DMU logo
Furniture Design BA (Hons) design by graduate Ben Worthington

Furniture Design BA (Hons)

Furniture Design focuses on contemporary design for mass manufacture. You will design for a variety of markets and seek to innovate by experimenting with function, materials, manufacturing and aesthetics.



Reasons to study Furniture Design at De Montfort University:

  • Shape the future of the design industry 
    recent DMU graduates in careers such as design director at leading interior architecture practice Martin Brudnizki Design Studio
  • Creativity and innovation
    will be developed on this course designing technically and aesthetically sophisticated furniture
  • Enhance your employability 
    through live briefs from leading furniture companies by developing the skills employers are looking for
  • Professionally active department
    where you will study with academic staff involved in commercial projects with companies such as Berghaus, BAA Furniture & Interiors, and Adidas
  • Gain professional experience 
    with an optional year of placement or an opportunity to study at a European design school
  • International opportunity 
    through #DMUglobal where you will have the opportunity for a meaningful international experience

You will have the opportunity to enter international competitions where previous students have had particular success in major competitions such as the Alexander Rose Student Awards and the British Furniture Industry Awards. You will study the functional and market-led requirements of furniture design, including ergonomics, aesthetics and usability. Specific areas include visual language, brand alignment, user-centred design, Computer Aided Design and the development of sustainable, socially-conscious products methods that, through technical specification, reduce waste and conserve energy. 



Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship
Up to £6,000 worth of support available to full-time UK and EU undergraduate and postgraduate students, starting in September 2016. For more information visit our Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship page.

More courses like this:

Design Products MDes (Hons)
Product Design BA (Hons)
Product Design BSc (Hons)
Product and Furniture Design BA (Hons)

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W261

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

Fees and funding: UK/EU: £9,000

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Student loan information for EU students joining in September 2016.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

Duration: Three years full-time

Fees and funding: International: £11,750 per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal or direct application form.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 280 points from at least 2 A ‘levels and including grade C in Art and Design or
  • BTEC Extended 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.

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.

Interview and Portfolio

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview. Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. Please see our Furniture Design BA (Hons) portfolio advice for full details.

UCAS Tariff changes

Students applying for courses starting in September 2017 will be made offers based on a new UCAS Tariff. Find out more.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments



First year

  • Technical Definition
  • Principles of Three-Dimensional Design
  • Visual Communication
  • Manufacturing, Technology and Culture
  • Workshop Practice

Second year

  • 3D CAD For Product Definition
  • Innovation and New Product Development
  • 3D Modelling for Design
  • Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Culture

Third year

  • Graphical and Digital Communications
  • Furniture Design – Personal Project
  • Furniture Design – Student Design Competitions


Teaching is project-based, supported by lectures, tutorials and seminars. These interactions provide expert advice, stimulating critical debate and promote personal enquiry. Assessment is continuous and based on critical appraisal with both individual and group feedback. The curriculum is focussed on vocational skills and intellectual development – encompassing a broad range of content from manufacturing to aesthetics. Coursework is the main method of learning and assessment.

You are taught by design academics and visiting design consultants with specialist knowledge and skills in either product or furniture design. All our staff have worked in industry and carry out commercial activity and leading research. Visiting lecturers support week-long projects or run weekly seminars, tutorials or lecture series. Previous visiting lecturers include Steve Mosley (Mosley&), Matthew Cockerill (Associate Design Director, Seymourpowell), and designers and model makers from Redline Studios.

Furniture Design students have won many major awards in recent years including the Alexander Rose Student Design Awards and the Habitat Furniture Design Award. 

Contact hours
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 13 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 26 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.


Institution of Engineering Designers (IED)

This course is Accredited (MIED) by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). You will be eligible to become a student member of the IED - giving you the opportunity to network with other students and with those already working in industry. Membership is free for full-time students and includes access to post your CV on the IED website if you’re looking for a placement or employment, free of charge. Thereafter, Graduate Membership status is the subsequent next step towards professional status. It's free for the first year and includes the ability to post your CV on our job board, membership of the Graduate and Young Members group and guidance on professional development. 

Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

We offer superb workshops in wood, metal and plastics. You will be supported by specialist technicians who will help you in the use of both traditional and advanced materials and manufacturing processes. You will also learn prototyping techniques to test your ideas during the development process and learn modelling skills to express the detail and finesse of your finalised designs.

Lively studio facilities allow you to collaborate with a cross-section of students and continue the discourse about your work and the design discipline more broadly.

We continuously develop your computer literacy and you will work on various PC-based 3D modelling and graphic presentation packages using specialist facilities.


We have 1,500 study places and 650 computer workstations across four sites on campus. These give access to more than half a million publications, an extensive range of DVDs, e-resources and thousands of electronic journals. 

During standard term-time (October to June) the main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Outside of this period, and during university holidays, the library will remain open but with reduced opening hours.

Award-winning staff are on hand to help and there is a café for study breaks. We offer a range of workshops, drop-in and one-to-one sessions, and our Just Ask service provides email and telephone support.


Learning zones

Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.

Originally set up in our main Kimberlin Library, the learning zones proved so popular that more were created in the Eric Wood Building and Greenhouse. These flexible spaces are ideal whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.

They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with interactive whiteboards and DVD players. Eduroam wi-fi is available across all campus locations.


Opportunities and careers



Placements represent an important way of gaining real-world experience that support you to achieve better grades – as well as better jobs with higher salaries upon graduation. They are paid, usually lasting for 12 months and are normally undertaken in the third year. Previous placements include Crofts & Assinder and Established & Sons.

DMU has dedicated resources to help you find placements and provide support if you want to arrange your own. Teaching staff support this further with an extensive network of employers and alumni.

As an alternative to a work placement you can undertake a year-long exchange with a European design school through the Erasmus scheme. Previous students have spent a year in Orleans, France and Stuttgart, Germany.  



This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.


Graduate careers

Graduates have a diverse portfolio suited to a range of careers in the furniture design industry and beyond. Recent graduates have gone onto careers as designers at Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and Glasdon UK. Others have become design consultants or freelance furniture designers. They also apply their skills to marketing, design management, procurement, teaching or further academic study. 

DMU Open days

Our next Open Day takes place on
Saturday 17 September 2016,
book your place today.

Register now

Order a prospectus

Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

Order now

How to apply

We welcome applications from UK and international students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU

Festival of Creativity
Vijay Patel Building

Art and Design Degree Show

Our Art and Design Degree Show celebrates the talent and innovative work of our final year art and design students.


Vijay Patel Building

The new Vijay Patel Building at the heart of DMU will offer sector leading facilities to students on our Art and Design courses.



Find out why our students are proud to say #IchoseDMU. Find out more.



We offer a range of high-standard accommodation for our students, with nine halls of residence – and around 2,300 rooms – all of which are within easy walking distance of the campus. There is a choice of mixed or same-gender flats, shared kitchen and laundry facilities, furnished bedrooms (some with en suite facilities) and internet access. Find out more.

Fees and funding
Fees and funding

Find out what financial help you can access during your studies at DMU.

Come to an open day  target area
Come to an open day

Don't let us tell you how good we are. Come to one of our open days and find out for yourself!

Explore the DMU campus
Explore the DMU campus

Visit our Virtual Open Day to explore the DMU campus.