Design Technology – Product Design

Board: AQA
Syllabus:7552

About the subject

The aims of Product Design are to encourage students to develop and sustain their own innovation, creativity and design and technology capability, to recognise constraints and to produce high quality products. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of the influences of the processes and products of design and technological activity from a historical perspective and in current practice.

Fifty percent of the overall award is earned through design coursework projects where students are expected to adopt a commercial approach to designing and making their own products. Fifty percent is through written examination. The examination is a synoptic assessment requiring students to work across different parts of a qualification and to show their accumulated knowledge and understanding of a topic or subject area. Synoptic assessment enables students to show their ability to combine their skills, knowledge and understanding with breadth and depth of the subject. The examined unit contains a substantial content (15%) where GCSE Higher Tier maths knowleged is required.

Learning styles

The nature of the units for this award are intended to encourage students to be independent learners from the outset.? The starting point for the exam-based units is in the research of existing products and design styles. This is also required for the coursework project that are undertaken in the Autumn/Spring terms of both the first and second year. Students are expected to find out about and critically analyse: materials, processes, components and systems in order to make choices for the production of their own designs.
The Spring term is a combination of producing practical prototypes and final outcomes in the workshop along with theoretical work to prepare for the written exams in the Summer term.

Students can expect a variety of learning experiences during the course including:

  • Group activities and presentations
  • Intense workshops in specific skills e.g. CAD. 3D Printing etc
  • Practical experience for realisation of products where the students will build upon their existing manufacturing skills
  • Independent and homework activities in the Autumn term centre round the production of the coursework design folder with phased deadlines for each criterion. In the Spring and Summer term independent work will be concerned with reinforcing knowledge, and gaining exam and study skills
  • Regular assessments will be followed up with ‘one to one’ feedback on progress where targets will be set for future assessments

Students will be expected to have extensive evidence of the use of CAD and DTP in their work and Collyer’s is well placed to support them in this.

Subject Combinations and Progression

Product design is suited to students who are taking either Science or Arts combinations of subjects. The broad nature of the specification enables a diverse range of career aims including product design and innovation, architecture, interior design, exhibition and graphic design. Coursework projects can be tailored to meet a particular interest that a student might have.

Minimum Subject Entry requirements

Grades 5 or above in GCSE Maths (Higher Tier equivalent) and English and a keen interest in Design. GSCE in DT is not an essential requirement for entry onto the course, however a 6 in Maths is needed in this case.