Sixth Form: Product Design

A Level Product Design

Entry Requirements

It is preferable to have at least a grade C in GCSE Product Design.

Subject Overview

Everything we use in our daily lives has been designed. Without creative individuals pushing the boundaries of technology and seeing and solving problems, we would not live in the world as we know it today. A Level Product Design is the starting point to making you one of those individuals who makes our life easier or better in some way. This course builds on the knowledge you have gained from GSCE Product Design .  It allows you to have a greater understanding of the processes and materials you will need, as well as developing your thinking and practical skills. You will have a mixture of practical and theory based lessons, enabling you to complete one portfolio in Year 12 and one project, of your own choosing in Year 13, your final chance to showcase the skills you have learnt.

Syllabus (Course Outline and Structure)

We follow the AQA A-level Design and Technology: Product Design specification.

A Level Specification at a glance

Paper 1 (30%). 

  • A 2 hour 30 minute paper worth a maximum of 120 marks.
  • Short and extended response questions.
  • Based on Technical Principals

Paper 2 (20%). 

  • A 1 hour 30 minute paper worth a maximum of 80 marks.
  • Short and extended response questions.
  • Based on Designing and Making Principals, includes product analysis and commercial manufacture questions.

Non Examination Assessment (50%). 

  • A 45 hour study worth a maximum of 100 marks.
  • A portfolio of one single, substansial design and make task. 
  • Presented as a hand written or electronic portfolio.
  • Includes photographic evidence of a final prototype.
  • Contexts for the project will be set by the exam board each year.  Students develop their own design brief based on this.

This course has been chosen as it gives you the chance to work in a variety of materials as well as specialising more when it comes to the exam.

Core Principals include the following:

  • 15% of the marks in the exam assess mathematical skills in the context of design and technology.
  • Study historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on Design and Technology and put your learning into practice by designing and making products.
  • Develop an understanding of what it is like to be a designer and maker.
  • Develop transferable skills useful for a wide range of careers and higher education courses – especially those in the creative industries. 

Activities and trips

In order to enhance your learning, trips to local manufacturing companies and London talks and exhibitions will be offered. These are designed to help with your understanding of commercial manufacturing systems and wider thinking about how design and technology impacts the world we live in.

Expected Costs

You will be expected to make a contribution to the materials that you use and this will vary between projects. We expect you to provide your own A3 folder as well as basic graphics equipment.  It is advised that you purchase design based magazines or related books for further reading.

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

Complementary Subjects:

  • Physics
  • Art and Design
  • Business
  • Phsychology
  • Media

 Enrichment Activities:

  • Greenpower Project
  • Work Experience.

Subject Resources

We provide lists of useful magazine subscriptions, books, websites and multi-media links for students.  This is avaible from the Technology Department on request, if you would like to read ahead before joining the course.

 Students will be given exam style questions to develop their subject knowledge and ability to write extended answers, in preparation for the exams.

 The exam board have a link to the new specification and are developing exemplar projects and exam answers.