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Design and Technology AS Level at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman

Course description

This course offers a unique opportunity for candidates to develop their capacity for imaginative, innovative thinking, creativity and independence. Problem solving and organisation skills are developed by designing and making products in a wide range of contexts relating to their personal interests. Knowledge, understanding and skills covered at GCSE level are extended, with greater emphasis placed on exploring the wider context of society and the environment, and on the relationships between designer, manufacturer and user in the world in which we live.

The WJEC Examination Board specifically aims to provide opportunities for candidates to gain a very broad understanding of Design and Technology, and encourages them to develop critical thinking and interdisciplinary skills. It enables us to offer a variety of teaching and learning routes and to encourage students to explore a flexible approach to the course, which suits their individual interests and experiences. We employ a wide range of materials and equipment including CAD/CAM.

Who is it for?

  • Students who are considering further study or a career in a design or engineering field or architecture
  • Students who wish to broaden their post 16 studies to gain a fuller understanding of the world in which we live and to develop as discerning consumers able to make informed choices.
  • Anyone who wishes to develop skills which would prove useful and transferable to their main area of study. These include analysis, problem solving, project management, ICT and manual dexterity.
  •  Students who are interested in or have an aptitude for design and want to explore the subject for a further one or two years.

Course content

The AS course consists of two units:

  1. Written Examination

The first section of this two hour paper requires short answers and tests candidates' specific knowledge of the subject. The second section is a single open-ended essay type response and assesses knowledge of wider issues. Both sections give students a choice of questions.

  1. Design and Make Tasks

This coursework unit begins with an in-depth analysis of an existing product or situation. This is then used as the basis for the design and manufacture of a new product for an identified target audience. The project also consists of a design folder and sketchbook. The choice of topic for this task is left to the candidate in consultation with their teacher. Relevant skills and knowledge are developed throughout the year.

Entry requirements

GCSE Point Scores

In advising students as to the most suitable choice of post-16 courses/programmes of study, we use a GCSE 'Point Score' as a benchmark.

The Score is made up from the best six GCSE grades achieved by the student using the following scale:-

A* - 8 points

A - 7 points

B - 6 points

C - 5 points

D - 4 points

E – 3 points

F – 2 points

G - 1 point

This process has been used successfully over a number of years and proved to be an accurate predictor of likely success through the various possible routes of study.

Yellow Route:

  • To study 4 A Level subjects over 2 years – 42 points (minimum) including Maths & English (following consultation)
  • To Study 3 A Level subjects over 2 years points – 30 points (minimum) including Maths & English

Green Route:

  • To study a green route a point score of 30 points from at least 4 separate subjects

N.B. Although, as stated above, these ‘scores’ are good predictors of likely success upon entry into the Sixth Form, each student is treated as an individual and the post GCSE Interview is a very important process. Parents are welcome to be present at these interviews.


  1. Examination Paper: 40% (20% of whole A Level) - marked externally
  2. Design and Make Tasks: 60% (30% of whole) - marked by school

Future opportunities

This course will aid entry into many careers involving design, including product design, architecture, engineering, graphic design, and interior design.

It also supports related fields such as media, computer technology, electronics and any career involving analytical thinking, problem solving and creativity.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ysgol Dyffryn Aman directly.

Last updated date: 08 November 2016
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