A-level product design is assessed in three units: technical principles, design and making principles and the non-exam assessment.
Unit 1: 7552/1 Paper 1: Technical Principles (30%)
You will study a wide range of materials areas including timber, paper and boards, metals, textiles, polymers and composites. You will be able to describe their functional properties and be familiar with their applications. In addition, we learn about how to form and fabricate these materials into everyday products. This is practiced in the workshop, using the tools and equipment available to design and make your own rudimentary products.
In addition, students study theoretical concepts including digital design and manufacture, product development, intellectual property rights, inclusive design and enterprise and marketing.
Unit 2: 7552/2 Paper 2: Designing and Making Principles (20%)
Designing and making principles refers the methodology and processes of how products are designed and made. A key part of this is understanding the iterative design process, which involves stakeholder investigations, product analysis, prototype development and testing and evaluating ideas. These skills will be practised and assessed through mini projects.
You will also study key designers, design styles and movements, as well as ‘responsible design,’ which relates to social, economic and environmental issues in product design.
Finally, you will learn about how to plan manufacture for accuracy, building knowledge of quality control and quality assurance in industry.
Unit 3: 7552/C Non-exam assessment: Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles. (50%)
In the summer of year 12 students begin their NEA (non-exam assessment), which is worth 50% of the A-level. In the NEA you will undertake a thorough investigation into a design opportunity of your choice and then design and make an innovative prototype design solution. Through the NEA you will be expected to exhibit a range of designing and making skills and demonstrate knowledge of the materials and processes available.
AQA AS/A-Level Design and Technology: Product Design (Hodder Education, 2017)
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