MSc Rapid Product Development

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  • Objectives
    Rapid Product Development (RPD) is new engineering approach which utilises the most recent computer based design and manufacturing technology together with the latest project management methods, to help develop products more quickly and effectively. Students completing this course are highly sought after by industry and many students who have completed the course are now in strategic positions, often heading product development teams.
  • Entry requirements
    The course is particularly suited to students who have studied an engineering subject (Mechanical, production, aerospace, automotive etc) as their first degree and wish to specialise in engineering design, product development or advanced manufacturing technology.
  • Academic title
    MSc Rapid Product Development
  • Course description

    Rapid Product Development covers a wide range of areas and disciplines from the design stage right through to the manufacturing process. The faster and more efficiently that a company can take an idea from the drawing board to a finished product, the greater its edge over the competition. This is the essence of the philosophy behind Rapid Product Development.

    The modular nature of the course means that a number of qualifications are available depending on the number of modules taken and passed. Successful completion of four modules leads to the award of a PG Certificate and a PG Diploma can be obtained from completion of a further four modules. Alternatively, completion of eight modules and the project earns the full MSc.

    Current modules are as follows:

    Computer Aided Design (CAD): CAD is the cornerstone of modern product design and manufacturing and underpins the whole principle of Rapid Product Development. Students will not only be taught the theory of CAD but will also be shown how to use the latest solid modelling CAD package (Solid Works).
    Rapid Prototyping: This course will introduce the basic principles of rapid prototyping and a wide range of rapid prototyping methods will be covered in detail, including hands-on training in the major techniques.
    Reverse Engineering: Reverse engineering enables geometric data for real products to be captured and transferred into the electronic product data environment. This module demonstrates the alternative approaches to reverse engineering and their advantages and disadvantages using case studies and applications from industry.
    Rapid Tooling: Rapid tooling techniques have a vital role to play in reducing both the cost and time of developing new products. Using a combination of teaching and hands-on tuition this module covers both the theory and practice of a wide range of rapid tooling methods
    Virtual Prototyping: computer simulation enables the designer to see and even feel the new product before it is manufactured.
    Design Analysis: In order to maintain competitiveness and reduce time to market, many companies now employ a range of analytical techniques to enable them to produce designs that have been fully evaluated before production. The role that design analysis plays in product development will be described and students will be taught how to use Finite Element Analysis tools.
    High speed machining: High speed machining is one of the most effective tools for rapid product development. This module will introduce and develop the concepts, and techniques of high speed machining. It will include hands-on machine tool programming and will involve applications and case studies from industry

    Concurrent Engineering: Rapid product development relies on the effective management of the design process; concurrent engineering techniques are vital in achieving this goal. This module will introduce and develop the principles of concurrent engineering and demonstrate the benefits that can arise from its adoption a range of techniques for the management of the product development process.
    Research Methods: Individual Project: This module is the culmination of the Masters course. The project will be selected by the student and provide the opportunity to focus on core interests as well as applying the knowledge and skills developed in the taught modules
    Individual Project: Students will then have the opportunity to apply these tools to solve real world problems during a 15 week individual project, usually undertaken in association with an industrial partner.

    Prior to commencement of the course you will be invited to an induction event where you will meet with teaching staff and fellow students, familiarise yourself with the teaching and research facilities at De Montfort University and moreover you will spend a day in Europe?s largest Rapid Product Development facility at Ford Motor Company.


    Modules are delivered in one week intensive teaching usually followed by two weeks to prepare coursework and to prepare for the next module using the reading material provided. In addition to lectures delivered by De Montfort University?s dedicated and professional teaching staff, lectures by experts from industry and visits to companies account for over 40% of the teaching time. The teaching and research facilities available to the students are outstanding, including some of the latest rapid prototyping, reverse engineering and virtual prototyping equipment. Modules are assessed by assignments 40% (laboratory reports, hands-on training exercises, presentations, phase tests) and course work 60% (typically a 4000 word report).

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