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.
- UC’s Te Kura Hanga Otinga | 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 250 universities in the world for Business and Management Studies, and Engineering and Technology (QS World University 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).
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 undetake significant hands-on projects, working in teams and individually, to design and test prototypes to the level needed to launch or pitch a new product concept to a client or investor.
The following four compulsory core courses are taken by all Product Design students:
- ENGR 101 Foundations of Engineering or PROD 110 Product Design Principles
- PROD 101 Product Design 1
- MGMT 100 Fundamentals of Management
- any 100-level MATH or EMTH course
Plus two required courses specific to Industrial Product Design students:
- PHYS 111 Introductory Physics for Physical Sciences and Engineering or PHYS 101 Engineering Physics A
- PROD 111 Materials Science for Design
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.
See the Schedule for the Bachelor of Product Design for the full list of courses required for each year.
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 example areas include furniture, electronics, packaging, medical appliances, consumer goods, vehicle design, ergonomics, and recreational and sports equipment.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Industrial Product Design.
Len Lye Building – see the School's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
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