Product Design A-Level

Course Overview

Entry Qualifications

In addition to the standard College entry requirements (see below), this course normally requires a student to have achieved Grade 4 or above in a GCSE Art and Design course or Grade 4 in GCSE Design and Technology (Graphic Products or Resistant Materials). To fully support students who have gained a Grade 4 in GCSE in an Art and Design or Design Technology subject, or those who have not had the opportunity to study these subjects at GCSE, we will ask you to do a short drawing task as part of the enrolment procedure. This is to ensure you can successfully meet the rigours of the course. It would also be helpful for students to bring with them examples of their creative work on enrolment day.

What will I study?

3D design is seen as a creative process that considers human needs and responds to them. The course encourages the development of specific skills and knowledge associated with 3D design including research, analysis, drawing, modelling/prototyping and making along with evaluation and reflection on progress and outcomes. The course has a heavy focus of Architecture and architectural scale modelling as well as product outcomes. The core focus of the course is on the creative practice of how to explore and generate ideas that are innovative in nature. The key building blocks of Shape, Form, Structure, Surface, texture, colour etc are considered in the development of ideas.  Various strategies for generating ideas are covered in the 1st year along with the communication and presentation aspects of design.

How will I study?

There is a bespoke Design studio and specialist workshop covering both  wood and metal processes, and the department has a good range of expertise, with resources for drawing, as well as excellent computer graphics and CAD/CAM equipment. You will need to be show initiative in undertaking research and background investigation as part of home study in addition to work done in the College. You will need to provide some of your own equipment for use at home.

How is the course examined?

Component 1 (personal investigation) makes up 60% of the final grade and provides students with the opportunity to explore materials and experiment with their use. There will also be a personal study related to developing themes and involves a written element of between 1000 and 3000 words. Component 2 (externally set assignment) assesses student’s ability to work independently in response to a chosen starting point and makes up the remainder 40%. Students have a period of preparation in which to explore ideas, materials and processes before embarking on a making task that constitutes 15 hours of supervised work.

Where next?

Foundation course in Art and Design, leading to a degree in some aspect of Art or Design e.g. Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture, Industrial/ Product, Ceramics and other craft- based courses, and Fashion. Other Degree or Diploma courses. A-level Design is recognised by all Universities for entry purposes. Some engineering-based design courses also require A-level Mathematics.

What does the course combine well with?

A-level Design combines well with other practical subjects such as Graphics, Art or Photography. Mathematics and Physics also complement the subject well.

College Entry Requirements

We normally expect applicants to have achieved good GCSE passes in at least six subjects, these must:

  • demonstrate the suitability for Advanced Level study
  • have been achieved at Grade 4/C as a minimum
  • include two at Grade 5/B as a minimum
  • include English Language – a minimum grade of 4/C

Mathematics – If not achieved within the scope of the above should normally be achieved at grade 3/D. If mathematics is not achieved at grade 4/C then it will be a requirement to continue to study at the correct level until a grade 4 is achieved. Subjects with a mathematical content will require a higher grade.


A WQE student working on the tills in the canteen

Student Till Operatives

This year, WQE has been working closely with our new catering company, Aramark, to provide students with new opportunities, including student employment. We recruited a small number of students to

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