Product Design Masters - MSc/PgD/PgC

The MSc Product Design course at Cardiff Met is a practically based, taught Masters programme with excellent industry links and a focus on enhancing the employability of its graduates.

It balances the development of advanced practical design skills with academic rigour and applied research based on the current research activities of Cardiff School of Art and Design and the wider university.

Our Product Design Masters’ Degree will develop your skills and knowledge of human centred design, user testing, service design, creativity, and ethnographic research techniques.

You will also examine the social, legal, ethical and sustainability impacts of a range of design development approaches.

You will explore a range of current and leading theoretical and methodological perspectives, and develop an advanced understanding of physical, perceptual and cognitive principles in design.

The MSc Product Design has been developed in consultation with industry, and maintains close commercial links through its placement modules, sponsorship of major projects, and live briefs. This provides graduates with a deeper understanding of industry practices, and the design development process in a holistic commercial context.

This course aims to enhance your employability by providing you with the skills and knowledge that are in demand by industries both at home and globally, as well as providing opportunities to develop your abilities as an entrepreneur.

Course Content

MSc Product Design students study the following modules:

  • APD7006 Perception, Cognition, Emotion, and Context (20 credits)
  • APD7001 Product Development Principles and Practice (20 credits)
  • APD7004 Research Techniques and Principles (20 credits)
  • APD7003 Sustainability Issues in Design for Production (20 credits)
  • APD7005 User Testing and Evaluation (20 credits)
  • APD70008 Industrial Placement (20 credits)
  • APD7007 Major Project (60 credits)

Exit points

  • To gain a Postgraduate Certificate, you must pass Product Development Principles and Practice plus two other 20-credit modules. (60 credits)
  • To gain a Postgraduate Diploma, you must pass all modules except Major Project (120 credits)
  • To gain an MSc Product Design, you must pass all modules (180 credits)

Learning & Teaching

Lectures: Lectures will be used to present basic concepts and principles. They are supported by visual material and/or texts. The content may be historical, theoretical, contextual or practical. Where appropriate, lectures are structured to involve you in discussion.

Tutorials and Seminars Tutorials and Seminars will be used to discuss and explain specific problem areas. Peer group tutorials will be used to discuss and explain specific problem areas. Case studies exercises and examples will be used to contextualise realistic design problems and practice. Outside experts may be invited to contribute and site visits might also be employed. The Industrial Placement delivery will be via appropriate work experience, normally project based.

Workshops: Workshops will enable you to practice and refine your skills in a supportive environment where you receive feedback from members of staff.

E-Learning: E-Learning is available through Cardiff Metropolitan University Virtual Learning Environments and provide opportunity for both asynchronistic and synchronistic learning. Lectures, worksheets, reading material, will be available to support your learning experience.

Contact Hours: Remote or electronic contact with staff will be available by email and/or VLE. The supervisory team will deliver, manage and monitor each student's progress through a number of individual and team meetings. Students will also be encouraged to form and maintain peer-learning groups, either face-to-face or online. Any students requiring additional support are advised to contact Learning Support in Student Services.

Throughout the programme, students are expected to maintain their own Personal Development Plan/Portfolio (PDP), intended to provide evidence of their knowledge and understanding in relation to the learning outcomes of each module.

Each 20-credit module is equivalent to 240 learning hours (80 typically are taught and 160 are directed study or independent study).

Facilities: Dedicated studio space. Cardiff School of Art and Design offers an extensive range of spaces, workshops and equipment, creating a vibrant and creative learning environment. Workshop and technical facilities include a foundry; and access to other workshops across the full range of Art and Design disciplines. Cardiff School of Art and Design has a wide range of tools and equipment for use by students; necessary workshop training in their use includes access to materials used as part of timetabled workshop inductions. You also have access to and use of recycled materials within workshop areas.

We ask all our students to consider carefully the selection and use of materials within their project work both in terms of modelmaking and prototyping and for actual material selection in the Design for Manufacture stages of their project developments. As Product Designers the impact these materials have on the environment is core to our sustainability and ethical considerations.


For each module, assessment is as follows:

APD7001 Development Principles & Practice (20 Credits)
6000-word equivalent assignment, including a 1000-word reflective blog (pass / fail). This will normally be a written assignment.

APD7003 Sustainability Issues in Design for Production (20 Credits)
6000-word equivalent, including a 1000-word reflective blog (pass / fail). This module will typically be assessed via a design project. A proportion of the assignment may however be awarded for written or presentation work.

APD7004 Research Techniques & Principles (20 Credits)
Written submission, plus seminar presentation, typically 3,000 words plus a 10–20-minute presentation. Plus, a 1000-word reflective blog (pass/fail).

APD7005 User Testing & Evaluation (20 Credits)
6000-word equivalent, including a 1000-word reflective blog (pass / fail). This module may be linked with others in order to provide a design project vehicle. It will involve practical exercises and a proportion if not all of the assignment may be awarded for written or presentation work.

APD7006 Perception, Cognition, Emotion & Context (20 Credits)
6000-word equivalent, including a 1000-word reflective blog (pass/fail). This project is likely to be assessed through practical design activity, although a proportion of the assignment may be awarded for written or presentation work.

APD7007 Major Project (60 Credits)
18,000-word or equivalent. Performance will be measured using the Final Report, Formal Presentation, Viva Voce examination and final product. Of the marks that are available for the project the allocation of the marks to each of the measures is as follows:

  • Final Report 12,000 words: 40%
  • Final Product (prototype): 40%
  • Formal Presentation: 5%
  • Viva Voce: 15%
  • PDP and Reflective Journal 2000 words (pass/fail)

APD70008 Industrial Placement (20 Credits)
A 3000-word (maximum) report reflecting on the student’s experience within the professional working environment. A reflective placement Logbook (or Blog equivalent) recording critical reflections on events, activities and experiences. Important Note: Because of the difficulties of assessment in the workplace and the potential for disparity of treatment, this module is not awarded a mark other than “Pass” or “Fail”.

Support will be available throughout the placement via virtual communications with the module leader and where appropriate face to face tutorials, though students are expected to immerse themselves into the organisational culture and day to day activities appropriate to the on-going business needs of the placement.

Employability & Careers

The course is principally aimed at enabling students to develop their careers in the world of professional product design and development. A key advantage in achieving this aim is the industrial placement module.

On completion of the course, graduates may expect to find employment in design consultancies or manufacturing companies anywhere in the world.

Your study with us will enable you to develop professional contacts, observe how successful practitioners make their living, and hone your skills and ideas for commercial and professional advantage. Such cross-disciplinary collaborations prepare you for a world where you will inevitably work with people from all walks of life. Your live projects and assessments will get you accustomed to the importance of deadlines and working to specific briefs and tight specifications.

All students are expected to complete a portable ‘record of achievement’ and use their PDP to support employability and life-long learning, normally in the form of a learning journal, that integrates opportunities for self-reflection in programmes in order to help them develop as effective and confident learners.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

You will normally have achieved a first class or second class upper division first degree (1st or 2.1 degree classification) in an appropriate subject, and/or equivalent professional standing or experience in a design discipline (based upon assessed Accredited Prior Learning or assessed Accredited Prior Experiential Learning), or a discipline associated with their programme of study. In addition, those students for whom English is not their first language are required to have IELTS.

International Applicants

Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Before making an application, EU/International students are asked to contact Dr Fiaz Hussain to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us.

How to Apply

Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility.

You will be asked to provide: a statement about your current work and practice and the interests which inform it; a succinct statement outlining why you wish to undertake this course; an outline of the professional or research project that you wish to pursue on this course; and a portfolio of your previous work (where appropriate) in support of your application. Images of your work or examples of written work can be submitted via a personal website or via an appropriate online platform (eg. Flickr, Tumblr or Wordpress). At least four different examples of your work should be referenced. All students are interviewed for this course. Where a face to face interview is not possible, these will be conducted via Microsoft Teams.

For further information please visit our How to Apply pages

Additional Information

Please note that applicants to the MSc Product Design from non IED (Institution of Engineering Designers) accredited courses, will not receive IED accreditation following completion of this course at Cardiff Met.

For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Part-time fees

Charges are per Single Module unless specified: Undergraduate = 10 Credits; Postgraduate = 20 Credits Generally we find most students will complete 60 credits per year for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study; to obtain a true costing please clarify this by contacting the Programme Director directly.

Postgraduate costs of study in CSAD


You will receive access to materials used as part of timetabled workshop inductions. You will also have access to and use of recycled materials within workshop areas where available. In general you will need to purchase materials for individual projects used in studio and workshops as appropriate.

Please note that costs will vary depending upon the scale and individual requirements of your work. In addition one-off purchases of personal tools and equipment will need to be budgeted for. Other costs such as printing, the purchase of textbooks and cost of optional placements will also need to be accounted for by you.

In the main, no charges are made for the use of equipment. Access to Cardiff FabLab is subject to negotiation; it offers reduced fees for student use.

For further information about additional course costs, including fees, equipment requirements and other charges for each postgraduate programme, please visit:

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the Admissions Tutor, Richard Morris 

Key Course Information

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Art & Design

Course Length:
One year full-time or two years part-time.

25% Alumni Discount:
The Cardiff Metropolitan University Alumni Discount is a 25 per cent reduction in tuition fees for Cardiff Met Alumni enrolling on taught postgraduate courses.
See if you are eligible.

More About the Course
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Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting