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Welcome to 3D Design at the University of Plymouth. Plymouth is one of the UK's 10 largest universities and is consistently ranked among the top three modern design universities. Plymouth is a national leader for teaching excellence, and we are renowned for the amount of contact time and the quality of small group work and one-to-one tutorial. We are located at the prestigious modern Roland Levinsky Building right in the centre of Plymouth. The city and most accommodation is within walking distance, and so is the sea. We are committed to provide the highest quality of teaching and research and 50% of our research were judged as showing international excellence.
The Guardian placed Plymouth's Art and Design courses above many of the best known design universities. With around 30,000 students and 3000 staff, Plymouth offers a comprehensive range of academic programmes at undergraduate, postgraduate and research level. Sustainable design is embedded into all modules, and Plymouth has won top honours in a list of green awards including being the UK's greenest university. In Design, we offer both BA undergraduate and MA postgraduate degrees. Our BA (Hons) degree courses are suitable for students from Foundation, A Levels (from both Art and Design Technology), Progression from HND courses, Mature and Overseas. We welcome international students from over 120 different countries and have an International office with a specialist team of experts who can assist and support you before and after your arrival. We work in close partnership with 16 FE colleges, 2 HE colleges and with several establishments throughout the UK's south-west peninsula. A newly set up Foundation Course with PUIC offers international students Foundation courses direct entrance into BA 3D Design.
The course recognises that students with design potential may not always have the right qualifications, therefore we invite all eligible applicants for a visit or interview. The majority of students come from A Levels or Foundation courses, and we welcome students from other backgrounds and ages. Progression into MA Design postgraduate degree attracts discounted fees. The University of Plymouth is one of only two universities to have been awarded seven prestigious National Teaching Fellowships and also demonstrates research of both national and international excellence. With a track record of 'widening participation', business partnerships and vocational courses, it has a good rate of graduate employment and is committed to improving the student experience, demonstrated by significant investment in new facilities.
Subject Summary Plymouth's 3D Design course has a rapidly growing reputation, within a well-established School of Architecture, Design and Environment. Students are employed by companies including Foster & Partners, Tangerine, Dyson, Lego, the BBC, Starck, Atkins, Kelly Hoppen, Zoeftig and Pendennis Superyachts. They have won prestigious awards including many from the RSA, D&AD, Lighting Association, New Designers, New Forest Trust, Ideal Home, New Design Britain, Domus, UK Superyachts Design Challenge and major international competitions like India Future of Change and the Seatec International Boat Design Challenge. Our students are taught by leading practitioners in specialised fields who contribute nationally and internationally to design practice and design issues. How a designer thinks and acts are crucial tools in the design world. Design equips students to make the most of their ideas in a progressive and inspiring way. Whatever your abilities are, the course makes the most of your potential and translates this into creative process. The course is run over three years and is progressive, through each year and fun. We use a range of materials and technologies in relationship to making. Our working environment is in studios and workshops situated with a new and exciting purpose built building in Plymouth. You can either enter the course specifically to specialism or enter to the general award; the process remains flexible and is determined by your needs.
Special Features All students have their own desk space in our modern open plan studios, designed to encourage cross year dialog. All our staff are professionals in their field, including consultants from major practices like IDEO, Tangerine and Cambridge Consultants. You finish a project every 6 weeks, with good access to hands-on making in our well supported workshops, giving you lots of opportunities to add to your CV. All 1st year students are inducted together in the first term, and encouraged to trial three disciplines before confirming or changing. There is a cross-year 'Carousel' module after Christmas which teams up 1st and 2nd years, a trans-disciplinary module which involves other experts from the whole university such as marine, business and robotics, and an external context module which takes on the most prestigious competitions. We create products, furniture, services, environments, interiors, single unique objects, ceramics and ideas. Our staff offer regular contact hours with students and relish constructive debate. We offer an ever growing international exchange programme for level two and throughout all levels cultural field trips are undertaken. Our students are highly visible in the media and continue to make a huge impact on the design community. Their work is, insightful, material conscious, informed by current technologies and above all, useful. We offer four main routes to undergraduate study: Product Design, Spatial & Interiors, Designer Maker, and 3D Design (combined) which is a popular choice for those training to be teachers.
BA 3D Design Degrees We deliver a comprehensive design education, developing your creativity, cultural awareness and career opportunities. We help you explore all 3 disciplines during Year 1 before you decide, or if you want to cover all areas, you can combine multidisciplinary skills and do a combined 3D Design degree. You will meet many of our exchange students and maybe go on one yourself - to Italy, India, Japan, or Romania ... We help you become more creative placing you in a real life open design studio, giving you your own personal work space, creating good teams, helping you to think in new ways, and letting your design culture inspire you. This means that your designs are fresh, innovative, witty and you develop your own identity, which is important for your career. You have the chance to show your work to the public at our 2nd Year Public Show, Final Degree Show, Contemporary Craft Fair at Bovey Tracey, Eco Design Fair, Free Range and New Designers in London. After you graduate we stay in touch and our students show at international exhibitions like Milan, Design Miami, 100% Design, Tent, Talent Zone, Designers Block, Chelsea Crafts Fair, Devon Guild, Hidden Art, Somerset Arts week, Top Drawer, 100 Devon Potters ... We help to feature you in articles and TV interviews on Sky, FX, Icon, Blueprint, BBC, Guardian... We partner you with like minded designers ... We put you in touch with manufacturers like Zoeftig, Block, Joseph Joseph, Saxum, Dartington, Suck UK ... And welcome you our unique new MA Masters degrees ... This means that you are not alone and have a much better chance of success. Above all, we enjoy ourselves.
BA Product Designer Product Design deals with the tangible experience of seeing, desiring, obtaining, and using a product, ultimately defining the consumer's emotional connection to the object. Through creative and analytical processes, designers determine the aesthetic and functional characteristics of a product. Specific skills and techniques are adopted to help identify new opportunities for innovation, design excellence, brand and visual identity. Should you be a Product Designer? Product Design provides you with skills to turn your ideas into real products, which are a pleasure to use. We teach design so that you can create delightful and rewarding experiences. And we have unique methods to help you identify opportunities for innovative new ideas, and play with aesthetics, functions and visual identities. Graduates from our course are working at major design consultancies, as well as in-house designers, and doing postgraduate research.
BA Spatial & Interior Designer Furniture and Interior Design reflects the emerging collaborative and interdisciplinary practice of design, crossing the boundaries of interior design, architecture, art, engineering and furniture. Skills are developed to create innovative, practical and contemporary spaces whilst gaining a hands-on understanding of material, processes and construction methods through making. Is Furniture and Interiors for you? Furniture and Interiors is a unique course which crosses the boundaries of interior design, landscapes, architecture, art, engineering and furniture. We designed this course because it is what a modern design practice needs: collaborative and interdisciplinary teamwork. We help you create innovative contemporary spaces by making sure that you understand materials, processes and construction methods. We challenge you to be innovative so that you can develop pioneering schemes. We aim high, so as to prepare you to follow rewarding careers with the creative disciplines from architecture to furniture to environments.
BA Designer Makers Through an understanding of materials and making processes, Designer Makers are encouraged to develop individual pathways and philosophies that respond and contribute to contemporary life. Material and craft skills are not seen as an end in themselves, but are integrated into broader exploration of design ideas, to problem-solve and communicate through a developed individual language. Should you be a Designer Maker? If you like exploring ideas, and creating desirable objects, then the Designer Maker course may suit you. We teach you about materials so that you can explore how they behave, and about processes so you know how to get things made in small batches. We encourage you to develop your thinking,and work with you to discover your strengths so that you can develop your own identity. We help you with business skills or to join a postgraduate course when you finish. Many of our graduates have set up their own workshops, or are working with major design studios and manufacturers.
Design Culture runs throughout the 3 years of all 3 disciplines. A range of research methods and critical standpoints are introduced and practised with a view to informing and defining your practice. You develop critical, historical and cultural awareness and the ability to identify, select and use appropriate research methodologies. An emphasis is placed on experimentation, which can be enligthening, useful and above all fun. Design Culture makes the connection between your culture and what you design.
Funded Exchange Programmes We also promote Exchange Programmes with other universities in France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Romania, India and USA, as well as a Summer School in Germany. These provide great opportunities to experience, learn and share from a diversity of cultures. All our students who take up this opportunity feel that it is an invaluable experience and a great mechanism to develop creativity.
Work Experience During your 2nd year, you can opt to arrange work experience for up to 12 weeks. The module's aim is to observe business practices in management, logistics, timing, inter-personal and financial skills. Students have worked with practitioners as well as major companies, and have received offers of employment as a result.
Digital Practice Digital Practice is a critical element to 3D design. Student-run 3D Printers are installed in the design studios. CAD station clusters are installed in the design studios and we offer 2D and 3D computer drawing and modelling in a wide range of software packages including Solid Works, 3D Studio Max and AutoCAD. Also available are our CNC routing and milling machines, a rare 3D Ceramics Printer, Rapid Prototyping machines, 3D foam hot-wire cutter and 3D Scanner.
The Roland Levinsky Arts Building Our Arts Building is a fantastic opportunity to place 3D design at the centre of university life. The vision for the new building is to create a centre for arts and culture, fusing both city and university as a hub for activity and learning. The building takes a key role in promoting exchange and interaction between different study subjects, providing a showcase for the university campus. We hope that your time of study here will be happy, challenging, rewarding and fun.
Plymouth Graduate Robert Phillips BA (Hons) says: "After graduating from Plymouth, I set up a studio in Brighton with two furniture makers. We got involved in various exhibitions, whilst being able to freelance within the field of product design. This led me to the sale of a patent, Arts Council projects and continuing my studies at the Royal College of Art (Design Products). I am now running my studio in Brighton alongside my studies and I have been working for companies including, DMR (mountain bike components), D3o (materials company), Unilever and others."
Graduate Oliver Blackwell BA (Hons): "I am now a Product Design Engineer working on a unique (and still confidential) Power-Assisted Suitcase for a new company near London. This job relies on a thorough understanding of how things work and how they are made. Plymouth gave me grounding which has been central to my design process. Designers that come out of Plymouth often have far more to offer, because of the variety of options and teaching scope available to them."