What can I do with a degree in Chemical Formulation Design?
Product Design combines creative design, science, engineering and business studies. Product designers plan and develop items for use in homes, businesses and industry.
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.
Manufacturers need to formulate chemical, biological, pharmaceutical, food, nutraceutical and personal care products in ways that enable their practical use and are appealing to customers. The products must also meet quality standards and have a suitably long shelf-life
Graduates will gain the skills needed to design products for the household consumer, beauty and healthcare sectors and to commercialise their ideas. These skills include:
- Technical understanding of formulating functional products with aesthetic appeal
- Understanding of the links between product formulation, packaging, marketing and consumer perception
- Ability to control the physical properties of formulated products
- Practical experience in product formulation prototyping
- Understanding of the design lifecycle – from idea generation to commercialisation
- Critical thinking and application of logic to proposed design solutions.
Opportunities to apply your learning are available in this major, through team-based projects, entrepreneurship courses, and the use of dedicated hands-on product innovation spaces.
There are graduate opportunities in a range of industries involved in producing:
- Personal care products
- Household products
- Healthcare items
Graduates may work in large companies as product formulation specialists or in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that typically benefit from ‘all-rounder employees’, who can offer not only technical and scientific skills but also marketing, consumer behaviour, and management knowledge.
Some graduates may start up their own businesses from ideas for new product lines they have developed during their studies.
Chemical, Natural and Healthcare Product Formulation studies may lead to a career in product formulation and manufacturing or more broadly into any industry that employs graduates with a scientific background.
Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section.
- Researches a client’s brief, an organisational or social need, or a gap in the market
- Designs and develops prototype sample formulations within budget
- Commercialisation through trials, industry submissions and production runs
- Improves existing products and complies with quality standards and industry regulations
Quality manager / chemist
- Ensures that products, processes and systems meet quality and regulatory standards
- Develops policies and procedures
- Solves problems, makes decisions and supports others to achieve these standards
- Tests raw materials and evaluates results
- Analyses finished products and keeps records for quality management purposes
- Maintains lab supplies, equipment, chemicals
Product / manufacturing manager
- Manages a specific product or line of products that are already in the market
- Coordinates production of approved prototype
- Oversees operations and logistics
- Handles product enquiries, complaints, orders
Marketing analyst, portfolio analyst, business development manager
- Conducts market research into product usage and audience preferences
- Analyses performance of existing products or identifies new requirements
- Prepares business cases for product changes
- Markets the products, develops new business opportunities and increases sales
Principal / senior formulation scientist
- Manages formulation development staff
- Leads the formulation and manufacturing functions
- Leads business initiatives on new products
- Manages budgets, staff and processes
Entrepreneur and CEO
- Develops an idea, product or service to form their own business
- Gets involved in a start-up
- Offers their skills or services as a freelancer or consultant
Get started with Entrepreneurship here
As they progress, students and graduates often join professional bodies or organisations relevant to their area of interest. These organisations can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network with others in the community.
- New Zealand Institute of Chemistry
- Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists
- Natural Products New Zealand
- Ngā Aho Māori Design Professionals
- Employers and Manufacturers Association
- New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association
Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues to keep upto-date with industry knowledge, networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.
For more information
see the Chemical, Natural and Healthcare Product subject page