Bachelor of Design, Product Design


Within its unique approach, this Bachelor's degree program provides emerging designers with a dynamic inter-disciplinary education that links innovation and creativity through the transformation of ideas into marketable products.

KPU's Product Design degree provides a rigorous, hands-on education that combines a solid foundation in practical design principles such as construction and economics with design, with manufacturing and marketing. Whether engaging in robust academic studies, intensive design studio sessions or collaborating with industry partners, graduates of this program complete their studies poised for success as professionals.

While product design covers a wide range of industries, KPU's program provides particular emphasis on the design and manufacture of recreational gear and technical goods, sportswear and accessories, protective, safety and rescue equipment to name a few. Students will also explore product design in medical, industrial and technological contexts as well as everyday consumer goods. These types of  products are consistent and growing in demand by all sectors of society, ranging from children, adults and seniors to persons with disabilities and medical needs.

KPU faculty's strength and expertise provides a world-class balance of academic rigour and instruction with hands-on, practical immersion from industry leaders and cutting-edge innovators. The Product Design program has been carefully developed to uphold high academic standards and industry partnerships to ensure our graduates meet the needs of the global economy. Successful graduates develop a deep understanding of the connection between product design, industry, and the market and are empowered to undertake leadership positions in design practices aimed at advancing the industry.

The stunning geography of British Columbia provides the perfect backdrop to earn a Product Design degree. Working in collaboration with professional associations and industry designers, graduates can expect to develop and design products that are relevant for Canadian and international economies, providing innovative solutions for emerging needs that can improve people's everyday lives and well-being.

Product Design is a four-year, selective entry degree program consisting of 120 credits of course work organized into eight semesters of full-time study. The Product Design program provides an interdisciplinary education that consists of three major streams: Creativity and Innovation, Technology, Interdisciplinary and Leadership, all woven into an integrated curriculum and timetable.

Students will develop knowledge, skills and abilities from a variety of domains within these three streams that link design and technology to an understanding of social, cultural and historical contexts through elective access to the wide range of courses available. Students will become skilled in applying design theory and processes with an emphasis on critical thinking and creative problem solving, and originate and produce products that focus on transforming pliable materials, such as natural and synthetic fibres, wood, and metal; understanding the constraints and potential of digital technologies; collaborating with industries and markets; and creating responsible leaders in society for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Credit for Previous Learning

Students may be eligible to obtain credit for segments of the Product Design program with results from courses taken in other programs at KPU, or at another institution. All applications for the transfer of credits will be assessed on an individual basis.

If you are an applicant with professional experience in the product design industry we welcome your inquiry about how you may acquire credits through Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). All applications for the transfer of credits are assessed on an individual basis, typically through a portfolio and interview process. For more information how to apply for transfer credits or PLA, visit

Who Studies Product Design?

Applicants to design programs come from diverse backgrounds and age groups. You may be applying to the Product Design program as a graduate from high school, or you may be transferring from another KPU program, or from another institution, or you may be a design professional, wanting to upgrade your credentials. We'd be delighted to receive your application and discuss your possible educational pathway with you.

Perhaps your background includes an active interest in recreation, sports, dance, special occupations or an ambition to improve the design of items related to these pursuits. Or, perhaps you are an entrepreneur wanting to improve the quality of life for groups under-represented by product design. Your creative skills might be in drawing, painting, photography, computer graphics, sculpture, crafts and other 3D work. You might simply be inventive and enjoy making gadgets and taking them apart. Whatever your profile, you are likely to be a risk-taker, problem-solver, willing to push boundaries, able to work independently and in teams, and engage in a rigorous design education.

It is strongly recommended that you have basic skills in English communication, word processing, basic mathematics, plus an awareness of product design, with ideas about how to improve current products and processes – in Canada and internationally.

Because of the varied profiles of our applicants, we will work with you to construct an educational pathway suitable to your goals. Our aim is to ensure that your time at KPU is enriching and enjoyable.

Career Opportunities

Product design is an evolving design field. Locally, however, there are many very successful companies in Vancouver, known around the world for excellence in recreational and technical gear. There are also many opportunities that students might consider, overseas, in countries noted for manufacture of these items.

Upon graduation, you will have produced an extensive portfolio of innovative work, including a major research and development project that combines all the skills and knowledge necessary for this field. You would be prepared for such careers as:

  • Product designer
  • Industrial designer
  • Product developer
  • Product buyer
  • Product production supervisor
  • Environmental designer
  • Packaging designer

You could work independently as a consultant, an entrepreneur, as a staff designer for an existing design studio, retailer, or manufacturer.

Faculty's website:

Department's website:

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:

  • Portfolio Review and Interview Session

For more information visit the department's website at:

For further information about portfolio submission and the review process, visit Product Design’s website at:

Continuance Requirements

Seat availability is based on priority for students who continue in all courses as per the prescribed program plan. Students who are unable to meet course requirements to continue with the program plan or who decide to take a break from their studies, may be removed from program. Re-admission into the program will be based on seat availability and approval by the program.

Curricular Requirements

The Bachelor of Design, Product Design program consists of 120 credits, organized into eight full-time semesters, over a four-year period.

You may complete electives and other general education courses prior to entering the program, or at any time during your program.  See "Electives" below.

Note: DEPD courses are assessed Tuition Category 2.a.3 tuition and fees for domestic students.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Term 1Credits
DEPD 1100 Studio 1: Design Methods for Hard Materials 3
DEPD 1110 Visualization for Product Design 3
DEPD 1130 Design Research Methods 3
DEPD 1140 Model Making 3
ENGL 1100 Introduction to University Writing 3
Term 2
DEPD 1200 Studio 2: Design Methods for Soft Materials 3
DEPD 1240 Computer-Aided Design Fundamentals 3
DEPD 1250 Construction Technologies for Soft Materials 3
DESN 1150 Designing for Humanity 3
One of: 3
Design Histories  
Design Connections: Then and Now  
Design History: 19th Century Onward  
Year 2
Term 3
DEPD 2310 Studio 3: Design for Industry Context 6
DEPD 2320 Material Technology 3
DEPD 2331 Human Factors for Product Design 3
DEPD 2340 Primary Research and Ethics for Design 3
Term 4
DEPD 2400 Studio 4: Design for Performance: Sport and Industry 6
DEPD 2420 Production Technology 3
DEPD 2430 Socio-Cultural and Planetary Context 3
MRKT 1199 Introduction to Marketing 3
Year 3
Term 5
DEPD 3500 Studio 5: Design for Systems Change 6
DEPD 3520 Production Cycles 3
DEPD 3530 Semiotics and Affordances for Product Design 3
DEPD 3560 New Extremes - Future Designing for Climate Adaptation 3
Term 6
DEPD 3610 Studio 6: Design for Protective Apparel and Gear 6
DEPD 3630 Industry Experience 3
DEPD 3640 Special Topics: Design for a Changing Climate 3
Elective 3
Year 4
Term 7
DEPD 4710 Studio 7: Design Research for Capstone 6
DEPD 4720 Products & Business Design 3
Electives 6
Term 8
DEPD 4810 Studio 8: Design for Capstone Production 9
DEPD 4820 Design Research Knowledge Mobilization 3
Elective 3
 Total Credits120

Note: Completion of ENGL 1100 with a minimum grade of "C" is a graduation requirement. It is recommended that this course be taken prior to Year 2.


12 further credits of elective courses that include the following:

  • at least three different academic disciplines
  • at least 3 credits from a course designated as Writing Intensive (approved Writing Intensive courses are listed in the University Calendar with the attribute WI and all courses with the WI attribute can be found using Course Search
  •  at least 3 credits from a course designated as Quantitative (approved Quantitative courses are listed in the University Calendar with the attribute QUAN and all courses with the QUAN attribute can be found using Course Search)
  • at least 3 credits from a course at the 3000 level or higher
  • electives must be KPU courses numbered 1100 or higher, and may not include courses in the Wilson School of Design

Other Information

Students are required to supply their own laptop and subscribe to specific software. Students are advised NOT to purchase a personal laptop computer until specifications and requirements have been provided to successful applicants.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Design, Product Design.

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