BEng (Hons) single honours Product Design Engineering with Foundation Year 2020/21

Year of entry

Our Product Design Engineering BEng is for people interested in designing and improving the usability of everyday products – from hockey sticks to industrial fencing. This innovative course has been designed in collaboration with industry and you’ll have the excellent opportunity to work with a range of employers. The Foundation Year will prepare those who are changing careers or who require additional subject knowledge before studying at degree level and working in this exciting area.

Great news!

We’re building a new £60m Science, Engineering, Technology and Health facility on our main campus in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our engineering students. We’re planning to open Building 2 in September 2020, with building work now well underway.

Product Design Engineers use existing technologies and solutions to create new solutions to problems, research and develop ideas for new products and the systems used to make them.

Product Design Engineers are key to transforming an engineering solution into a solution that can be manufactured and work, and also work with BA Product Designers to make the solution beautiful.  

Not only do Product Design Engineers bring aesthetics into a solution, but they can improve the performance and efficiency of existing products too. After your degree you will use your inter-professional communication skills alongside your knowledge of the qualities of materials and of methods of construction and manufacturing to create products that a company can sell and make a profit.

You could work in a wide range of industries. From electronics to synthetic textiles or health to disaster recovery. For example, you might work on many products and parts for mass manufacture from innovations in hockey sticks to new domestic appliances, or from transport solutions to simpler, more effective water purifiers for developing countries. 

Jonthan Ives’ (Apple's Design Chief) road to Apple was via product design engineering in the UK working on bathrooms fittings.

The Guardian, 2018

This course is for you if you are looking to pursue a career as a product design engineer and don’t meet the entry requirements for the MEng/BEng Product Design Engineering course.

  • it has been a while since you last studied, particularly in science and maths, and you would like to change career and become a product design engineer.
  • you have not continued with science or maths in your post 16 education and are doing well in your post 16 studies. Perhaps you or others have recognised you have the habits and mind-set for a career in product design engineering.
  • your career plan into product design engineering has gone slightly awry and you need to strengthen your knowledge and understanding in science and maths before studying at degree level.

The foundation year will provide you with the relevant theoretical and practical knowledge you need to be prepared for the BEng. You will develop your core knowledge and understanding of:

  • Drawing
  • Physics
  • Engineering concepts
  • Materials from a design perspective
  • Maths and statistics
  • Higher Education (HE) study skills. 

On successful completion of the foundation year you will progress to the BEng Product Design Engineering. During the course you will be supported to develop your employability skills and job application skills to apply for placement opportunities. Placement opportunities in engineering often to lead to opening doors to great potential engineering graduate employment opportunities. The product design industry consists of small, medium, and large employers for example Hornby, Amphenol, Review Displays, PaddyKaddy, etc. Each of these business employ, or use, the services of product design engineers. 

This course equips you to be a practising professional graduate product design engineer. Product Design Engineering is a key area for growth in south-east England which presents exciting opportunities for graduates. You will be able to apply and develop technology to provide Product Design solutions for industry.

The advent of Industry 4.0 technology has enabled engineering designers to creatively design and rapidly prototype bespoke products or test products for mass manufacture, shortening the time from initial concept to a market ready product. 

“We think a lot about design, but appearance always goes hand in hand with how something works."

Peter Gammack, Director of Design, Dyson, The Guardian 2016

At Canterbury Christ Church University we place people at the heart of the design process and also foster an inclusive culture by putting people first through recognising individuality and team talent.

Did you know, in the UK alone, there will be 1.86M new job openings for engineers by 2020.

IMechE 2016

Core modules

Foundation Year (Year 0)

Fundamentals of Engineering

This module will introduce the principles of engineering, including engineering science and key concepts that guide engineers in the 21st Century. This will be the start of inspiring your future engineering ambitions.

General Engineering Science Skills

Here you will develop basic transferable skills in scientific reasoning, scientific investigations and the communication of scientific ideas and outcomes. This will enable you be a more effective engineer when communicating your ideas to non-engineers.

Mathematics for Engineers

This module will develop the mathematical skills that are relevant to engineering to enable you to apply relevant mathematics to solve and model engineering problems.

Fundamentals of Physics

This module introduces the basic underpinning physics concepts relevant to engineering, supporting your aspirations of becoming an engineer.

Fundamentals of Drawing

On this module you will develop your drawing skills for studio-based product design activity. This will enable you to communicate ideas through drawings and sketches.

Fundamentals of Materials

This module will help you to understand which materials are more suitable for a particular product/task. You will cover expected performance of materials as well as the impact of environmental conditions.

Year 1

Professional Practical Engineering (with Mechatronics project) (40 credits)

This module will introduce you to mechanical related engineering, engineering evaluation, concept generation, design, prototype and testing a real problem. Engineering challenges are typically sourced from industry and therefore means you’ll be contributing to local industry.

Mathematics, Computing and Physics for Mechanical Engineers (20 credits)

On this module you will develop your confidence in applying the fundamental science (laws of physics), mathematics and statistics principles, and computing skills in context to engineering, ensuring you have the mathematical and digital skills for your engineering ambitions.

Introduction to Engineering Design (20 credits)

In a group design project, you will learn to create and translate engineering drawings by hand and on a computer. This practical experience will help you develop similar habits and minds as commercial engineers.

Introduction to Elec/mechanical Systems and Practice (20 credits)

You will experience electronic, electrical and mechanical principles, methods and practice used in commercial engineering components. You will also develop engineering practical workshop skills to manufacture and fabricate engineering products.

Introduction to Material Engineering Characteristics & Manufacture (20 credits)

This module introduces you to materials used in engineering, specifically metals, plastics, ceramics, composites and material mechanical properties. This will support you in the future to be able to select appropriate materials for specific products or tasks.

Year 2

Engineering Product Lifecycle (40 credits)

You will gain experience of developing products in context to product life-cycle from raw materials to end of life, taking into consideration the wider social, environmental, commercial and financial issues and your role as an engineer.

Computer Aided Engineering and Design (20 credits)

During this module you will learn Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools and design processes for designing, sizing and developing products and parts akin to a commercial engineer.

Dynamics of Solid Mechanics and Materials (20 credits)

You will strengthen your knowledge and understanding of materials, solid mechanics and dynamics that are applied by engineers when making material selections.

Human Factors in Designing Systems/Products (20 credits)

You will learn the theory, principles, data and research methods used to measure human factors so that you can design solutions that take human factors into consideration.

Manufacturing Control, Instrumentation, and Communication Systems (20 credits)

On this module you will gain a grounding in the communication, control and instrumentation used in industrial automated environments. This will build your knowledge around manufacturing.

Year 3

Professional Product Design Engineering Project (40 credits)

You will gain experience of working individually and as part of a team to design and develop a solution to a complex product design engineering problem. This will simulate the work of an engineer in industry.

FEA for mechanics and materials (20 credits)

In this module you will apply, critically analyse and interpret the fundamental principles of advanced stress analysis and further product analysis methods to evaluate if products in principle are fit for purpose, prior to prototyping.

Design for Rapid Prototyping, Pattern, Moulding and Tooling (20 credits)

You will gain knowledge and experience of applying rapid prototyping methods, critically analysing and considering its importance in terms of manufacture and design.  

Design and Analysis for Automated Manufacture (20 credits)

You will learn how to design, create and consider; sustainable, ethical, economical, inclusivity of complex engineering solutions for automated engineering manufacture of the components/products.

Industry 4.0 for Manufacture (20 credits)

You will investigate and critical analyse Industry 4.0 technology and solutions for the manufacturing industry.

Placement Module

You will have the option to do a placement module at any time in your degree. The placement module is designed to permit different modes of placement, from day-release, vacations, and year-long.

Product design engineers work in multi-disciplinary teams of manufacturing engineers, production engineers, maintenance engineers, service engineers and sales team. There are many industries and companies with roles that could involve things like:

  • Innovating bathroom fittings for all users (able, elderly and/or disabled users)
  • Conceiving and designing new street lighting that meets European and local heritage standards
  • Researching and developing solutions to support disaster recovery, health and hygiene for remote areas
  • Creating new packaging solutions for a variety of high end products to protect the products during the delivery process
  • Designing tools, moulds, jigs and fittings for CNC machines for a part for mass production
  • Generate concept, design and prototype new products for example folding sustainable coffee cups
  • Prototype engineering toys for the domestic market.

Product design engineers are sought after by a wide variety of industries for example:

  • Embedded systems suppliers: designing the casing for electronics, from laptop case to WiFi router box
  • Engineering fabrication workshops: designing, manufacturing and fabricating bespoke one off parts and prototypes for a variety of customers.  
  • Financial organisations: design engineers are also highly sought after for their data processing and investigating abilities for industry audits, accountancy and consultancy
  • Legal sector for technical reviewing, advising, and approving patents.

Please note that some career paths are subject to further academic study and qualifications may require industrial sponsorship or be dependent on the employer and the economic or sector demand.



Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs


Additional costs include travel to and from Canterbury to Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne or Discovery Park, Maidstone or CCCU Medway campus as when required for learning.

Also possible opportunities to visit Industrial facilities on the Isle of Sheppey, Medway, Maidstone, Ashford and Discovery Park, Maidstone and partner institutions in Europe.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

The contact time per module is typically a blend of lectures, laboratories and tutorials:

  • Foundation Year (Year 0) 60hrs
  • Year 1 60hrs
  • Year 2 50hrs
  • Year 3 40hrs

The modules are led by our engineering academic team consisting of lecturers, senior lecturers, principal lecturers, and laboratory learning will be further supported by Senior and Junior technicians and Postgraduate demonstrators.

In addition, in each academic year you will complete a team CDIO project (typically sourced from industry) in a 40 credit module. These large group projects provide you with the opportunity to reflect upon your knowledge and understanding in context to a real world scenario and develop your confidence in your mechanical and product engineering understanding and knowledge. We will also facilitate your learning to be able to:

  • Work effectively and supportively in diverse and inclusive groups
  • Communicate effectively in groups and one-to-ones
  • Apply project management to group-work
  • Apply principles of commercial management and solutions considerations
  • Develop effective communication with professionals from other disciplines, especially clinicians
  • Contribute to industry through your solutions
  • Provide tangible results for your portfolio of evidence for future employment.

Additional drop-in academic and peer learning mentoring sessions will be typically timetabled and you will be encouraged to make use of and support these sessions, to develop your learning. They are also an opportunity to apply your learning on new unfamiliar problems with the academics. As at other institutions these sessions have supported students to progress in their studies and provided valuable evidence for employment.  

Each 20 credits of a course of study, requires 200hrs of input over the academic year. This includes class contact time in lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory work, module preparation, module learning contextualisation, assessment research, development and submission, and examination revision.

All academic years consist of a mix of modules that are assessed by coursework only, to modules that are assessed by examination and coursework. Examinations may be open-book or closed book exams. Coursework may include, Engineering log book, Technical drawings, Wiki pages, blogs, pitches to industry, posters, leaflets, engineering manual, etc.

The Foundation Year (Year 0) consists of 6 non-credit bearing modules.

Years 1-3 (Levels 4-6) each consist of 4 modules that are 20 credits each and 1 module that is 40 credits.

In the modules and module assessment you will need to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and understanding of engineering science and principles engineering at Level 4;
  • Application of knowledge and understanding of Product Design at Level 5;
  • Critical analysis of application of knowledge and understanding of Product Design at level 6.

The 40 credit modules will provide you with the opportunity to work on a substantial group CDIO project typically sourced from industry. These projects will provide you with the opportunity to build your technical skills, as well as your professional practice skills. The pioneering CDIO approach is being designed to enable you to develop your creative skills in order to find solutions based on engineering science, principles and provide practical benefits to end users, and manufacturers. For example could your group innovate and design the next generation of bathroom taps that plug and fit solution, and that are user friendly for able, disabled and elderly users.

The Level 6 Professional Product Engineering Project 40 credits module will in particular entail group and individual project. The overall group project will be typically sourced from industry, and will require a number of individual projects to support a solution to the overall group project. Each individual project will entail dissertation assessment. Each group will be led and managed by a Level 7 MEng student studying the Professional Engineering Project and Management module. Each Level 7 student will research, develop, apply and test through the development of their own evaluation methods to critically analyse a more complex problem that contributes to the Level 6 Professional Product Engineering group. Each Level 6 and 7 individual project within the group project will entail a dissertation.

Please note: progression from BEng to the MEng is an optional possibility at the end of Year 2 (Level 5) if you meet the Integrated Master’s Framework criteria for progression to the Integrated Masters programme. 

The difference in learning between MEng and BEng degrees in accordance to the accrediting engineering council, AHEP 3.0, is that:

MEng is an integrated four-year Masters degree course. The fourth year enables you to develop broader engineering leadership and management skills as well as advanced knowledge in a particular engineering field. Students who graduate with this level of award on professionally accredited programmes are recognised as being on track to build an engineering portfolio for a future application to become a Chartered Engineer (CEng). You will need to maintain 50% or more in each module during the first three years of undergraduate study to remain on/progress onto this course. Please note any module failure at Level 7 will result in being awarded the BEng Product Design Engineering.

BEng is a three-year degree that provides you with the knowledge and skills to become a practising engineer. Students who graduate with this level of award on professionally accredited programmes are recognised as being on track to become an Incorporated Engineer (IEng). Incorporated engineers are professional engineers who maintain and apply technology in practice. After the first 2 years of study it is possible to progress from the BEng onto the MEng programme as long as you achieve in the last academic year 50% or more in each module and you show academic progress in your learning. Alternatively upon completion of the BEng course you could complete an accredited Masters degree (MSc) or a Postgraduate Degree Apprenticeship to be on track to become a Chartered Engineer.

We are working towards professional accreditation of our engineering courses. Accredited courses are delivered to a UK recognised standard. We are consulting the accrediting bodies, such as IChemE, BCS, IMechE, in designing our courses. This is to keep us on track for accreditation. We hope to receive accreditation by 2022. If we receive accreditation, it will apply to these courses. At present these courses do not have professional accreditation.

In 2020, we will open a major new facility for science, engineering, health and medicine, part of our £150m vision to transform our Canterbury Campus. The new building will be the main base for our Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, with specialist centres across the region located alongside Engineering and Technology businesses.


Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new building has to offer.

Our courses have been co-designed with input from manufacturing, large, small and medium Enterprise (SME) employers of product designers who develop products for the allied health industry. This helps to ensure that our Product Design Engineering graduates meet employer needs and expectations in terms of the technical and employability skills relevant for these industries.

The final course structure, module learning outcomes and indicative content reflects all the feedback from employers’ at each iterative stage of the course design and development. The final course design now reflects local industry’s need for MEng/BEng Product Design Engineering graduates, in particular the need for the course to have a strong focus on the user considerations for designing and manufacturing designed products. The final industry co-designed course makes our product design engineering degree learning unique and supports the development of our engineering graduates to be “Industry-ready” upon graduation.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Admissions Enquiry Team:

Email: admissions@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 782900


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • H151 Product Design Engineering with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time (or 5 years with industry placement)


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • Entry requirements are typically 32-122 UCAS points including minimum 5 GCSEs (including Maths, English Language and Science). However students who have typically:

    ○ 32-88 UCAS points at Level 3 and studied at least one of the following; A-level Maths, A-level Physics, A-level Applied Science, A-level Engineering, BTEC Engineering Diploma.

    ○ 88-112 UCAS points at Level 3 and who have not studied; A-level Maths, A-level Physics, A-level Applied Science, A-level Engineering, BTEC Engineering Diploma

    ○ 32-112 UCAS points at Level 3 in Maths, Science or Engineering and who have not been in full-time/part-time education for many years.

    Further entry requirements

    ○ 5 GCSEs grade C/4 or above (including Maths, English, Science)

    ○ Science can be Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Computer ScienceThe course will provide you with further Science and Maths knowledge and understanding that underpins Biomedical Engineering and support developing your higher education learning skills in Science and Maths to support your further pursuit of studying a BEng/MEng in Biomedical Engineering

    More entry requirement details.



Last edited 14/08/2019 09:57:00

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Last edited: 14/08/2019 09:57:00