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Design Technology

What is this subject about?


This is a broad-based and diverse three-dimensional design course in which the design scale can vary. It is primarily concerned with designing for product, architecture, interior, jewellery and stage to meet a need in a functional and aesthetic manner. We want you to design innovative concepts that consider not only aesthetic and technical issues, but also the environment and the role of the designer in the community. On the course, you’ll master design from conception to production. Learning through designing and making, you’ll experiment creatively with traditional design production processes as well as 3D digital technologies including CAD/CAM. You will experiment with media and processes and develop and refine your ideas before presenting your outcomes.

Our aim is to feed your imagination and open your eyes to the possibilities of 3D design and the difference you can make to the world. This course is delivered through skill development in Year 1 and 2 course work units, with project work supported by lessons, demonstrations, professional experience and tutorials.

What will be covered over the two years


During the first year you will develop your design skills including sketching, developing and recording ideas and how to design and use a variety of approaches and techniques. Through a series of activities and short projects you will develop your appreciation of form and function and use a range of materials and manufacturing processes for both commercial and one-off production. This will include the use of drawing and rendering techniques to communicate your ideas using CAD/CAM as part of the design process. You will become familiar with major design movements and the work of other designers in order to broaden your appreciation of good design. There is an emphasis on learning how and why designs are developed and how you as a designer can make improvements.

In your second year you will have more freedom to explore your own area of design and you will take on the role of a professional designer through a mixture of set and self-generated projects giving you a wide portfolio to demonstrate your skills to universities and potential employers. You will undertake a detailed ‘personal study’ with practical outcomes from a personal starting point.

Course Assessment Overview


Assessment is 60% coursework, in the form of a Personal Investigation which is presented as a design portfolio and practical outcome(s). There are also marks allocated to a written Related Study (20% of the coursework grade). In addition to the coursework there is an externally set practical, which is worth 40% of the overall A Level mark. Projects are marked by the teachers and externally moderated by the examination board.

What skills are required and developed on the course


On this course you will develop investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills, aesthetic understanding, critical judgement and presentation skills. You will experience working with a broad range of media and develop an enthusiasm for art, craft and design.