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Product Design A level at John Henry Newman Catholic College

Course description

The AS/A2 course is a natural progression from GCSE and commences with a step-by-step approach to developing your style through mini projects and technique specific exercises. The teaching methods used are varied, but centre around demonstration and hands-on work. You will also be expected to practice and develop your own style and research strategies. You will design and make products that are fit for purpose, satisfy wants and needs, and enhance our day-to-day lives, and most importantly, give you the opportunity to demonstrate your design and technology capability.

Course content

What will I learn?

Through contextual challenges you will have the freedom to take design risks and innovate in a situation where it is safe to test and refine ideas. You will be taken through a cycle of iterative design to put the theory you learn along the way into practice on a real design, make and evaluate project. In AS, the contextual challenge will be set by us, but at A level you will be encouraged to independently identify a real world design problem to solve.

Entry requirements

Students will be at a significant advantage if they have studied a Design Technology subject at GCSE. A large proportion of the assessment is written, and therefore a Grade 5 in English is desirable. You will be required to research and develop design solutions independently. Strong self-motivation is very important and the key to success in Product Design.


Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology – written examination (50%)

  1. Materials
  2. Performance characteristics of materials
  3. Digital technologies
  4. Factors influencing the development of products
  5. Effects of technological developments
  6. Potential hazards
  7. Features of manufacturing industries
  8. Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment
  9. Current legislation
  10. Information handling, modelling and forward planning
  11. Further processes and techniques

Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project – examined assessment (50%)

You will undertake a small-scale design, make and evaluate project in response to a realistic contextual challenge, taking into account the needs and wants of the user. The project consists of a portfolio and prototype.

Future opportunities

The course covers many creative design areas which will allow you to follow routes onto HND’s and degrees in:

  • Design
  • Graphics
  • Product design
  • Interior design
  • Automotive
  • Sports equipment
  • Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Town and country planning
  • Landscape
  • Teaching
  • Maritime/naval architecture

All man-made things have to be designed and so the potential career opportunities in:

  • Graphics
  • Product Design
  • Exhibition
  • Automotive and Interior design
  • Architecture

Example:Architecture at the University of Cambridge(Entry requirements A Level A*AA) Product Design: Jewellery and Fashion Productsat Sheffield Hallam University(Entry requirements A Level BCC). All man-made things have to be designed and so the potential career opportunities in: • Graphics • Product Design • Exhibition • Automotive and Interior design • Architecture

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 14 November 2017
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