A Level Product Design
Why study Design and Technology (Product Design)?
If you are the type of person who likes to rethink how everyday products can be improved, then Product Design could be for you. The course has been designed to encourage you to take a broad view of design and technology. It also helps you to participate in and think about tomorrow’s rapidly changing world of design and manufacture, and to design sustainable, functional and aesthetically pleasing products.
This qualification is made up of two mandatory components, each making up 50% of the qualification.
Unit 1 – Principles of Design and Technology
This unit is assessed through a 2 ½ hour written examination at the end of Year 13.
During this unit students will be required to apply knowledge and understanding of a wide range of materials; including modern and smart materials, and processes used in product design and manufacture. They will be required to develop an understanding of contemporary industrial and commercial practices applied to designing and manufacturing products, and to appreciate the risks involved.
Topics covered include;
Topic 1: Materials
Topic 2: Performance characteristics of materials
Topic 3: Processes and techniques
Topic 4: Digital technologies
Topic 5: Factors influencing the development of products
Topic 6: Effects of technological developments
Topic 7: Potential hazards and risk assessment
Topic 8: Features of manufacturing industries
Topic 9: Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment
Topic 10: Current legislation
Topic 11: Information handling, Modelling and forward planning
Topic 12: Further processes and techniques.
Unit 2 – Independent Design and Make Project
This is assessed through a non-examined assessment (NEA) where learning hours are not specified because the process of producing the design portfolio is iterative and undertaken by the student, on their own, in school.
The purpose of this unit is to undertake a substantial design, make and evaluate
project which will test students’ skills in designing and making a prototype.
Students are required to individually and in consultation with a client/end user identify a
design possibility and design context from which they develop a range of potential solutions
and then realise one through practical making activities.
Through the unit they will;
- Develop a range of potential solutions which include the use of computer aided design and evidence of modelling.
- Be expected to make decisions about the designing and development of the prototype in conjunction with the opinions of the client/end user.
- Realise one potential solution through practical making activities with evidence of project management and plan for production.
- Incorporate issues related to sustainability and the impact their prototype may have on the environment
- Be expected to analyse and evaluate design decisions and outcomes for prototypes/products made by themselves and others
- Be expected to analyse and evaluate of wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.
Where the course leads
This course could take you into a number of exciting career paths. Of course, there’s product or automotive design. But what about computer generated cartoons? Or maybe CAD for industry appeals to you more? This course could open the door into architecture, teaching, manufacturing, designing, advertising or engineering.