Product Design is a course that focuses on the commercial viability of designing and manufacturing. This means that the pupils will develop a product whilst being mindful of the industrial implications for repeat manufacture so that a third party could produce the product to quality and to a specified tolerance. This means that CAM, templates, jigs, fixtures and other commercial manufacturing aids and approaches are central to the development of a high quality outcome.
Students should consider this subject at GCSE if they are: creative; interested and competent at drawing and creative design; have a good work ethic; competent at ICT and prepared to tackle challenging 3D Computer Aided Design; enjoy problem solving; enjoy making and building.
The Specification followed at GCSE is AQA D&T: Product Design. Link to AQA website.
This requires the pupils to design and manufacture a product set by the Examination Board. The coursework represents 60% of the grade. The remaining 40% is allocated to an end of course exam. The focus of the course is designing and manufacturing in an industrial context. Both the coursework and examination assess this approach to the design and make process.
The pupils’ coursework involves the design and manufacture of a single product set by the Examination Board. This is called the Controlled Assessment. Each pupil will submit a unique piece of work consisting of an Electronic Design Portfolio that supports the practical manufacture. Practical work includes the development and planning of outcomes such as scale models, working models, a prototype or a final quality manufactured product. Consideration then of packaging, labeling and instructions is encouraged as part of the complete design proposal. Advertising, point of sale displays and the like can also be used to supplement the making experience and help create products which can be evaluated for their commercial viability.
The end of course examination tests the pupils’ designing capability, making knowledge, general awareness of designing & design movements and their understanding of the basic principles of industrial design and commercial production.