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Product Design and the Built Environment A Level at Truro and Penwith College

Course description

Following the Bauhaus tradition of multi-disciplinary 3D design this course offers you the opportunity to develop your creative practice and understanding of the wider design industries. Creative freedom and a broad contextual understanding of individual practitioners and design companies encourage students to produce a range of different outcomes including Product Design, Architecture and Interior Design.

You will begin the AS course with a variety of different workshops, working and modelling with wood, clay, wire and foam. We encourage our students to use creative technologies, CAD, 3D printing and laser cutting/engraving to enhance the finish of final outcomes and wherever possible ensure the use of sustainable materials and processes. Throughout the course you will explore the rich history of design and learn from designers and architects both past and present.

Sketchbooks/creative journals are used to record your evolving skills, both 2D and 3D, CAD and traditional, critically evaluating your ideas and processes as you progress and learn throughout the course.  By the end of the AS you will have developed a body of coursework which fully explores personal ideas through to a final professionally produced outcome.

The A2 Product Design and the Built Environment course builds on your learning in the first year. There is one personally negotiated, more focused coursework project and one exam project.

As well as being creative, there is a small written element.  The A2 year is supported by group presentations strengthening your analytical skills, through both discussion and written work, preparing you for Higher Education. Varied experimental 3D modelling workshops encourage you to work in new and exciting ways while extending your learning and potential.

Towards the end of the A2 course you are given eight weeks lecture time to prepare for a 15 hour exam. The preparation time forms a personal project responding to a chosen exam theme; the 15 hour exam time is used to create a final piece which resolves this project.

Component 1: Personal Investigation Coursework (AS)
Internally Assessed
100% of AS Level
The Personal Creative Enquiry consists of an extended, exploratory project/portfolio and outcome/s based on themes and subject matter, which are personal and meaningful to the learner. The Enquiry must integrate critical, practical and theoretical work.

Component 1: Personal Investigation (A2)
Internally Assessed
60% of A Level
The Personal Investigation consists of a major in-depth, practical, critical and theoretical investigative project/theme-based portfolio. Learners will be required to carry out an extended critical and contextual analysis (1000 word minimum requirement).

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment
Internally Assessed
40% of A Level
Learners will be required to independently develop a personal response to one of a varied range of stimuli. Learners will develop their response during a preparatory study period culminating in a 15 hour sustained focus study.

Entry requirements

The basic requirement is five GCSEs at grade C with a grade B or higher GCSE in an Art based course.

A keen interest in the importance of drawing in order to indulge your creativity and imagination, to communicate and clarify your ideas and help clients visualise what is proposed is absolutely necessary.


The Art Department is friendly, supportive, ambitious and hardworking. Achievement in this subject relies heavily on your attendance, punctuality and commitment to learning, both independently and within lectures.

  • You will be encouraged to try a broad range of approaches, which you will then refine into ways of working which suit your individual interests acquiring and developing specialist skills in your chosen discipline.
  • Independent work is fundamental to the course; at least 50% of all work assessed should have happened outside the classroom.
  • Homework is set weekly, initially it is set by lecturers and will be tightly specified and closely linked to class workshops; it will be monitored regularly. As the course develops you will be required to set your own homework/independent work based on agreed learning needs.
  • Your ongoing work will be assessed in lessons through focused 1:1 discussion. Sketchbook work will be assessed regularly for reflective, thoughtful, analytical critical evaluation and annotation. Emphasis is upon the development towards a final piece, through observation and technical, aesthetic and conceptual refinement.
  • You will also be assessed against how your research of art, craft, design, media and technologies in contemporary and past societies and cultures improves your own understanding and practice.
  • Discussions and presentations are a vital part of our assessment process and you will be expected to contribute to these during your lessons.

Future opportunities

A qualification in 3D Design is highly valued by many universities and employers alike and is applicable to almost any progression in Art and Design. This course would be particularly suitable for students interested in Architecture, Interior Design, Set Design and Sustainable Product Design.

Further information

Independent practice will be supported through PowerPoints, worksheets and other guides available through our Moodle course. We also provide further support through focussed boards on Pinterest. College trips to visit museums and galleries will be offered and we encourage our students to visit galleries both locally and nationally to support their work.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Truro and Penwith College directly.

Last updated date: 15 June 2016

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