Bachelor of Product Design
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.
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 products. This degree will prepare you for a modern career path in many areas of New Zealand's innovative economy.
- Only university degree of its kind in the South Island.
- Three-year degree.
- Includes a number of projects where students can test out their ideas, independently and as a team.
- Access to state-of-the-art 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, and in the top 250 for Chemical Engineering (QS World Rankings by Subject, 2018).
- 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).
Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.
You are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.
At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 2 science and mathematics are strongly recommended, 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 College of Engineering website for more details on recommended preparation, including an outline for different qualification frameworks.
Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Product Design
Courses required for major
(1) Select courses from the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering with Honours degrees, depending on chosen major.
(2) 200 or 300-level course from MGMT, MKTG, ECON, FINC or ACCT. If students have not completed MKTG 100 then at least 15 points of MKTG 200 or 300-level courses.
(3) Select 15 points above 200-level from the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours or Bachelor of Science degree schedules.
For major requirements please go to the Regulations for the Bachelor of Product Design.
Each small block represents a 15-point courses. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more).
The degree is a three-year 360 points qualification with a combination of coursework and design projects:
- 135 points of Product Design courses
- 165 points of Science and Engineering courses
- 60 points of Business or Management courses.
Design projects will involve independent work on open-ended projects, with a mix of individual and team-based activities, under close supervision by academics with experience in product design.
Find out more information about Double degrees.
Students can study the Conjoint Bachelor of Product Design and Science or the Conjoint Bachelor of Product Design and Commerce, which requires 60 points less than a double degree and will be completed in four years in an intensive format. For example, students may want to study the Applied Immersive Game Design BProdDesign major with the Computer Science BSc major, or the Industrial Product Design BProdDesign major with the Marketing BCom major.
Contact a Student Advisor from each relevant College or School for course planning advice.
You can study one of three majors within the Bachelor of Product Design:
UC has a wide range of relevant options for postgraduate study, including qualifications in Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Business and Marketing.
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 product designers work in multidisciplinary teams. Graduates may be employed in large manufacturing companies, design agencies, educational and training companies, engineering consultancies, central and local government.
They may do design work for businesses in many industries such as medical, home appliances, packaging, computing, education, graphic design, cosmetics, or therapeutics and pharmaceutical companies.
Product designers can choose to start their own company.
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.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.