LINEAR A-LEVEL COURSE CONTENT

Product Design requires students to engage in both practical and theoretical study. At A-Level this knowledge and understanding will be developed through a substantial and final Design and Make project during Year 13. This will be your NEA (Non-Exam Assessment) and will follow the iterative design process to create and innovative response to a design problem. During Year 12, you
will complete a range of focused projects that aim to develop skills that support the theory based lessons and educational visits, consequently building your knowledge base and fully preparing you for both your examination and NEA in Year 13.

During the two years, the course will cover the practical application of technical principles of designing and making, and further study of how materials and components play a major part. Some examples of these include:

  • Materials and their applications
  • Performance characteristics of materials
  • Forming, redistributing and addition processes
  • Modern industrial and commercial practice
  • Digital design and manufacture
  • Protecting designs and intellectual property
  • Design for manufacturing, maintenance, repair and disposal
  • Enterprise and marketing in the development of products
  • Modern manufacturing systems
  • How technology and cultural changes can impact on the work of designers
  • Design processes
  • Accuracy in design and manufacture
  • Responsible design
  • Design for manufacture and project management

In this A Level you will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on Design and Technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put the theoretical learning into practice by producing prototypes during focused projects.

You will understand why these are used in specific applications with particular emphasis on the the life-cycle of products including manufacture, use and disposal.
You will develop an understanding of the methods by which materials and components can be manipulated to manufacture products. Through study and first-hand experience in practical project work, you will also develop knowledge of the health and safety issues relevant to working with materials.
Your Design and Make project will provide an opportunity for you to learn about the use of computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacture (CAM), and the
use of quality control measures.

In addition to this, through study and detailed analysis of a range of products, you will begin to develop knowledge and understanding of the broader issues for the designer
such as: environmental sustainability of products and their manufacture, ergonomic and anthropometrics, inclusive design, and consumer safety.

WHERE DO I GO TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION?

Visit the AQA website: www.aqa.org.uk
Subject Leader: Mr P Maguire (p.maguire@finhampark.co.uk)

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT?

Design and Technology prepares you to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. You learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. Here at Finham Park Sixth Form we teach you the design process and the skills you need to turn your designs into products, allowing you to give practical solutions to real problems and continually relating tasks back to real-life. Design and Technology teaches you how to be autonomous learners, taking responsibility for planning and organising your own work, and evaluating in a reflective and critical manner. You also learn to adapt to working practically both individually and co-operatively. We know that the majority of our students very much enjoy the practical nature of our subject and gain the satisfaction from the successful completion of a practical project.

HOW MANY EXAMS DO I HAVE TO TAKE AND WHEN DO I TAKE THEM?

This qualification is linear. Linear means that you will sit all of your exams and submit all your NEA at the end of the two year course.

Technical principles:
Written exam: 2.5 hours (30% of A Level)

Designing and making principles:
Written exam: 1.5 hours (20% of A Level)eas.

WHAT SKILLS WILL I DEVELOP?

As well as the requisite 3D design abilities, product designers need to have a broad understanding of other important factors such as ergonomics, materials, manufacturing processes, branding, marketing, lifestyles. All of these areas are covered within the course whether it be through your own coursework, practical activities, independent study of exam preparation. By the second year you will have developed your skills so as to be able to work much more independently to produce rigorous prototypes and final outcomes as well as your own portfolio of work. You will develop problem solving skills along with the resilience to overcome issues and problems when developing their ideas.

IS THERE ANY COURSEWORK OR CONTROLLED ASSESSMENTS?

Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles.
Substantial design and make project during Year 13 (50% of A Level)
Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.

WHAT MIGHT STUDYING THIS COURSE LEAD TO?

Possible Future University Courses:
Illustration
Fashion
Product Design
Civil Engineering
Aeronautical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Architecture
Performance or Stage Design
Possible Future Careers or Apprenticeships:
Product Designer
Automotive Industry
Aerospace Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Civil Engineer
Architect
Fashion Designer
Web Designer
Stage/Performance Designer
Costume Design
Lighting Designer
Textile Designer
Packaging Designer
Graphic Designer
Interior Designer
Industrial Designer