Product Design

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code PD01
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers, especially those in the creative industries. They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economical influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning in to practise by producing prototypes of their choice. Students will gain a real understanding of what it  means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.

Skills Acquired

  • Be open to taking design risks, showing innovation and enterprise whilst considering their role as responsible designers and citizens.
  • Develop intellectual curiosity about the design and manufacture of products and systems, and their impact on daily like and the wider world
  • Work collaboratively to develop and refine their ideas, responding to feedback from users, peers and expert practitioners
  • Gain an insight into the creative, engineering and/or manufacturing industries
  • Develop the capacity to think creatively, innovatively and critically through focused research and the exploration of design opportunities arising from the needs, wants and values of users and clients

Students Suited To The Course
Students who have a passion for design and who are creative problem solvers should consider studying Product Design.

What Other Subjects It Combines Well With
Students should develop the ability to draw on and apply a range of skills and knowledge from other subject areas, to inform their decisions in design and the application or development of technology. There are clear links between aspects of the course content and other subject areas.

  • Business Studies should clear links with enterprise and marketing in the development of products
  • Art and Design has strong links with the design communication element of the course
  • History within the design theory section of the course

This is not an exhaustive list, and there are other opportunities within the specification for students in integrate and apply their wider learning and understanding from other subject areas studied during Key Stage 4, as well as those subjects that they are studying alongside A Level. Students must also demonstrate maths and science skills

Trips and visits and design competitions.


Year 12
Through a practical approach students build on their knowledge at GCSE of technical principles. They also complete the first of their design portfolios leading to a final prototype.

Year 13
Students' understanding of technical principles and design is further developed in the second year of A Level. The second of their two design portfolios is completed which also leads to a final prototype.

Unit Content

All assessment objectives are covered within Year 12 and Year 13 through exam assessed and non-exam assessed tasks.

  • Identify, investigate and outline design possibilities to address needs and wants.
  • Design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose
  • Analyse and evaluate: design decisions and outcomes, including for prototypes made by themselves and others wider issues in design and technology.
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of technical principles and designing and making principles.

How will it be delivered?

A-Level assessment consists of two written exams. 30% of the grade is assessed through a two and a half hour written paper on Technical Principles and 20% of the grade is assessed through a one hour and a half written exam on Designing and Making Principles. .The remaining 50% is assessed through a written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of a final prototype.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade 6 in a Design and Technology subject.  It is possible to study Product Design without having studied it at GCSE.  In this case you should have an interest and flair in design and ideally have achieved a grade 6 in a creative subject.

Your next steps...

The skills you learn are also transferrable across a broad range of subjects and careers, such as problem solving, the ability to analyse and think creatively. If you would like to study any design based course at university, A Level Product Design provides an excellent foundation. This course is also suited to anybody who plans to complete an alternative design related higher education route such as apprenticeships due to the practical nature of the course.