School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Digital Design Innovation

This course engages with revolutionary digital technologies as part of the Industry 4.0 agenda. Focused on high-value markets such as manufacturing and the creative economy, this course invites you to develop digital design and fabrication skills applicable to a range of fields such as architectural technology, mechanical engineering design, and industrial design. You will become a highly skilled, creative and business-savvy professional able to join the emerging and fast-growing digital sector.

Graduate Show 2019 | 8 - 15 June 2019

Showcasing the impressive creativity, innovation and talent of our students across a wide spectrum of disciplines, from architecture and design, to media and photography.

Exhibition of work from final year Art, Design and Architecture students

It’s not too late to apply for September 2019

If you haven’t applied to the University of Plymouth for September 2019 entry, prior to the UCAS deadline, there may still be vacancies on your chosen course.

It’s not too late to apply

Key features

  • Join fast-growing industry sectors with a degree from the number 1 Young University for Art, Design and Architecture (Times Higher Education World University ranking 2018) and in the First-Class Category of Sustainable Universities in the UK (People and Planet Green League 2015).
  • Develop valuable transferable skills in digital design, design thinking and digital fabrication applicable to a range of industry sectors such as manufacturing, advanced construction and industrial design.
  • Benefit from our newly developed workshop spaces, with state-of-the-art equipment and technical support for digital fabrication and immersive visualisation.
  • Gain multidisciplinary experience in a vibrant project-based learning environment by working alongside BA/BSc students, associate tutors from industry and academic staff from the School of Art, Design and Architecture, and the School of Engineering.
  • Gain valuable workplace experience with a year-long placement in industry in the UK or abroad between years 2 and 3. Our industry links will help you find a placement, boosting your studies with practical experience and developing the contacts that can lead to future employment.
  • 100 per cent coursework. No exams!
  • Explore the Industry 4.0 revolution with site visits and field trips, where you will observe a range of sectors, innovative solutions and technology development and practices within and outside the UK.
  • Opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies as well as cross-collaboration with other courses such as, among others, MA Smart Urban Futures, MSc Advanced Engineering Design, MA Digital Media Design, MA/MSc Integrated Design Innovation and/or MSc High Performance Buildings.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Year 1 will introduce you to basic digital design and fabrication technologies. In a project-based environment, you will apply those skills in the resolution of industry challenges with the support of associate tutors, technical and academic staff. Your studio course is additionally supported by electives in semester 2 that will help you develop the skills necessary to meet the requirements for either your BA (Art and Design) or BSc (Engineering) degree.

    Core modules
    • DFAB401 Introduction to Digital Design and Fabrication

      This introductory Module operates through teamwork, and is assessed individually. It delivers a project-based learning experience introducing basic design processes and outlining the student experience for the programme. Its short duration requires the delivery of design studio multidisciplinary and peer-learning practices, technology inductions and the collaborative resolution of a design challenge by students

    • DFAB411 Project Studio 1.1

      This Module operates through a combination of individual and teamwork, and is assessed individually. Students will work on the development of a solution to an industry challenge through the use of design and technology skills (namely digital tools and methods such as digital fabrication) and competences, enabling collaborative peer-learning across the BA and BSc routes of the programme.

    • DFAB412 Project Studio 1.2

      Based on a combination of individual and teamwork (yet assessed individually), this Module delivers a project-based learning experience addressing students¿ technical and detailed resolution of an industry challenge through the use of design and technology skills (namely digital tools and methods such as digital fabrication) and competences, as well as multidisciplinary work across the BA and BSc routes of the programme.

    • DFAB421 Collaborative Design and Fabrication Technologies 1.1

      The Module focuses on the students¿ individual development of transferable and practical skills/knowledge relevant for a digital design and fabrication process, for BA and BSc students. Basic contents (e.g. digital modelling and fabrication) are introduced, practised, and ultimately transferred to the project studio course via the development of a design proposition to tackle a project brief.

    • DFAB422 Collaborative Design and Fabrication Technologies 1.2

      Based on individual work, this Module develops transferable skills relevant for the design and technical resolution of a digital design and fabrication process in the project studio, for BA and BSc students. Basic skillsets are practiced in the context of the students¿ project studio work, expecting to deliver knowledge and understanding of relevant tools and methods, as well as contexts of technology application.

    • DFAB432 Professional Skills: Design Thinking and Making 1

      Based on individual work, this Module enables the specialisation of BA students by delivering contents specifically relevant for the Art & Design subject benchmark. By enrolling in this Module, students will be exposed to design theories, critical thinking skills and methods enabling the creative and aesthetic resolution of design challenges through digital means.

    • FAPY100 Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      If you’re undertaking a company placement in your third year, this module helps you find a suitable placement, and prepares you for the placement itself.

  • Year 2
  • In Year 2, your skills will be furtherly developed through advanced modelling and fabrication techniques. A system of electives will allow you to acquire knowledge and skills associated to design thinking and methodologies, as well as subject specific knowledge in the form of elective courses to support your own professional interests and employability opportunities in advance of the optional placement year.

    Core modules
    • DFAB511 Project Studio 2.1

      Through a combination of individual and teamwork, and an individual assessment, the course delivers a project-based learning experience based on the students¿ development of a solution to an industry challenge through the use of design and technology skills (namely digital tools and methods such as digital fabrication) and competences, as well as peer-learning across the BA/BSc routes of the programme.

    • DFAB512 Project Studio 2.2

      Through a combination of individual and teamwork, yet assessed individually, the Studio delivers a project-based learning experience based on the students¿ resolution of a solution to an industry challenge through the use of design and technology skills (namely digital tools and methods such as advanced digital fabrication) and competences, as well as peer-learning across the BA and BSc routes of the programme.

    • DFAB521 Advanced Digital Fabrication Technologies 1.1

      Based on individual work, this Module delivers transferable and practical skills relevant for the development of a digital design and fabrication process, relevant for BA and BSc students. Competences such as advanced 3D printing are introduced and practised, and are expected to be transferred to the project studio course via the development of a design proposition to tackle a project brief.

    • DFAB522 Manufacturing and Automation Technologies 1.2

      Based on individual work, this Module delivers transferable and practical skills relevant for the design and technical resolution of a project in the Studio course, for BA and BSc students. Via inductions, practical sessions and hands-on competence-based learning, advanced skillsets such as advanced 3D printing technologies are practiced in the context of the students¿ project studio work.

    • DFAB531 Professional Skills: Design Thinking & Making 2

      Based on individual work, this Module enables the specialisation of BA students by delivering contents specifically relevant for the Art & Design subject benchmark. By enrolling in this Module, students will be exposed to design theories, critical thinking skills and methods enabling the creative and aesthetic resolution of design challenges through digital design and fabrication means.

    • DFAB532 Professional Skills: Design Thinking & Making 3

      Based on individual work, this Module enables the specialisation of BA students by delivering contents specifically relevant for the Art & Design subject benchmark. By enrolling in this Module, students will be exposed to design theories, critical thinking skills and methods enabling the creative and aesthetic resolution of design challenges through advanced digital fabrication means.

    • FAPY200 Stage 2 Placement Preparation

      Building on the Level 1 module (FAPY100), this module continues to support you with the search for your placement and preparation for the placement itself.

  • Optional placement year
  • The optional placement year gives you the opportunity to engage with revolutionary industry digitalisation technologies by working in the UK or abroad. Throughout the placement year your learning will be monitored and supported by academic staff, in order to assure the relevance, mentoring and professional development required at this stage of the course.

    Core modules
    • DFAB611 Advanced Project Studio 1.1

      Through a combination of individual and teamwork, and assessed individually, this Module delivers a project-based learning experience based on the students¿ development of a technologically advanced solution to an industry challenge through the use of digital design and fabrication skills and competences, as well as peer-learning and collaborative work between BA and BSc students.

    • DFAB612 Advanced Project Studio 1.2

      Through a combination of individual and teamwork, and assessed individually, this Module delivers a project-based learning experience based on the students¿ resolution of a technologically advanced solution to an industry challenge through the use of digital design and fabrication skills and competences, as well as peer-learning and collaborative work between BA and BSc students.

    • DFAB621 Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialisation 1.1

      Based on individual work, this Module develops students¿ entrepreneurial abilities by providing a programme of support for delivering industry solutions in the emerging area of digital design and fabrication. Students will be expected to identify the exploitation and innovation potential of their work and explore how this can catalyse an entrepreneurial journey stemming from Advanced Project Studio work.

    • DFAB622 Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialisation 1.2

      Based on individual work, this Module develops students¿ entrepreneurial abilities by providing a programme of support for delivering industry solutions in the emerging area of digital design and fabrication. Continuing semester 1 work, students will be expected to identify the exploitation and innovation potential of their work and explore how this can catalyse an entrepreneurial journey stemming from Studio work.

    • DFAB631 Research Project Outline

      Based on individual work and assessment, this Module supports the development of a research outline for the BA (Design Study) route of the programme. By promoting independent scholarship and management of an individual project, the Module emphasises a study into either a theoretical, cultural and/or historical design position informing students' Advanced Project Studio work.

    • DFAB632 Research Project: Design Study

      Based on individual work, this Module supports the development of a research project for the BA (Design Study) route of the programme as a continuity of the Outline developed in semester 1. By supporting independent scholarship and management of a project, the Module emphasises the resolution and submission of a study into either a theoretical, cultural and/or historical design position that informs students' Studio work.

  • Final year
  • In your last year of studies, you will join the course to conduct your final project. This year includes a dissertation component to allow you to engage with an emerging intellectual territory, as well as business and entrepreneurship skills to increase your employability opportunities and further develop your understanding of economic, regulatory and intellectual property aspects of your professional field.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Digital Design Innovation programme specification 6599

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

120

A level

Minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate

28 points overall. If overseas and not studying English within IB, must have IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all other elements.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

DDM (Distinction Distinction Merit).

All access courses

Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

Progression from Extended Science

Students who pass the Extended Science year are guaranteed progression to one of the Faculty’s BSc (Hons) courses and detailed advice will be provided by the Admissions Tutor.

English language requirements

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU To be confirmed £9,250
International To be confirmed £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.