Our product design programme is relatively small, making it a highly competitive programme. We receive a large number of applicants each year, and unfortunately are not able to offer places to everyone.
Here is some information and tips to help you when applying…
What subjects would be good to take at school?
Visual design, graphics, technology, hard technology and/or fashion.
I enjoy painting at school, is this programme for me?
Yes. If you have an interest in design, and are interested in creating new objects to be used by other people, (e.g. to meet an identified need, or improve a current situation) then this course is for you.
I enjoy working with my hands, is this important in this programme?
Yes definitely! Even in a digital age where computers are used in the design process, students are required to work with their hands and make their ideas to explore, develop and test designs as part of the design process. Many different facilities are available to support our students designing, which you can check out under facilities.
How do I apply?
Do I have to be interviewed to be accepted into the programme?
Not always, however an interview is common.
What is the purpose of the interview?
When we interview we look for potential. Your potential can be illustrated through work in your portfolio that suggests you have skills and abilities relevant to the programme/discipline, but it can also be communicated through the interview. Anything said in the interview will be noted if relevant but not necessarily the deciding factors in whether you are offered a place. The interview also provides you with an opportunity to ask any questions you may have to help determine whether the programme is right for you.
What do I put in my portfolio?
Design work you have completed at school as well as outside of school is useful to helps us better understand who you are. Design work includes any drawings, models, designs you have created to show your experience/skills. We are interested in the thought process you have gone through to develop your ideas as well as seeing well executed final objects/designs. The portfolio is also a great opportunity to add in any quick fix jobs you have completed, demonstrating your ability to think creatively to address a problem. For example fixing your skateboard, building a tire swing etc.
What if I have not taken any 3D subjects or design at school- can I still apply?
Yes. We are really interested in intelligent, creative thinkers who have a strong desire to make a positive impact on the world. While taking design subjects at school is an obvious advantage, we have had many successful students with varying design / non design backgrounds evolve through the programme to develop their skills.
How important is the cover letter?
The cover letter is just as important as the portfolio. This is your chance to explain why you would like to study product design, and how you see you may fit with, and benefit from our programme.
What do I write in my cover letter?
Explain your interest in design, what excites and motivates you. Why you like working with your hands, whether this is within or outside of school, your past experience, and demonstrate your creative ability. It is important to add what other activities you enjoy aside from design and any extra curriculum activities you enjoy.
Make sure your letter makes sense by proof reading yourself or getting someone else to help out.
What can I do before starting product design?
Once enrolled, we encourage and support students to learn to draw in a style that is useful to designing. Classes are offered to support learning CAD, and technical workshop sessions are arranged. So if you are accepted but lacks a particular skill (or two!) there are plenty of opportunities to pick these skills up.