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Sixth-form a-level-dt

A Level

Design & Technology: Product Design


What could this course lead to?

‘Everything that is bought, used and enjoyed is developed, designed and made! So the realms of relevant courses are endless: engineering, sciences, business studies and arts.

GCSEs required

It is strongly advised that students have a B at GCSE, or equivalent in a design technology or engineering based subject. Due consideration is given to those students who have not had the opportunity to study such a course. You will need mathematics skills at grade 4 at GCSE or equivalent.

What will I be studying?

The course encourages innovation, takes account of the varied interests of the student and enables them to learn about design in a design-make-test-evaluate context. As well as acquiring knowledge and experience of design methods, materials, technological concepts and manufacturing techniques, students will develop a sound understanding of the role that computers and electronics have within design and technological activities. Students will also develop an awareness of the social implications of design and technology and the impact that rapid technological development has on the consumer society.

The following areas of knowledge will be addressed during the course: The use of ICT to enhance design and technological activity including the use of computer aided design and computer aided manufacture.

  • Understanding and production of modern products including circuits.
  • Recognition and analysis of situations likely to offer scope for improvement and to act upon existing product deficiencies.
  • The ability to design effectively in an area chosen in response to an identified need.
  • Understanding of the properties of materials and the methods of working them.
  • Selection of suitable materials and techniques for given purposes.
  • The ability to form and shape materials, using appropriate methods.
  • Knowledge of particular technological concepts and the ability to apply them.
  • The ability to use appropriate strategies to develop design ideas at various stages of the design process
  • Knowledge of ergonomics and designing for human needs.
  • The ability to communicate ideas by a variety of means.
  • The ability to recognise all the relevant factors in making a reasoned judgement.
  • An understanding of the implications of technology for society and its impact on the quality of life.

Are there any trips or extracurricular activities linked to this course?

Yes. Our trip programme varies each year but has recently included a visit to the Jaguar and Morgan car manufacturing plants.  In January 2018 we are due to visit various design and manufacturing centres in Milan, Italy. 

What skills or learning approach do I need for this subject?

Imagination, originality, enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard will be essential assets. Central to the course is the design and production of high quality products suitable for production and students will be encouraged to adopt professional techniques to achieve this.

How is it examined?

Scheme of Assessment:

AS Level
Unit 1: Examination – 1.5 hours. Technical principles and designing and making principles. 50% of total AS marks
Unit 2: Non-exam assessment (NEA) – Design portfolio and prototype product. 50% of total AS marks

A Level
Unit 1: Examination - 2.5 hours.  Technical Principles, 30% of total A Level marks
Unit 2: Examination - 1.5 hours.  Designing and making principles, 20% of total A Level marks
Unit 3: Non-exam assessment (NEA) – Substantial design portfolio and prototype product. 50% of total A Level marks

Will I need to do coursework? 

Yes – It is now called non-exam assessment (NEA). You will design and make a prototype product and produce an associated design folder.  There is an NEA for the AS and A Level.

What syllabus do you follow?

AQA AS Design and Technology: Product Design
AQA A-level Design and Technology: Product Design

Examination method: 

Written exam x 1 for AS, written exam x 2 for A Level

Coursework: Yes.

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset

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