Product Design A Level

Science and Mathematics

Science and Mathematics
Science and Mathematics
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


This course offers students the chance to explore ideas of originality, design projects of value, and to question and challenge design briefs that have been set. Areas of study will explore and design understanding of a wide range of materials, including modern and smart materials, and processes used in product design and manufacture. Over the two years, students will be required to develop an understanding of contemporary industrial and commercial practices applied to designing and manufacturing products, and to appreciate the risks involved. This course develops a wide range of disciplines but is firmly rooted in the skills required to design and make high quality products. This course will allow students to experiment with ideas and demonstrate design techniques, as well as look forward to future technologies.


Years 1 and 2

Students produce one portfolio that contains evidence of investigation, design and development, and evaluation. The portfolio comprises: performance analysis, market research, materials and components, product manufacture, design and development, production planning, product manufacture and testing. When completing this portfolio, students can choose which route they would like to work towards, combining all of the disciplines within product design. This covers resistant materials, textiles, systems and control, as well as graphics.

Component 1: Design and Technology in the 21st century 50% 

This covers materials, designing and innovation, processes and techniques, public interaction, human responsibility, industrial and commercial practice, and product analysis and systems. All areas will be taught throughout the two years of the course, through a number of small mini projects as well as throughout the coursework. This will then be examined at the end of the two years with a three-hour exam.

Component 2: Design and Make Project 50%

In this unit students are given the opportunity to apply the skills they have acquired and developed throughout this course of study. They will be asked to design and make a product that meets their chosen brief, that complies with the requirements of product design covering many disciplines. Prior to this, students will develop their own style of design work and begin to explore a range of briefs. Students will develop their understanding of coursework and the elements needed to be successful.

How will it be delivered?

The two year A Level course has one formal exam worth 50%. The paper includes calculations (15%), short-open and open-response questions, as well as extended-writing questions. The exam will be a three-hour paper. The assessment also includes an internal design and make assessment, which is worth 50%, and which includes a formal and informal portfolio along with a final prototype.

Entry requirements

GCSE level 5 or above in a design and technology subject such as graphical products, resistant materials or product design is required. Knowledge of materials, processes and related industries is advantageous, along with strong practical ability, as this is a demanding course. You will also need a level 5 or above in GCSE Maths as the revised course has a 15% proportion of maths-based questions within the examination.

Your next steps...

Product Design is a popular subject for Higher Education and through its development of transferable skills will enable you to pursue many potential career paths. Product Design graduates have progressed to careers in engineering, teaching, architecture, CAD, design illustration and various aspects of industrial design, interior design, garden design, marketing, advertising and furniture design.