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Automotive & Transport Design (MDes, BA)

Our Automotive & Transport Design courses will give you the opportunity to develop the technical and intellectual abilities and knowledge to undertake the design and development of new vehicles (cars and motorcycles, boats, trucks, public transport & transport systems.) based on a clear understanding of proportion, volume and surface design principles.


Pathway Options

Automotive Design (BA)
UCAS Code: W240
Apply via UCAS 

Automotive Design gives students the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and abilities to undertake the design and development of new production cars and motorcycles, based upon a clear understanding of proportion, volume and surface design principles.

Transport Design (BA)
UCAS Code: 9R37
Apply via UCAS

Transport Design explores transportation in all forms from a concept design approach, including boats, caravans, concept cars and motorcycles, agricultural vehicle, trucks, motorised 2/3 wheelers, transport systems, ‘blue skies’ concept vehicles to film set vehicles and so on.

Automotive Design (MDes)
UCAS Code: 7F3T
Apply via UCAS  

Transport Design (MDes)
UCAS Code:  04G6
Apply via UCAS

(The MDes gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth-year modules focus on the application and transfer of design thinking to real-world engagement with an in-depth project linked with an Industrial Partner).

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David

All our course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.

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Tuition Fees 2020/21:
£9000 (Home/EU)
£11500 (Overseas)

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Live industry supported projects with major manufacturers.
  2. Lecturing and technical support staff with many years of industry experience. 
  3. Your own studio space and dedicated clay and digital modelling studios with plenty of one to one support.
  4. Progress from BA to MA Transportation Design or even PhD in a very cross-disciplinary environment.
  5. City centre campus close to excellent social life and the Gower beaches.

Take a look at our ratings and rankings page here

What you will learn

Course Overview
  • Small student classes
  • The Academic team consists of highly experienced Designers
  • Live Design Projects
  • State of the art facilities
  • Industry contacts
  • Chance to progress into a Master Degree Program
  • Set by the sea in an area of outstanding natural beauty

Our Courses have been designed to facilitate the development of a designer through the replication of a professional environment, encouraging graduates to approach the design challenge in the same way as a professional automotive designer.

Our graduates will be able to generate ideas around engineering packages, set new trends in terms of design language and learn about proportions. Link a particular design to a brand, imagine the mobility of the future in the most efficient, sustainable and attractive way, design forms of transport with an ‘inside out’ approach and most importantly translate a drawing into reality


Year 1 / Level 4 Modules

Design Methods 1
Design Methods 2
3D CAD Visualisation
Creative Design Development
Contextual Studies
Materials & Manufacturing
First year modules are designed to encourage the development of core design skills, knowledge and experience required by industry:

Design thinking – creative and analytical methods;
Design sketching, rendering, prototyping and  communication skills;
Familiarity with a range of industry-standard digital design tools; and,
Knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes

Year 2 / Level 5 Modules

Professional Practice
Group Design Practice
Vehicle Technology
Concept Studies
Advanced Digital Visualisation
Advanced Automotive Surfacing (Advanced 3D CAD for Transport Design)

Second year modules on the BA Automotive Design course are specifically designed to develop skills and experience in:

Sustainable design strategies and tools;
Visual and 3D development;
Market research and brand ‘DNA’ analysis;
User-centred design research methods;
Advanced  computer-aided 3D surface modelling and visualisation; and,
Team working and professional practice.

Year 3 /Level 6 Modules

Major Project : Design Realisation & Communication (60 credits)
Major Project : Design Research & Manifesto
Minor Project
Professional Promotion

Year 4 / Level 7 Modules

The Design Experiment
Creative Enterprise & Practice
Research Methods & Communication
Creative Venture
The fourth year modules focus on the application and transfer of design thinking to real world engagement with an in depth project linked with an Industrial Partner.
The final year modules are designed to allow students to formulate their own individual career direction and aspirations as BA(Hons) Automotive Design graduates.  Students select and manage their own Major and External projects with the support of the staff team so that they can demonstrate their core skills and experience and develop:

  • Advanced knowledge of contemporary design research, thinking and practice in a specific industry sector;
  • A personal design philosophy to underpin their current and future practice; and,
  • Advanced awareness of the value of their intellectual and creative ability and a well-defined strategy for personal brand and career development

Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module. A variety of teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course which include amongst others;

Informal Tutorials 

These tutorials are held on a regular basis, across all levels. In Year 1 each student sees and discusses his / her work with a member of staff at each studio session, likewise in Year 2. Third and fourth year students tend to work more independently and sign up for tutorial when she / he feels the need arises. However, as a team we ensure that every student in Year 3 is seen by at least one member of the academic staff each week.  We pride ourselves on the fact that there is the opportunity to see staff as regularly as you may require.

Formal Tutorials

These are held twice a term at the student’s desk with two members of staff. The work is discussed, practical and conceptual development, future intentions of the student etc. It is an opportunity for any issues/concerns by either party, to be raised. A written account of the tutorial is duplicated, one copy kept by the student the other stored in his / her records file.

Group critiques

These are held on a regular basis, across all levels, with one member of staff. They provide an excellent opportunity for students to share and exchange ideas with their peers in a structured manner in addition to valuable input from staff.

Informal & Formal presentations

The nature of the presentations varies according to the level: in Year 1 informal presentations are introduced half way through the first semester in order to help students gain confidence in talking about their work to their peers and staff it is also usually part of the assessment at the end of each project. 2nd Year students are expected to give a Formal Presentation as part of their Professional Practice & Group Design Module and at the end of the year as part of their Major project.  In Year 3 a Formal Presentation is part of the final assessment at the Degree Show

Exhibiting work

Again the nature of this varies within the context of the projects, the work to be assessed and the stage of the programme – it can range in formality from a public venue to the individual student’s desk space.

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from our courses have found employment with some of the world’s most established names in manufacturing and design consultancy such as:

  • PUMA
  • SAIC
  • TATA

Career opportunities available are:

  • Clay Sculptors
  • Designers (exteriors and interiors)
  • Digital Sculptors
  • Graphic Designers
  • Hard modellers
  • Product Designers
Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.

However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.  

A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase.

Bursary / Scholarship Information

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD offers two Academic awards:  

  • Swansea College of Art 1853 Scholarship
  • Cert HE Foundation Bursary

Information on these as well as University wide offers can be found here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here


In addition to our University Accommodation at Llys Glas, Swansea also benefits from a number of private student halls, all within a short walk, including:

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