Design & Technology 3D Design

Design and Technology: 3D Design (AQA)

In a time not so long ago, humanity existed without the internet, social media, mobile devices, electric lighting and even the taps that give us running water!

All these products have come from the imagination of designers, many of whom began their design careers with a 3D Design A-Level course.

This is a course about being a creative and innovative problem solver; about designing products that improve peoples’ lives. It involves spotting problems, researching and then producing exciting new products that use materials in unusual and surprising ways.

Course Content & Assessment

Component 1 (60%)

Personal Investigation

This is a practical investigation supported by written material, in a way that is similar to your GCSE coursework folder.

Students are able to independently select a focus for their project, and are required to research a designer, engineer or craftsperson.

This research will then be used to produce a range of design ideas, complete some development and testing of different manufacturing processes, which will lead to the manufacture of a finished product.

Component 2 (40%)

Response to externally set title

This component will start in February of Year 13. You will select, with support from your teacher, a design brief from a range of set briefs from the examination board.

You will undertake extensive and detailed research and produce a wide range of innovative design solutions during a preparatory session.

You will then have 15 hours to manufacture a fully working prototype based on the supporting work completed.


The classes will be taught in a range of styles. Lessons to prepare you for the two components will use skills workshops, online resources and practical demonstrations/activities.

Lessons at the start of Year 12 will develop your creativity and ability to communicate your design ideas verbally and graphically, whilst allowing you the opportunity to experiment with new manufacturing processes.

You will be expected to work much more independently across all units than you have at GCSE. The course aims to develop your skills in creative and practical problem solving, working independently is central to this aim.

Your Future

For those students wishing to work in the design or manufacturing industry this course is the first step. It can lead to a range of degree courses including Product Design, Architecture or Engineering to name a few.

Alternatively, some students prefer to move onto a BTEC Foundation Course to expand their creativity into wider disciplines before deciding on a specialised degree course.

A career as a Designer or Engineer are just two of many possibilities. Some students have also gone on to Apprenticeship courses supported by employers.

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