Bolton School Sixth Form Boys

Design and Technology: Product Design

What will I study?

This course will offer students opportunities to study, design and make prototype products closely linked to the real world of product manufacture. 

This exciting course will foster the growth of a student's imagination, innovation and flair and ally it to the design, entrepreneurial, problem-solving and technological skills that are key to this subject.  Students will develop an understanding of contemporary design and consider the uses of new technologies and modern materials.



Unit Title


Advanced Innovation Challenge

The core features of designing, design influences.

Developing innovation skills, creative thinking.

Communication - advanced CAD/CAM, confident graphics.

Logical thinking, planning and strategic problem solving.

Designing and modelling.

Product Study

Advanced workshop skills.

Analysis of existing products - design features, product function, components, materials and manufacture.

Students select a product and perform a product analysis, product development, prototype modelling and testing.




Unit Title


Design, Make and Evaluate

Students design, make and evaluate a product which demonstrates creativity, flair and innovation.  The nature and theme of the design is the student's own choice.  Most students consider this unit to be the most fulfilling yet challenging part of the course.

Product Design

Students study Materials and Systems, and consider ways in which they are used to produce a range of modern products.

Students will learn how to create innovative new products by applying the knowledge gained in this unit.


How will I be assessed?




Unit Title

Nature of Assessment

Time Allocated

AS level

Unit 1

Advanced Innovation Challenge

Practical Examination

Students take part in a timed design challenge in the workshop under examination conditions.

7 hours

Unit 2

Product Study


Produce a Product Study portfolio.

30 hours

A2 level

Unit 3

Design, Make and Evaluate


Design and make a product and produce a portfolio.

40 hours

Unit 4

Product Design

Examination Paper

One product-based question and one design question. 

2½ hours



Desirable requirements

This course is a natural progression from GCSE Product Design and, therefore, it is desirable (although not essential) to have achieved a respectable grade in the GCSE course before embarking on the A-level course.  However, the main prerequisite for the A-level is a keen interest in Design and Technology and a motivation to work in a fast-paced practical environment at a very high level.  There is substantial coursework and students should not underestimate the time they will need to spend outside of lessons in order to complete the coursework tasks to a high standard.

A dedicated textbook has been produced by Hodder publishers to directly support students following this course.

Where will it lead?

The breadth of the course makes it particularly suitable for a wide range of Engineering or Design-based careers.

Due to the Systems and Control content, students would be well-prepared for further education in any of the Engineering disciplines, e.g. Electrical, Electronic, Mechanical, Civil, Structural, Aeronautical, Material Science, Architecture or related studies.  Such students would usually also take Mathematics and Physics at A-level.

An alternative route would be particularly suited to students intending to follow a career in Product/Industrial Design, Graphic Design or other Design-based areas.  In such cases, Product Design may be taken in combination with any other A-level subjects.