Design Engineering has been added to My Courses


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D&T Design Engineering allows students to research and apply technical knowledge to test and create 3D functional products through various design approaches including hand sketching, CAD and 3D model making with workshop machinery. Both Design Engineering and Product Design courses lead to the same qualification so cannot be taken together.

The ability or willingness to learn to draw is required – there is full support for this as it is a fundamental part of the course. Should you not meet these course requirements you may choose Product Design which requires a Grade 4 in Maths with ideally a 4 in Design and Technology.

Course content

First Year
The first year of the course is divided into separate modules, commencing with an induction course which enables them to access the 3D making workshop.

Students will cover the subject content and a set of mini projects which includes visual communication techniques, product analysis, manufacturing processes, materials, mechanisms, electronics and relevant mathematical and scientific concepts. Students will apply these skills and knowledge through practice coursework projects. The major will begin their NEA Design Engineering coursework allows students to choose the area of interest but allows them to investigate, create, test and refining the functionality of a chosen 3D product.

The use of industry standard CAD software Solidworks is included in the course and students are enrolled on a separate City and Guilds Course which runs alongside the A level enabling them to develop the skills they need for visual communication and virtual testing. Students are encouraged to become independent learners and will gain an understanding of, and simulate the work of professional engineers in their project work.

Second Year
A focus is on applying the knowledge and skills from year 1 and completing a portfolio of evidence which shows the iterative development and finalising of a 3D prototype, product or system. The coursework is completed early in the second year then the focus is on exam revision.

Unit 1 Principles of Design Engineering
Exam board OCR Exam 26.7%
Unit 2 Problem Solving
Exam board OCR Exam 23.3%
Unit 3 Iterative Design Project
Exam board OCR Coursework 50%

Methods of Teaching and Learning

The resources for the subject knowledge follows the OCR Design Technology student book and is enhanced and supported with a series of design tasks. Projects are planned to build on skills. Students are expected to develop an independent approach to their coursework and revision with regular feedback and interventions to support. 

Methods of Assessment

Assessment is undertaken by a combination of coursework assessment and written/design examination. There is a Maths content in the examined unit equalling 25% of the grade. This is at higher tier GCSE maths level and will be taught as part of the theory content for the course.


Design and Technology has a purpose built suite of rooms complete with a design studio and workshop including a range of industry standard CNC machines. We also have a suite of 3D printers which allow students to explore 3D design options quickly and accurately.


You will need a studio kit of materials. Kits will be made available by an external supplier nominated by the college. The cost of these items is approximately £49.22. Access to a PC at home will be an advantage as you will be able to download CAD software. Students will also be required to pay around £30 towards materials for their major project and home access to 3D modelling software. The cost of all trips will be the responsibility of the student. Financial assistance is available if required.

The course fee is £20.00 per year.


Visits are planned and have been made to the New Designers exhibition in London BMW mini Plan in Oxford and ongoing development of industry links to collaborate with the Product Design course Maths and Science departments, STEM club and the Careers and employability office.


On successful completion of these courses, and depending on other A-level subjects taken, students can develop their studies through a range of Higher Education courses. These include: Engineering, 2D and 3D degree courses, architecture, Product design and CAD/CAM based manufacturing courses. It would also be valuable for students aiming to pursue career paths in Engineering, Construction Architectural or design professions through work based apprenticeships.

What Next?

Students will have access to careers in engineering, automotive design, civil engineering, product design, computer aided design and architecture. Previous learners have gained apprenticeships with companies including GKN, Airbus, Babcock, Integral and Rolls Royce amongst others.

Where can this course lead?

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