Why should I study Design and Technology: Product Design?

A level Product Design is an enjoyable, interesting and stimulating course that challenges students’ creativity and increases their awareness of design in the world around them. Due to the diversity of skills learnt in the subject, employers and universities view successful students of Design and Technology as those who can think innovatively, work independently and understand the social, moral, economic and aesthetic needs of contemporary society. The subject is regarded as a creative and academic route of study. Students who study Design and Technology at A level frequently pursue degrees in Architecture, Engineering, Product Design, Industrial Design, Marketing and Media Studies, Interior Design and Design Management. The subject also complements those wishing to pursue a career in the field of Advertising or Art and Design/Fashion Design.

What skills will I gain?

Throughout the course students will gain a breadth of skills relating to the creative, practical and theoretical aspects of Design and Technology. Students will develop their problem solving skills and increase their ability to communicate through graphical images, 2D and 3D modelling, video clips, verbal presentations and text based work. ICT skills will also be enhanced; computer-generated design sheets are produced, evaluative video clips are made and students have the opportunity to engage in CAD CAM (using the laser cutter, Dye Sublimation press and 10 3D printer) during their practical sessions. In addition, although freehand drawing skills are taught and explored, many students pursue CAD programmes to produce their design ideas. The subject also provides the opportunity for students to really expand their practical workshop experience; new techniques and processes are learnt, a greater variety of tools and equipment used and new materials explored. Similarly, students will increase their abilities to think in an innovative, creative manner; a transferrable skill which is valued in many careers.

What will I learn?

The A level course builds upon skills and knowledge gained at GCSE but encourages students to respond to problems with an enhanced sense of innovation and a greater focus on developing marketable products suitable for contemporary society. Throughout the course, students will learn the following:

  • Modelling skills: High quality 2D and 3D modelling skills using graphical/CAD images, resistant materials, smart materials and modelling equipment.
  • Creative and innovative designing: Students will learn how to think creatively and respond to problems in an innovative and personal fashion.
  • Product analysis: Students will carry out in-depth product analysis tasks to increase their understanding of the main areas within product design.
  • Practical skills: The course focuses on honing model making skills which then form a solid basis for the high level of practical work required for the qualification. Students will learn advanced techniques and process and engage in a complete design project, starting with the development of their own design brief and culminating in a working, marketable final product.

Theoretical knowledge:

Students will study a range of topics, including Materials and their applications (including new and smart materials), Modern Industrial and Commercial Practice, Manufacturing Systems, Design Protection, Digital Design and Manufacture, Moral Issues in Design, Sustainability,

Marketing, Design Legislation and Health and Safety. In addition, students will also learn about contemporary and past designers and design eras.

Entry requirements

We normally require an 8 or 9 grade at GCSE ideally in Resistant Materials.

Examination Board: AQA (Product Design)

Mrs N. A. Jermyn
Head of Department