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A level Product Design Years 12 & 13

Specification

Edexcel - The specification and assessment structure can be found at the link: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/design-technology-product-design-2017.html

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology

Develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • A wide range of materials; including modern and smart materials, and processes used in product design and manufacture.
  • Contemporary industrial and commercial practices applied to designing and manufacturing products, and to appreciate the risks involved. Students should have a good working knowledge of health and safety procedures and relevant legislation.
  • ICT and systems and control, including modern manufacturing processes and systems, and students will be expected to understand how these might be applied in the design and manufacture of products.
  • Designers from the past provide inspiration for present and future designing. Students should be aware of the important contribution that key historic movements and figures have on modern design thinking.
  • Wider issues in design and technology, that design and technological activities can have a profound impact on the environment and on society and that these, together with sustainability, are key features of design and manufacturing practice.

Mathematical and scientific principles are an important part of designing and developing products and students will be expected to apply these principles when considering the designs of others.

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

50% of the qualification

Content overview

  • Topic 1: Materials.
  • Topic 2: Performance characteristics of materials.
  • Topic 3: Processes and techniques.
  • Topic 4: Digital technologies.
  • Topic 5: Factors influencing the development of products.
  • Topic 6: Effects of technological developments.
  • Topic 7: Potential hazards and risk assessment.
  • Topic 8: Features of manufacturing industries.
  • Topic 9: Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment.
  • Topic 10: Current legislation.
  • Topic 11: Information handling, Modelling and forward planning.
  • Topic 12: Further processes and techniques.

Assessment overview

Students must have calculators and rulers in the examination.

The assessment is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The paper includes calculations, short-open and open-response questions. as well as extended-writing questions focused on:

  • Analysis and evaluation of design decisions and outcomes, against a technical principle, for prototypes made by others
  • Analysis and evaluation of wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.

The paper will include questions that target mathematics at higher-tier level in a GCSE Qualification in Mathematics.

Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project

The purpose of this component is to undertake a substantial design, make and evaluate project which will test students’ skills in designing and making a prototype. The term ‘prototype’ means an appropriate working solution to a need or want that is sufficiently developed to be tested and evaluated (for example, full-sized products, scaled working models or functioning systems).

Students are required to individually and/or in consultation with a client identify a problem and design context from which they develop a range of potential solutions and then realise one through practical making activities. The project must allow candidates to apply knowledge and understanding in a product development process to design, make and evaluate prototypes.

In this project, students will be encouraged to use creativity and imagination to develop and modify designs, and to design and make prototypes that solve real world problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants, aspirations and values.

Students are expected to take ownership of all aspects of their work in this project, in order to allow them total control of their responses and to target assessment criteria effectively, and to maximise their achievements. In order to reach high attainment levels, students must adopt a commercial design approach to their work, reflecting how a professional designer might deal with a design problem and its resolution.

Mathematical and scientific principles are an important part of designing and developing products and students will be expected to be able to apply these principles when considering their designs and the designs of others.

Assessment information

Non-Examined Assessment (NEA)

50% of the qualification

  • Students will produce a substantial design, make and evaluate project.
  • The project will consist of a portfolio and a prototype.
  • Students individually and/or in consultation with a client identify a problem and design context. The final prototype must be produced under immediate guidance or supervision.

Year 12

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 Product Design theory; timbers, metals, polymers, processes, specialist tools, composites, papers and boards

Materials and components

Understanding interaction with our environments

2

Influencing factors of design, design movements and focused practical tasks

Ergonomics and design influences

Working with technology. Trialling and testing materials and processes including CAD and CAM
Spring Term
1 Digital Technology, design tasks, smart modern materials

Design and Market influences

Working directly with materials, tools and equipment to model and create
2 Digital Technology, design tasks, smart modern materials

Design and Market influences

Working directly with materials, tools and equipment to model and create
Summer Term
1 Non-Examined Assessment – establishing a problem to study

Investigating needs, wants and values of the client/user 

Analysis skills
2

Non-Examined Assessment

Research and specification

Defining the problem that needs to be solved

Year 13

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 Non-Examined Assessment
Product Design theory and Design and Manufacture

Ideas, development and planning for manufacture
Materials and Components

Working with technology. Trialling and testing materials and processes including CAD and CAM (laser cutting and/or 3D printing)
2 Non-Examined Assessment
Product Design theory

Making the product.

Workshop based machinery and CAD CAM incorporation
Processes and manufacture

Working directly with materials, tools and equipment
Spring Term
1 Non-Examined Assessment
Product Design theory

Making the product
Workshop based machinery and CAD CAM incorporation
Processes and manufacture.

Working directly with materials, tools and equipment

2 Non-Examined Assessment Testing and evaluating the manufactured product
Consumer research/testing.
Working directly with materials, tools and equipment
Summer Term
1 Revision

Exam technique
Past papers

Recap exam topics
Exam technique 

Assessments

Resources Topic Type of assessment
CAT 1 Materials, components and construction Development, prototypes, knowledge tests of materials, components and construction
CAT 2 Exam questions Materials, components and construction and design theories
CAT 3 Exam covering units 1-7

End of year Mock Exam

CAT 4 Coursework & theory Environmental influences, designing for maintenance, sustainability, life cycle, manufacturing systems, and emerging technologies.  Also, design – form over function
CAT 5 Coursework & theory

Laws and regulations, information handling, standards, critical path analysis and holistic product development
Final product & coursework portfolio
Mock exam

CAT 6 Final Examination  

Main Resources

Resource Details Term
Text books

Edexcel A Level Product Design

All
     
Recommended reading

Eco Design

Concept Design

Ergonomic Design

All
Recommended software Solidworks All

Enrichment opportunities

Activity Day and time or term
Coursework ‘Catch up’ and improvement time Lunchtimes at the discretion of the teacher

Where Next