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Design and Technology

Why Design and Technology?

Product Design is a subject of interest and benefit to a wide range of students through its ability to bridge the arts and science divide and provide opportunities to apply their talents to solving problems in product design.

Design Technology is the subject for you:

  • If you want to develop your innovation, creativity and design and technology capabilities and learn to recognise constraints and have a desire to produce high quality products;
  • If you have an eye for detail, a respect for the designers of yesterday and today, a flair for innovative Design, and you just love getting into the workshop and doing something constructive

You may be able to benefit from superb industrial links with organisations such as UWIC & Cardiff University, Ove Arup, SAS International, Jaguar Cars, Peugeot Cars, Spectrum Technologies, Lasers are Us, Morgan Cars, Nike Design, University of Glamorgan, Ford, Bosch, Swansea University.

Summary of content

The WJEC GCE in Design and Technology offers a unique opportunity in the curriculum for learners to identify and solve real problems by designing and making products or systems.

Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. This specification encourages learners to use creativity and imagination when applying iterative design processes to develop and modify designs, and to design and make prototypes that solve real world problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants, aspirations and values.

The specification enables learners to identify market needs and opportunities for new products, initiate and develop design solutions, and make and test prototypes. Learners should acquire subject knowledge in design and technology, including how a product can be developed through the stages of prototyping, realisation and commercial manufacture. Learners should consider small and large commercial / manufacturing contexts and gain an insight into design and technology activity in the creative industries.

Units

Unit 1 - AS - Written paper 1

Written examination: 2 hours ; 20% of qualification ; 80 marks

Learners take an examination in one of the following endorsed areas:

  • Engineering design
  • Fashion and textiles
  • Product design.

The paper will cover:

  • Technical principles
  • Designing and making principles
  • Ability to analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology

The following technical principles apply to all endorsed areas

  • How manufactured products typically involve multiple materials, processes and techniques.
  • The requirements for product design, development and manufacture, including: fitness for purpose; meeting the criteria of specifications; accuracy of production
  • Appropriate use of digital technologies; aesthetics; ergonomics and anthropometrics; the use of media, communication and presentation techniques
  • Digital design and digital manufacture, including computer aided design (CAD)/computer aided manufacturing (CAM), modelling and simulation
  • Safe working practices, including identifying hazards and understanding the need for risk assessments
  • How skills and knowledge from other subject areas, including mathematics and science, inform decisions in design and the application or development of technology

There are also in-depth technical principles which apply to each of the three endorsed areas listed above.  Please see the full specification for the details of the AS requirements.

Unit 2 - AS - Design and make task

Non-exam assessment: approximately 40 hours; 20% of qualification; 80 marks

A design and make task, based on a brief developed by the candidate, assessing the candidate's ability to:

  • Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities
  • Design and make prototypes
  • Analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology.

The design and make project will be based within the same endorsed area as the written examination and incorporate the following design and making principles.

  • User-centred design: the investigation and analysis of a problem within a context, and the needs, wants and values of users, to define a design opportunity or problem leading to the production of a design brief and specification to direct, inform and evaluate their design practice
  • Design theory, including key historic movements/figures and their methods
  • The application of knowledge and understanding in a product development process to design, make and evaluate prototypes/products
  • How the appraisal of technological developments, both current and historic, needs to take into consideration social, moral and ethical factors and how these can impact on the work of designers and technologists
  • How to critically analyse and evaluate their own ideas and decisions whilst using iterative design and make processes
  • In relation to the focus area, how to select and safely use a range of specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery appropriate to the design and manufacture of domestic, commercial and industrial products and systems
  • How to measure, determine, and apply the degree of accuracy and precision required for products to perform as intended
  • How to evaluate their prototypes/products taking into account the views of potential users, customers or clients

Unit 3 - A2 - Written paper 2

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes; 30% of qualification; 100 marks

Learners take a single examination in one of the following endorsed areas:

  • Engineering design
  • Fashion and textiles
  • Product design.

The paper will cover:

  • Technical principles
  • Designing and making principles
  • Ability to analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology

The following technical principles apply to all endorsed areas:

  • The main features of manufacturing industries, including stages of production, quality assurance and quality control;  modern manufacturing methods and systems
  • The regulatory and legislative framework for health and safety and the impact on designing and making
  • The use of feasibility studies on the practicability of proposed solutions to problems
  • Design for manufacturing, repair or maintenance, and product life
  • How to achieve an optimum use of materials and components by taking into account the relationship between material cost, form, and manufacturing processes, and the scale of production
  • The implications of intellectual property, registered designs, registered trademarks, copyright, design rights and patents
  • The role of marketing, enterprise, innovation and collaboration in the development of products

There are also in-depth technical principles which apply to each of the three endorsed areas listed above.  Please see the full specification for the details of the A2 requirements.

Unit 4 - A2 - Design and make project

Non-exam assessment: approximately 60 hours; 30% of qualification; 100 marks

A sustained design and make project, based on a brief developed by the candidate, assessing the candidate's ability to:

  • Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities
  • Design and make prototypes
  • Analyse and evaluate design decisions and wider issues in design and technology.

The design and make project will be based within the same endorsed area as the written examination and incorporate the following design and making principles.

  • A range of strategies, techniques and approaches to explore, create and evaluate design ideas, such as user centred design, circular economy, and systems thinking
  • Approaches to project management, such as critical path analysis, scrum or six sigma
  • Design for manufacture, including planning for accuracy and efficiency when making prototypes and making recommendations for small, medium and large scale production
  • The environmental factors affecting disposal of waste, surplus materials, components and by-products, sustainability, and costs
  • The application of relevant standards to their design tasks including those published by the British Standards Institute (BSI) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) specific to the subject;
  • The stages of a product life cycle.

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