Smart Product Design and Manufacture – QAN 601/4558/4


Statement Purpose

Who is this qualification for?

This qualification is designed for 14-16 year old learners who want to understand and use advanced manufacturing technologies for further study or for job applications.


The world in which we live is increasingly reliant on technology. The ability to design and manufacture products using Smart technologies will fulfil essential needs in the country’s future economy.


Who might be interested in taking this course?

In terms of preparation for career opportunities, the qualification will prepare learners for a range of the government’s recognised pathways including apprenticeships:


1. Engineering and Manufacturing


Learners will learn how to design and make a variety of modern devices, such as IoT (Internet of Things) type devices and embedded gadgets. They will learn how to use devices such as 3D printers.


2. Creative and Design


They will explore how to use and operate CAD/CAM.


3. Health and Science


They will explore the use of embedded systems and 3D printed organs, for example in PharmaTech.


4. Digital


They will use simulation software and appropriate digital tools for design work and control functions.


5. Transport and Logistics


They will explore the increasing adoption of embedded and autonomous devices for logistics such as cars and trucks. Manufacturing companies now use large scale 3D printers to manufacture car frames and parts.


What will the student study as part of this qualification?

There are 3 compulsory units making up the qualification

1 : Smart Product Design and visualisation   5 Credits (40 GLH)
2 : Smart Manufacture                                   5 Credits (40 GLH)
3 : Smart Electronics                                     5 Credits (40 GLH)

The details of the assessment criteria can be read from the qualifications specification.

What knowledge and skills will the student develop as part of this qualification and how might these be of use and value in further studies?

This qualification is made up of mandatory units. As with all manufactured goods, there is increasingly a need to look at the sustainability and purpose of designs, so learners will reflect on their studies and make some of their own considered opinions on the overall value of products in the marketplace. They will study a range of areas of product design and manufacture, but with an underlying thread relating to the process of their manufacture. All of the areas of study use advanced materials and embedded electronics in order to be as cost effective and efficient as possible. All of the devices made may use similar software and hardware and these can all be designed with software packages and made with devices such as 3D printers which are increasingly common in schools and colleges. The learners also consider the underlying technologies and methodologies that make these possible, particularly open source and open standards. Finally, they will learn how to put all of this together to display their skills, knowledge and understanding for others.


In following this course the learner will practice skills including numeracy, literacy, engineering, design, creative arts, science and embedded software development. Further, by focusing on practical applications of technology, the course complements some of the more academic subjects by demonstrating the application of theory in realistic context driven projects. Through a range of design processes and prototypes, the learner will design a range of items to help find solutions for user defined problems locally, nationally, and internationally. Solutions address issues of energy consumption, food and materials scarcity, social and online connectedness in an internet age. Sustainability is an embedded theme. A range of appropriate tasks follow the journey of the product including:


  • analysing and interpreting product design briefs

  • gathering information and researching to support design briefs

  • researching and developing creative product concepts

  • using CAD visualization to communicate exterior product concepts

  • using CAD to carry out digital simulation such as FEA, technical feasibility, and initial review against brief

  • using CAD to develop 3D Models suitable for production using additive manufacturing technology

  • using and integrating smart-electronic modules to create functional prototypes

  • analysing product life cycles including strategies to reduce carbon footprints, whether through the function of the product itself or through minimising waste from the product’s manufacturing process.

  • studying interdisciplinary teams.

Which subjects will complement this course?

This qualification is complementary to any other academic or technical

subject as it involves a broad understanding of what society wants and

needs and the technical considerations to meet those needs.


Meaningful links can be made with all Ebacc subjects. For example:


Science – science of electronics, physics, biological measures, pharmacy

Maths – spreadsheets, formulae, carts and graphs

English – writing, formatting, presentation

PSRE – ethical and moral issues

Geography – Smart sensing devices

PE – Smart monitoring of heart or other biological measures


While the course is clearly focussed on engineering, the construction of the units is such that it allows a broad scope of study. There is a scientific underpinning of the Smart manufacturing technologies being studied, but there is also a humanities focus in what these technologies might mean for the wider society. Learners taking this course would have a good grounding in engineering principles, but could equally enter a social science based qualification as they will have explored the human dimension to Smart manufacturing devices.


While this qualification provides a progression route to Level 3 qualifications in manufacture, it also provides a general education background that would be suitable complement to the great majority of qualifications, in particular bringing a practical dimension to purely academic study.


Trade Body

OpenUK-Logo-V1-WhiteBG-500x200 OpenUK Endorsement

nmi-parent-logo-complete-lo NMI Support letter


Thomas Freemantle School logo

Thomas Freemantle School logo

Sir Thomas Fremantle letter

UTC_Reading_LogoUTC Reading letter



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