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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Product Design major in Chemical Formulation Design

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree

Next start date

Expected Jul 2024


University of Canterbury


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, studying product design will equip you for a wide range of occupations.

The Bachelor of Product Design major in Chemical Formulation Design is one of three majors of the Bachelor of Product Design degree combining creative innovation with technical and business skills. The purpose of this major is to produce graduates with knowledge and skills in creative design, engineering and business studies.

Chemical, biological, pharmaceutical, food, nutraceutical and personal care products need to be crafted in a sustainable way, using active ingredients that enable their practical use. For example, to create a moisturizing skin lotion that would be an attractive product for the consumer, it would need to contain moistening properties and other elements to create suitable viscosity, skin feel and fragrance, and contain antimicrobial agents to enhance shelf life.

This subject combines product engineering with other areas such as Biochemistry to help you learn to develop natural products. It will allow you to explore innovative ways to better formulate these products, and to analyse existing products and suggest improvements. You will understand the design lifecycle – from idea generation to commercialisation.

The Bachelor of Product Design requires a minimum total of 360 points:

  • 165 points of Science and Engineering courses
  • 135 points of Product Design 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.

Further study

UC has a wide range of relevant options for postgraduate study, including qualifications in Engineering, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Business and Marketing.

Career opportunities

Graduates will develop key skills needed to design personal care and household products and commercialise their ideas. Skills include understanding of the total product design process, practical experience in product formulation prototyping, methods of analysis, commercial production, testing, and process economics.

A degree in Product Design will prepare you for an exciting career path in many areas of New Zealand’s innovative economies. Graduates with this scientific background could pursue opportunities that lead to a career in the food, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Possible jobs are formulation scientist, quality manager, chemist, and laboratory technician, product/marketing manager, marketing analyst, portfolio analyst, business development manager, entrepreneur and CEO.

Graduates will be able to develop creative ideas based on their knowledge of related disciplines, as well as gain the practical business skills needed to commercialize new product ideas. Some qualified product designers have chosen to start their own businesses for new product lines that they developed during their studies.

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

Recommended preparation

Entry to the BProdDesign is open to anyone with entry to the University. However, it is strongly recommended that you have at least 14 credits in NCEA Level 2 science and mathematics. Those intending to take the Chemical Formulation Design major should ideally have 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 chemistry (or the IB/CIE equivalent of these).

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 50, and no communicative skills score below 42.

Undergraduate applications: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.

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