You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Design for engineers

People encounter designed products every day: chairs, buildings, medicines, appliances, clothes, vehicles, robots and much else – just look around you. Design is central to the creation of all these products. Designers and engineers often work closely in teams to translate ideas into useful and required products. Knowledge of the design process is essential for successful engineering. The module combines academic study with practical work online and offline and aims to introduce you to the essential skills, knowledge and practices of design.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects

Module

Module code
T218
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
30
Study level
OU SCQF FHEQ
2 9 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses

Request your copy now

What you will study

The module is presented in three blocks. Each block focuses on a different phase in the development of a designed product.

Block 1 Exploring designs and designing

The first block provides a general introduction on design. You’ll look at the relationship between people and products and explore the human, cultural and engineering factors that influence the creation of designs. Block 1 will help you develop critical and inquisitive thinking skills when, as an engineer, you observe designs around you.

Block 2 Design for people

Next, Block 2 focuses on the early stages of the design process and how research and evaluation of user and market requirements inform the process. You’ll learn how to find out about people’s capabilities, preferences and behaviours in order to shape new products. This block will help you develop user research and planning skills.

Block 3 Creative designing

The final block focuses on the creative strategies that designers use to address design problems – particularly strategies for idea generation in the early design phases. It also teaches some of the core theories of creativity. Block 3 will help you develop your creative thinking skills.

All three blocks will contribute in the development of your ability to think and communicate engineering ideas through drawing and modelling. They will give you the skills that are necessary for the research, planning and development of a design project by looking at various products such as chairs, bikes, music players, kitchen gadgets, and buildings.

The spine of the module is the module website. The core module materials include three printed books (one per block) and a modelling workbook as well as a number of audiovisual material and resources found on the module website. Reading is accompanied by practical activities online and offline. Central to the module is an online virtual design studio, where you will upload images of your practical work for discussion with your tutor and fellow students. You will also be able to view and discuss the design and engineering work of your fellow students.

You will learn

At the end of this module you will be able to:

  • carry out critical observations on the factors that influence the creation of designs around you
  • conceptualise and develop design ideas through drawing and modelling
  • carry out research and apply creative strategies for generating design ideas
  • apply the design process during engineering projects.

The knowledge and skills developed in this module are applicable in various roles played by engineers.

Vocational relevance

The module will help you to gain knowledge and skills that are essential for the practising engineer. It can help you creatively engage with any situation that requires the identification of problems, research and development of ideas but also the translation of ideas into detailed plans. The module develops general scholarship on the subject of design and design processes which is applicable across engineering domains. The module will enhance your engineering abilities, and help towards preparation for working as a design engineer or in teams including designers.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. Tuition will take place across a range of media; there will be online and face-to-face group tutorials as well as two day schools that you are strongly encouraged to attend.

Your tutor will also support you in your online activity – reviewing and giving feedback on your OpenDesignStudio pages – as well as being a point of contact to discuss any other module-related issues. As a rough guide, 50 per cent of tutor support will be online, with 50 per cent being offline.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

There is an end-of-module assessment (EMA) that you must also submit online.

Future availability

Design for engineers (T218) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2020.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Course work includes:

    3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school

    Course satisfaction survey

    See the satisfaction survey results for this course.


    Entry requirements

    This is an OU level 2 module and you need to have the study skills required for this level, obtained either through OU level 1 study, or by doing equivalent work at another university.

    Beyond basic literacy skills, nothing more specific is expected other than a curiosity about objects, why they are as they are, and how they might be different and better. It is not assumed that you can already design, or even draw competently. You will be taught all the concepts and skills that you need, but if you already have some skills you will be able to develop them further.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Jun 2019 £1464.00

    Registration closes 13/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2020.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 19/06/2018.

    What's included

    You will receive three books, a modelling workbook and a paper pack.

    You will gain access to the module website providing online study materials that include video and other multimedia, the module guide, OpenDesignStudio, (the online design studio for the module) and software downloads which will be used during the module.

    You will need

    To study the module and complete the activities you will need access to the following:

    • a digital camera – 2 megapixel or greater – to take photos of your creative work
    • broadband internet access for quick downloading and uploading of information
    • a colour printer (black and white is acceptable) to print out your work or other materials.

    Although not essential to study this module, you might also find it desirable to have access to the following:

    • a scanner to bring your doodles and sketches onto your computer
    • a video camera.

    You probably won't be able to use a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device for some of the software.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a desktop or laptop computer with Windows 7 or higher.

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying T218 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Overcoming barriers to study if you have a disability or health condition website.