KS5 Design & Technology

Sixth Form (KS5) A Level Design & Technology: Product Design

Examination Board: Edexcel

The course helps students take a broad view of Design and Technology, develop their capacity to design and make products and appreciate the complex relations between design, materials, manufacture and marketing.
The course requires students to engage in both practical and theoretical study. This specification requires students to cover design and technology skills and knowledge that are set out into twelve key topics (see table at bottom of page).
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 industries.
Students will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on Design and Technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put learning in to practice by producing prototypes 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.
This qualification is linear, meaning that students will sit their exam and submit their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.
You will need an A*-B grade at GCSE in any Design and Technology discipline. The course suits students who are inquisitive, creative, hands on, problem solvers and self-motivated.
Year 12
The course will begin with a series of mini projects. These projects will introduce new making skills that will help you prepare for the NEA coursework project in Year 13. You will learn new designing skills and become more familiar with CAD/CAM equipment such as the laser cutters, CNC router and 3D printer.
The structure of the course will result in 4 coursework lessons a week and 1 lesson per week focusing on theory and exam preparation.
It is expected you spend a significant time outside of lessons working on coursework and carrying out further theoretical study. Workshops are available throughout and after the school day for students to continue working. Self-motivation and an ability to work independently are keys to success. There will be regular deadlines and weekly homework tasks throughout the year.
Although no formal exams take place, a series of mock examinations will occur at intervals during the year.
Year 13
Your NEA (coursework) will begin in September and run all the way to the deadline at the start of May, the NEA is a substantial designing and making activity.
You will produce coursework on A3 pages that you will be required to submit for printing on a fortnightly basis. Your final coursework folder will consist of 30-35 A3 pages. Your design folder will evidence extensive investigation, experimentation and development as well as a thorough evaluation of your eventual prototype.
The theme of what you design and make is up to you. The only requirement is that the prototype you make must aim to solve an existing problem. Deadlines will be at regular intervals and pages will need to be completed on a week by week basis.
This year has the same balance as Year 12 with 4 coursework lessons supplemented with 1 lesson of theoretical study per week.
The exam will be 2.5 hours long and will be at the end of Year 13, the exam will count for 50% of your overall grade.
What skills will I learn? 
The D&T Product Design will help you develop a number of skills: - How to assemble data and assess it – How to design for others through the iterative design process - How to investigate facts and use deduction - How to put over your point of view fluently - How to work as a team to achieve results - How to take responsibility for your own learning.
Where will success take me?
Product Design could take you into a number of exciting career paths. Of course there’s product or industrial design. But also architecture, automotive design, engineering, interior design, landscape design, teaching, manufacturing, advertising, or marketing. The course will allow you the opportunity to develop a portfolio of your work that can be taken to prospective University or Apprenticeship interviews.
Edexcel A Level Design & Technology: Product Design
Component 1
50% of qualification
Principles of Design and Technology
Topics 1-12: 
1: Materials 
2: Performance characteristics of materials 
3: Processes and techniques 
4: Digital technologies 
5: Factors influencing the development of products 
6: Effects of technological developments 
7: Potential hazards and risk assessment 
8: Features of manufacturing industries 
9: Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment 
10: Current legislation 
11: Information handling, Modelling and forward planning 
12: Further processes and techniques.
Written Examination 
Exam 2hrs 30 mins 
120 marks 
The paper includes calculations, short-open and open-response questions as well as extended-writing questions.
Component 2
50% of qualification
Independent Design and Make Project 
Students will produce a substantial design, make and evaluate project which consists of a portfolio and a prototype. There are four parts to the assessment covering the identification of a design problem, developing the design, making the prototype and evaluating both the design and the final prototype.
Non-examined assessment
120 marks
The investigation report is internally assessed and externally moderated.

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