A Level Product Design

Qualification Level: Level 3

A-Level Design and Technology: Product design requires students to engage in both practical and theoretical study. This specification requires students to cover design and technology skills and knowledge as set out below. These have been separated into:

  • Technical principles
  • Designing and marking principles
  • Course Units
    Technical Principles
    • Materials and their applications
    • Performance characteristics of materials
    • Enhancement of materials
    • Forming, redistribution and addition processes
    • The use of adhesives and fixings
    • The use of finishes
    • Modern industrial and commercial practive
    • Efficient use of materials
    • Digital design and manufacture
    • The requirements for product design and manufacture
    • Health and Safety
    • Protecting design and digital property
    • Design for manufacturing, maintenance, repair and disposal
    • Feasibility studies
    • Enterprise and marketing in the development of products
    • Design communcation
    Designing & Marking Principles
    • Design methods and processes
    • Design theory
    • How technology and cultural changes can impact on the work of designers
    • Product life cycle
    • Design processes
    • Critical analysis and evaluation
    • Selecting appropriate tools, equipment and processes
    • Accuracy in design and manufacture
    • Responsible design
    • Design for manufacture and project management
    • National and internation standards in product design
  • Modules
    Assessment method

    Paper 1 
    What’s assessed
    Technical principles
    How it’s assessed

    • Written exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes
    • 120 marks
    • 30% of A-Level

    Mixture of short answer and extended response.

    Paper 2 
    What’s assessed
    Designing and making principles
    How it’s assessed

    • Written exam: 1 hour and 30 minutes
    • 80 marks
    • 20% of A-Level

    Mixture of short answer and extended response questions.
    Section A: Product analysis: 30 marks
    Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s).
    Section B: Commercial manufacture: 50 marks
    Mixture of short and extended response questions.

    Non-exam assessment (NEA) 
    What’s assessed
    Practical application of technical principles, designing and marking principles.
    How it’s assessed

    • Substantial design and make project
    • 100 marks
    • 50% of A-Level

    Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.

  • Entry Criteria

    Entry requirement: GCSE grade 5 in English. Previous study in Design and Technology is desirable but not essential.

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