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A Level

Design & Technology: Product Design AS & A Level

Subject Area
Engineering
Start Date
September 2021
Study Mode
Full-time
Duration
2 years
Level
Level 3

The Product Design AS & A Level is a balance between creative design and design theory. The substantial creative project element allows you to steer the direction of your work down a more graphical route or a more 3D resistant materials route depending on your preference.

The course is challenging, thought-provoking, stimulating and fast-moving, as you balance developing an understanding of design theory alongside the demands of creative project work where elements of the theory are applied. There is a balance of this with the assessment too, with 50% of the course being theory exam based and 50% coursework based in both years.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 4 subjects at grade 5 or above at GCSE plus English Language at grade 4 or above. You should also have a grade 4 in Maths and a creative GCSE such as Product Design, Design Technology or Art & Design.

What will I study?

The Product Design AS & A Level is a balance between creative design and design theory. The substantial creative project element allows you to steer the direction of your work down a more graphical route or a more 3D resistant materials route depending on your preference.

The course is challenging, thought-provoking, stimulating and fast-moving, as you balance developing an understanding of design theory alongside the demands of creative project work where elements of the theory are applied.

Year One - AS Level (content tailored to Product Design: Graphics or Resistant Materials)

Component One: Principles of Design and Technology
You will learn about materials, processes and techniques to shape, form, join and manufacture relevant products and components. You will also learn CAD (Computer Aided Design), digital technologies, the effects of technological developments, and the factors which influence the development of a product and design history.

Component Two: Design and Make Project
You will undertake a small scale ‘design, make and evaluate’ project to a given ‘external’ brief from the exam board. Example briefs have been around products which promote a healthy lifestyle, products which have promoted historical buildings etc.

In the first year you will also develop your CAD (Computer Aided Design) skills:

  • Solid Works 3D Computer Aided Design leading to CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture)


Year Two - A Level (content tailored to Product Design or Resistant Materials)

Component One: Principles of Product Design
In addition to the AS topics, you will also study how we design for effective maintenance and to create a cleaner environment, as well as current legislation and standards in our industry.

Component Two: Problem Solving in Product Design
You will given a scenario and product where you will need to demonstrate you analysis, problem solving and evaluative skills in order to re-design and improve the given product.

Component 3: Design and Make Project
You will undertake a substantial ‘design, make and evaluate’ project of your choice, with a ‘real’ client. This requires you to produce a portfolio and a prototype outcome. This will involve justifying the project choice, creating a solution and evaluating the outcome with your ‘real’ client.

Method of delivery

This subject will most likely be one of four AS Level choices. In this subject you will have three x 1.5 hour lessons spread across the week with your other subjects. There is a balance of theory classes and project classes throughout the year.

How will I be assessed?

Year One – AS Level

Component One: Principles of Design and Technology

This unit is assessed by exam and makes up 50% of the final mark.
Component Two: Design and Make Project
This unit is assessed by project coursework, undertaking a project to a brief given by the exam board and making up 50% of the final grade. The coursework involves producing both a portfolio of design work and a 3D solution/prototype.

Year Two – A Level

Component One: Principles of Product Design
This unit is exam assessed.
Component Two : Problem Solving in Product Design
This unit is exam assessed.
Component Three: Design and Make Project
This project requires you to produce a portfolio and 3D prototype outcome. The project is externally moderated and equates to 50% of the final grade.

Good course combinations

Other A Levels such as Maths, Physics, Business, Computer Science, and the BTEC Certificate in Engineering. Although Art & Design A Levels would complement this subject consideration must be given to the amount of coursework being undertaken.

Your next steps

Higher education, in particular any design-related course including product design, engineering disciplines, architecture, animation, graphic design and the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design.

Olivia Design Technology student

“I chose Product Design because I really enjoy doing a creative subject that challenges your problem solving skills and creativity. Along with this, you also learn the history of design, which I find very interesting. My favourite elements of doing Product Design are working on my coursework and being in the workshops.”

Olivia
Design & Technology: Product Design A Level
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