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Design Technology: Product Design


On this exciting and forward thinking A Level course, we aim to encourage independent learning and creativity through the setting of inspirational and practical problem-solving tasks. Strong emphasis is placed on students developing confidence in their own innovative ability and on making unique products.

What will I study?

All girls will have the opportunity to take AS and A2 in this subject and for both courses girls will study:

  • How to design products professionally using methods ranging from hand drawn sketching to 3D Computer Aided Design.
  • How materials and components are used in the manufacture of a broad range of modern products.
  • How to combine designs and materials to create your own individual products of high quality.

How will I be assessed?

AS Level
Paper 1: Written examination (50% of AS)- a 2 hour paper with multiple choice, short answers & extended response
Assessment: non-examination (50% of AS)- a 35 hour single ‘design & make’ project from a context set by AQA

A Level
Paper 1: Written examination (25% of A Level)- a 2 hour paper with multiple choice, short answers & extended response
Paper 2: Written examination (25% of A Level)- a 2 hour paper consisting of a product analysis question & a commercial manufacturing question as well as a series of short answer & extended response questions
Assessment: non-examination (50% of A Level)- a 45 hour single ‘design & make’ project of your own choice

Desirable requirements

Prior knowledge of Design and Technology is not assumed but we expect that you will have an interest in design and production.

How will I study?

You will work both individually and as part of a group.  There will be practical and theoretical work throughout the course.  The non-exam assessment practical project will allow you to demonstrate creativity and apply a wide range of technical skills.  Theory will be covered through investigation, analysis and understanding of materials and industrial practice. 

Where will it lead?

Product Design is recognised as an excellent basis for a number of higher education courses and leads onto interesting and varied career paths.  The course is ideal for those intending to follow a career in Product Design, Interior Design, Engineering, Architecture, Fashion Design, Materials Science or other related areas.  It may be taken in combination with most other A Level subjects.  NB It isn’t possible to study other Design and Technology based subjects alongside this one.


“I am currently studying Product Design, Mathematics and Physics. I have enjoyed my AS subjects but I have particularly enjoyed Product Design. What I really like about Product Design is that you have a physical product at the end of the year which shows all your hard work. There is quite a big difference between GCSE and A Level Product Design, but, there are still links. At A Level you go into much more depth with your design and finished product than at GCSE. What I have found in Sixth Form is that you get far more independence when it comes to Product Design and are more free to make what you want to make, which I quite like.”