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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PDES3110 Design Project

60 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Mr Dan Trowsdale

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module is intended to allow students to integrate the creative and technological aspects (learned in this and previous years) of design into a single project.

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. define, execute and report substantive research into an identified subject area.
2. communicate a detailed specification of design requirements using appropriate media, reflecting emerging sociocultural trends.
3. design concept solutions to meet design requirements considering relevant constraints and trade offs.
4. evaluate a number of concept solutions with respect to criteria based upon functionality, usability, psychological aspects, marketing/business elements and contextual/innovative characteristics, through user testing and other techniques.
5. develop at least one concept solution into a detailed design definition including physical and digital models.
6. communicate design ideas by means of sketches and multimedia/design software with an appropriate level of proficiency.
7. create a working prototype of at least one concept solution (or a component part for a more complex product) demonstrating the realisation of functionality, user evaluation aspects, manufacturing considerations and aesthetic design characteristics.
8. demonstrate traceability of design rationale in all elements of the project.
create a project plan and appreciate the constraints and time resources in
managing small projects.
9. identify the project risks associated with a project, predict their likelihood and assess
their potential impact.
10. describe the application of standards and codes of practice in engineering with
special emphasis on health and safety.
11. describe ethical standards and principles and relate them to professional
engineering ethics, responsibility and accountability



Each student will select a project theme and suggest a product concept. This will be agreed and then after some substantive research the will develop a specification of design requirements based upon the details contained within the user evaluation and research findings.

The students must produce a sketchbook containing appropriate design ideas and concept solutions that could fulfil the defined specification. These concept solutions will be evaluated with respect to a number of relevant criteria including aspects such as functionality, usability, psychology, business and other contextual attributes.

Students will be expected to involve third party evaluators, including potential users. The concept solution that best meets the specification should be defined and developed in detail and an exhibition stand created at the end of year degree show.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning12.002.00
Private study hours544.00
Total Contact hours56.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Private study

Primary research with users and stakeholders.
Secondary Research using literature searches, patents searches competitor analysis and other documentation.
Researching problem area and setting brief and design specification.
Concept development
Detail design development, prototype building and testing.
Testing and evaluation of concepts

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly Supervisory meetings.
Formative feedback on early non assessed submissions.
Formative feedback on early small project.
Interim exhibition to evaluate progress.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportManufacture Report and Presentation of Prototype15.00
PresentationFinal Exhibition and Report45.00
PresentationSmall Project Exhibition15.00
ReportScoping Report10.00
PresentationInterim Exhibition15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Final Poster presentation has a viva element which is organised under exam conditions.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/01/2017


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