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Product Design

A Level Product Design

Why study this subject? 

This course aims to equip students with design skills for the future. They will develop skills to recognise design needs and gain an understanding of how current global issues, including integrating technology, impacts on today’s world.

We aim to encourage creativity and innovation. Students will develop the confidence to innovate and produce creative design solutions as they work on their own design brief with a client/end user.

Summary of course content 

Students follow a 2 year linear A-Level course following the Edexcel specification. It has a mixture of theory and practical application. The course consists of a final exam in Year 13 which is worth 50% of the grade together with a practical design and make project which consists of a portfolio of design work and a final practical product (worth 50% of the final grade).

During the first-year students will study a large section of the theory (please see topics below) and will learn through practical applications during short design and make projects. The short projects will enable students to understand the working properties of materials and fabricating materials, together with developing their communication skills through sketching and CAD.  The first project will be to design and make a solar powered light.

In the second year of study the students will complete the theory topics and also complete the major project (worth 50% of the grade)


  • Topic 1: Materials
  • Topic 2: Performance characteristics of materials
  • Topic 3: Processes and techniques
  • Topic 4: Digital technologies
  • Topic 5: Factors influencing the development of products
  • Topic 6: Effects of technological developments;
  • Topic 7: Potential hazards and risk assessment
  • Topic 8: Features of manufacturing industries
  • Topic 9: Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment
  • Topic 10: Current legislation
  • Topic 11: Information handling, Modelling and forward planning
  • Topic 12: Further processes and techniques.

Where the course leads

Students have progressed into higher education in areas like Architecture, Civil Engineering Mechanical Engineering, Product Design, Furniture Design and Interior Design. The subject can also support students following careers in ICT, the Sciences and Arts.

Entry requirements

Students will need to be eligible to study A levels and meet the entry requirement of 8 GCSEs grade 5-9 including English and Maths. In addition they must have achieved a 6 grade in Design and Technology, Product Design or Graphic Design as a minimum. A 6 grade in both English and Maths would also be desirable as students will need to complete extended writing as part of their design portfolio and exam.

Exam board: Edexcel

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Long Term Overview