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Design Technology - Product Design (3-D Design) - A Level at Canon Slade CofE School

Course description

This qualification has not yet been accredited by Ofqual and is only available in draft form by the various examination boards. Assurances have been given that accreditation will be granted in time for teaching in September 2017 and first award in August 2018.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”                                                                                    Steve Jobs

ARCHITECTURE, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, PRODUCT DESIGN, ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, MANUFACTURING, INDUSTRIAL DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN … Are you considering a career in a design or engineering related field? We have a fantastic track record of students who have gone on to study or pursue a career in these fields.

What does the course aim to do?

This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers, especially those in the creative and engineering industries. You will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put your learning into practice by producing products of your choice. Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

Course content

Paper 1 assesses knowledge of the core technical principles and core designing and making principles.

Paper 2 assesses specialist knowledge, designing and making principles.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in English and Mathematics plus 3 A*-C grades at GCSE with a points score of 5.5+ (which equals roughly 4xB/6 and 4xC/5), from the top 8 GCSEs taken in the first sitting.

Additional Subject requirements are as follows:

Course requirements: Grade C or above in an appropriate Technology (not ICT).



How is the course structured?

This is a linear qualification which means students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the two year course.

Paper 1 (written examination)

Paper 1 assesses knowledge of the core technical principles and core designing and making principles.

The exam is a mixture of short answers, multiple choice and extended responses.

• 2 hours

• 100 marks

• 25% of A-level

Paper 2 (written examination)

Paper 2 assesses specialist knowledge, designing and making principles.

The exam is a mixture of short answers, multiple choice and extended responses. Section A: Product Analysis Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s).

Section B: Commercial Manufacture Mixture of short and extended questions

• 2 hours

• 100 marks

• 25% of A-level

(NEA) – Non-Exam Assessment

This unit assesses the practical technical application of designing and making. Students will submit a design portfolio and a 3-D final artifact or prototype.

• 45 hours

• 100 marks

• 50% of A-level

Future opportunities

You could take this course with other advanced level courses such as Art and Design or Computing to prepare for higher education in areas of and design, technology, architecture or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to design and technology such as an Architect, Carpenter or Computer Technician. The course will also encourage you to explore your creative mind and help you develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.

Further information

Why should I come to Canon Slade to study Product Design?

The staff

We have a dedicated team of teachers who currently deliver the A level syllabus. They have all gained industrial experience before embarking on a career in teaching and each has a particular area of expertise, from CAD CAM through to Graphic Design and Engineering.

The facilities

The department is very well resourced in new manufacturing technology which includes: a CNC milling machine with a self-centring vice, a 3-D scanner, 2 x laser cutters, 2 x 3-D printers, an A3 colour printer and industry standard 3-D C.A.D software. It is also well equipped in more traditional machinery and equipment normally associated with a workshop environment, such as: a milling machine, a range of lathes, pillar drills, sand casting facilities, a MIG welder and a brazing hearth.

The educational trips

The department currently runs three trips over the course of the A Level. Each of these trips is used to enrich the teaching already delivered in the classroom and provides students with a greater understanding of the design and engineering industry. In the first trip, the students are taken to both the Morgan and Jaguar car plants in the Midlands. Here, students can compare the largely handcrafted manufacturing processes used to construct the Morgan Roadster, against the hi-tech robotic systems used by Jaguar to assemble the XF model at Castle Bromwich. The second trip offered to the students is to the New Designers Exhibition in London. At the exhibition students will get the opportunity to see over 3,000 of the most talented, newly graduated designers from across the UK exhibit their best work to potential employers. The final trip is to the JCB plant in Stoke-on-Trent, the students will experience an industrial approach to manufacturing and see the assembly of the JCB Backhoe.

The software

Computer Aided Design plays a crucial role in today’s modern design and engineering industry. The department recognises the importance of developing these skills and we have invested in one of the leading industry standard C.A.D applications, called SolidWorks. To enable students to develop and realise their design ideas using this technology, you will complete a C.A.D focused induction module.

The university Links

Due to the success of former students from Canon Slade, a number of universities have been keen to establish links with the department. Each year a number of universities will visit the school to discuss the courses they have to offer to our students. As well as promoting their courses, the universities will deliver ‘Master Class’ sessions and will often critique the work of our current students, offering additional avenues to explore with their projects.

The departmental alumni

One of the biggest attractions to choosing Product Design here at Canon Slade is our continued links with former students. The department works hard to up-date and maintain connections with students who have studied Product Design and have gone on to pursue a career in a related field. We now have over 80 students currently on the database, with a wide and varied range of design related career paths. The database allows us to link our students directly with former students with similar career objectives. The former students often provide information on courses, career advice and most importantly, guidance on the design and make project.

And it’s a STEM Subject

You might have heard of the ‘STEM agenda’ but might not know too much about it. STEM is the term given to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics by the current government to address a gap which has been created in the UK economy. In short, we need more scientists, engineers and technologists in today’s workplace and as such, it offers great potential for future employment and university study.


To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff. For more information about this course contact us directly on 01204 333343

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: 01 November 2016
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