Design and Technology (Product Design) A Level at The Coopers' Company and Coborn School
This course intends to equip students with design skills for the future. In doing so they will be able to recognise design needs and develop an understanding of how current global issues, including integrating technology, impacts on today’s world. It also encourages creativity and innovation so that students will have the confidence to innovate and produce creative design solutions as they develop their own design brief with a client/end user. It provides clear progression from GCSE and beyond to HE/Careers through knowledge, understanding and design/making skills so that students will have a coherent experience of moving from the breadth of the GCSE to the specialisation depth of A level and beyond.
COMPONENT 1: Principles of design and technology (2 hours 30 minutes written exam, 50% of the qualification)
The paper includes calculations, short-open and open-response questions. as well as extended-writing questions focused on:
- Analysis and evaluation of design decisions and outcomes, against a technical principle, for prototypes made by others
- Analysis and evaluation of wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts
COMPONENT 2: Independent design and make project (Non-examined assessment, 50% of the qualification)
In this component students are given the opportunity to apply the skills they have acquired and developed throughout this course of study. They will design and make a prototype which is the result of a problem and design context, which they identify individually and/or in consultation with a client.
The four parts of the project include:
1. Identifying opportunities for design Identification of a design problem, investigation of needs and research and specification
2. Designing a prototype Design ideas, development of a design idea, final design solution, review of development and final design and communication of design ideas
3. Making a prototype Design, manufacture and realisation of a final prototype, including tools and equipment and quality and accuracy 4. Evaluating own design and prototype Testing and evaluation
Within the project students will also need to include the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and provide evidence of modelling. They will need to incorporate issues relating to sustainability and the impact their prototype may have on the environment. Students will be expected to analyse and evaluate design decisions and outcomes for prototypes/products made by themselves and others. Lastly, they will also be expected to analyse and evaluate wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.
Candidates wishing to study Product Design should have studied a GCSE course in Resistant Materials, Graphic Products or Product Design. They should have achieved a grade C or above in any of these subjects or GCSE Art.
As well as using traditional teaching methods, students will use the latest CAD software and CAM laser cutter to design and make their products. Interacting with design is an essential part of the course and, as such, the department will organise trips to the New Designers exhibition and seminars at the Institute of Education (IofE).
Students who have studied this course in the past have gone on to follow a range of subjects at degree level including Product Design, Design Management, Automotive Design, Architecture and Engineering.
Product Design combines well with the majority of subjects offered within the sixth form, and is particularly useful as a practical complement to more theoretical areas of study. There is clearly common ground with Physics and Mathematics, but also many of our former students have combined Design with Art, for example.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Coopers' Company and Coborn School directly.