UK uni's - professional designer help needed


I have offers to study industrial design at Loughborough and Northumbria university in the UK (the BSc product design technology course at Northumbria not the BA Design for Industry, and the BSc Product Design and Technology at Loughborough). Having visited and looked round both of them I seemed to like them equally but found it hard to judge the courses.

If possible please could some of the professional IDers on here post how each of these courses are viewed by firms/employers and which course firms would prefer their employees to have been on, and maybe people at the universities post what they like and dislike about the course (especially things like teaching quality etc)

Thanks for all you help in advance

As a former Loughborough student I can vouch for the quality of the University (and for complete transparency I turned down a masters at Northumbria). I am curious however, you state that you have an offer to study ‘industrial design’ but you talk about the product design course rather than the industrial design and technology course. The product design degree is an engineering course and will result in a more engineering centric career path (unless you meant the industrial design and technology course?).

If you actually meant the ID course, Loughborough will allow you to choose a BA or BSc route after the first year which should give you some time to assess your interests and skills. The course will expose you to a wide range of design skills which is useful for a broad design education.

Its always hard to say what employers want as it varies so much, in my experience Loughborough had a good deal of success in placing students with more technical firms in roles that have design element but other schools (more art centric) have more success getting students into more elite consultancies. In short if I wanted a technical design career go for Loughborough, if I want a more art centric design position I wouldn’t look at either of these schools as my first choice.

I graduated from Lufbra in '99, and although I’m practising design now half way across the world; my time there was most memorable, valuable and rewarding. I was encouraged by my teachers at school to consider Lufbra…having little knowledge of the repuation of the ID courses/universities around England then.

I went down the BSc route, and am now doing product design on a more aesthetically-biased, fun note. In my third year at Uni. i took a year out and got work placement in France, on my own, working for a pure engineering company. Currently I also tutor part-time in Singapore, at diploma level, on an ID course.

So my experiences gained at Lufbra have held me in good stead, in this industry that i enjoy, and I still find myself referencing to those times at Lufbra. So for me it was all good and I too would recommend Lufbra.

Thanks for the replys. I do mean the ID course but for this year they’ve changed it so you choose BA or BSc before you start and to add to the confusion the names have changed so the BA is called ID and the BSc is product design.

Did you find there was a lot of teaching at Loughborough or was it a lot of just leaving students to get on with their projects?

Also any input from professional designers (especially those that hire people) on how these uni’s are viewed is still very welcome as this is so hard to find out about.


On the BSc route that I took, the technical theory modules were generally guided, and tended towards placing you in groups of at least two to work on projects.

The design projects however were individual and after a few prelim groups tutorials, you were usually left to your own devices but weekly one-to-one tutorials were encouraged. You could of course skip them …

Not quite the conceptual design programs in other universities where one is left to find one’s own way to conceptualize…

I suppose that if you hope to join an industrial design consultancy once you leave, you’d have a good foundation from the course.


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I agree strongly with Prof’s views. I graduated last year and think that the course at loughborough is good but need a lot of improving.

There are some lecturers who have very little to contribute and shouldn’t be there. The course is very much a ‘teach yourself course’ but the standard of work that some of the students produce is very high.

Comparing the two universities at the New designers show last year, I thought that Loughborough and Northumbria were the two best, but I will have to say that the work at Northumbria was better.

Northumbria have great links with industry and getting students on work placements, the guy responsible for work placements at Loughborough is useless and needs to be fired.

Most of you seem to be saying similar things about Loughborough and I am definately still considering it as it is clear it is one of the UK’s top unis for design.

Any opinions on the course from people at Northumbria would also be very useful especially with regards to quality of lecturers etc.

Also lastly is the choice between BA and BSc at both unis simply whether you are good at maths and physics or whether you prefer the more artistic side of design. Are both BA and BSc students in similar demand in the job market (im mainly referring to the 2 northumbria course choices - BA Design for industry and BSc Product design technology)

Thanks for all the help

Hi ,
i m product designer and have got through the masters programme in northumria,Loughborough and kent university…

i also have an offer from central saint martins .BA 2nd year product design.
i want to continue my design education purely to explore design and get an exposure to the european market…but i would also like to study in a prestigious college…

Is the MA ID in CSM good?? i wuld like to go into a more theory based course than engineering based one… It would be great if you could help me choose the best .which course and college…