Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Design, Art and Creativity

Module aims

DAC will nurture inquisitiveness, curiosity, exploration and expression. You will be given the chance to ponder:  Why? What if? How? You will be expected to engage, to show initiative and to embrace some slightly unusual tasks!

  • To serve as a foundation course for the joint Imperial / RCA Innovation Design Engineering Masters programme, based on the core design courses in our own programme.
  • To develop an understanding of the design landscape today; including the design process, design methodologies, and social and environmental responsibilities.
  • To develop visual communication skills, creative expression, and ethnographic understanding to be able to ideate and innovate appropriately to a brief.    

ECTS units:    6   
Contributing to Course Elements: 6 to ME3-LCTVS or ME4-LCTVS

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this course unit, students will be able to:

  • Formulate an appropriate brief and process for a design project.
  • Resolve a design opportunity into concepts.
  • Demonstrate verbal and visual communication skills.
  • Discuss an object’s attributes in terms of colour, material, finish (CMF), form, function and usability.

Module syllabus


Coursework will include:

·         A daily drawing exercise. You will be expected to keep a sketchbook for the duration of the course. There will be guidelines and tutorials to help you with drawing techniques. (20%) 

·         An infographic assignment. This task is intended to get you familiarised with vector drawing software – an extremely useful digital tool. It will provide an opportunity to practise and enhance your visual presentation and visual communication skills. (15%) 

·         Essay (minimum 1000 words, maximum 1100 words): Design of an Everyday Object. The essay will help to develop an understanding and ability to articulate the design language and function of an object, and consider how this leads a user to interact with it. Topics covered will include colour, material, finish, form and usability. (15%) 

·         Project: The project will include deciphering a design brief, concept generation, thinking through making, prototyping and iteration. The final outputs will include a prototype, visual communication of the design process, and will culminate in an exhibition with a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentation and critique. (50%) 

DAC will encourage:

·         Blue-sky thinking, to approach problems without being bound by constraints. Learning not to say no. To keep an open mind. To consider the possibilities. What if that really was possible? Learning how to brainstorm effectively is a skill that needs to be practised. It can be difficult to diverge from logical and linear thought processes after honing this skill for so many years, but you will be given the opportunity to learn and practise. 

·         Extrospective exploration of art and design and introspective responses and expression. You will be given the opportunity to interpret and convey. Communication in various forms will be a common and important thread throughout the course. 

·         A hands-on approach. You will be expected to make and create! 

To dispel a popular urban-Imperial-myth - it is not a pre-requisite to be good at drawing! You do need to keep an open-minded, be willing to try, and you’ll need to dedicate some time and effort to practise. The more you put into this course, the more you’ll get out. 

Expect some:

Sketching, drawing, scribbling, interpreting, conveying – communicating. Brainstorming, thinking, ideating, innovating – keeping an open mind. Critiquing and improving. Introduction to design processes and methodologies. Identify opportunities for improvement and develop briefs. Concept development. Quick and dirty prototyping. Being less bad is not good – social and environmental design responsibilities. Project. Presentations, peer reviews, critiques. Exhibition.

Teaching methods

  • Duration: Autumn term 11 weeks

    •        Sessions: 1 per week.

    •        Researched essay: Design of an Everyday Object (minimum 1000 words, maximum 1100 words).

    •        Design project:  Culminating in exhibition and presentation.

    •        Other coursework:  Includes daily drawing sketchbook and infographic.

Summary of student timetabled hours








Expected private study time

11 hr/week


Coursework (including progress tests, oral presentations etc.)

Submission date

Max. mark

Pass mark



Project: progress, delivery, presentation

Critiques, verbal comments, written comments

Week 9




Written comments

Week 11



Infographic: progress and delivery

Verbal comments, written comments

Week 5



Daily drawing sketchbook

Verbal comments, written comments




Total marks



Module leaders

Mr Aslan Kutlay