Design and Technology – Product Design

Course Leader:

Mr K Treen –

Exam board: AQA
Guidance: Grade 5 or above in GCSE design and technology and grade 4 in maths and English. Also, a willingness to carry out individual research related to your chosen projects.
Course Start Date: 09/2024
Course length: 2 Years
Course description

As technology continues to evolve to cater for our hectic, busy lives, so the need for labour and time saving devices increases. Never before in human history has there been such a demand for products. It is estimated that a new product design goes on the market every 5 minutes!

Product designers are highly respected and important professionals, required to design, model, test, manufacture and mass produce products made from a wide range of materials. Product designers have to be able to satisfy public demand and problem-solve these initial requirements, working through the complete design and manufacture process, culminating in an ingenious and commercially viable solution. Careers in product design/engineering have a high employment rate do to national shortages.

Course units

Paper 1: Core technical principles and core designing and making principles

  • 25% of A Level
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 100 marks
  • Mixture of short answers, multiple choice and extended responses

Paper 2: Specialist knowledge. Technical and designing and making principles

  • 25% of A Level
  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • Mixture of short answers, multiple choice and extended responses.
  • Section A: Product analysis – up to 6 short answers questions based on visual stimulus of products.
  • Section B: Commercial manufacturing – mixture of short and extended response questions.

Non-exam assessment (coursework): Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles and specialist knowledge

  • Design and make task
  • 45 hours to complete
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of the A Level
  • Creation of an electronic portfolio with photographic evidence of the final prototype
  • Students will be able to select the type of project they will follow from a range provided by the examination board

In addition to the coursework unit, students will complete a range of mini projects to develop their manufacturing skills.


Students will be continually assessed in both, the theory unit, mini coursework projects and the final NEA assessment. Within the theory unit, regular testing will take place to track the progress of the students understanding. Assessment of the design process will also be made through the mini projects.

What can I do with this qualification?

Any career involved in the design, manufacture and mass production of any 3D product – product design or engineering; electrical products, robotics, mechanical systems, cosmetics and health products, furniture, the television industry, theatre and the arts, CAD / CAM engineering, boats, aircraft, cars – the list is endless!

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