Product Design encompasses a wide range of design disciplines, but is firmly rooted in the skills required to design and make high quality products; products that are fit for purpose, satisfy wants and needs, and enhance our day-to-day lives.
The A Level course we offer allows students from a wide range of Design & Technology backgrounds to be successful. It combines the skills needed to communicate your design ideas through sketching, technical drawing, traditional and computer modelling, with knowledge of Product Design, Resistant Materials, Graphics and Engineering. You will need to have gained a grade C or above in one of these areas at GCSE level to access this course. Students who have attained a grade C or above in both the controlled assessment and in the exam tend to be better able to cope with the demands of this course.
During Year 12, you will complete a piece of coursework, which will consist of several practical outcomes accompanied by the supporting written, design and development work.
This allows you to demonstrate your ability to investigate a product in depth, to show how creative you can be as a designer, and to evidence your practical skills. This counts towards 50% of the AS grade. At the end of the year, a 2 hour examination covers the theoretical content of the course. At AS, the theory expands on that covered at GCSE, broadening your knowledge and deepening your understanding of the properties of materials, the commercial manufacture of products and the use of IT in industry. This counts towards 50% of the final grade.
During Year 13, the theory focuses on developing your knowledge and understanding of a range of modern design and manufacturing practices and contemporary design issues. The modern designer must have a good working knowledge of the use of IT and systems and control technology in the design and manufacture of products. They must also be aware of the important contributions of designers from the past and the present day. You will also develop an awareness of the impact of design and technological activities on the environment. Sustainable product design is a key feature of modern design practices. There is a 2 hour exam at the end of Year 13 which counts towards 50% of the final grade.
The A2 coursework is an independent design project. Having identified a real problem, you work closely with a client or user group to design and model/make an original and viable solution to their problem, identifying suitable materials and manufacturing processes for its commercial production. This counts towards 50% of the A2 grade.
This A Level can lead to a wide range of degree courses and careers; product design, architecture, graphic design, advertising and automotive design to name a few. As a subject, it links well with Art, Business Studies and IT.