Industrial Product Design


Bachelor of Product Design

Industrial Product Design


Industrial Product Design is one of three majors of the Bachelor of the Product Design degree which promotes interdisciplinary innovation. The purpose of this major is to produce graduates with knowledge and skills in creative design, science, engineering and business studies.

Products such as mobile phones, mobility-assist devices, automatic espresso coffee machines, microwave ovens, or bicycles all have elements in both design and usability. This major will teach students how to design products which will solve a problem, as well as create interest for consumers.

You will also develop skills in product design methods such as sketching and computer-aided design, fluid flow, power and energy, and materials selection that is both ergonomic, functional and appealing. Students will gain a practical understanding of the product design lifecycle – from idea generation to prototyping and commercialisation.

Industrial designers need to be imaginative with good artistic skills, innovative, able to work well under pressure, and be good communicators who can accept criticism. You will also be persuasive at selling your ideas to clients.

Why study Industrial Product Design at UC?

  • UC’s school of Product Design brings together creative design, science, engineering and business studies. There are opportunities to apply your learning through team-based projects, entrepreneurship courses, and the use of dedicated, hands-on product innovation spaces.
  • UC has a range of state-of-the-art facilities to assist students through the product design process, including an industrial 3D printer and testing laboratories.
  • UC is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world for Chemical Engineering, Business and Management Studies, and Computer Science and Information Systems (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).
  • UC’s Chemical and Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Marketing departments are the top-ranked for research in New Zealand (the latest Tertiary Education Commission 2012 PBRF assessment).

Students should ideally have at least 14 credits in Level 2 NCEA science and mathematics (or the IB/CIE equivalent of these).


At all levels, students will undertake significant hands-on projects, working in teams and individually, to design, build and test physical prototypes to the level needed to pitch a new product concept to a client and investor.

100-level courses

The following four compulsory core courses are taken by all Product Design students:

Plus two required courses specific to Industrial Product Design students:

In addition, you will need to select one course at 100-level worth 15 points from the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours or the Bachelor of Science approved by the College of Engineering Dean (Academic).

200-level and beyond

Industrial Product Design students past first year will go on to take courses in areas such as materials selection, design engineering and simulation, manufacturing, and design communication skills.

Career opportunities

Graduates will be able to develop creative product ideas based on their knowledge of related sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as practical business skills to commercialise these ideas.

Combining engineering and science with creative arts and business will help you shape a career with unlimited possibilities, as industrial designers work across many different industries. Opportunities exist in design departments for large manufacturing companies, design or engineering consultancies, architectural practices, or the possibility to be self-employed with your own company. Other areas include furniture, electronics, packaging, medical appliances, consumer goods, vehicle design, ergonomics, recreational and sports equipment. 

More information

School of Product Design

Phone +64 3 369 4271 or +64 3 369 4272

Physical location
See the Department website for up-to-date location details.

Postal Address
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand