Pick a University for me please.

I’ve considered travelling to UK this sept for my MSc and i am done with my application procedures. here in India product design hasn’t flourished very well so i cant get any advice from any personnels here for job opportunities or about universities / courses. So i would like to get your advice on which university to choose from and I’ve given the details of my offers. My considerations are 1) good course which is up to date 2) good campus with facilities 3) Job oppurtunites in design field.

1. University of Bath (times online rank 9)
MSc Engineering Design
Core Modules:
Product design and development; Innovation and advanced design; Computer aids for design; Engineering and project management; Research & design methods; Project phase 1; Group activity;

Optional Modules:
Business processes; Materials selection in engineering design; Electronics, signals and drives; Heat transfer; System modelling & simulation; Practical instrumentation techniques; Creativity and innovation methods

Advantage here is the national ranking but i since this course is engg design, im worried if it becomes more of mechanical industrial type. Im happy with the ranking, not so about the course.

2. Aston University (times online rank 25)
Msc Product Design Innovation
Core modules:
Product Design Innovation; Research Project; Sustainable Futures; Major Project; Quantitative Methods; Product Introduction Processes; Advanced CAD; Research Methodology

Elective Modules:
Strategic Management; CAD Principles and Materials Selection; Computational Fluid Dynamics and Applications; Finite Element Analysis and Solid Mechanics; Euro Studies; e-Commerce;

3. University of Liverpool ( times online rank 28)
Msc Product Design and Management
Compulsory Modules:
Product Design; Computer-Aided Design; Industrial Design; Product Modelling and Virtual Reality; Rapid Prototyping; Design for Manufacture and Assembly; Management of Product Development; Management of Design; Materials Processing & Selection; Materials Processing & Selection II;

Optional Modules:
Integrated Systems Design; Total Quality Management; Project and Risk Assessment; Enterprise Studies;

4. Brunel University (times online rank 47)
Msc Integrated Product Design
Sustainable Design; Design Research, Creativity and Innovation; Integrated Design Management; Cognitive Ergonomics in Design; Professional Design Studio; Design and Innovation Futures; Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing Techniques; Dissertation Project.

I saw in times online “art and design” section brunel is ranked no.4 . does my course come under that ranking, and the shows like “Made In Brunel” appealed me a lot and it is miles away from London. but the national ranking is around 50’s.

  1. University of Strathclyde (times online rank 37)
    MSc Digital Creativity
    I searched the site for modules, couldn’t spot any but it has got something to do with CAD/CAM.

    Please if anyone has anything to say that would help me, i’d really appreciate it. I have searched online, elsewhere but in India just cannot find any appropriate help, so judging by the outcome of this thread i decide which university to go to. even the name of the university alone will do, if u have no other information to provide.

Thanks core77

Hi Ashwin,

I’ve done an MA in the UK and worked in India, so might be able to help, so:

1 - Ignore the national rankings, they’re rarely based on anything relevant to design courses - you should be looking for courses that are well thought of by the design industry

2 - What is your background and what do you want to get out of you Masters? I ask this because you’ve been looking at MSc courses - is this because you have an engineering background or interest? Or is it because you feel that you’re expected to have an MSc rather than an MA (I lived in India for a while and can understand these pressures)?

3 - I’m only going to mention the courses/universities I know here so do not take my advice to be the be all and end all; but I would categorise the most renowned MA/MSc course like this:

  • Brunel or Loughborough - classic ID courses with engineering elements - you will learn a lot about how to design, engineer and manufacture products - Brunel also has good links with industry and a good Strategy course - which you should look into as I reckon it’s a growth area in the Indian market
  • Northumbria - don’t know much about the MA but it consistently turns out grads with good folios
  • Royal College of Art and Central St Martins - Massive art schools with massive global reputations - much artier and more explorative - you’ll need to be very focused to prosper. You should check out Central St Martins as they used to have a full scholarship for one Indian student per year…

4 - The other courses you mention aren’t that well known - that doesn’t mean that they’re bad but you should compare them to the options above - those are the most well regarded in the UK.

5 - Do you want to work in the UK after you graduate? - The industry can be pretty tough to get into and is becoming more service-based. If you want to return to India, the job you want should point you towards a particular course.

6 - Have you looked at the US/Europe? - I know people who have good jobs in India who went to places like TU Delft in Holland

Anyway - the golden question with MA/MScs is - what do you want to be after you graduate? Knowing that will help you choose

PM me if you want more info, I’m happy to help - I’m also in Delhi soon if that’s near where you’re based

Anyway, good luck!

Also, check out this thread…


Hi Jack,

Thanks a lot for taking your time off and replying, I appreciate it a lot. I’ll first start by replying to your questions.

1 - Yes, even i’ve been requested by many to not take national ranking as the major point of considerations, and after a week of self motivation, i was able to remove that block

2 - My background is B.E Mechanical Engineering and frankly saying i have learned very little of design related studies, except for around 5~6 modules that taught me all the intro , drafter works. and also did intro to PRO\e and ANSYS which i forgot eventually, but im now learning design softwares like 3Ds Max , SolidWorks , PRO\E etc. I know i might have a hard time coping up, but im prepared to put in the hours as i’ve decided this stream to be my career option and there is no return now :slight_smile:.

Like you said, MSc is something of an expectation since if im applying to any companies, MSc is more respected than a MA, According to here, MSc is international , MA is a below par excuse.

3 - I had read about CSM , RCA , northumbria and many more, but all these universities offer MA degrees so i couldn’t continue with them. Msc was offered in like 10 or so univs of which i had applied to top 6 and i had got my reply in the above 5. I couldn’t apply for loughborough as they asked me to produce a portfolio, which i dont have a decent enough one right now as im still doing intro to design on my own.

4 - So u would suggest me to join brunel? that is fine, and yes i have compared the rest of the courses too, but once i again i dont have a handful of people to enquire about, but even i’ve in a way shortlisted brunel only.

5 - Yes i would like to work in the UK for a few years, i always wished to be visit different countries and if this job can take me places, then i’d be employed, beyond which i start business in india.

6 - actually no!. I dint have time to do GRE because i decided for masters at the last minute, so did my IELTS , got 7.5 and decided to apply in whichever univ accepted IELTS. I felt a bit insecure too, about any place other than UK too because in the wider perspective in india, Uk would be recognized.

I am from chennai , the other side of the country :slight_smile:. You are an indian national , or got offered a job here?. which univ did you go to?

Thanks a lot for your responce, it has cleared up my picture a bit. and the other link was useful too, but it was left a bit unfinished , so decided to open a new thread.


Hi Ashwin,

Given your criteria, I think that Brunel is probably the best place on your list.

I would, however, urge you to consider looking at RCA - the IDE course is set up to help Engineers to become Industrial designers - and I think you will be able to qualify with a joint MA and MSc in Design Engineering. It’s more expensive though, and you may need funding. Check it out though because its global reputation is very good.

Maybe have a look at TU Delft, Design Academy Eindhoven and other large European design schools - they are taught in English and it will be interesting for you to compare them to the English ones.

I know you feel that you need the MSc, but remember that any MSc courses will have a heavy engineering bias. This means the courses will channel you towards design engineering, production and management rather than pure Industrial Design. If that’s not what you want, you should consider the MA courses I’m afraid.

That said, I think you’d love Brunel, and any other of your choices too

I lived in Delhi last year and will be passing through. Chennai’s great though, I played an ultimate frisbee tournament there - great food, and a good cricket team!

Best of luck!

national ranking means absolutley nothing. From that list Burnel hands down. The others are not anywhere near the same league when it comes down to reputation. I too second the RCA but if I remember right you will also need a portfolio to apply

Hi jack,
Well i had looked into RCA course and its double of what i can pay right now, so unless im born with a silver spoon it is ruled out, i checked out TU delft too, but last date of application was april 1 :frowning:. i guess i started doing my research a bit too late and its got me all confused now. If i want to take up MA as you said, then i had missed out a majority of good univs and im afraid i have to wait for next september batch (incase jan batch is not there) which leaves me lost for 1.5 years. If i decide to go on with MSc, do u say i dont have even the slightest chances of becoming like a conventional industrial designer? basically doesn’t it depend on where i get employed and the work i’d be put through there?.

I mailed brunel and they told me MSc Integrated Product design was started only on 2009, and that their ranking had come because of their UG course, would UG and PG be handled by the same staff and can i go ahead with it?

one more query for any ex brunel students, the “Made in Brunel” show for designers at year end, does it showcase only UG students or supposing my project is good enough, would mine be showcased?. i was considering brunel uptill now because i felt this design show would be a good oppurtunity to meet employers.

I’ve come quiet some distance and accepted not to refer national rankings, but portfolio seems to be the killer. my question is, how should my portfolio look?. should it be like the ones done in coroflot, or is it just to showcase that i CAN design using 3D softwares?. isit ok if i attach my practice designs that i have done using 3DS Max onto my portfolio. would it suffice for getting a seat for PG?.

may 20th lufbra univ is coming to my city for spot admission, would you guys say it would be a good decision to wait for it and see what happenes, or can i proceed with brunels fee process?.

need help,

Hey there,
Totally understand your time worries - I’ve been there myself!


  • A brunel course will always be a good course - though you should note that the MSc in Integrated PD you’re applying for offer courses in “integrating technology, management, ergonomics, marketing, business and design methods”. It doesn’t sound like you’ll be doing loads of sketching, modelling and CAD. That’s not necessarily a bad thing - the course (and your engineering background) would set you up very well for a career in design management and/or product development. Ring them up for clarification if you’re worried - it should be in their interest to place you on the course you want.

  • You should go and see the loughbrough people - ask their advice - any folio you can put together will be worth it. I mean, the worst that can happen is they say ‘no thanks’ and you continue with your other applications? It’s a no-brainer for me. You should be able to apply to both at the same time. Remember to put your engineering projects into your folio as well as your new design ones. Show process, sketching and all the rest. They’ll appreciate that you haven’t yet got a design background and will be looking for passion, drive + potential - so don’t worry if your stuff doesn’t yet look like some of the core hall-of famers.

Hope I’ve been some help - let me know if you have more questions

Good luck!

A significant portion of your decision also lies on how far you’re willing to go from home. I go to Columbia in Chicago because I didn’t want to go too far from home. If that’s not important to you, than it makes it harder to decide. I’d go for reputation over any other factor because after you graduate, the worth of your degree depends on the idea the person hiring you has about your school.