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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

This exciting BA (Hons) Product Design programme at UEL provides an educational and creative framework that enable you to become professional product designers and will ultimately give you, as graduates, the knowledge and tools to explore, experiment and find interesting solutions to complex problems.

The curriculum will provide you with the right transferable skills required to be problem-solvers and creative product design thinkers. These traits include having the ability to empathise so that you fully understand who you are solving the problem for and why and how it benefits society.

The course will help you gain a solid understanding of the processes, practices and expectations of a future product design culture in an international workplace which is changing at an ever-increasing pace. Throughout the course, engagement with industry experts and real work experience will be embedded into the core elements of learning and assessment.

What makes this course different

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Interdisciplinary

This programme is part of a larger group that includes many inspired people offering cross-disciplinary influences and contributions from other diverse programmes within the School.

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Professional development

Live projects form a large part of the professional development which gives students not only a realistic understanding of industry practice but also an insight into the many varied prospects available for future employment.

Gold cup

Award winning

The quality of product design students' work is reflected in the national awards received from prestigious organisations, such as, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce and the British Lighting Association. An example of this is Ahmed Salah, Product Design alumni, who won a RSA (Royal Society of Arts) Student Design Award in 2016.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

During your studies you will compile a portfolio of creative and inspiring designs which are unique to your individual approach and which will showcase your talent and expertise to potential employers.

You'll cover all aspects of product design in our purpose-built design studios and workshops. We have traditional workshops as well as digital and fabrication facilities that boast industry standard equipment.

By studying product design, you'll be gaining a range of skills.  You'll learn to experiment and think both creatively and analytically and you'll develop research skills relevant to the history and context of the product and the materials and processes used to develop the design.

You'll gain an understanding of the marketing and branding appropriate to your project work. And you'll master design skills including drawing, sketching, rendering, sketch modelling, computer modelling and prototype making, investigating, researching, interviewing, debating, presenting and working in a team. We'll also give you advanced computer representation and photography skills.

Our well-established links with local businesses mean you'll have the chance to work on real-life project briefs. These projects often lead to work experience and career opportunities. 

And of course there is also the potential for designing products with direct commercial value.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Techniques for Designing

    This module introduces you to a set of tools for designing (materials, methods, attitudes and techniques) involved in design generally in both 2 & 3D. It aims to develop your confidence and ability to use a range of methods and media in exploring, developing and presenting your ideas clearly and effectively, as well as an ability to evaluate and rework your output in response to feedback in terms of its technical, craft and aesthetic qualities. Briefs are introduced so that design ideas are explored both individually and in groups. These aim to introduce a suitable work ethic and the practise of design as an iterative process, and to support experiment and trial and error, through short design orientated projects and exercises that build confidence and competence.

    This module works in partnership with the Design Project module (AR3002) in that it prepares you for exploring & practising the potential of selected media, materials, methods and techniques used in the development of your own design work in Design Project module (AR3002).

    The module introduces safe and appropriate workshop practice.

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    Design Project

    The module aims to provide you with a broad, varied, stimulating range of projects that introduce you to the skills, processes and practices involved in making design projects. The module intends to facilitate you to develop a critical, disciplined and productive approach to the act of designing and to support independent thinking, making and communicating.

    This open ended interpretive and longer individual projects allow for fostering a personal perspective and sense of direction, reinforcing independence and commitment to generating and developing more self-motivated, innovative, enquiry based project work within a principal area of specialisation.

    Through completing design projects set in this module, you will develop and evolve your portfolio of work in a distinctive way that is evidence of increasing subject specificity and an ability to make an informed choice of progression pathway.

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    Design Media

    This module introduces a variety of contemporary media techniques that are relevant to design and artistic practice in its widest sense.

    It aims to support the evolution of the creative habits of recording, collecting, documenting, reading, reworking and evaluating. It seeks to build broad understanding of the relationship between context and creative practice, first in analogue, then in digital formats. The complexity of the media employed and exercises set will increase as the module develops and depending on the ambition and skills of each student.

    The projects will be organised in both individual and groups, and that support students in learning to articulate & share ideas, work effectively in teams and at pace, and to be able and organise and deliver projects.

     

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    History and Theory

    The module introduces you to a basic understanding of History & Theory Studies in the subject of architecture and design, through engaging with selected histories and theories relevant to art, culture, technology and contemporary practice.

    The module prepares you for helping you to structure and plan your research work and the communication outputs, for further critical and theoretical work in higher education. 

    As a result, you will begin to acquire a range of basic skills in observation, research & reviewing methods, critical thinking, writing and communication.

  • Core Modules
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    Material Integration 1

    The aim of this module is to relate design skills with the use and application of materials in the Term 2 main design project. You should understand the nature and character of various types of materials in common categories such as types of stone, casting material, glass, metalwork and woodwork. The use of workshops will be intrinsic to  your learning outcomes. You will also be expected to have a thorough body of research.

    Running in parallel with "Design Resolution 1", you should come equipped with a knowledge of your prescribed materiality and be prepared to deliver, during the course of the module, a resolved design project that will become both spatially and materially coherent across a number of scales.

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    Design Resolution 1

    The module enables you to produce imaginative, appropriate and competent design proposals in response to a variety of sites, briefs, cultural, social and technological issues. Furthermore it aims to develop a general understanding of the materials, processes and techniques that are applied in the architectural and interior, and product design disciplines.

    The module aims to develop your confidence and ability to apply a range of communication methods and media to present their design proposals clearly and effectively as well as an ability to evaluate and rework ideas in response to review and feedback.

    The module supports the ability of students to see and reflect on how their design proposals are beginning to develop into fully-­fledged interior and product design projects, and the kinds of work and thinking involved in taking their ideas further. Therefore, the module familiarises you with design development processes including the analysis and interpretation of a range of project sites and the development of project specific research. The module demonstrates strategies for producing spatial, material and programmatic ideas that satisfy aesthetic as well as technical requirements and how to present them using a range of appropriate media and methods of communication.

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    Design Investigation 1

    The module aims to introduce students to the skills, processes and practices involved in a spatial design project. It engages students in a range of processes by means of which they can understand, think about and engage with the academic and practical design discipline of architectural design.

    The module enables students to develop an understanding of space and materials. It familiarises students with methods for fabricating models, prototypes, 2D and 3D drawings, sketches, diagrams, collage, photographs and mixed media representations, and to practice their use in generating and communicating ideas.

    The module supports experiment, trial and error through short projects and exercises that build confidence and competence. It introduces students to the role of representation in design and links with art practice as well as an understanding of the materials, processes and techniques that apply specifically to spatial design.

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    Technical Studies and Representation 1

    The module aims to prepare you for the task of visualising and communicating their work at all stages of its development, and setting their work in relation to the final design project Design Investigation, Design Resolution and Design Integration and the technical demands of the design proposal.

    In this regard, drawing ability is a necessary skill for observation, recording, analysis, visualisation, evaluation and communication of different technical aspects of the design project.

    This module aims to develop your repertoire of practical, technical and computer-aided skills that can keep pace with your growing knowledge of the design process.

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    History and Theory 1

    The module aims to orient and critically engage you in the subject of architecture and interior design in your relationship with art and design culture through engaging with selected histories and theories relevant to art, culture, technology and contemporary practice.

    Whilst beginning to develop a sound knowledge in their field, you are encouraged to see, read and articulate connections between developments in architecture and contemporary practice.

    The module introduces you to the range of academic researching, analysing and essay writing tools you need to produce graduate-level discussions and writing, while encouraging you to articulate and take responsibility for the development of your own learning and to be able to reflect critically on your own work and that of others.

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    Mental Wealth: Professional Life 1

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein you will begin to recognise the areas for your own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate the reflective skills, openness and self-awareness to enable themselves to assess what they are doing, identify areas for improvement, and confidently receive and give constructive feedback. Students will additionally develop knowledge of strategies to advance their own physical intelligence through 'life style' and 'self-care' approaches to inform their health and wellbeing.

    Having acquired understanding of the key developmental areas, you will have opportunity to pitch a small scale design project to a panel of practitioners, and be mentored and supervised by students from higher years. In this position you will learn and begin to apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences developed elsewhere in your studies (and from external activities) as required in the workplace, namely cognitive flexibility, emotional resilience, motivation, ethical decision-making, managing your audience, coordinating with others, negotiation, creativity, active listening, attention, problem solving, research, synthesis and analysis.

  • Core Modules
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    Design Investigation 2

    The module provides a forum for you to develop a creative, inventive and productive design process in relation to a design project or projects. In particular to raise student awareness and understanding of the occupants and users and their physical, social and psychological needs through the design of both objects and environments at appropriate scales, as well as exploring key characteristics of design projects.

    There is a particular focus on investigations of site and context that may involve the gathering of empirical data, making analytical studies and conducting observations of people, place, context and materials that are appropriate to the project.

    By setting one design project, the module aims to engage with the practices, protocols and conventions that apply to the design and delivery of projects within the design and construction industry. The module fosters the development of a personal position and working methods as part of the attributes required by a professional architect.

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    Design Resolution 2

    The aim of this module is to rehearse the production of more complex design projects in preparation for the final project undertaken in the final year. It also opens up the range of opportunities available to a student of architectural design looking to work in a discipline which is extremely varied, but where individual practices often specialise. The module therefore allows for a degree of choice in relation to the design unit and therefore the project type and site.

    Running in parallel with Design Integration 2, you are equipped with a brief and during the course of the module deliver a resolved design project that will become both spatially and materially coherent across a number of scales.

    The module fosters the development of a personal position and working methods as part of the attributes required by a designer. You will also develop the capability of testing and evaluating the potential impact of your design proposals on the users and the broader environment.

    You will be expected to offer articulate explanations of your proposals, be able to discuss your design considerations, present your case for specific social and environmental strategies and demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between materials, technology and the execution of their design.

    The design process continues to be expansive and exploratory, and emphasises the creative and imaginative thinking involved. Working within vertical design units, you will also be encouraged to cultivate a shared understanding of your project contexts and their briefs enabling you to work collaboratively, share tasks and review each other's work.

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    History and Theory 2

    The module aims to orient and critically engage you in the subject of architecture and interiors and also in its relationship with urbanism and urban space through engaging with selected histories and theories and through engagement with relevant art, culture, technology and contemporary practice.

    The history and theory element further prepares you as independent and critical thinkers, capable of producing a sustained piece of study in the form of a written essay. The module sets out the resources and methods, and rehearses the thinking, historical, analytical and discursive skills that will be required in relation to architecture and interior design.

    Throughout the module you are supported to think creatively and to take more responsibility for the development of your own learning and academic and professional direction whilst examining broader ethical questions resident in the practice of design.

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    Design Integration 2

    This module focuses on the application of knowledge of environmental principles into your  design projects, using relevant methods of environmental strategies as part of the design process.

    The module aims to encourage integration of environmental design from the outset of a project, giving you the ability to reflect on appropriate environmental design strategies and explore these in a creative and rigorous manner.

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    Material Integration 2

    The aim of this module is to relate design skills with the use and application of materials in the Term 2 main design project. You should understand the nature and character of various types of materials in common categories such as types of stone, casting material, glass, metalwork and woodwork. The use of workshops will be intrinsic to the student’s learning outcomes. You will also be expected to have a thorough body of research.

    Running in parallel with "Design Resolution 2", you should come equipped with a knowledge of their prescribed materiality and be prepared to deliver, during the course of the module, a resolved design project that will become both spatially and materially coherent across a number of scales.

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    Mental Wealth: Professional Life 2

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide you with the opportunity to apply several of the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein you will advance the areas identified at level 4 for your own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    This module will help you develop: an understanding of job market forces and influences; required skills to enable you to make successful applications for a job in the architecture sector; effective representation in interviews; opportunities to gain work experience in an architectural practice (as a placement) to learn more about how to apply your knowledge and learning in practice.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, you will reflect on the success of the strategies that they employed to further develop your reflective skills, self-awareness, 'life style' and 'self-care' approaches and where necessary improve their approaches.

    You will use a design project chosen and set by the academic staff. This may be a competition or a live project. In so doing, you will apply the cognitive, cultural and social intelligences you have learnt elsewhere.

  • Core Modules
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    Material Integration 3

    The aim of this module is to relate design skills with the use and application of materials in the Term 2 main design project. You should understand the nature and character of various types of materials in common categories such as types of stone, casting material, glass, metalwork and woodwork. The use of workshops will be intrinsic to your learning outcomes.

    Running in parallel with "Design Resolution 3", you should come equipped with a knowledge of your prescribed materiality and be prepared to deliver, during the course of the module, a resolved design project that will become both spatially and materially coherent across a number of scales.

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    Design Investigation 3

    The module consolidates skills and knowledge gained at Levels 4 and 5. Together with Design Resolution 3 and Design Integration 3 which requires highly detailed reflection on the integration of cultural, professional, technical and environmental issues within the design project, this set of 3 modules is intended to prepare you for independent practice, entry into the professional workplace, or for higher studies.

    Whilst improving your practical skills and refining your ability to use them productively, the focus of this module is on developing a depth of knowledge and understanding about research and project development, appropriate to graduate level. It also aims to help you to offer evidence of self-management in respect of planning, monitoring, recording and evaluation within the portfolio work that is produced.

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    Design Integration 3

    This module builds on the knowledge gained from the two pre-requisites above. It further explores the role that key environmental variables inform a low energy building design. It helps you to reflect on appropriate environmental design strategies that respond to occupants' needs, design brief, and climate.

    This module allows you to explore, identify and evaluate the interrelationships between the various environmental mechanisms and address them in a rigorous manner by developing design strategies that deliver comfortable environments for building users.

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    Design Resolution 3

    The module consolidates skills and knowledge gained at Levels 4 and 5. Together with Design Investigation 3 and Design Integration 3 which requires highly detailed reflection on the integration of cultural, professional, technical and environmental issues within the design project, this set of three modules is intended to prepare you for independent practice, entry into the professional workplace, or for higher studies.

    Whilst improving your practical skills and refining their ability to use them productively, the focus in this module is on you demonstrating your ability as professionals: your capacity to define and analyse spatial and design problems, generate proposals, integrate knowledge derived from different fields and sources, produce socially relevant inhabitable spaces, design technically competent buildings of aesthetic quality, and to take into account issues relating to human comfort and sustainability.

    In this module you are expected to draw on your previous experience as well as the agenda offered by your choice of design unit in order to formulate and communicate a resolved final design project that frames the specific aspects of architectural design that you are interested in.

    The module reiterates and supports the requirement to produce high quality design proposals that satisfy aesthetic and technical requirements, and for these to be presented using a range of suitably professional and appropriate media. It also aims to help you offer evidence of self-­‐management in respect of planning, monitoring, recording and evaluation within the portfolio that is produced.

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    History and Theory 3

    The module aims to critically engage you in the subject of architecture and interiors with the related art and design technologies and human sciences through engaging with selected histories and theories, and by considering these in relation to architecture contemporary practice.

    This module provides a platform for ambitious individual work and it calls for graduate levels of achievement in the submission of an essay or dissertation about a subject relating to architecture, interiors, cities or politics. You will receive guidance on critical thinking, the analysis of texts, information retrieval, time management, bibliography, referencing, acknowledgement and the requirements for essay presentation.

    Throughout the module you are required to think creatively and to take responsibility for the development of your own learning and academic and professional direction whilst examining broader questions resident in the practice of design.

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    Mental Wealth: Professional Life 3

    Developing the key psychological and physical determinants of human performance are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial revolution.

    This module will provide you with the opportunity to apply the full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in, a range of potential future career areas.

    Herein you will advance the areas identified at level 5 for your own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    This module will help provide: an overview of professional responsibilities of the profession, the regulations and procedures involved in the approval and construction of designs, and the relevant context of the construction industry; and a framework within which you practice the integration of Professional and Technical concerns within a design proposal.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport, you will reflect on the success of the strategies that you employed to further develop your reflective skills, self-awareness, 'life style' and 'self-care' approaches and where necessary improve your approaches.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

You will be joining a creative hub of innovative engineers and designers. You will be able to observe other design projects, share ideas, and participate in interdisciplinary projects and competitions, such as IMechE Formula Student challenge to design and build a single-seat racing car.

Year 1 prepares students with a comprehensive understanding of design principles and this knowledge will be embedded into an approach to realising innovative ideas which can be profitably manufactured and marketed.

With a personal tutor to oversee students' progress, and module leaders for each part of the course, they will work independently or occasionally in small groups on design briefs and projects in our dedicated design studios. 

Our fabrication and design facilities include traditional workshops as well as computer-aided design (CAD) suites where a student can use a range of two and three-dimensional programmes to produce test results and resolve concept ideas through to final design.

Guided independent study

We are investing in key areas beyond your studies including our career services, library and well-being, to be available both face-to-face on campus and online with many of these available 24/7. We have new, modern library facilities on both campuses offering inspirational environments for study and research. Libraries contain resources in print and digital formats, a range of study spaces and dedicated librarian who can assist with your learning. 

Academic support

Students are supported with any academic or subject related queries by an Academic Advisor, module leaders, former and current UEL students. 

If you need a bit of extra help with certain skills such as academic writing, maths or IT, our Skillzone and English for Academic Purposes we offer workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments to help our students achieve their potential. You can receive advice and guidance on all aspects of the IT systems provided by the university from our IT Service Desks located on all three campuses.

Our Student Support hubs in Docklands and Stratford feature centralised helpdesks to cater for your every need. UEL provides also support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties (SPDs).

Workload

Each year you will spend around 300 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
  • Year 2: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.
  • Year 3: scheduled teaching - 300 hours; guided independent study - 900 hours.

The size of classes can vary depending on the nature of the course, module and activity. This can range from large groups in a lecture theatre setting, to smaller groups taking part in seminars and collaborative work. You will receive your personalised timetable at the beginning of the academic year dependent on your course.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

You'll be assessed through a written exam, a laboratory based coursework, and a dissertation or a major project.

The written exam will be to test your theoretical knowledge and understanding. Coursework will assess your practical based skills, while the dissertation would be for applying learning outcomes to a project related to design and development with applications in the industry.

Feedback is provided within 15 working days in line with UEL's assessment and feedback policy.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Andrew Wright

After working briefly in the commercial world, Andrew was asked to join the teaching staff at UEL in 2008, and became a Programme Leader in 2017.

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Mathew Brown

Mathew Brown is a part-time (0.4FTE) lecturer teaching on the BSc (Hons) Product Design programme at UEL.

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Bahar K Esfahani

Dr Khayamian Esfahani is the Programme Director for BEng Product Design Engineering at the University of East London (UEL).

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What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

It is also vitally important for students to master the skills needed to rapidly prototype an idea and gain an aptitude for testing and reiterating solutions thereby allowing ideas to develop and flourish into sustainable and feasible products.

Andrew Wright MSc BA (Hons) FRSA Programme Leader

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

Our graduates' design skills are highly transferable. Studying product design will give you an excellent grounding in related areas such as design management, research, consultancy and teaching. 

Our students are successful in many national and international competitions and events, and often use these as a springboard to employment.

For example, our students have won the prestigious Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce award and the D&AD global student award. They've also exhibited at the Crystal Research Centre and taken part in an exchange programme with Braunschweig University of Art in Germany. 

After completing your course, you'll be able to exhibit your work at the highly regarded 'New Designers' exhibition at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. 

This attracts professionals and academics from the wider national and international design field, giving you the chance to win prizes, gain publicity in the design press and impress prospective employers or investors.

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work in British and overseas consultancies, design engineering firms and website design companies. Others have moved on to postgraduate courses.

Some have set up their own consultancies with the expert support of Knowledge Dock, or developed and marketed their project work with the support of our Petchey Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Throughout the course, you will develop a comprehensive knowledge and professional portfolio, which is your gateway to a rewarding career including, 

  • Product designer
  • Industrial designer
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Digital fabrication
  • Product engineering
  • Engineering
  • Freelance designer
  • UX/UI design
  • Social design
  • Design management and strategy

UEL has a dedicated team to forge close and strong links within industry and with individual businesses and all the while supporting students with placements during study and advice with graduate employment.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.