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BA Product Design
From chairs and lights to consumer products and environmental objects, product design is about enriching quality of life, whether in the home, workplace, or public domain. It can provide ways of answering unmet needs, improving function and appearance, or offer new ways of critically engaging with objects and experiences. Product Design is fundamentally about making things better.
Studying Product Design at NCAD will enable you to develop your skills within a creative art school environment, underpinned by technical expertise and extensive links with industry. The programme is delivered primarily within the design studio. The small size of each year-group, coupled with close and frequent contact with the tutors, creates an informal yet highly effective student-led learning environment. Product Design has been taught at NCAD since 1976, and has developed a strong international reputation for producing graduates whose common strengths lie in the creation of innovative designs, products and services.
What will I study?
The curriculum addresses all the stages and activities involved in the creation of a new product – from concept design to manufacture, to prototyping to marketing. It encourages students to challenge conventions and to think about the subject in new and exciting ways. It is built around a core belief in human centered design with students developing the research and innovation skills that will allow them to design meaningful and desirable products and experiences.
The First Year experience for Product Design students begins with a Semester of interdisciplinary Art and Design research, observation and analysis. During semester 2 students work on a project in collaboration with students from other areas in the Design School. The second half of Semester 2 focuses on further developing core Product Design skills such as problem solving, idea generation, prototyping and digital presentation.
The focus in second year is on further developing fundamental skills and knowledge within the field of Product Design. Projects explore a range of product design briefs with a focus on human centered design, formal literacy, 3D CAD, rapid prototyping and physical computing.
In the third year students are ready to develop their own programme of study, which reflects each individual’s skills and interests within Product Design. This will culminate in a substantial body of work for assessment and display at degree shows, exhibitions and events.
Each year is supported by a series of lectures by leading creative practitioners and theorists, collaborative interdisciplinary opportunities, live industry projects, field trips, and study visits.
How will I be assessed?
Coursework, essays, practical design projects and assessments take place at key points throughout the year. Formal assessment results are issued at the end of each academic year.
Opportunities after graduation
Product Design graduates have a wide range of local and global opportunities open to them. Designers often focus on a particular area, such as consumer electronics, furniture or medical devices, but many of the skills acquired are transferable between projects and products. Graduates find employment within manufacturing and design consultancies, and have strong entrepreneurial skills which enable them to set up their own design companies, creating and producing products.
Increasingly graduates progress to further study at postgraduate level to refine their creative abilities and approach. The School of Design offers a range of innovative masters programmes, as well as a practice-based PhD programme. See page 94 for more details.
Graduate Feedback - Adam Blagburn (BA Product Design Grad 2017)
Why did you choose this programme?
I have always loved building and creating objects and product design seemed like a natural progression of my interests. I have always wanted to have a job that both challenges me creatively with new and exciting projects but also one that has a professional standard of work instead of the average mundane nine till five desk job. The creative aspect of this course and its future prospects are what initially drew me to choosing the coarse.
What did you like about it?
The product design programme combines both physical making and also digital design so it’s both a hands on and creative coarse. The most enjoyable and exciting aspect of the course in my opinion was the massive range and variety of products and projects that I was able to work on. Whether it was material choice or production route, each design was different and allowed me to learn and develop a new skill each time. Due to the nature of the course I now feel confident enough apply myself fully within any area of design or work at any job in the creative industry.
What are your plans?
I am currently interested in interior design and have just started working with an interior and furniture design company. In the future I plan on combining my passion for design with my love of travel by working in different cities throughout the world, soaking up new types of design while also experiencing new cultures as I go.
Students can leave at the end of Year 3 with a BA (Hons) Degree; students who reach the appropriate standard may stay on for a further two years of postgraduate study and leave with an MFA in Product Design.
Years 4 and 5
The two year taught Masters programme provides a scholarly framework for students who wish to master their design discipline. A major objective of the masters is to provide an environment that is broad, yet with enough rigour and focus to enable students to engage with the challenges of contemporary creative practice. The programme encourages students to integrate research, creative practice and contemporary cultural theory within and beyond their chosen discipline, leading to a body of work that positions the student on an international stage.
As a consequence of the range of skills acquired, Product Design graduates have a wide range of local and global opportunities open to them.
Designers often focus on a particular area, such as consumer electronics, furniture or medical equipment, but many of the product designer’s skills are transferable between projects and products. Graduates find employment within manufacturers and design consultancies, and have strong entrepreneurial skills which enable them to set up their own design companies, creating and producing products.
Increasingly graduates progress to further study at Postgraduate level to refine their creative abilities and approach. The School of Design offers a range of innovative Masters programmes, as well as a practice based PhD programme supported by the Graduate School for Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM).
The School of Design has actively participated in the EU-funded LDV (Leonardo Da Vinci) PLM (People in the Labour Market) programme since 2010 which offered recent graduates the opportunity to avail of 13 week internships in high profile design companies within the European Union. The LDV PLM programme was designed to foster close industrial relations and collaborations in order to meet the needs of design graduates and the EU ‘creative industries’.
Over the past four years 102 graduates from across the NCAD design disciplines have successfully undertaken LDV PLM internships in many European countries. All gained a range of specific skills and work experience relevant to their sector within the 'creative industries'. A number of participants continue to be employed on an ongoing basis by these companies, and the professional practice skills developed during the programme has had a significant impact on helping participants find employment within the creative industries in what are economically challenging times. Developing language skills, gaining inter-cultural awareness and a sense of being 'European' is in-built into the activity of going on an EU work-placement abroad.
The hugely successful LDV / PLM programme came to an end in December 2014 and has been replaced by the EU-funded Eramus + Traineeship programme.
Please see the Study at NCAD section for full application details.
|Duration||3 Years BA (+2 Years MFA)|
|Applications||CAO AD212 Product Design|
Leaving Cert: 6 Subjects (2 X H5 and 4 X O6/H7)
Subjects must include English, Irish and one of the following: a third language or Art or Design & Communication Graphics (DCG)
Leaving Cert. Maths or Technical Subject at O6/H7
FETAC: 5 Distinctions Full Award + Leaving Cert Maths Requirement
NCAD Portfolio Submission Brief
Friday 9th February 2018
|Degree Awarded||BA (Hons) Product Design / (MA)|
For further Information please contact:
Portfolio & Application Events
Product Design Portfolio Information Session
Tuesday 8th November 2016, 6pm -8pm
If you are thinking of applying to NCAD Product Design for entry September 2017, we would like to invite you to an Information Session in the Product Design Studio NCAD. This is a good opportunity to find our more about the programme, see the studio and get good advice on preparing your entrance portfolio.
Places are free but booking is required .
Wednesday 30th November 2016
Visit the NCAD campus and join a tour of our workshop facilities and studio space where you can view current 1st Year’s entrance portfolios and see our student’s work in progress. You can also attend presentations specifically focussed on Product Design and chat with our staff and current students to find out more about life in NCAD as a Product Design student. Check out our Facebook page to see the kind of work and activities you can expect to see!
Thursday January 5th 2017
We understand that the application process can seem daunting at times so we are going to help you to complete your portfolio in 1 day! Staff members and students will be on hand to take the mystery out of the portfolio brief.
If you choose to to take Option 1 and apply with a portfolio of your existing work we can look at your work and help your understand the types of things we are interested in seeing in your application. If you choose to do Option 2 and follow the sample brief, we will give you guidance on the best way to approach it.
Who should attend?
Anyone doing the Product Design NCAD Portfolio Submission Brief for entry September 2017.
Art/Technology/Engineering/DCG teachers and tutors helping students prepare an entrance portfolio for NCAD.
Booking required: https://www.eventbrite.i