Art and Design: 3D Design

Course title: Advanced GCE in Art and Design: 3D Design

Exam board: AQA

Subject specific entry criteria: Grade 6 or above in GCSE Design and Technology

Course overview

The 3D Design A Level course encourages students to build on the skills gained from the GCSE Design and Technology course. Students are encouraged to work independently and creatively; you will need to be self-motivated and contribute to additional autonomous hours of study outside of your timetabled lessons.

The first year of the A Level course centres around the students understanding of drawing and developing practical skills. These can be used later in the course for sampling during the creative portfolio. Techniques are taught through guided and focused workshops. You are expected to use these workshops to inspire ideas and make creative decisions, in order to make progress within your creative journey in your sketchbook work.

The following techniques are part of the taught focused workshops:

  • Forging
  • CAD Design
  • Laser Cutting
  • 3D Printing
  • Lamination
  • Pewter Casting
  • Wood Turning
  • Resin Casting
  • Processing Polypropylene

Within the second year of the course students will have the opportunity to branch off from their initial theme and take their project in their own direction. You will use your own inspirations to focus your outcomes in a personal route.

This A Level course is set up and designed to prepare students for future study in a creative discipline. This will be completed through a dedicated portfolio in your sketchbook and via practical samples. Sessions build knowledge and skills so that you can reflect critically upon your work produced and be selective about outcomes you wish to use as part of your final portfolio. These portfolios may be used in university interviews, as part of the selection process or as exemplar work during job interviews.

Assessment overview

The course structure and overview for this A Level course is outlined below.

Component 1: Portfolio

This component compromises of two sections, a sustained project and a collection of further work. The sustained project is completed in response to a theme and shows the students ability to develop a project from one initial idea.

The 3D Design course empowers students to explore a large range of materials and processes to create three dimensional outcomes. These can be functional or decorative pieces. You are encouraged to experiment with a variety of methods and media, problem solving and appreciating the relationship between form and function.

Students are encouraged to become fully involved in the design process and to be forward thinking. This enables you to manipulate new materials. You will work with a wide variety of materials including paper, card, wood, metal, polymers, pewter, clay and resin. Final outcomes may be furniture, product design, architectural, lighting or sculpture.

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment

The Externally Set Assignment starts in the January of Year 13 with an exam brief provided by the exam board. You will research a given topic independently over the course of 10 weeks.

The final exam is a focused practical 15-hour exam. In these 15 hours you will make a final outcome in response to your preparatory work. You will plan your outcome using a range of materials and techniques in the workshop environment. This final piece will be completed within the 15 hours and all previous work will be submitted at the end of the exam to complete the A Level course.

Assessment Objectives: Both Component 1 and Component 2 are marked through internal moderation against the four assessment objectives: AO1, AO2, AO3 and AO4. An external moderator will then view the work to secure the assessment.

Future progression

3D Design can lead to many creative careers and university opportunities after Sixth Form.

Potential careers

3D Design is relevant for students who would like a career in: Industrial Design, 3D Design, Furniture Design, Product Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Automotive Design, Architecture, Jewellery Designer, Landscape Architect, Design Consultant, Model Maker, Exhibition Designer, Product Designer, Environmental Designer, Teacher, Furniture Designer, Toy Designer, Interior Designer, Film and TV set Designer.

How to succeed in 3D Design

You will need to:

  • be self-motivated
  • understand creative problem solving
  • have a natural interest in design and practical work
  • be prepared to take creative risks
  • understand the need to dedicate time outside Sixth Form to make independent progress in their work
  • have experience of building a Design Project from KS4
  • be able to execute basic practical techniques such as working with natural timbers, ferrous and non-ferrous metals and a range of polymers
  • have good drawing and creative skills.