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3D Design A level at Esher College

Course description

This is a broad based and diverse three-dimensional design course in which the design scale can vary. It is primarily concerned with designing for product, architecture, interior, jewellery and stage to meet a need in a functional and aesthetic manner. We want you to design innovative concepts that consider not only aesthetic and technical issues but also the environment and the role of the designer in the community. On the course, you’ll master design from conception to production. Learning through designing and making, you’ll experiment creatively with traditional design production processes as well as 3D digital technologies including CAD/CAM. You will experiment with media and processes, and develop and refine your ideas before presenting your outcomes.

Our aim is to feed your imagination and open your eyes to the possibilities of 3D design and the difference you can make to the world. This course is delivered in 4 coursework units over the two years with project work supported by lectures, demonstrations, professional experience and tutorials.

On this course you will develop investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding, critical judgement and presentation skills. You will experience working with a broad range of media and develop an enthusiasm for art, craft and design.

Course content

In the first year you will develop your design skills including sketching, developing and recording ideas and develop your understanding of how to design and make using a variety of approaches and techniques. Through a series of activities and short projects you will develop your appreciation of form and function, and the use of a range of materials and manufacturing processes for both commercial and one-off production. This will include the use of drawing and rendering techniques to communicate your ideas using CAD/CAM as part of the design process. You will become familiar with major design movements and the work of other designers in order to broaden your appreciation of good design. There is an emphasis on learning how and why designs are developed, and how you as a designer can make improvements.

In your second year you will have more freedom to explore your own area of design and you will take on the role of a professional designer through a mixture of set and self-generated projects giving you a wide portfolio to demonstrate your skills to Universities and potential employers. You will undertake a detailed ‘personal study’ with practical outcomes from a personal starting point.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for study at Esher College is 5 GCSEs at A* - C (or 9 – 4 in Maths and English).  We encourage students to aim significantly higher than this to ensure that study programmes are successfully completed.

Aside from the general criteria that the college requires, you will need to achieve at least a Grade C or above in any Art/Design related subject or any Design Technology area.

If you do not have a grade 4 in either GCSE English Language or Maths and you qualify to follow a study programme at the College, you will be required to retake one or both of these subjects in your first year.  A lack of GCSE English Language at grade 4 will significantly restrict study programme options.


This course is assessed on coursework. Students submit supporting studies and practical outcomes based on personal starting points to be submitted for final teacher assessment prior to moderation by OCR.

Assessment is through a Personal Investigation (60%), which consists of both a practical portfolio and a related written personal study, and an Externally Set Task (40%). 

Future opportunities

Any field of design but especially architecture, engineering, product design, jewellery design, interior design, furniture design and set design.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Esher College directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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