product design

A Level Product Design

Exam Board
Entry requirements
Grade 5  or above in a Technology subject
What will I study?
Core Technical Principles
1. Materials and their applications
• Knowledge and understanding of simple comparative tests for mechanical material properties.
• Practical methods for investigating and testing material properties to assess their suitability for a range of uses.
2. The requirements for product design, development and manufacture
• Product development & improvement.
• Inclusive design.
• Ergonomics and anthropometrics
3. Design communication
• Design illustration and communication
4. Digital design and manufacture
• Computer Aided Design (CAD)
• Computer Aided Manufacturing Processes (CAM)
• Virtual Modelling
• Rapid Prototyping and processes
5. Efficient use of material’s
6. Health & Safety
• Safe working practices
• Health & safety in product manufacture
• Safety in products
7. Feasibility studies
8. Design for manufacturing, maintenance and repair.
• How modern products are designed to consider ease of manufacture, possible repair/maintenance and disassembly at end of life.
• Maintenance
• Ease of manufacture
• Disassembly
9. Protecting designs and intellectual property
10. Enterprise and marketing in the development of products
Core designing & making skills
1. Design Methods & processes
• Use of primary and secondary data to understand client and/or user needs.
2. Design theory
• Historical influences
• Design movements
• Examples of designers and their work and how their designs were influenced by design principles.
3. How technology & cultural changes can impact on the work of designers
• Socio-economic influences
• Major developments in technology
• Product life cycle
• Social moral and ethical issues
4. Design Process
• Students should develop and understanding of the design process in developing their own products
• How the iterative process works in industrial or commercial contexts
5. Critical analysis and evaluation
• Students develop first-hand experience of analysing and evaluating their own products and the work of others.
• Develop knowledge of how products might be tested and evaluated in industrial or commercial contexts.
6. Selecting appropriate specialist tools, techniques and processes
7. Accuracy in design and manufacture
8. How to evaluate products, taking into account the views of potential users
9. Responsible design
10. Approaches to project management
11. Design for manufacture
12. National and international standards in Product Design
13. The characteristics and working properties of materials
14. Performance characteristics of materials
• Paper and boards
• Polymer based sheet and films
• Woods
• Metals
• Polymers
• Composites
• Enhanced materials
• Polymer enhancement
• Metal enhancement
• Modern Materials
• Smart Materials
15. The use of adhesives and fixings
16. The use of surface finishes and coatings
17. Industrial and commercial practices
There are two exam papers and a coursework element to the course.

Paper 1:
Core technical principles and core designing and making principles.
How it's assessed
• Written exam: 2 hours
• 100 marks
25% of A-level
Mixture of short answer, multiple choice and extended response
Paper 2:
Specialist knowledge, technical and designing and making principles.
How it's assessed
• Written exam: 2 hours
25% of A-level
Mixture of short answer, multiple choice and extended response questions.
Section A:
• Product Analysis.
• Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s).

Section B:
• Commercial manufacture.

Mixture of short and extended response questions

Non-exam Assessment
What's assessed
Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles and specialist knowledge.
How it's assessed
• Substantial design and make task
• 45 hours
• 100 marks
• 50% of A-level

Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.
What skills will I gain?
You will develop a variety of skills both theoretical and practical. These skills you will then use to enhance your Product Design studies.
You will develop on your CAD / CAM training from your GCSE to produce both 2D and 3D products using a high number of 3D printers and laser machines based at the College. These skills will then be used to model or to make part of your final prototype.
You will gain interpersonal skills working within your product design team, as you communicate and develop your ideas along the path of your coursework project.
Studying beyond the classroom  You will need to put in an addition 3 hours per week of independent work to enhance your studies. This work will involve preparation for future lessons, development of your coursework portfolio or practical based product testing.

You will work with various companies (which include Rolls Royce, Thorntons, Games Workshop, Laing O’Rouke and Boots) to undertake different parts of the course within an industrial setting.

Future pathways
If you work hard you could continue your studies towards a career in;
Industrial Design
Interior Design
Graphic Design
Automotive Design
Motor sport design/engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Theatre Design
Textile Design
Product Design
Costume design making
Computer Games Design
Design for film/ TV and events
Architectural Design and the Built Environment Architecture
Digital Media Technology
Fashion Accessory Design
Food Science & Technology
Nutrition and Food Science
Furniture Design
Medical Product Design
Motion Graphic Design
Army, Navy, Air force