Throughout this course there is a strong emphasis on innovation and creativity via an iterative design approach. You are encouraged to experiment both visually and practically to develop both existing products as well as new ideas. Modelling skills are used extensively to cultivate ideas and develop new concepts. Prototypes are also manufactured using a wide range of manufacturing equipment including CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping.
Why study Product Design?
- You are an innovator with a desire to create new inventions, products and solve real problems.
- You have an interest cutting edge technology.
- You have imagination and enjoy learning how things are made and how they impact on society.
- You enjoy developing visual communication—sketching, rendering, computer aided design.
- You enjoy making things to a high standard using a range of materials.
- You are looking for a subject that complements others such as Art, Business, Maths, Physics, ICT and Psychology.
The skills gained from studying Product Design include (among others), visual communication skills developed via sketching and CAD (computer aided design) as well as colour development via marker pen rendering; ICT and CAD/CAM are also developed to a high standard with the use of Solid Works and Prodesk CAD packages; 3D modelling is also a key element and you will have the opportunity to develop modelling skills via Styrofoam sculpting, Laser cutting and 3D printing.
Product design, on its own or linked with other subjects, can lead directly into design related university courses such as Product design, Industrial design, Architecture, Engineering, Furniture design, Project management, Manufacturing management, Interior design, Set design, Automotive design and Sports innovation. These include BA, BSc and BEng courses at many top universities, and also Foundation courses in Art and Design. This subject can also lead to Industry related employment or apprenticeships.
There are three assessments sections for this course:
- Iterative Design Project (Non exam assessment)—50% (65 Hours approx.)—this is an extensive design project which requires students to undertake a substantial design, make and evaluate project. Learners investigate an area of design or problem that interests them, creating a portfolio of evidence in real time to demonstrate their competence. The project can be related to particular sectors such as furniture design or architecture and can be developed via a range of mediums.
- Principles of Design exam 26.7% (90mins)—this written exam is set out through four sets of questions that predominantly cover core technical principles. Learners will be required to analyse existing products; demonstrate applied mathematical skills; demonstrate knowledge of materials, product functionality, manufacturing processes and techniques; demonstrate understanding of wider social, moral and environmental issues that impact on the design and manufacturing industries.
- Problem solving exam 23.3% (105mins)—this written paper has a series of longer answer questions that require learners to demonstrate their problem solving and critical evaluation skills. The exam challenges student to develop solutions to a number of problems with a focus on critical thinking as well as material understanding. 15% of the assessment is maths based and candidates require a secure knowledge of higher tier GCSE Maths.