The AQA Product Design A-Level enables students to develop an understanding of the physical and mechanical properties in a broad range of materials and components. Students will look at the broader issues of design including: the environmental impact of products and their manufacture; methods in which materials and components can be manipulated to manufacture products; health and safety issues relevant to working with materials; computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacture (CAM); ergonomics and anthropometrics, inclusive design, and consumer safety; the life cycle of products including manufacture, use and functional aspects and final disposal.
The course here is designed to cover both the board’s specification and that of expanding a student’s design capability towards further education. The course is set up in Year 12 to give a broad foundation in design practice – these skills intended to bring out a student’s creativity, allow them to find their own strengths in the subject and to build their independence of learning. Key kills in sketching/drawing, CAD and 3D modelling are taught and encouraged as the basis for visualising ideas. Knowledge and understanding of wider design issues and technology are also regularly taught.
The tuition covers a broad range of content from the underpinning theory, design/ideation skills, sketching and design drawing through to CAD (Computer Aided Design). Evidence for assessment is compiled as an e-portfolio but produced in a wide range of software packages:
• Full Adobe Suite – Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
• CAD – Fusion 360, CREO, Keyshot, 2D Design.
• CAM - 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, Cam machines.
Under the guidance of our talented and experienced staff, students can produce work of a high standard with an emphasis on the production of functional, useful and beautiful products. With our excellent purpose-built facilities, well-equipped workshops and studios we offer students the opportunity to fully explore design and practical activities while encompassing the ideologies of innovation and technology.
A level Specification at a glance
• Paper 1 - Technical Principles 30% (Mix of short and extended responses)
• Paper 2 – Designing and making Principles 20% (Mix of short and extended responses + product analysis + commercial manufacture questions.)
• Non Examined Assessment/Coursework 50% (45hrs single substantial design and making task.)
The A level course is designed to prepares students for degree level and beyond - a high percentage of our students end up studying Product/Industrial Design, Product Engineering, Architecture, Engineering and Graphic Design.
For further information please contact Mr Pledger (Subject Leader of Design):
Grade 6 in GCSE Design Technology guarantees a place on this course.
Please note that applicants must also meet our overall entry requirements of scoring at least a total of 42 points (simply add up all your GCSE grades) and achieve a Grade 4 or higher in both English Language and Mathematics.
You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses such as Art and Design and Computing or to prepare for an Advanced GCE in Design and Technology, which could lead onto higher education in areas of and design, technology, architecture or more general higher education courses.With further training, you could go into a job related to design and technology such as an Architect, Carpenter or Computer Technician.You could also go straight into a job as the GCE is a recognised qualification that will encourage you to explore your creative mind and help you develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.