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 Aotearoa New Zealand's innovative economy.
- Only university degree of its kind in Te Waipounamu 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 250 universities in the world for Business and Management Studies, and for Engineering and Technology (QS World Rankings by Subject, 2019).
- UC is ranked first in Aotearoa New Zealand for research in Marketing and Tourism (Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua | Tertiary Education Commission 2018 PBRF assessment).
Admission to UC with University Entrance (or equivalent) is required to enrol.
Students with English as an additional language are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.
For information on the enrolment process, please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.
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).
Secondary school studies in related subjects such as digital technologies, technology, or design and visual communication would be an advantage.
Visit the College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha website for more details on recommended preparation, including an outline for different secondary school qualifications.
Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Product Design
Courses required for major
(1) Select 15 points at 100-level or above from the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering with Honours degree schedules, depending on your chosen major.
(2) Select 15 points at 200-level and 300-level from the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering with Honours degree schedules, depending on your chosen major.
(3) 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.
Each small block represents a 15-point courses. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more).
For major requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Product Design.
The Bachelor of Product Design requires a minimum total of 360 points:
- 135 points of Product Design courses
- 165 points of Science and Engineering courses
- 60 points of Business or Management courses.
A minimum of 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 75 points at 300-level.
Students complete 105 points of compulsory courses in their first and third years of the degree. The remaining 255 points are selected based on your chosen major.
Design projects throughout the degree 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.
The degree takes 3 years of full-time study, or can be studied part-time for up to 10 years.
For study planning help, contact the UC Liaison Office | Te Rōpū Takawaenga o UC (new students) or a College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha Student Advisor (advancing students).
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.
The Bachelor of Product Design involves a combination of coursework and design projects. All students in the degree complete compulsory courses in introductory product design, management, engineering, and mathematics, as well as courses towards a major.
See ‘How do I plan my degree?’ above for an example degree structure diagram.
Product Design majors
You can study one of three majors within the Bachelor of Product Design:
The first year of the degree includes introductory courses in designing and creating products and business management skills.
Students also complete one course of choice in the second year, and another two courses in the third year, for an advanced business background.
- PROD 101 Product Design 1
- MGMT 100 Fundamentals of Management
- PROD 110 Product Design Principles or ENGR 101 Foundations of Engineering
- One 100-level MATH or EMTH course
All students in the degree complete one of the following:
- ACCT 102 Accounting and Financial Information
- ECON 104 Introduction to Microeconomics
- MKTG 100 Principles of Marketing
All students in the degree must complete two courses at either 200 or 300-level chosen from:
If you have not already completed MKTG 100 in the degree, then you must include at least one Marketing course in your options.
UC has a wide range of relevant options for postgraduate study, including qualifications in Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Business and Marketing.
There is also a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Product Design.
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, and 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.
See Tuition Fee Structure for more information
|360||Banded Fee - total tuition fee dependent on course selection||$6,141 - $7,076 per 120 points|
$6,264 - $7,218 per 120 points
|360||Major: Industrial Product Design||$7,007 - $7,076|
$7,147 - $7,218 per 120 points
|360||Major: Applied Immersive Game Design||$6,141 - $6,507|
$6,264 - $6,637 per 120 points
|360||Major: Chemical and Healthcare Product Formulation||$6,934 - $7,076|
$7,076 - $7,218 per 120 points
|2019||360||This is an indicative fee - total tuition fee will be dependent on your course selection (banded)||$33,563 - $34,813 (first 120 points)|
|2019||360||Major: Industrial Product Design||$34,813 (first 120 points)|
|2019||360||Major: Applied Immersive Game Design||$33,563 (first 120 points)|
|2019||360||Major: Chemical and Healthcare Product Formulation||$33,563 (first 120 points)|
|2020||360||This is an indicative fee - total tuition fee will be dependent on your course selection (banded)||$35,500 - $36,700 (first 120 points)|
|2020||360||Major: Industrial Product Design||$36,700 (first 120 points)|
|2020||360||Major: Applied Immersive Game Design||$35,500 (first 120 points)|
|2020||360||Major: Chemical and Healthcare Product Formulation||$35,500 (first 120 points)|
For assistance with planning your programme of study contact Te Rōpū Takawaenga o UC | UC Liaison Office (new students), or a Te Rāngai Pūkaha | College of Engineering Student Advisor (advancing students).