DE6012 - Final Major Project - Part I

What will I learn on this module?

Through the conceptualisation and realisation of the first phase of a self-determined industrial design project, you will build on the skills, knowledge, and understanding that you have gathered over the previous three years of study. Employing these skills towards a self-determined industrial design project gives you the autonomy to work more independently than in previous years, managing your own process in a less prescriptive way.

The exploratory primary and secondary research conducted throughout your design process will also develop an understanding of your chosen topic. With your chosen topic aligning to your career/specialism aspirations, this work should culminate in a critical piece of work in your portfolio, helping you to take the first step in your career as an industrial designer.

How will I learn on this module?

Learning and teaching strategies on design for Industry encourage you to acquire a flexible and imaginative approach to problem solving through enquiry-based learning. You will become an active participant in your learning, integrating design practice with academic and intellectual skills.

The exploration of theories, concepts and processes enable you to display evidence of creative thinking through the exploration and communication of strategies whilst refining your project brief. This type of experiential activity engages you in self-initiated research, encouraging independent judgement and critical self-awareness. You are encouraged to be an active participant in a collaborative studio culture (where the studio is both the physical environment and its online, virtual counterpart).

You are encouraged to advance your visual literacy and explore current issues and debates. Weekly peer group sessions, will help you learn to be flexible and collaborative, to identify and redefine problems in a creative way and focus on solutions that are both relevant and empathetic. Traditional, new and emerging technologies are used both in the delivery and realisation of outcomes, and you will learn to present your work and ideas to a variety to peers, tutorial staff and external collaborators. Sessions may take place either on campus or via online platforms.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

• Opportunity to collaborate with industry and regional, national and international external partners extend the practical study of the subject area within an industrial context. They are also designed to support student confidence in their ability to handle professional practice within the creative industries

• Students experience a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods and course work is largely project based

• Modules are delivered through a combination of online tutorials and lectures, supported online group tutorials and sign-up studio and workshop activity. Delivery may be on campus or via online platforms.

• Additional study skills materials and workshops are available through Skills Plus at

• Students are expected to maintain a project plan and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning

• English language support is provided for international students

• University student services offer specialist support e.g. financial, disability, mental health, international student support etc.

• eLP includes all relevant documentation e.g. module guides, lecture material, reading lists together with discussion boards and notices

• Visiting professionals support relevant and current practice

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

MK6.1 – Rapidly acquire knowledge and a systematic understanding that supports design practice enquiries. (PK6.1)

MK6.2 – Contribute to understand of a complex situation through the development of well-researched design propositions. (PK6.3)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

MI6.1 – Engage with ambiguity using design practices and design artefacts to explore the unknown. (PI6.1)

MI6.2 – Employ communication techniques in order to exhibit a creative research process and appropriate outcomes to professional standards. (PI6.2)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

MI6.1 – Consider positive and negative impacts and consequences to inform the development of your design propositions. (PP6.1)

MI6.2 – Justify your opinions and the decision-making that informs the development and resolution of a design project. (PP6.3)

How will I be assessed?

The work submitted will be assessed in the following ways;

Formative Assessment

Formative feedback will be received from tutors and peers during studio and workshop engagement.

Tutorials and interim reviews will be timetabled at regular intervals during the project to provide a framework for progression of design practice and to support reflection and the development of solutions. Feedback will be tailored to the stage of the project, e.g., initial feedback will be focused around the understanding of the problem space and broader context. As the project develops feedback will be more concerned with the definition of a design direction and refinement of potential solutions as concepts are developed and iterated.

Summative Assessment

The submission includes two components. The first is a physical exhibition including both 2D (8 A3 presentation boards or equivalent, visual booklets and videos/animations) and 3D elements (material samples, physical models and prototypes). The second is a design project book, detailing an in-depth narrative of your process with both descriptive and reflective voices, that communicate the approach you have taken to your project, and the consequential brief you will be working towards in the following module ‘Final Major Project - Part 2’. The Work will be assessed holistically against the learning outcomes with consideration of the brief and how well the student has understood the context, gathered and considered research material, developed creative solutions and communicated the proposal to an audience. Component one will have a 60% weighting, component two will have a 40% weighting.


Level 5 modules



Module abstract

For this module you will conceptualise and realise the first phase of a self-determined industrial design project, employing the culmination of skills you have developed over the previous three years of study. This phase will be more exploratory in nature and include conducting primary and secondary research to further understand audiences and markets, and, inform your strategy and direction. Your design research process should include creative activities such as: sketching, storyboarding, model making and the prototyping of initial concepts, as well as more traditional research approaches such as: reading, observation and interviewing. The project may also work towards a concept free from commercial and/or technical constraints of the present, but paying special attention to the needs of the environment, other cultures or minority groups. Alternatively, the project may be more evaluative in nature, based upon predetermined aims explored through a recognised design process and its solution. Your chosen topic and approach will support your career/specialism aspirations.

Component one will communicate this project in the form of a physical exhibition, incorporating both 2D and 3D elements that visualise the key milestones of your process. Component two will communicate this project in the form of a design project book, detailing an in-depth narrative of your process with both descriptive and reflective voices, that communicate the approach you have taken to your project, and the consequential brief you will be working towards in the following module ‘Final Major Project - Part 2’.

In the design project book specifically, you should also include references to the reading you have done around the subject matter of your project. These references should be to credible sources and theory related to the approaches you are taking in your project, providing both a context and justification for your work.

Course info

UCAS Code W240

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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