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A Level

Design & Technology: Engineering A Level

Subject Area
Start Date
September 2024
Study Mode
2 years
Level 3

The course covers the underlying core principles of design and technology, with the specialism of Design Engineering. This pathway focuses on engineered and electronic products/system.

You will be encouraged to show innovation and consider wider social implications of products. Through gaining an insight into the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries and developing an in-depth knowledge of materials, components and processes you will create and analyse a design concept working towards producing a protype or product. Working collaboratively to develop and refine your ideas you’ll develop design and technology terminology and experience of real world contexts for use in future study and employment.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 4 subjects at grade 5 or above at GCSE plus English Language and Science at grade 4 or above. You should also have a grade 5 in Maths on the higher paper.

What will I study?

Throughout this course you will develop an understanding of:

  • how engineered products and components function and operate
  • the properties of engineering materials and why they are selected for specific applications
  • engineering processes and application
  • commercial viability when designing and manufacturing engineering products and/or systems

The content covers the following topic areas:

  • Identifying requirements of an engineered solution
  • Learning from existing engineered products and practices
  • Implications of wider issues
  • Engineering design thinking and communication
  • Material and component considerations
  • Engineering manufacturing processes and techniques
  • Viability of engineering design solutions
  • Health and safety
  • Engineering mathematical & scientific principles

    You will be encouraged to become responsible for your own learning, confident in discussing ideas, innovative and engaged.

    Additional costs
    Please be aware that we would advise you to provide your own engineering drawing equipment. Steel toe capped footwear and overalls are available in a ‘sharing’ capacity for use in the workshop, but should you wish, you could provide your own.

    Method of delivery

    There is a balance of theory classes and project classes throughout the course.

    How will I be assessed?

    Principles of Engineering Design
    This is written exam paper 1, duration 1 hour 30 minutes. Through fours sets of questions you will be required to analyse existing products; demonstrate mathematical skills; your technical knowledge of materials, product functionality, manufacturing process and techniques; and your understanding of wider social, moral and environmental issues that impact on the design, engineering and manufacturing industries.

    Problem Solving in Engineering & Design
    This is written exam paper 2, duration 1 hour 45 minutes. Through a series of longer answer questions you must demonstrate your problem solving and critical evaluation skills. You will apply your knowledge, understanding and skills of designing and manufacturing prototypes and products. You will be required to demonstrate your higher thinking skills to solve engineering problems, evaluate situations and the suitability of engineering design solutions.

    Iterative Design Project
    You will undertake a substantial ‘design, make and evaluate’ project centred on the iterative process of explore, create and evaluate. You will identify an engineering design opportunity from a context of your choosing and create a design portfolio and 3D outcome which will be internally marked and externally moderated. This equates to 50% of the total A Level.

    Good course combinations

    Recommended to be combined with A Level Mathematics and/or Physics, which allows you to progress to higher education to study engineering or other STEM-related programmes.

    This course cannot be taken alongside Design & Technology: Product Design as they follow the same specification.

    Your next steps

    Progression from this qualification could lead to higher education, HND/Foundation/BEng (Hons) degrees in Engineering and other related degrees, an advanced or higher engineering apprenticeship, or work in the engineering sector.

    Note: You should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes in engineering as many universities will require A Level Maths and/or Physics.

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