Design Technology (Product Design) - A Level
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.
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
Why should I come to Canon Slade to study Design Technology?
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 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.
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.