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Product Design

Why study Product Design?

Product Design is all around us. It affects all aspects of our lives whether it’s driving to work, opening the cereal packet, or shopping for a new mobile phone. The buildings and spaces we live in are designed, and everything we use is designed. There is nothing worse than trying to use something that has been designed badly! Studying this subject teaches you to find out what makes things work, how things are made in the real world and what goes into designing and making real products.

What does the course cover and what is expected of you?

In both the AS and A Level years, students will be expected to complete a range of design and practical projects. It is expected that candidates will spend up to 70 hours contact time and a reasonable amount of individual study time on both projects. For these projects it is expected that candidates would spend 5-8 hours a week on work outside the classroom.

Where can it take you?

Product Design is helpful or necessary in a broad variety of courses and careers, though in particular all those in Engineering, Design, Architecture, Computing, Planning, Surveying, Metallurgy, Practical Science, Environmental professions and Teaching.

Entry requirements

A good GCSE pass that must be in the discipline that the student wishes to continue with. .

Course assessment

There are 2 Components in the AS - one practical unit and one examination unit.

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology

Written examination: 2 hours, 50% of the qualification, 100 marks

Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project

Non-examined assessment: 50% of the qualification, 100 marks. The Contextual challenge is set no earlier than June 1st in the calendar year preceding the year in which the qualification awarded.

There are 2 Units on the A Level – again one practical unit and one examination unit. The practical unit this time consists of one major project that is a design and make for a chosen client and focusses on the feedback from a client and their needs and context rather than that of the designer.

 The A2 examination focusses on the environmental impacts of design and sustainability.

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes   50% of the qualification    120 marks

Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project

Non-examined assessment   50% of the qualification    120 marks

Exam Board

EDEXCEL (PEARSON)

Student View

“I would definitely say that it’s a subject where you are able to express yourself and be creative. You can do things at your own level and you learn new skills in practical work and design work. It’s challenging but not difficult. It’s easier to learn here than in mainstream. The teachers are more deaf aware and spend more time with you, they’re more approachable and make sure you can understand.”

Teacher's Tip

A Level Product Design is a great subject to study. The challenges are many and come thick and fast, but the sense of satisfaction when they are solved is huge! Students learn how to come up with options, problem solve, technical information and manufacturing techniques along with practical skills and environmental concerns. Its hard work and a big commitment to your time, but ultimately very satisfying.