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Design and Technology A level at The Becket School

Course description

A-Level Design and Technology is essentially a practical course in which students will have the opportunity to continue to develop both their design and making skills previously gained at GCSE. The course will be of interest to anyone wishing to pursue a career in the field of Product Design, Engineering and Architecture, but it may equally be considered by students wishing to keep their options open by simply selecting three or four wide ranging A-Levels which will provide them with a sound basis for university entrance.

In addition to developing their design and making skills students will begin to consider the role and responsibilities of the professional designer. This will involve developing an understanding of environmental issues and the application of a variety of technologies within production processes both at an industrial level and in the school workshop. They will also study the way in which the designer responds to human needs and participates in the shaping of human values.

Course content

The Advanced Innovation Challenge

During the first year of the course and as an integral part of the AS level, students will be introduced to a context e.g. Sporting events. Following on from this, students will be required to gather research to prepare for the practical based challenge.

The Advanced Innovation Challenge is externally assessed by OCR.

The Product Study

The product study constitutes the practical coursework element of the AS level in year 12. Students will choose an existing designed product which they will study, analyse, and evaluate against other similar products before drawing up their own brief and specification to improve the product in some way. Students will not be expected to completely remake the product in terms of a working prototype but they will be expected to model their ideas and carry out tests to determine the success of their proposals. The final submission will consist of a folder of 12 to 18 A3 sheets of analysis and design and any models which may have been made. This work is assessed in school and externally moderated by OCR.

The Major Design Project

The major design project is intended to occupy approximately 70 hours of contact time but students should be aware that this will need to be supplemented by a considerable amount of private study calling for a high degree of self-discipline, organisation and motivation. The major project allows students considerable freedom to identify and select a design problem in an area which will both interest and motivate them as well as allowing them to develop new skills with materials and processes. Projects undertaken in the past have included: Design Workstation; VW wardrobe; Ferrari showroom seating; High street fashion storage and display; Cycle Repair Stand; Outdoor Furniture; Rocking Horse for Children with Cerebral Palsy; Hi-fi Speakers; Portable Easel. The major project is internally assessed and then moderated by OCR.

Assessment

There is one written examination at the end of year 13.

Units for AS Level:

Unit 1: Advanced Innovation Challenge. (40% AS – 20% A).

Unit 2: Product Study. (60% AS – 30% A).

Units for A2 Level:

Unit 3: Design, make and evaluate. (30% A).

Unit 4: Examination. (20% A). 2hrs 30mins.

Future opportunities

Design and Technology is an excellent A-level for anyone considering a career in the field of design. Coupled with Mathematics and/or Physics it is an ideal combination for those design courses with a bias towards engineering such as Industrial Design, civil engineering or Automotive Design. Coupled with Art and Design it will equip students for the more aesthetically biased courses such as Consumer Product Design, graphic and Packaging Design. There is of course a national shortage of teachers of Design and Engineering anyone considering this option as a career would find this course essential.

Further information

Beyond the Classroom

In addition to the usual classroom/workshop activities the department will, occasionally, arrange for students to visit industry to see how some industrial processes are carried out. There have also been trips to the Design Museum at Butler’s Wharf in Docklands, London.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Becket School directly.

Last updated date: 10 October 2016

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