Furniture Design BA (Hons)

About the course

With the focus on contemporary design for mass manufacture, you will design for a variety of markets seeking to innovate by experimenting with function, materials, manufacturing and aesthetics.


Reasons to study a Furniture Design degree at DMU

  • An award-winning course that produces furniture designers who shape the future of the design industry

  • Promotes creativity and innovation in developing technically and aesthetically sophisticated furniture

  • A challenging course which develops a broad range of skills within a vibrant design environment

  • Work within a professionally active department where staff are involved in commercial projects with companies such as Berghaus, BAA and Adidas

  • An optional year of professional experience

As well as taking live briefs from industry you can participate in international competitions where this course has had particular success; from the FIRA Award to the British Furniture Industry Awards. Through studying the course’s design, manufacturing and visual language modules you will gain a commercial awareness of the furniture industry, enabling you to respond to users’ needs within competitive retail environments.

Key facts

UCAS course code:  W261

Duration:  Three years full-time, six years part-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria


A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 280 points with a minimum of 180 points from 2 full A levels and including grade C in Art and Design or
  • National Diploma DMM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 28+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or Literature at grade C or above. 

We also accept the BTEC  First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English at grade C or above

Interview and Portfolio

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview (please see our Product and Furniture Design portfolio advice| for full details).

Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. For further details check our international students portfolio page|.

International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition|, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes modules in materials and manufacturing technology and graphic communication. Continuous assessment and feedback throughout design projects allows you to effectively develop your design and communication skills.

Course modules

Year one

  • The Principles of Three-Dimensional Design
  • Manufacturing Technology and Material Culture
  • Visual Language
  • Technical Definition and Illustration

Year two

  • Innovation and Commercial Targeting
  • Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Culture
  • Advanced Visual Communications
  • 3D CAD for Product Definition

Year three

  • Student Design Competitions
  • Personal Project
  • Product Communications

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Academic expertise

Students are taught by design academics and visiting design consultants with specialist knowledge and skills within either product or furniture design. The staff have all worked in industry and also conduct commercial activity and leading research. Visiting lecturers support week-long projects or conduct weekly seminars, tutorials or lecture series. Visiting lecturers include Steve Mosley (Director, Mosley&), Matthew Cockerill (Associate Design Director, Seymour Powell), Marcus Atkin (Director, Out of the Bubble Design), Martin Jones (Retail Lab), and designers and model makers from Redline Studios.

Work experience and placements

More and more students undertake work placements either in vacations or by undertaking the sandwich year option. Staff encourage and support these initiatives helping you to find placements using their strong links with industry. At the end of the second year as an alternative to a work placement you are also able to undertake a year ‘exchange’ through the Erasmus scheme with a European design school.

Graduate careers

Graduates have a diverse portfolio suited to a range of careers in the furniture design industry and beyond. Previous students have become in-house designers for companies including Habitat, MFI, Howdens and Next. Others have become design consultants or freelance furniture designers. They have also applied their skills to marketing, design management or procurement for companies such as Marks & Spencer, or they have gone on to teaching or further academic study such as Royal College of Art in London.

Fees and funding

2014 entry

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees: £11,250 per year

Learn more about fees and funding information 2014|


Learn more about our Undergraduate scholarships and awards| information.


Superb workshops offer facilities for manipulation of soft materials for model making as well as wood prototyping. Access to a specialist new product development centre is also available. You will also have access to excellent workshops with rapid prototyping facilities as well as specialist furniture manufacturing equipment including large scale vacuum-forming machines, veneer presses and CNC routers.

You will benefit from dedicated studio spaces and extensive CAD facilities. The design studio enables you to develop your skills alongside students from different year groups who are involved in the design of a wide range of products. Your computing skills are continuously developed by working on various PC based 3D modelling and graphic presentation software packages within our specialist facilities.

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at|

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal|.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form|
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Awards and competitions

Furniture Design students have won many major awards in recent years including the prestigious RSA Student Design Awards, the BASF Student Design Awards and the Habitat Furniture Design Award. They have also won nine awards at New Designers exhibition in London.


“I learned so much from tutors and technicians. The facilities are fantastic – especially the workshops – and having your our own studio space is amazing”

Shu Aoki, BA (Hons) Furniture Design. Shu chose Furniture Design to take advantage of DMU’s strong industry links through live projects and competitions, and for the opportunity to exhibit at New Designers, London.

Art and Design at De Montfort University|

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Portfolio advice Portfolio advice Product and Furniture undergraduate - UK and EU applicants|

Portfolio advice for UK/EU applicants|

International applicants should refer to our School of Design portfolio advice|

DMU Art and Design Degree Show|

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