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Combined degree the perfect fit

23 August 2022

It was a happy coincidence for Emma Glover. The launch of the new School of Product Design at the University of Canterbury coincided with her first year on campus.


Emma Glover says the conjoint Bachelor of Product Design and Science degree opened more career paths for her.

“Towards the end of high school, I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to study at university, or the sort of career I wanted. All I knew was that my favourite subjects were graphics, biology and chemistry, but I felt like I'd have to give up design to study science, or the other way round. 

“The conjoint Bachelor of Product Design and Science was one of the new degrees on offer, and for me, it fit my interests perfectly,” says Emma, who now works at Altex Coatings in Tauranga as a quality control technician.

SDG 4 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 - Quality Education

“Combining product design and science gave me an understanding of the total product process and practical experience in product formulation prototyping, while also learning the science underpinning it.”

Emma really enjoyed the product design projects, which allowed for creativity and entrepreneurship. 

As part of her final year product design project, Emma designed a hair care line that protects against the sun's UV.

“I think there’s a gap in the market for this and it’s something I would personally buy. The line consisted of four products, and as required by the brief for the project, I designed everything from formulation and dosage forms of the final products to the packaging, marketing and business plan.

“This project was definitely the highlight of my time at uni because I could be as creative as I wanted and it was a nice way to see all the skills and knowledge I had acquired come together to create a final output.”  

Another advantage of the conjoint qualification was being able to study two degrees in a shorter timeframe.

“I came away from the degree feeling like I had a really comprehensive understanding of both subjects and felt confident that I could pursue a career in either area. I’d absolutely recommend a conjoint degree. It’s a great way to broaden your career options and extend your knowledge and skills beyond a single degree.” 

Altex formulates and manufactures high performance industrial and marine protective coatings, and Emma’s role is to test and analyse production output.

“This role allows me to utilise the skills from my conjoint degree. My product design knowledge helps my understanding of various product formulation aspects such as stability testing, wetting agents, and dispersion techniques while my science degree helps me understand the chemistry behind the coating systems.” 

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