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Design & Technology - AS / A level at Ipswich School

Course description

The proportion of people who have the ability to appreciate the influence that design has on the world around us is far too small. You are surrounded by design every second of your life. Studying AS and A2 level Design and Technology at Ipswich School will provide you with the opportunity to absorb a deeper understanding of the designed world. The experiences and knowledge gained within the subject will be of great benefit to all candidates.

If you decide to pursue the subject at a higher level, you will discover that the course provides a foundation for all areas of commercial and industrial design. Many of our students go on to study courses in architecture, engineering, product and other forms of design. The OCR syllabus offers the flexibility for you to choose the focus of your study, follow your own personal direction and work to your strengths.

Course content

The course encourages an awareness and understanding of economic, social, aesthetic, cultural, health and environmental factors relevant to the subject area. You will take many of the skills learnt during your GCSE studies and push them towards a professional standard. The use of CAD/CAM, creative drawing, graphic communication, materials knowledge and manufacturing processes are all major components for the study of AS and A2 Design Technology.

Entry requirements

In order to study the subject successfully, we recommend a grade B or above at GCSE Design Technology.


The assessment for AS/A2 level consists of four components:

AS Level

The AS GCE is made up of two mandatory units which form 50% of the corresponding four-unit Advanced GCE.

* F521: Advanced Innovation Challenge. (40% AS, 20% A2)

Candidates take part in a timed design challenge based on a pre-released theme, taken under examination conditions. The challenge consists of a workbook, a modelling exercise and a written paper. The challenge is held at school and is marked externally by OCR.

* F522: The Product Study. (60%AS, 30%A2) Candidates carry out an in depth product analysis resulting in suggestions for improvements. This is a coursework component which is marked by the teacher, internally standardised at school and externally moderated by OCR.

A2 Level

The Advanced GCE is made up of two mandatory units at AS and two further mandatory units at A2:

* F523: Design, Make and Evaluate. (30% A2) Candidates are required to produce a coursework portfolio and product which fully demonstrates their designing, making and evaluation skills using creativity, flair and innovation. The coursework consists of designing, making, and evaluating a product, a marketing presentation, and a review and reflection. This unit is intended to draw upon and develop skills learnt in other units.

* F524: Product Design. (20% A2) This is a written paper that consists of two components. Candidates are able to select questions across the focus material areas. Component One consists of eight questions. Each question follows a common format. 24 of the 36 marks are drawn from the Core content and relate to the material focus. 12 marks are allocated to the specific material content from each of the focus areas. Candidates answer one question. Component Two assesses the abilities of candidates to make immediate design thinking responses to a given situation. It is intended to be a discriminator in identifying those candidates who can effectively use their experiences and knowledge in designing and making.

Further information

The Design and Technology Department has continued to flourish, facilitating a modern approach to teaching and keeping up to date with the rapidly changing world of design. Studying design will complement all your subjects and we hope develop, stimulate and sustain your interests.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ipswich School directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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