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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PDES1510 Design Studio 1

40 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Professor Alison McKay

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17


PDES1145Visualisation Techniques
PDES1185Contextual Studies and Ergonomics

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. carry out basic design research activities and use it to inform design activities.
2. formulate design requirements and use them to inform design evaluations.
3. communicate conceptual design ideas by means of sketches using pencil, colour markers and/or other appropriate tools with elementary proficiency
4. analyse a mass produced consumer product and identify its product structure (using exploded drawing and/or bill of materials) and key manufacturing processes for making different parts;
5. design simple products using standard parts;
6. operate image editing and vector graphics software packages (Adopbe Photoshop andf Illustrator) to perform basic tasks;
7. operate a computer aided design (CAD) software package (Solidworks) to design products that include simple,lofted and splined surfaces, 2D and 3D features and assemblies
8. produce 3D CAD models and renders for use in the communication of designs in portfolio presentations and for manufacturing processes including 3D printing
9. build simple design protypes using carton, foam, other soft materials and 3D printed components
10. produce simple project plans to facilitate the management of team tasks
11. conduct focus group studies
12. work effectively in small teams and a stage gated design and development process.


This module provides the project core through which level 1 Product Design students will draw together learning from a range of disciplines and apply it to design projects. In addition, students will develop skills that they will need to practice effectively in the design industry.
The module provides knowledge and skills needed for students to complete basic design projects and to create design prototypes to communicate their designs. The syllabus covers the following topics:

- basic skills in the use of professional design packages including image editing and vector graphics software packages (Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and computer aided design (CAD) software package (Solidworks).
- basic model-making skills and their application to design prototyping.
- a stage gated design process which reflects current industry practice.
- experience of planning and delivering one 5 credit and one 10 credit design projects within such a process.
- integration of other module content into design project work.
- task management and basic project planning.
- identifying customer needs and defining design requirements.
- conducting a focus group.
- product architectures and design structures.
- concept selection and design evaluation.
- detail design and design for manufacture using manual processes, 2D computer driven processes and basic 3D printing.
- human centric design.
- human factors and ergonomics.
- product usability.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours295.00
Total Contact hours105.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Developing practical design skills such as computer aided illustration and CAD
Completing coursework assignments

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Registers are taken in all studio sessions. Coursework is marked and feedback is given at regular intervals throughout the year. Semester 1 performance is reviewed in February and under performing students are contacted.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectConsumer Product Design Project12.50
ProjectPackaging design project12.50
ProjectDesign Communication (Design Illustration)12.50
ProjectDesign Prototyping Project12.50
ProjectSemester 2 Design Project25.00
ProjectDigital Design Communication and Prototyping25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/02/2017


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