courses from science, business, and engineering.
- Students will have access to state-of-the-art facilities such as laboratory, computer, and testing facilities.
- UC is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world for Business and Management Studies, and for Computer Science and Information Systems (QS World Rankings by Subject, 2018).
- UC's Chemical and Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Marketing departments are the top-ranked for research in Aotearoa New Zealand (the latest Tertiary Education Commission 2012 PBRF assessment).
Entry to the BProdDesign is open to all students with entry to the University. However, it is strongly recommended that you have at least 14 credits in NCEA Level 2 science and mathematics, while those intending to take the Chemical, Natural and Healthcare Product Formulation major should ideally have 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 chemistry (or the IB/CIE equivalent of these).
Credits in related subjects such as digital technologies, technology, or design and visual communication would be an advantage.
Visit the School of Product Design website for more details on recommended preparation, including an outline for different qualification frameworks.
There are four 100-level courses in Product Design:
- PROD 101 Product Design 1
- PROD 110 Product Design Principles
- PROD 111 Materials Science for Design
- PROD 121 The Game Development Process
PROD 101 is a compulsory core course for students studying the BProdDesign.
Students must also choose between either PROD 110 or ENGR 101 Foundations of Engineering in their first year.
PROD 111 and PROD 121 are specialist courses required to be taken in particular majors for this degree.
200-level and beyond
Product Design at 200 and 300-level allows you to develop deeper understanding of the principles of product design, as well as more detailed understanding of the principles of game design, industrial design, or chemical and healthcare product design, depending upon your chosen major.
See the Schedule for the Bachelor of Product Design for the full list of courses required for each major.
The scope of product design roles is widening from the traditional design of commercial products to include the design of user experiences, systems, and processes, as well as implementing virtual reality into existing applications.
Increasingly, many industrial and product designers work in multidisciplinary teams. Graduates may be employed in large manufacturing companies, design agencies, educational and training companies, game developers, engineering consultancies, or central and local government. They may do design work for businesses in many industries such as medical, home appliances, packaging, computing, graphic design, education, cosmetics, or therapeutics and pharmaceutical companies.
More broadly BProdDesign graduates will be prepared to work in a variety of roles for modern companies that not only require a technical background, but value innovation, customer focus, and business sense.
Product designers may choose to start their own company.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Product Design.
See the School's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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