Product Design

Examination Board: AQA

Course Code: 7552

Entry Requirements: Minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade 5. Photography GCSE is preferred but not a requirement

Why Study Product Design?

Product Designers follow a design sequence with a strong emphasis on user needs, to design and make successful products in response to a given or self-defined brief. Students learn to use various forms of visual communication to present their ideas or concepts such as CAD 3D modelling. Fabrication is a big part of the realisation of a Product Designers’ idea. Students develop competence and confidence in using a variety of reductive and additive manufacturing techniques which include: i.e. vacuum forming, metal turning, forging, casting, milling and CAM - laser cutting and 3D printing.

The experience of dreaming up an idea and making it tangible, cannot be overstated. Students will finish their course with several digital portfolios, which they may present to prospective employers as a testimony of their skillset and relevant experience.  A strong emphasis is placed on industry related skills, to facilitate a near seamless transition from Sixth-form to an apprenticeship, workplace or further study at tertiary institutions. These are developed in consultation with our corporate partners.

What will I study?

In Year 12, the course begins with students learning a variety of practical workshop skills. This will enable them to manufacture their own products from raw or repurposed materials. These will include Multitools or Jewellery. In conjunction with this, students will learn the design process including different aspects of research, hand drawing skills, CAD and Maths.

A Multi-disciplinary workshop environment with access to a variety of machines and resistant materials, facilitates projects such as the multitool, packaging, metal clamp and electronic circuits.

Year 13 begins with an external unit set by the exam board where students choose their own design brief and manufacture their own product using the skills they have learnt in Year 12.

The course is completed with two written papers based on the technical principles of design and making.

How will I study?

Product Design students learn practical fabrication skills as a group or as individuals during lesson time. Other lessons are more theory based including aspects of maths and the design process. Students are encouraged to work independently on their research and designs while taking advice and guidance from teaching staff.

How will my work be assessed?

Students are given both verbal and written feedback from staff at intervals throughout the course.

The NEA design and make project is worth 50% of the qualification and is completed based on variety of themes chosen by the student. Work is marked in-house by teaching staff and then assessed by an external moderator.

There are also two written papers. Technical principles which is worth 30% of the overall mark and Designing and Making principles, which is worth 20%.

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