ID Schools in the UK (England specifically)

Alo to all out there :slight_smile:

So basically I’m a student now in his final year of high school, looking into doing an undergrad program in ID/Product Design abroad. I’m currently living in South Africa and would like to move to the UK for my tertiary studies.

My question is this; Which universities in England are recommended (or acknowledged) for having a solid course, preferably an undergrad BA in ID/Product design, or even a BSc. Also taking into consideration the quality and level of teaching, facilities, the university itself, student life and any other factors which may be significant when it comes to making a decision on a university of choice. Also If anyone knows of the connections that any of the universities may have to industry, such that they offer internships or practical experience during the course of study at those companies.

Anyhoo, all replies are much appreciated.
Your friendly neighborhood IDnewb

Loughborough (the industrial design course not Product design, the product design is all engineering) the new BSC course isn’t that great imo and am surprised why they split it.




these have the strongest links with industry.

Dont be put of with BSC and asume bsc has a better weighting than BA. My college prior to university brainwashed us into thinking a BA was a lower standard of degree. Its not. I went to Loughborough and out of our graduating year 10 landed jobs in top UK and global consultancies (and I mean top top) . . . we all came out with BA’s.

Go to New designers in London, it’s coming up in July. All the best graduates from each UK university showcase here to get picked up by industry. You will only see the best of each Uni (apart from Northumbria who take everyone) so you will get a good feel of the universities.

That said it is completely dependent on what you put into it.

You missed out one other good uni for design Coventry, I am currently in my 3rd year heading into 4th year. They do BA and undergraduate Mdes for all of the industrial design degrees i’m not so up to scratch on what the product design degrees are like but i’m good with transport stuff. I was originally doing transport but switched to Boat design. In terms of industry contact the uni has loads for the automotive and boat guys, for the product i know they have some good contacts but not sure who with. These contacts offer projects and placements to the uni. I am currently on a 5 month placement in Italy.

As mentioned before it is dependant on what you put it in!

Thanks to you both for taking the time to reply :slight_smile:

I had already had a look at both Loughborough and Brunel, but as well at UAL Central Saint Martins and Kingston university.
Any takes on those two?

anyone else who may have other opinions/facts is highle welcomed and appreciated :slight_smile:
thx again.

Don’t go to CSM, and I’ve not heard of Kingston yet. In my research on UK universities from when I was studying abroad, the tops were Brunel, Loughborough (who spelled my name wrong in an email even though it was right there… they spelled Julius as “Jurias” or “Julins”. What the hell?), Coventry (for trans), and Northumbria (the one I was looking to go to, but my professor warned against).

I say don’t go to CSM because a couple people from CMU went to study abroad there, and they said it was a huge waste of time in respect to their workload, what they teach, etc.e

Your welcome

I totally forgot to mention that I am from Newcastle, were Northumbria is, in terms of the city its the best city I have been to in the UK, I do miss it when I’m away at uni. OK may be I am a little biased cos I am a geordie but the night life is wicked and the majority of people are a lot more welcoming than the rest of the UK, or it seems that way to me. There are loads of bars and clubs with loads of student nights during the week, weekends are expensive to go out but im use to it! Loads of shops and the metro centre is 10 minutes on the bus, the coast is like 10 miles away and the borders with Scotland about an hour and half drive and the train station is right in the city centre. Ill stop as I could keep going but if you like to party hard its good!

I had an interview at Northumbria for the transport design course and one of my school teachers graduated from there. A lot has changed from when I had an interview as I think they have moved into a new building, also loads of new building work through out the city. From what I remember there product design stuff was pretty cool. It was my second choice for uni, the main reason I didn’t go was because I wanted to move out of the north east and see the world as they say.

Also check out Huddersfield uni.


Thanks again for the replies, and if i may be a pain for just one more moment hehe :slight_smile:

I wanted to ask about universities which are located in southern england? As I’ve noticed that most which have been mentioned are further north (I only ask as I have family living in the south)
The two best which I have read (and happened to have stumbled upon) have been the aforementioned Brunel University and Bournemouth University, If anyone has any take on either, as well as any opinions on other institutions located in the southern part of england, the replies will be much appreciated :slight_smile:

thanks again
Tiago :mrgreen:

I’m going to Brunel this fall. Decided to do away with trying to switch to UC’s ID program ( I was too late for the ID selection and was offered MET instead).

Brunel being only about 45mins train ride from London will be pretty accessible. It is also within 20mins proximity of Heathrow airport.

I have been through Brunel’s student placement testimonials and it looks pretty intersting to me!

I wouldn’t know about the other unis since I have not done any research on them. I’m going to Brunel from Singapore anyws. :slight_smile:

Good luck with your decisions!

I can vouch for Bournemouth, I’ve just finished my 2nd year there. The course is relatively new, has been going 5 years now. So if you prefer something more established possibly look elsewhere. But the course is solid and constantly evolving.

The ID course is a BA and from talking to other graduates from Brunel and Loughborough a lot less engineering based on projects if that appeals.

But to be honest as mentioned before its all about what you put in…

As for bournemouth, great place, great beaches, great nightlife.

If it were me applying again personally it would be a toss up between Loughborough and Northumbria

I’ll quickly bulllet point the warrents and merits: imo

Northumbria : small class size, good ideas, headed up by the new dean steven kyfan (think i’ve spelt the name wrong) who was ex head at Philips design. Philips is very much a northumbria’s old boys. They also have links with Gro, GDD, Nokia think a couple from last year went to New Edge ( was the brewery), PDD. However they do sometimes lack an well rounded skillset, you find better sketchers, CAD modellers etc… at other universities.

Brunel : Large class size, Can that bridge support 3 elephants? Very techy and tend to really lack qualities in dealing the semantics (although that is a bit of a broad brush stroke). Strong links with industry Virgin, Nokia, Vetch, PDD, Dyson,Kinneir Dufort

Loughborough : Smack in the middle if you ask me.large class size, have to do everything. Consider relationship between users and visual brand languages, strong research methodologies and come out with a good understanding of manufacturing in the 2nd year you make you own injection moulding tool (yup you have to machine it by hand) in order to produce a widget. Having to do everything can come at a price, its probably the most demanding course out of all of them in terms of modules and time management and output . Strong links with industry again, Tangerine, Nokia, Seymour Powell, DCA, Vtech, Joseph Joseph (who graduated from Loughborough and then RCA) The Alloy,GDD, PDD, Dyson, Kinneir Dufort

You will find that when it comes to ID and applying to places most UK consultancies will automatically short list to these universities and for good reason. Other universities as a whole, in general can’t compete.

But hey it varies it is all about what you put into it but to give yourself the best headstart i recommend these 3.

Convetry - great trans although heard the ID isn’t strong
Huddersfield- great trans pretty decent ID
CSM- Poor ID (its more art)
Kingston - has good furniture design

defiantely check out new designers in the next couple of weeks.

As a Loughborough student that’s just completed his second year and has just got a 12 month placement, I can vouch for the broad skill-set you develop at Loughborough that employers love. They especially like the brand and user research orientated work, the injection mould tool project and prototype modelling. Despite it supposedly being the worst time to be looking for a placement, a lot of students here have still bagged some excellent placements at well established companies.

My one concern about the work students do in years 1 and 2 at Loughborough is that its the same projects every year, some employers have said that they’re sick of seeing the same design brief year after year when students come for placement interviews, so I think some new themes wouldn’t go a miss.

Also Loughborough is building a new design school, which should be ready for September 2011 (my final year :smiley:)

Okay well since many have replied with opinions which are justified by others and by what I have read and heard. I’ll take them into consideration. As for the exhibition, I unfortunately won’t be able to attend as I am still in school and in South Africa the School year only ends in December (as that is when we have our summer) and I am back at school from Monday…

But as it stands; the universities which I will take a serious look into and will more than likely be applying for will be:


other than that I just hope that I eventually get an offer from any one of them :confused: but for the time being I’d like to thank you all for the assistance and insight.

have you had a search on coroflot by searching for each of the universities you are considering? That way you should be able to get a good feel for the work/type of projects/quality typically done and even what people have gone on to do afterwards and may give you more insight into which is the course for you.

ah good point :confused:
had not thought of that haha, i spend quite a lot of time just browsing through portfolios on coroflot and hadn’t even considered searching by uni
thanks ;D