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BSc (Hons) Product Design Engineering

Start date:
Study mode:
Course duration:
3 years FullTime, 4 years Placement year
UCAS Code:

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
Placement year
Placement year international
All figures are subject to yearly increases. Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.
General enquiries:
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Why study Product Design Engineering at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • Design-led curriculum and opportunities to exhibit at the University's annual Product Innovation Show
  • Teaching delivered in well-equipped laboratories with state-of-the-art software plus excellent technical support
  • All students receive a personal copy of SolidWorks 3D CAD software and access to all Autodesk products
  • Thriving student industrial design society
  • Option of completing a year-long industrial placement or International module

About your course

The professionally-accredited BSc (Hons) Product Design Engineering at Liverpool John Moores University combines skills development in traditional hand-generated design work such as sketching, drawing and physical model making, with the latest computer-aided design techniques.

The Product Design Engineering degree gives you the opportunity to test your creativity and develop technical skills in using the latest CAD technology so that you will be able to take ideas from product conception, design and analysis, right through to production.

This is a hands-on course in which you will have access to CAD suites loaded with the latest 3D visualisation software, a purpose-built creative design studio, an advanced manufacturing laboratory and modern engineering laboratories.

The course has been developed in partnership with industry experts so that it is relevant to the needs of employers and you will be encouraged to take the year-long work placement option to get a taste of what its really like to work in the design industry.

Additional course costs

Throughout the course students can expect to incur expenses over and above their ordinary living costs. The faculty will provide certain basic design materials; above this students are expected to provide their own design materials.

"What I've found to be exceptional about this course is that it not only equips the student with the skill and knowledge to design great products, but also gives the student expertise to successfully bring these products to market through the Design for Manufacture and Enterprise Development modules. This course has brought me a long way towards achieving my dream of developing products with the potential of being iconic designs."
Timothy Chege, current student

Professional accreditation/links

This degree is accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers.

Strong links with companies in the region ensure that course content is informed by the latest developments in computer aided design, so you can be confident that the skills and knowledge you will gain on the course are exactly those required by employers.

These connections are invaluable should you decide to take the sandwich option and spend a year on industrial placement.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.


You will enjoy varied career opportunities both in the UK and overseas with a BSc (Hons) degree in Product Design Engineering.

Design is a growing sector, despite the recession the profession continues to expand, offering opportunities in many different industries. Increasingly complex product design and manufacturing processes should mean designers will continue to enjoy good employment prospects.

Starting salaries for graduates vary according to the size and type of employer; salaries in London are likely to be higher. Self-employment or freelance work is quite common but normally occurs after developing a track record of relevant industrial experience and a network of contacts and potential clients.

Many design professionals either go freelance or decide to start their own business. Such as graduates Troy Baker (Managing Director) and Graham Wilson (Technical Director), founders of Design Reality, a design consultancy based in St Asaph, who also deliver guest lectures on the course.

Others secure employment with their placement organisations, such as Philip Gilbank, who graduated with a first class honours degree and now works for the computer aided design company DriveWorks after completing a sandwich year with the company.

"The New Designer Show was definitely a worthwhile experience for me. It allowed us all to showcase our work against the best design graduates in the industry. I was approached by Gillette during the show and discussed the opportunity of joining them as a product designer."

George Sewell, recent graduate

"The student came fully equipped with design and project planning skills which enabled him to hit the ground running. The work ethic and attention to detail which is critical to our fast paced business environment has been very impressive. We hope to continue to use this programme in the coming years.

Gwyn Jones, PSS Engineering Ltd

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Level 4

Core modules

Computer Aided Design
20 credits

This module introduces the subject of 3D Computer Aided Design, with a focus on solid modelling of parts and assemblies in order to produce engineering drawings.

Design Visualisation
20 credits

This module introduces theoretical aspects of a range of visualisation techniques used by designers and develops the fundamental sketching, drawing and rendering skills.

Design Thinking Product Innovation
20 credits

Aims The main aim of this module is to offer students a broad perspective on Design Thinking as an integral part of product innovation.

Learning Outcomes After completing the module the student should be able to:

1 Understand the organisational aspects of product development and its implications for managing and developing innovative products. 2 Understand and apply Design Thinking frameworks for innovation in a product design and development setting. 3 Apply Design Thinking tools and practices for technological innovation. 4 Identify and reflect upon the following aspects of personal development: strengths and weaknesses, motivations and values, ability to work with others.

Introduction to Electronics and Control
20 credits

This module introduces the fundamentals of applied mathematics and electronics, both theoretically and through practical application, building circuits in laboratories. You will also learn to write simple code as a tool for engineering. You will work both individually and as part of a group during this module.

Mechanics, Materials and Manufacture
20 credits

Aims This module will cover the subjects of basic mechanics, mathematical theory, materials science and manufacturing technologies through a series of case studies and design-led lectures, seminars and workshops.

Learning Outcomes After completing the module the student should be able to:

1 Define the micro-structural characteristics of a range of engineering materials. 2 Identify the relationships between manufacturing processes and material behaviour. 3 Demonstrate a clear understanding of the physics of mechanical systems and mathematics by applying them in formulating solutions to common problems.

Prototyping and Modelmaking for Design
20 credits

Aims This module introduces the subject of prototyping and modelmaking as a strategic part of the Design Thinking process. It emphasises how these practical activities lead to more informed design decisions in the successful development of innovative products.

Learning Outcomes After completing the module the student should be able to:

1 Test prototypes to better understand design problems 2 Explore innovative solutions by testing for human interaction and functionality 3 Select appropriate materials, tools and techniques to produce prototypes and models as an integral part of the Design Thinking process 4 Understand the broader history of design and classify the principles of aesthetics

Level 5

Core modules

Entrepreneurial Product Development
20 credits

The aim of this module is to enable the student to develop a primarily digital marketing plan for a product concept, a key part of which involves producing a promotional video and photographic still featuring the prototype.
After completing the module the student should be able to:

  • Develop a positioning and branding strategy for your product design
  • Construct a credible and imaginative promotional plan for your product design
  • Design, plan and manage the creation of a scripted promotional video



Advanced Computer Aided Design
20 credits

This module will focus on single component part modelling. The key aim is to develop a range of advanced solid modelling and surface feature skills that can be applied to real-world products with complex geometry.

Learning Outcomes
After completing the module the student should be able to:
1 Apply hybrid modelling techniques to create geometry using BOTH solid modelling and surface tools.
2 Reverse engineer existing products by selecting and applying the most appropriate tools.
3 Design a component that can be manufactured using a forming process, along with its associated tooling.
4 Critically evaluate the modelling process, using storyboard methods to document specific features applied.

Product Design and Presentation
20 credits

Aims Introduce students to design theories on the conceptualisation of ideas and aesthetic sensibilities through the generation of 3D computer aided rendered and physical modelling techniques.

Learning Outcomes After completing the module the student should be able to: 1 Apply visual research and develop a 3d rendered model. 2 Understand how materials, colour, texture and lighting are applied in creating a persuasive graphic presentation of a product. 3 Create a high-quality physical model.

Applied Electronics and Control
20 credits

Aims This module covers the fundamental theory and calculations behind the design of sensors, electric motors and microcontrollers through involvement in applied, creative engineering projects.

Learning Outcomes After completing the module the student should be able to: 1 Design and build remote intelligent systems. 2 Specify and adapt metrology (measurement) requirements. 3 Interface & program sensors then visualise output data.

Embodiment Design
20 credits

Aims Through a Reverse Engineering methodology this module develops the skills and knowledge necessary to take a conceptual design, from design brief, through the embodiment phase of design, to the production of detailed design documents.

Learning Outcomes After completing the module the student should be able to: 1 Apply the Reverse Engineering methodology. 2 Construct an initial product design specification and select an optimal design from a range of design solutions. 3 Evaluate and select appropriate standard items and materials with their associated manufacturing processes to inform the final design. 4 Manage a design related project to the completion of a set of design documents.

Product Analysis
20 credits

This module introduces the fundamentals of the Finite Element Method as an optimization tool used within the product development lifecycle. Alongside Finite Element Analysis, measurement techniques and hand calculations will be considered as validation tools.

Learning Outcomes
After completing the module the student should be able to:

1 Apply material properties; mesh; loads and fixtures to a range of single component stress problems.
2 Define interaction between parts for multi-component stress problems.
3 Execute thermal analyses, defining heat loads for steady state and transient studies.
4 Identify and apply 2D simplification methods to static and thermal problems.
5 Identify methods to reduce model size, and apply appropriate subsequent symmetry conditions.

Optional Modules

Sandwich Year - Product Design Engineering
120 credits

The aim is to provide students with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement their programme of study at LJMU. This will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to their programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment.

Study Year Abroad - Product Design Engineering
120 credits

Aims The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU.

Learning Outcomes After completing the module the student should be able to:

1 Demonstrate the acquisition of programme-related learning having followed an approved course of study abroad

Level 6

Core modules

Design Project and Product Management
20 credits

Provide the knowledge and skills of how product design and development functions are managed in organisations and the principle methods of planning, monitoring and controlling innovative design projects.

Major Project Research Report
20 credits

Students will independently plan, organise and manage effective research in order to acquire new knowledge of a self-selected project. This module is designed to prepare and enable students to produce a research report that justifies the selection of a Major Project. It represents the culmination and consolidation of the student's research within their chosen project area.

Major Project
40 credits

Provide an opportunity to complete a substantial piece of design work in a supervised environment that is of particular interest to the student. Students will demonstrate the application of knowledge and skill gained throughout the duration of their programme to solve a self-selected problem.

Sustainable and Ethical Design
20 credits

Introduces students to sustainable and ethical issues in design.

User Centred Design
20 credits

Introduce UCD research methods and to allow students to practice the concepts and language of product semantics.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

Teaching styles include lectures supported by small-group tutorials, and design workshops, projects, enterprise activities, online activities, field trips and laboratory work. Projects provide opportunities to expand your skills to the stage where you are building and testing your own prototype designs.

Work-related Learning

Local companies contribute to the design and development of this course and in fact many of them offer work placements to our students. These placements offer an invaluable opportunity to join a commercial company for a year and put all you have learnt in the first two years into practice.

We strongly recommend that you take up this opportunity as it will give you a taste of what its like to work in the real world of design and it will give you a professional edge when you come to negotiate your way through the graduate job market.

"DriveWorks is a UK based company with global software sales to manufacturing companies. We have been involved with LJMU for several years providing undergraduate internships and 18 month Graduate Training Schemes for Engineers and Product Designers."

Maria Sarkar, VP and Owner, DriveWorks

"The best feature of the programme is its sandwich year. This enabled me to develop my graduate skills as well as my design and technical knowledge. This definitely increased my employability after I graduated. I was able to experience many different aspects of the design world throughout the four year programme and would highly recommend it."

Phil Jones, recent graduate

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

The School is a supportive environment in which to study and your tutors are committed to ensuring that you reach your full potential at LJMU. From the moment you enrol at LJMU, you will be assigned a personal tutor who will work with you on setting targets for yourself as part of your personal development plan, and discuss one-to-one any course-related issues should you need to.


Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

For many of the design and enterprise modules, you may be expected to work in teams and produce exemplar work for your design portfolio.

Your tutors will give prompt and constructive feedback via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or in writing. This will help you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning


What you can expect from your School

This programme is delivered in the Byrom Street complex of LJMUs City Campus. Here you'll find high-quality lecture theatres, meeting and seminar rooms plus social spaces and a large café. The Avril Robarts Library is just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.

The university reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the university. Where this does happen, the university operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.