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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Product Design major in Industrial Product 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.

Industrial Product Design is one of three majors of the Bachelor of the Product Design degree combining creative innovation with technical and business skills.

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.

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.

Double degrees

It is possible to combine the study of a BProdDesign with other degrees.

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 be able to develop creative product ideas based on their knowledge of related 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 areas include furniture, electronics, packaging, medical appliances, consumer goods, vehicle design, ergonomics, recreational and sports equipment.

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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