Subject content

Unit 1: Materials, Technologies and Design Considerations

Materials, Technologies and Design Considerations

This unit provides details of the subject content to be covered by candidates for the Single Award. Candidates are required to use the stated knowledge and understanding in the Unit 1 examination and in the completion of their Controlled Assessment in Unit 2. The content has been divided into two sections:

Designing and Communicating

Understanding Engineered Products. 

Designing and Communicating

Use a client design brief

To determine the function and user requirements To establish the limits or constraints on a design

Convert a client design brief to a specification

To specify: size, shape, function, limiting features, functional requirements

Use and modify a specification

Use the design process to

Generate ideas/possible design solutions for engineered products

Produce a solution expressed as a drawing/model

Simple drawing techniques

Orthographic projection – third angle only

Isometric projection

Manual drawing methods

Formal drawing and sketching

Scale – 1:1 1:2 1:5

Computer Aided Design

2D using standard conventions either electrical or mechanical

3D solid modelling

Using a computer program to simulate the operation of an electrical or mechanical system

Explain a design proposal to a third party

Use drawings or models to present ideas

Respond to client feedback

Understanding engineered products

Materials

  • Polymers
  • Ferrous metals
  • Common non-ferrous metals and alloys
  • Composites
  • Ceramics

Ability to be

  • shaped and formed
  • machined
  • treated
  • given a surface finish
  • re-cycled and re-used

Comparative ease of handling, cost, availability and form

Components

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical and electronic
  • Pneumatic/hydraulic

Production methods including mould and jig use 

Manufacturing an Engineering Product

Produce production plans

Manufacturing to a production plan, which is related

to the production of a "one–off" or limited batch

production of an engineering product

Using tools and equipment

Understanding the reasons for the selection and use of specified materials, components, processes, tools and equipment

Working safely

Identification of Health and Safety issues including the use of Personal Protective Equipment

Quality issues – tolerances and using accurate measurement systems

Planning and organisation – organising the work, planning sequences of operations

Analyse and revise the completed project, taking into account how it could be improved

Engineering Processes

Including material removal, shaping and manipulation, joining and assembly, heat and chemical treatment and surface finishing including the following

Machining operations

Turning

Milling or routing

Drilling

Cutting

e.g. sawing, shearing

shaping

casting

forming

bending or vacuum forming

joining

Rivet, threaded fasteners, welding and soldering

Surface finishing

Painting, plating, surface finishing 

Application of New Technologies

CNC cutting limited to two axes, e.g. vinyl or laser cutters, drilling or profile cutting or milling Printed Circuit Board.

Impact of Modern Technologies

Describe the impact of modern technologies:

  • when engineering a product
  • on engineered products
  • on engineering industries
  • on the stages of engineering a product.

Describe the advantages and disadvantages that the use of modern technology has brought to society, including environmental issues and sustainability.

Investigate a range of engineered products to determine the impact of modern technology on design and production methods.

Unit 2: Designing, Communicating and Manufacturing

Designing, Communicating and Manufacturing

 This unit is a compulsory Controlled Assessment unit. This is a practically based unit where knowledge of the Unit 1 subject content is applied to the design and making of projects.

The Assessment Criteria for Unit 2 Controlled Assessment are given below. AQA will provide exemplar material and detailed guidance to illustrate the standard of work required for this coursework unit.

 AQA will issue a number of Controlled Assessment Tasks Each task will be divided into two parts:

  •  Part A: Completing an AQA specified design task
  •  Part B: Completing an AQA specified making task

This may involve either completing a making task following the design completed in Part A; or a separate, different making task taken from the list of tasks provided by AQA for Part B. If the centre is providing candidates with the drawings for Part B then the task must not be related to Part A.

Single Award candidates' work will be marked out of a total of 90 marks.

Five criteria are produced for assessment and each criterion has 3 bands of marks. Each band should be viewed holistically when making assessments; a weakness in one element of a level, for example, can be balanced by strengths in another. Candidates who produce no work for a criterion, or who produce work below GCSE standard, should be awarded a mark of zero.

Controlled assessment advisers will be available to provide guidance to centres.

Assessment Criteria

 

Unit 2 Part A Mark Band 1 At this level candidates have Mark Range Mark Band 2 At this level candidates have Mark Range Mark Band 3 At this level candidates have Mark Range
When designing Produced a brief analysis, identifying some features of the design brief, to produce a design specification. 0-1 Produced a more detailed analysis, identifying most of the key features and client requirements. 2-3 Produced a detailed analysis explaining the client's requirements and justifying the key features 4-5
  Generated and evaluated a basic design idea and developed a simple design solution. There is some kind of modification. 0-3 Generated and evaluated alternative design ideas with evidence of testing and modifications to produce a final design solution. 4-6 Generated and evaluated a range of alternative design ideas. There is detailed evidence of testing and modifications to produce a final design solution. 7-9
When communicating

Used a limited range of engineering drawings/diagrams. They may not be drawn to sector-specific standards and conventions.

Some of the information is presented in an appropriate form and/or style. Much of the work is not organised clearly or coherently. Numerous errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling are evident in work. 

0-4

Used a range of engineering drawings/diagrams. There is some evidence that they have used sector-specific standards and conventions. It is unclear from the drawings that the ideas are workable.

Most of the information is presented in an appropriate form and style. Most of the work is organised clearly and coherently. There are a small number of errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling evident in the work.

5-8

Used a range of detailed engineering drawings/diagrams that comply with sector specific standards and concentions. The ideas are workable and the drawings/diagrams are annotated appropriately.

Information is clearly and logically presented and organised using an appropriate form and style throughout. The text is legible, easily understood and shows a good grasp of grammar, punctuation and spelling in the work.

9-12
When testing and evaluating Demonstrated limited evidence of testing against the design brief and specification. 0-2 Demonstrated testing against the design bried and specification, with evidence of some use of scientific principles and/or modelling being applied and some link to the final design being evident. 3-4 Demonstrated testing against the design brief and specification, using appropriate scientific principles and modelling to select their final design. 5-6
  Shown some reasoning and have used basic or inappropriate terminology. They did not respond to feedback or modify their proposed solution. 0-1 Explained the reasons for their choice using appropriate technical language. The final design solution matches the main design criteria. Candidates have responded to client feedback and modified their proposed solution if necessary. 2-3

Explained in detail the reasons for their choice using the correct engineering and technical language. The final design solution matches the design criteria. Candidates have responded to client feedback and proposed modifications to the specification as required.

4-5
          Subtotal /37
Unit 2 Part B            
When making Produced a simple production plan using the basic information in the product specification. 0-1 Produced a production plan using the information contained within the product specification. 2-3 Produced a comprehensive production plan using fully all aspects of the product specification. 4-5
  Followed a simple production plan using information contained in engineering drawings and/or diagrams. 0-1 Followed a production plan using the information contained in engineering drawings and/or diagrams. 2-3 Followed a comprehensive production plan using information contained in engineering drawings and/or diagrams. 4-5
  Selected and used safely with guidance, materials, parts and components for their product. 0-1 Selected and used safely,with limited guidance, the correct materials, parts and components for their products. 2-3 Independently selected and used safely appropriate materials, parts and components for their product. An explanation is given as to why alternative materials, parts and components which could have been used/tested were not. 4-5
  Used, with guidance, appropriate processes, tools and equipment to make their product. They have worked safely with some skill. 0-6 Selected and used, with limited guidance, appropriate processes, tools and equipment to make their product. They have worked safely and competently. 7-12

Independently selected and used processes, tools amd equipment to make their product. They have worked safely, competently and effectively.

An explanation is given as to why alternative processes, tools and equipment could have been used/tested if necessary.

13-18
  Undertaken some testing of the product and compared it to the product specification. 0-1 Undertaken a range of basic testing on the product and compared it to the product specification. The finished product complies with the main requirements of the specification. 2-3 Undertaken detailed and objective testing to compare their product to the specification. The finished product complies consistently with the standards required. 4-5
          Subtotal /38
When applying new technologies in Parts A and B Described a single aspect of a new technology including superficially investigated engineering products. 0-2 Described several aspects of new technology including investigated an engineering product in some detail. 3-4 Described the impact of a wide range of new technologies including critically investigating several engineering products. 5-6
  Described how a CNC operation could be carried out. 0-3 Described how several CNC operations could be carried out. 4-6 Described and carried out several CNC operations. 7-9
          Subtotal /15
          Total /90

Unit 3: Application of Technology

Application of Technology

This unit provides details of the subject content that will be required to be covered by candidates at Double Award. Candidates are required to use the knowledge and understanding stated in the Unit 3 examination and in the completion of their Controlled Assessment in Unit 4. Candidates taking the Double Award must also have covered all of the content as outlined in Unit 1 above. Additional information required for the Double Award may be found below. Candidates completing Controlled Assessment for the Double Award Unit 4 must also demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the additional information below.

The content has been divided into two sections:

  • Application of technologies
  • Manufacturing Systems

Application of Technologies

Design specification

Testing and evaluating against the design specification using objective methods.

Drawing techniques

Assembly or exploded diagrams Circuit diagrams Systems diagrams and flowcharts Drawings which conform to current standards

Computer Aided Design

Rendered presentation drawings 

Manufacturing Systems

Manufacturing to a production plan, including understanding of large batch and continuous production

Using tools and equipment

Using automated systems

Understanding the reasons for the selection of specified materials and components

Health and safety

Quality issues – tolerances – quality control, including using go/no go gauges, quality assurance

Planning and organisation – organising the work, planning sequences of operations, preparing production plans

Processes

Bending

Surface finishing

Anodising, galvanising, polishing

Application of Technologies

CNC, including an understanding of x, y, z co-ordinates

Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Computer Integrated Engineering

Microcontrollers and industrial control systems

Robotic systems New and "smart" materials

Environmental and waste disposal issues

Energy sources, renewable and non-renewable

Energy use in manufacturing

Unit 4: Developing Design and Manufacturing Products

Developing Design and Manufacturing Products

This unit is a compulsory Controlled Assessment unit. This is a practically based unit where knowledge of the Unit 3 subject content is applied to the design and making of projects. The Controlled Assessment unit will focus upon the application of manufacturing systems for the production of a working product.

The Assessment Criteria for Unit 4 Controlled Assessment are given below. AQA will provide exemplar material and detailed guidance to illustrate the standard of work required for this coursework unit.

 AQA will issue a number of Controlled Assessment Tasks.

Each task will be divided into two parts:

  • Part A: Completing an AQA specified design task
  • Part B: Completing an AQA specified making task

 This may involve either completing a making task following the design completed in Part A; or a separate, different making task taken from the list of tasks provided by AQA for Part B. If the centre is providing candidates with the drawings for Part B then the task must not be related to Part A.

Double Award candidates' work will be marked out of a total of 90 marks.

Five criteria are produced for assessment and each criterion has 3 bands of marks. Each band should be viewed holistically when making assessments; a weakness in one element of a level, for example, can be balanced by strengths in another. Candidates who produce no work for a criterion, or who produce work below GCSE standard, should be awarded a mark of zero.

Assessment Criteria

Unit 4 Part A Mark Band 1 At this level candidates have Mark Range Mark Band 2 At this level candidates have Mark Range Mark Band 3 At this level candidates have Mark Range
When designing

Produced a brief analysis identifying some features of the design brief to produce a design specification.

Simply analysed energy requirements. 

0-1 Produced a more detailed analysis identifying most of the key features and client requirements, including the energy used by the product or during manufacture. 2-3 Produced a detailed analysis explaining the clients requirements and justifying the key features, including the energy demands of the product and manufacturing processes. 4-5
  Generated and evaluated a basic idea and developed a simple design solution There is some sign of modification. 0-3 Generated and evaluated alternative design ideas with evidence of testing and modifications to produce a final design solution. 4-6

Generated and evaluated a range of alternative design ideas.

There is detailed evidence of testing using objective methods and modifications to produce a final design solution.

7-9
When communicating

Used a limited range of engineering drawings/diagrams. They may not be drawn to sector-specific standards and conventions. Some CAD has been attempted.

Some of the information has been presented in an appropriate form and/or style. Much of the work is not organised clearly or coherently. Numerous errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling are evident in work.  

0-4

Used a range of engineering drawings/diagrams including CAD for presentation. There is some evidence that they have used sector-specific standards and conventions. It is clear from the drawings that the ideas are workable.

Most of the information is presented in an appropriate form and style. Most of the work is organised clearly and coherently. There are a small number of errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling evident in the work.

5-8

Used a range of detailed engineering drawings/diagrams that comply with sector specific standards and conventions. The ideas are workable and the drawings/ diagrams are annotated appropriately.

CAD has been used with effect to produce rendered presentations.

Information is clearly and logically presented and organised using an appropriate form and style throughout. The text is legible, easily understood and shows a good grasp of grammar, punctuation and spelling in the work.

9-12
When testing and evaluating Demonstrated limited evidence of testing against the design brief and specification. 0-2

Demonstrated some
evidence of testing against
the design brief and
specification using objective
methods. 

3-4 Demonstrated testing against the design brief and specification, using objective methods, appropriate scientific principles and modelling, to select their final design. 5-6
  Shown some reasoning and have used basic or inappropriate terminology. They did not respond to feedback or modify their proposed solution 0-1

Explained the reasons for their choice using appropriate technical language.

The final design solution matches the main design criteria.

Candidates have responded to client feedback and modified their proposed solution if necessary.

2-3

Explained in detail the reasons for their choice using correct engineering and technical language.

The final design solution matches the design criteria.

Candidates have responded to client feedback and proposed modifications to the specification as required.

4-5
          Subtotal /37
Unit 4 Part B            
When making Produced a simple production plan using the basic information in the product specification suitable for one-off production. 0-1 Produced a production plan using the information contained within the product specification. Included some reference to batch production 2-3

Produced a comprehensive production plan using fully all aspects of the product specification.

Shown understanding of batch and continuous production procedures.

4-5
  Followed a simple production plan using information contained in engineering drawings and/ or diagrams. 0-1 Followed a production plan suitable for batch production using information contained in engineering drawings and/ or diagrams. 2-3 Followed a comprehensive production plan suitable for batch and continuous production using information contained in engineering drawings and/or diagrams. 4-5
  Selected and used safely, with guidance, materials, parts and components for their product. 0-1 Selected and used safely, with limited guidance, the correct materials, parts and components for their product. 2-3

Independently selected and used safely appropriate materials, parts and components for their product.

An explanation is given as to why alternative materials, parts and/or components which could have been used/ tested were not.

4-5
  Used, with guidance, appropriate processes, tools and equipment to make their product. They have worked safely with some skill. 0-6 Selected and used, with limited guidance, appropriate processes, tools and equipment to make their product. They have worked safely and competently. 7-12

Independently selected and used processes, tools and equipment to make their product. They have worked safely, competently and effectively.

An explanation is given as to why alternative processes, tools and equipment could have been used/tested if necessary.

13-18
  Undertaken some testing of the product and compared it to the product specification. Shown an awareness of quality issues. 0-1 Undertaken a range of basic testing on the product and compared it to the product specification. The finished product complies with the main requirements of the specification. Quality is maintained and work is in tolerance. 2-3 Undertaken detailed and objective testing to compare their product to the specification. The finished product complies consistently with the standards required. Quality control methods suitable for quantity production are used as part of quality assurance. 4-5
          Subtotal /38
when applying new technologies in Parts A and B Described limited aspects of new technology including CIM and CIE. Considered the use of smart materials. Superficially investigated microcontrollers and control systems. 0-2 Described several aspects of applying new technology such as CIM and CIE including the use of microcontrollers and control systems. Investigated how smart materials could be used. 3-4 Described the impact of a wide range of new technologies in manufacturing and control systems. Described the use of a CIM or CIE operation with some detail. Demonstrated the application of a smart material. 5-6
  Described how an automated / robotic operation could be carried out 0-3 Described how several automated/robotic operations could be carried out. 4-6 Described and carried out several automated / robotic operations. 7-9
          Subtotal /15
          Total /90

Level of Control

Within the controlled assessment component, levels of control are defined for the following three stages of assessment:

  • task setting
  • task taking
  • task marking

Task setting

Students are required to submit a single design and make project which should be selected from a list of tasks provided by AQA at the start of the academic year. These tasks are broadly comparable and students can only submit a project which has been selected from this list. In certain situations it may be appropriate for centres to contextualise a given task in order to best suit their centre specific circumstances. In such a situation the centre should contact the controlled assessment adviser allocated to their centre in order to seek guidance.

The list of board set tasks will be reviewed every two years and amended/added to as appropriate.

Task taking

Authenticity control – research and preparation may be completed under limited supervision. However, all work, with the exception of research and preparation, should be completed by students under informal supervision. This means that the centre must ensure that plagiarism does not take place, that sources used by students are clearly recorded and that each students' preparation for the final production of the work is his/her own.

Feedback control – teachers may review students' work and may provide advice at a general level. Teachers, however, must not provide detailed and specific advice on how the draft may be improved to meet the assessment criteria. The nature of any guidance provided and the details of any feedback given must be clearly recorded. Students may be guided as to the approach they might adopt but the outcome must remain their own. Likewise, feedback may evaluate progress to date and propose suggested broad approaches for improvement but the detailed correction or annotation of work for feedback purposes is not allowed.

Time control – each student should produce a design folder (paper or electronic) and a completed outcome. It is expected that the total activity should take approximately 45 hours to complete, including preparation but not including additional time for the teaching and learning of the subject content. We are keen to encourage succinctness and a focussed approach to this task and for this reason it is expected that the design folder should consist of approximately 20 pages of A3 paper (or the A4 or electronic equivalent). Examinations Officers should contact AQA Candidate Services for advice on any students who may need special consideration and, therefore, may require additional time.

Collaboration control – the work of individual students may be informed by working with others, for example when undertaking research, but students must provide an individual response in the task outcome.

Resources – students' access to resources is likely to be determined by the availability in centres. Examinations Officers should contact AQA Candidate Services for advice on any students who may require the use of any special equipment.

Task marking

Teachers should mark the controlled assessment using the assessment criteria given above in Units 2 and 4. Further details regarding this process are given in section 6 of the specification. Moderation of the controlled assessment work is by inspection of a sample of students' work sent by post or electronically through the e-Portfolio system from the centre to a moderator appointed by AQA. Further details are provided in section 7 of the specification.