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Product Design

Subject Area: Technology
Level: TWO-YEAR A Level
Exam Board: AQA
Syllabus No:

What do I need to study this course?

You do not need to have studied design technology to take this course.

You will have grade 4 or above in GCSE English and ideally in Maths. If you were unable to follow a DT course at school this need not be a barrier if you are highly enthusiastic and have a genuine interest in the subject. This is an ideal course if you have access to a broadband connection at home, as many of the departmental resources are available online.

What will I study?

Students will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning into practice by creating products 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.

Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. The course has been designed to encourage students to take a broad view of design and technology, to develop their capacity to design and make products and to appreciate different aspects of design, materials, manufacture and marketing.


Topic covered in the first year include: materials and their application, design communication skills, digital design and manufacture, critical analysis and evaluation, and environmentally responsible product design. Within the course structure you will be taught a range of practical skills including appropriate use of industry standard CAD software.


Topics covered in the second year include: approaches to product management, design for manufacture and national and international standards in product design.

A level Product Design will be assessed by two written examinations at the end of the course worth 50% of the qualification. Students will also produce a final practical prototype based on their own design brief, supported by an electronically submitted design folder worth 50% of the qualification. 

What next?

Studying product design equips students with the practical skills, theoretical knowledge, and confidence to succeed in a number of careers, especially those in the creative industries. Students studying the subject have progressed onto a range of degree courses including: Product Design, Industrial Design, Automotive Design, Engineering, Architecture, Computer Animation, and CAD Design.