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Design & Technology: Product Design

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What’s it all about?

This qualification is both creative and thought-provoking, and provides you with the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers.

Students following this A Level will explore product design in its broadest sense through both designing and making principles, and theoretical knowledge. You will enjoy opportunities to put their learning in to practice and produce commercially viable 3D prototypes using a range of materials and manufacturing processes. This course will develop your ability to design and make consumer products using a wide range of appropriate materials, developing your design concepts using a variety of CAD packages, and build on practical skills that reflect real industrial practice. Only by experiencing working with materials first-hand can you start to understand their properties and the ways in which those materials can be used for a variety of purposes. When designing, you will need to understand what the user or client requires, and then go on to provide them with a functional prototype, which can be tested so you and your user can evaluate how successful it is.

Students will develop the ability to draw on and apply a range of skills and knowledge from other subject areas to inform their decisions in design and the application or development of technology. Product Design is a proactive and creative course, and you will need to enjoy experimenting, testing and modelling with a wide
range of materials, machines, tools and CAD software to get the most from this course.

A Rookwood Sixth Form student in the classroom talking to a teacher.

What skills will I need to be successful?

  • a high degree of technical knowledge balanced with creative ability and a hands-on approach
  • knowledge of industrial processes, techniques and standards
  • problem solving and independent learning skills
  • visual and spatial awareness
  • commercial awareness
  • computer literacy including three-dimensional conceptual ability and CAD
  • a willingness to build and maintain positive working relationships and to share information with others
  • determination to achieve an end result, and optimism and enthusiasm when things don’t go to plan

Where can it take me in the future?

You 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 would open pathways to engineering & manufacturing and a variety of jobs roles including (but not limited to): product designer, industrial designer, interior and spatial designer, graphics designer, fashion/textiles designer, furniture designer, materials engineer, CAD technician, clothing/textile technologist, colour technologist or exhibition designer. The UK has the second largest design industry in the world, with graduates much in demand.