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Skizzen und Vasen aus dem Studiengang Produktdesign

What makes a chair a comfortable and good-looking piece of seating furniture? When is a piece of equipment safe and easy to use? How can workflows be designed smoothly and efficiently? The life of industrial society is full of design needs. With their work, product designers have a decisive influence on the usability, comprehensibility, environmental compatibility, social role and, last but not least, the market success of a product.

Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Type:
Full time
Course language:
German
Standard study period:
8 semesters, including one internship semester
Start of study:
Winter semester
Registration for the qualifying examination:
01.01. – 01.04.
Application deadline:
15.06. – 15.07. (admission free)
Admission requirements:
General university entrance qualification/technical college entrance qualification/equivalently recognized prior vocational training, passed aptitude test
Credits:
240 ECTS credits
Module Manuals & Regulations
The Study

Answers to urgent and uncomfortable questions of the time

Design aims at attractiveness – what seems attractive to us seems desirable, plausible and can – at best – enchant. In this sense, good design provides attractive answers to questions that interest us, even if we are only confronted with the question via the answer, the product of the design. Designing therefore means first of all to ask questions - the questions lead us through the process of design to the form. Serious design today is therefore dedicated to the pressing and sometimes uncomfortable questions of the time - attractiveness is namely not exclusively a question of luxury, but also a question of appropriateness and proportion.

Attitude in the design

Contemporary design, as we understand it, is essential in terms of the representation of cultural identity, it is dedicated to the sustainability of developments, to the question of sharing in the wealth of our resources, spiritual as well as material. Design is transformation: it provides the blueprint for translating ideas of the world into attractive possibilities. These are challenging and also pressing questions that move us; these are the questions of our time. That is why we challenge ourselves and our students. What counts for us is a level of excellence that can be measured against international standards. We are guided by originality, which means nothing other than an inspired view of design and quality. Attitude in design - that is what the Potsdam approach stands for.

The Potsdam approach pursues student-centered teaching in which the development of competencies, a culture of thinking, self-organized and active learning, and research curiosity are the starting points. It thus follows the path in favor of a learning culture instead of a teaching culture. By conveying the object of observation as the result of structural connections, the Potsdam approach strengthens problem awareness, personal goal setting, and an understanding of the possibilities of constructively influencing one's own environment. The approach thus conveys system, goal and action knowledge. The Potsdam approach thus contributes to professional personality and opinion formation.

Considering a practice-oriented education, the Potsdam approach contributes to closing a theory and practice gap in the design disciplines through pragmatic, solution-oriented methods. The goal is to lead students to design tasks in a structured and progressive way. In this context, the awareness of communicative functions and the meanings of our designed environment as well as its dynamics in terms of plausibility and topicality plays a central role. In its application, the approach supports the development of a differentiated communication and technical language about design. It encourages the student to adopt a critical, discursive, and interpretive approach in assessing design, its opportunities, and its consequences.

By addressing the degree of subjectivity and structural dependence to which communication and perception are subject, the approach enables the student to reflect on the interaction between his task, his environment, and his own competencies. This forces the development of a critical awareness of problems that follows less liabilities and rules than challenges and opportunities. Nevertheless, this does not happen without a stop. The basis is a curriculum based on the long-standing know-how of teachers who are aware that a good structure is characterized by the fact that it is plausible, grows with and adapts to the challenges.if it grows with and adapts to the challenges.

Studying in Potsdam means learning with and through others. Discourse is at the heart of the Potsdam approach. Efficiency in this context means learning with and through others. An approach to design is made possible that does not presuppose in-depth basic knowledge, but rather sees itself as "basic-oriented" in the design process, i. e., conveying and retrieving theoretical foundations and practical skills synchronously with the tasks and thus updating the students' knowledge and experience horizon. In order to do justice to this dynamic in the best possible way, the Potsdam approach advocates face-to-face study.

The Potsdam approach is primarily interested in the evidence of the questions in general and concrete, in relation to them, in the design development, the backgrounds and conditions, but also in the problem understanding of tangential disciplines. We understand design fundamentally context-based and primarily as the medium that helps the future to take shape. In this sense, we see designers as creative instigators of unrest and meaning. Attitude in design - this is what the Potsdam approach stands for.

Is this course of study a good fit for you?

In the Product Design program, you will receive a basic theoretical education on the one hand and an insight into the practical work of product designers in workshop units and project work on the other. During your studies you will develop solutions for given or self-selected tasks. Creativity is just as important here as independent work and teamwork - skills that will later be important in daily working life. If you also have curiosity and enjoy developing new ideas and concepts, you will be able to master the product design course very well.

Students podcast

Rebekka and Toni explain everything you need to know about the Product Design and Communication Design program. In addition to tips on aptitude tests or the study process, you'll get an insight into student life.

Podcast of the campus specialists

Shop window

Let yourself be inspired! In our virtual showcase you will find current projects and works from the study programs of the Department of Design.

Showcase of the design department

Contact

The colleagues at the Student Counselling Service provide information to prospective students, first-year students, parents, teachers and students on all general questions about studying. For specific questions and concerns about the degree program, please contact the Student Counselling Service for the BA Product Design.

These degree programs might also interest you

Weitere Studiengänge
Degree program Teaching language Start of study Application deadline
BA European Media Studies German Winter semester
until 15.07. at the University of Potsdam (NC program)
BA Interface Design German Winter semester
15.06. – 15.07.. (admission free)
Registration for the qualifying examination: 01.01. – 01.04.
BA Product Design German Winter semester
15.06. – 15.07. (admission free)
Registration for the qualifying examination: 01.01. – 01.04.
MA Design German Summer semester, Winter semester
15.06. – 15.08. und 15.02. – 15.03. (NC program).
Registration for the qualifying examination: bis 15.06. für das Wintersemester / bis 15.12. für das Sommersemester
MA European Media Studies German Winter semester
until 01.06. at the University of Potsdam
Career Prospects

Career Prospects

The career profile of graduates of the product design program focuses primarily on designing, optimizing and ultimately marketing products. Through the interdisciplinary studies at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam you can not only shine with expertise from the field of product design, but also from communication design and interface design. This generalist education offers numerous advantages for employers, as you can be employed in responsible interface functions.

Perspectives in the creative industries

There is a lively creative industry in the Berlin/Potsdam region. There is a large number of small and medium-sized design agencies that have a constant need for designers. In addition, there are spin-offs from the large number of research institutions and universities. These start-ups often aim to develop and later market products. The frequent inquiries to the product design program show that there is a high demand for product design here. In the Berlin-Potsdam area, there are a number of large media agencies that are increasingly acting as overall providers of corporate communications.

  • Consumer goods industry (household appliances, decorative items, furniture, fashion and toys)
  • Communication goods industry (product packaging, advertising media)
  • Product and exhibition design

Prospects in industry and large companies

The function of product and industrial design in development processes in industry and in large companies is sufficiently well known in the sense of a job description. The role of design has increased significantly in recent years. In industry, product designers are also increasingly found in strategic and management positions, as they have the ability to plan and design across different media and technologies in a visionary and integrative manner. The master's program in particular prepares students for such management positions. There is a particularly high demand for product designers in the following industries:

  • Automotive and aerospace industry
  • Automotive suppliers
  • Mechanical engineering companies
  • Interior design
  • Consumer goods industry
  • Engineering service provider

Self-employment

After graduating with a bachelor's degree, you can work directly as an independent product designer. In practice, there are a number of successful models. Depending on your own profile, you can be hired by companies and agencies on a project basis and work purely as a freelancer. The path directly to founding a company is of course also open and is also actively supported by the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam through the FHP Entrepreneurship School & Gründungsservice. Here you will also find numerous examples of successful company start-ups.

Entrepreneurship School & Start-up Service

Master program

In the Master's program Design, you will be introduced to professional fields in science and research. In recent years, the role of design in research projects has changed significantly. Especially in related sciences, a significantly increased demand for qualified product and industrial designers can be noticed. In the context of research projects, designers are also qualified to develop and visualize scenarios. In the master's program, you can deal with research questions and in some cases also work actively on research projects. After completing the master's program, the path to a doctorate is open.

Master program Design

These degree programs might also interest you

Weitere Studiengänge
Degree program Teaching language Start of study Application deadline
BA European Media Studies German Winter semester
until 15.07. at the University of Potsdam (NC program)
BA Interface Design German Winter semester
15.06. – 15.07.. (admission free)
Registration for the qualifying examination: 01.01. – 01.04.
BA Product Design German Winter semester
15.06. – 15.07. (admission free)
Registration for the qualifying examination: 01.01. – 01.04.
MA Design German Summer semester, Winter semester
15.06. – 15.08. und 15.02. – 15.03. (NC program).
Registration for the qualifying examination: bis 15.06. für das Wintersemester / bis 15.12. für das Sommersemester
MA European Media Studies German Winter semester
until 01.06. at the University of Potsdam
Study Contents

Course of studies

The Product Design program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree is a full-time, eight-semester program.

 

1st semester

Basics and orientation: design basics, design basics, workshop, project

2nd semester Basics and orientation: design basics, theory, design basics, workshop, project
3rd semester Basics and orientation: theory, design basics, project, colloquium
4th semester Focus and specialization: design/specialization, theory
5th semester Focusing and deepening: design/specialization, project
6th semester Focusing and deepening: internship
7th semester Focusing and deepening: theory, design/deepening, perspective
8th semester Focusing and deepening: theory, design/specialization, bachelor thesis

At the heart of the four-year bachelor's program is a common, generalist basic education and the three specializations with diverse, individual options for courses and projects.

Learn more about the concept, design fundamentals & theory of our design degree programs here.

Produktdesign Studienverlaufsplan Erster Studienabschnitt
Beispielhafter Studienverlauf des ersten Studienabschnitts

In the first stage of the degree program, students learn the basics of design, sound craftsmanship skills and theoretical principles, gain initial project experience and receive an initial professional orientation. The courses of all three study programs Interface-, Communication- and Product Design during the 1st study period are basically taught across all study programs, although the subject orientation and the workshop courses may be concentrated on specific degree programs. The degree program demands and promotes individual tailoring through a distinctive system of elective courses. The first three semesters of a student in the product design program can therefore be structured either in the sense of a generalization or a focus, depending on the subject focus.

Produktdesign Studienverlaufsplan Zweiter Studienabschnitt
Beispielhafter Studienverlauf des zweiten Studienabschnitts

The second study section is strongly characterized by design work in predominantly project-oriented tasks - 80 CP, i.e. two thirds of the 120 CP (= 150 CP minus 30 CP for the practical semester), are earned in design achievements. At least one project must be taken - supplemented by six specializations; a maximum of three projects can be taken - supplemented by two specializations. In addition, three certificates of achievement from theory as well as one certificate of achievement in craft-technical specialization or a complementary subject must be taken. An entire semester is reserved for the specialized internship, which is credited with 30 CP including a report. This internship semester can be scheduled at the student's own choice. The Bachelor's thesis, which is written during the eighth semester, completes the second part of the program.

Study Contents

Teaching formats

In addition to the theoretical knowledge transfer, which is realized in lectures and seminars, a large focus in the product design study program is on learning the technical and craft practice. This is taught in practical exercises in the workshops and laboratories. In addition, students have the opportunity to realize their own projects and work across disciplines. The interdisciplinary, free choice of courses allows students to strengthen their own profile in the Product Design major.

  • Individual, interdisciplinary course selection
  • Integrated lectures and exercises
  • Technical and craft practice in the workshops and laboratories
  • Project work internally, interdisciplinary and with practical partners
  • Supervised student projects and exercises

Elementary basics

In the study section "Elementary Basics", students receive an introduction to the design and theoretical fundamentals, which are taught in exercises.

  • Basics: among other things, design building blocks, basic knowledge of craftsmanship and technology, formal design and formal language.
  • Context: including perceptual routines and perceptual phenomena, contextual relationships, and visual language.
  • Process: including open-ended questions, research, analysis, selection, introduction to design methods and creativity techniques)
  • Studio: including exercises on composition, proportion, color, form, surface and material, drawing exercises for visualizing objects, ideas and simple processes

Design basis

The module area "Design Fundamentals" focuses on practical work within the respective design direction.

Product Design

  • Technology + Product: Materials and their manufacturing processes
  • Form + Purpose: Aesthetic fundamentals of style development
  • Space + Context: Synergies of design communication
  • Object + Intention: design reception and design practice

Workshop

In the workshop modules, students have the opportunity to learn specific design techniques and gain practical skills. Students receive instruction in their chosen technique and are then free to work independently in the workshop spaces and try their hand at it.

Product Design

  • Modeling Workshop: Plastic Design
  • Analog modeling workshops: wood, metal, finish
  • digital modeling workshops: CAD/CAM

Project

An important part of the studies is the practical work. In the course of their studies, students organize their own projects and project weeks.

Theory

In the theory modules, a well-founded retrospective view, entrepreneurial-strategic thinking, and thorough aesthetic as well as content analysis are trained across the course of study.

  • Design/media theory
  • Design/cultural history
  • Design management and law

Colloquium

At the end of the 1st study stage, which usually comprises the first three semesters, students take part in a colloquium. In this cross-module examination, the results of the 1st study section are contextualized, reflected upon, documented and presented to a commission.

Design/specialty deepening

The module serves the individual focus according to the field of interest . For this purpose, each area of study organizes four modules from which the students can compile their specialization.

Perspective

The aim of the Perspectives module is to give students the opportunity for individual in-depth study (especially in practical work). Students can choose from the following modules:

  • Project Weeks
  • Flex module
  • Tutorial
  • Project organization
  • Craft/Technique
  • Studio

Internship

The internship of 840 hours serves to give students an insight into practical work during their studies. Depending on the internship site, students complete essential and technical exemplary tasks. An internship report is to be submitted as the conclusion of the module.

More information about the internship

Thesis

  • Independent preparation of a bachelor thesis

Fields of expertise

The range of subjects in the Product Design program is oriented towards the characteristic research and application areas of the discipline. Within the individual teaching fields is a broad, flexibly arranged range of courses consisting of subject-specific seminars, practice-oriented workshops and interdisciplinary projects.

The subject offers intensive immersion in the design of three-dimensional products with special consideration of socially relevant problems. These include projects from the fields of ecology, ergonomics and the world of work, public design and universal design. Students will be enabled to research and analyze problems and to base their design work on the deficits they have identified.

A topic will be given that outlines a problem area from the above environmental areas. This topic can be formulated against a real-world background through collaboration with cooperation partners or defined by research priorities of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

The comprehensive creative examination of the topic takes up a large amount of space. In addition to the conceptual activity and the design detailing, this also includes the representation in two- and three-dimensional form, if necessary also multimedia, as well as the documentation of the work results.

The subject area addresses issues in the context of mobility and mobility behavior. In particular, the examination of spatial and informational mobility is relevant.

Typical design issues and different contextualization are used as approximations and methods for the development of solutions for complex issues. Possible results are structures, services, product or communication concepts, which - if necessary in partial areas - are adequately concretized in the sense of a design. The complex interrelationships and requirements in this area are conceptually and theoretically penetrated from the perspective and with the means of design and practically reflected upon.

A project-oriented course is offered in the Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, which takes into account complex issues in the context of mobility as well as the teaching of concrete design skills. In doing so, the connectivity to the other study programs of the department and other relevant subject areas is explicitly desired.

The subject area addresses issues in the context of mobility and mobility behavior. In particular, the examination of spatial and informational mobility is relevant.

Typical design issues and different contextualization are used as approximations and methods for the development of solutions for complex issues. Possible results are structures, services, product or communication concepts, which - if necessary in partial areas - are adequately concretized in the sense of a design. The complex interrelationships and requirements in this area are conceptually and theoretically penetrated from the perspective and with the means of design and practically reflected upon.

A project-oriented course is offered in the Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, which takes into account complex issues in the context of mobility as well as the teaching of concrete design skills. In doing so, the connectivity to the other study programs of the department and other relevant subject areas is explicitly desired.

The subject area addresses issues in the context of mobility and mobility behavior. In particular, the examination of spatial and informational mobility is relevant.

Typical design issues and different contextualization are used as approximations and methods for the development of solutions for complex issues. Possible results are structures, services, product or communication concepts, which - if necessary in partial areas - are adequately concretized in the sense of a design. The complex interrelationships and requirements in this area are conceptually and theoretically penetrated from the perspective and with the means of design and practically reflected upon.

A project-oriented course is offered in the Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, which takes into account complex issues in the context of mobility as well as the teaching of concrete design skills. In doing so, the connectivity to the other study programs of the department and other relevant subject areas is explicitly desired.

The subject area addresses issues in the context of mobility and mobility behavior. In particular, the examination of spatial and informational mobility is relevant.

Typical design issues and different contextualization are used as approximations and methods for the development of solutions for complex issues. Possible results are structures, services, product or communication concepts, which - if necessary in partial areas - are adequately concretized in the sense of a design. The complex interrelationships and requirements in this area are conceptually and theoretically penetrated from the perspective and with the means of design and practically reflected upon.

A project-oriented course is offered in the Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, which takes into account complex issues in the context of mobility as well as the teaching of concrete design skills. In doing so, the connectivity to the other study programs of the department and other relevant subject areas is explicitly desired.

The subject area addresses issues of digitization in the context of design work. Three areas are particularly relevant:

The new media as a social phenomenon

The development of new media has triggered a serious process of change in society. The main concern of this field is to investigate this change - in structures, social behavior, in areas of work and private life - and its results, and to work out and formulate approaches to development and solutions by means of design.

The new media as a tool

Digital technologies provide designers with complex and very powerful tools. In the professional work process, these lead to differentiation - intensified by rapid further development. The aim of the training is a professional and conscious handling, the ability to select the adequate means in each case and to be able to communicate with relevant experts.

The new media as the subject of design work

The "classical" product design is confronted with a growing number of products, which only receive their essential functional characteristics and make sense in interaction, graphic user interfaces or the like. In addition, the new media have established themselves as an independent, artistic-aesthetic means – in the theater as virtual stage spaces, in the museum as installation art or on the web.

Qualifying Examination & Enrollment

Qualifying Examination & Enrollment

Enrollment is always possible from 15.06. to 15.07 . for the next winter semester. Applications for a higher semester are possible from 15.05. to 15.07.
If you meet the admission requirements, you can submit an enrollment application. Please note the following information specific to your program of study:

Access requirements

For enrollment in the admission-free bachelor's degree program in Product Design, you need a university entrance qualification in accordance with the Brandenburg University Act. This higher education entrance qualification includes the general higher education entrance qualification or the advanced technical college entrance qualification or a previous professional training recognized as equivalent.
A further requirement is successful participation in the course-related aptitude test.

Registration for the qualifying examination

The course-related artistic-design aptitude test takes place annually in May. You can register for the aptitude test until 1.4. (cut-off deadline).
Certificates and application files are not yet required for registration.

After reviewing all applications, we will inform you of the date of the qualifying examination and the topic of the term paper.

The following tasks must be completed after registration:

  • fill in the application form sent with the application and return it with a correctly addressed envelope (0,85 Euro) (still without certificates)
  • complete the portfolio with a maximum of ten of your own works ready to hand
  • take care of the homework

Registration for the qualifying examination

Suitability test

The qualifying examination consists of the following parts:

  • Presentation of the homework, combined with an interview in front of the responsible examination board
  • Submission of a maximum of ten recent work samples at the request of the examination board (photographic material up to DIN A0 format, computer representations on own computers, three-dimensional visual objects, etc.).

Evaluation criteria
The evaluation criteria of the artistic-creative aptitude are the presentation of own ideas, the ability of abstraction, creativity, technique and handicraft, communicative abilities and the design-specific talent.

After the aptitude test
After the aptitude test, the individual examination boards will confer and decide whether aptitude has been established. You will receive a letter in the following weeks informing you of the result. In the case that the aptitude test has been passed, you can apply for enrollment.

Enrollment Application

The enrollment application is submitted online in the MyCampus university portal of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. After entering the information required for enrollment, an enrollment application is created. This application must be signed and submitted to the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam by mail together with the university entrance qualification in paper form. Please refer to the enrollment application if you need to submit additional documents. The deadline for submission is the last day of the enrollment period (July 15). The date of receipt at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam is decisive.

Documents to be submitted

  • officially certified copy of the university entrance qualification or the university degree certificate
  • Insurance certificate of the statutory health insurance for students or proof of exemption from the statutory insurance obligation
  • Proof of payment or order confirmation of the semester fee
  • photograph for the issuance of the Campus.Card
  • If applicable, certificate of exmatriculation from the last university attended
  • If applicable, further documents according to the enrollment application form

General information on application and enrollment procedures

There are various application procedures at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. General information on application and enrollment procedures as well as information on part-time studies, guest auditors and second degree studies can be found on the general application pages.

General information about the application

Eindruck der Eignungsprüfungen am Fachbereich Design

Impressions from the proficiency test

For an impression of the aptitude test, it is worth taking a look at the video of the FHP campus ambulance. The Campus Ambulance – a team of dedicated students – is always on site and provides a nice and pleasant atmosphere between all the new impressions. On the website of the Campus Ambulance you will also find many helpful tips and answers to the most frequently asked questions about the qualifying exam in Design.

Campus Ambulance website

International applicants

You would like to apply for studies from the first or a higher semester and have acquired your school leaving certificate and/or university degree abroad? Then you can have degrees and achievements obtained abroad recognized and study with us.

International applicants

Contact

Student Counselling Service

Student Counselling Service for the BA Product Design