DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Morris, Richard; Milne, Mark
Series: E&PDE
Institution: University of Brighton, United Kingdom
Section: Creativity 1
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


There has been widespread criticism of the capabilities of engineering graduates produced in the United Kingdom. More than half of employers say that engineering graduate recruits do not reach their expected standards and nearly two thirds think skills gaps are a threat to their business [1]. These failings are identified particularly in the softer rather technical domains including for example design, creativity and communication [1, 2]. A professional body review at the University of Brighton by the and in May 2015 also identified these areas as being particularly weak at the University.

From 2016, two University of Brighton academics transitioned from full time lecturing on BSc Product Design programmes to full time lecturing on B.Eng programmes. The University was during this period undertaking an institution wide curriculum review and the design academics (the paper authors) used the opportunity to introduce changes to the design provision in the engineering courses. These changes drew on thirty years of design lecturing, and applied design pedagogies to the more traditional engineering courses.

This paper outlines the changes that were made and evaluates the outcomes as perceived by final year undergraduate and postgraduate engineering programmes. Whilst it is notoriously difficult to quantify educational effectiveness, the results suggest that engineering students are highly receptive to the design and educational practices that are traditionally separate between design and engineering pedagogy. It is postulated that the rigid and extensive requirements needed to achieve professional body engineering accreditation is actually unhelpful to the creative development of courses needed to produce engineers of the future.


[1] Institute of Engineering and Technology [2] (2015) Skills and Demand in Industry Survey. IET

[2] Wakeham, W. (2016) STEM degree provision and graduate employability. UK Government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills & the Higher Education Funding Council for England

Keywords: engineering pedagogy


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