NBS8213 : Managing Design and Product Development

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module deals with the management of design and product development. It considers some of the practicalities of designing and developing new products, or improving existing products, and the tools and techniques that businesses may choose to use to assist with this process. It aims to develop in students an understanding of the role of design in the innovation process, coupled with a critical appreciation of the notion of best practice in design and product development and the ability to recognise the contextual constraints on the product development process. It provides students with the opportunity to assess the quality of a chosen product design through a process of reflection on personal experience with that product, and deals with the relationship between design and consumer culture. Through a range of lectures, seminar discussion, case studies and practical exercises the module deals with the management of internal product design and development projects and project teams, as well as the management of product development through a network of organisations. It covers the design of services as well as manufactured products.

Outline Of Syllabus

• Product design and consumer culture
• Product styling and design value
• The role of design – how design contributes to performance and competitiveness
• Socially responsible and sustainable design and development
• The product development project:
-process and structure
-the project team and its management
-planning, monitoring and control
-design and development tools and techniques
• Service design and development

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study142:0042:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The course is delivered through lectures covering basic theoretical, conceptual and empirical underpinnings of the practices of design and product development, introducing a critical approach to the academic literature. Seminar and small group discussion activities introduce case studies, practical exercises and problem solving to illustrate and practice application of specific principles and techniques and to enable them to be assessed.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M30Personal reflection and assessment of a product design (not more than 1000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MA series of exercises to provide feedback and feed forward.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessed reflection will provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of design principles and what constitutes good design by evaluating the design attributes of a product of their choice through reflection on their personal experience with the product.

The exam assesses students’ ability to engage critically with the literature and to justify the use of particular tools and techniques for organising, managing and conducting design and product development in different organisational contexts.

Formative Feedback
There is feed forward of the generic feedback received by the previous year’s cohort during a session to discuss the assignment.
A series of exercises are undertaken in seminars and the full class sessions that involve evaluation and feedback both from the rest of the class and from the module leader (e.g. interpretation and recommendation of actions in a real product development project case; an application of Quality Function Deployment principles; defining the development process for different types of development project).
An optional session is provided prior to the exam to discuss exam technique, interpretation of exam questions and answer planning.

Reading Lists