Design and Technology - Product Design A-Level

    Qualification Level: A Level.

    Qualification Duration 2 years

    Exam Board : Edexcel

    What is Product Design?

    Product Design is all around us! Everything we come into contact with from our smart phones to our plastic milk bottles or from a Ferrari F1 car to a child’s scooter has been considered and designed by someone. There is a huge industry made up of many different roles that go into producing all of our products that we take for granted. Concept artists, materials analysts, designers, modelling specialists… the list goes on. This is what makes Product Design such a varied and interesting course and career.

    The Product Design course offered at The Emmbrook School provides students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the principles of design and the role of the designer in society. This course follows on from the successful new GCSE Product Design course at Emmbrook. It also links very well to the Resistant Materials GCSE and will be of great interest to those who have studied Engineering. It now combines the old courses of Product Design (Graphics) and Product Design (Resistant Materials), making it more suitable for a wider range of students.

    Course content

    The course is divided into two main modules with equal 50/50 weighting:

    • A written examination - 2 hours 30 minutes.
    • An independent Design and Make Project.

    In preparation for the examination and support knowledge for the design and make project, students will look at the Performance characteristics of materials, processes and techniques. The effects of technological development and digital technologies. Information handling, modelling and forward planning. We also look at factors that influence the development of products as well as managing risks and safety in industry. Sustainability and the environment are also studied in depth, having a substantial impact on all areas of the course.

    For the ‘coursework’ module, students individually and in consultation with a client will identify a problem to design and develop a range of potential solutions which include the use of computer-aided design and modelling. Students will realise one potential solution through practical making activities. The portfolio will contain approximately 40 sides of A3 paper (or electronic equivalent)

    There are four parts to the assessment:

    • Identifying Opportunities for Design
    • Designing a Prototype
    • Making a Prototype
    • Evaluating own Design and Prototype

    Trips and other costs:

    Students are required to resource their own materials. Trips include gallery visits. Outside speakers are invited in as and when appropriate.

    What you need

    Five GCSE grades A* to C including a minimum grade C in either, Product Design, Resistant Materials or Engineering. Potential candidates who have not studied these subjects at GCSE grades may apply on individual merit.

    Career and further study

    As a subject, Product Design teaches students to be creative and analytical. They will learn research techniques that lead to clear objectives as well as working in teams to create group outcomes. They will build on essential communication skills through visual, written and data led outcomes. All these skills can be used in a myriad of employment situations, but specifically relate to Graphic Design, Product Design, Sports Design, Engineering, research etc. Many students go on to study these areas at University level but also use these skills in related industries where communication and an understanding of aesthetics and creativity are valuable assets. University graduates have gone on to be creative at companies such as Lego, Dyson, Microsoft, Orange, Nokia and Alpkit.