Product Design

A-Level Product Design

Did You Know?

Sir Johnathan Ive (Former Chief Design Officer at Apple Inc.) studied A Level Design and Technology before studying industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic (University of Northumbria at Newcastle)

Key Information


Two Year Course

Examination Board




Paper 1: Technical Principles (30%)
A 2.5 hour exam comprised of short and extended response questions focussed on the use materials and manufacturing within the design process. This is the content studied within the first year of the course.

Paper 2: Design and Making Principles (20%)
A 1.5 hour exam comprised of short and extended response questions, the paper is split into two sections, with section 1 covering product analysis and section 2 focussed on commercial manufacture within the design industry. The content for this exam is covered throughout the two-year course

NEA: (50%)
Students must undertake a substantial design and make task and produce a final prototype based on a context and design brief developed by the student. Students must produce a final prototype based on the design brief they have developed, along with a written or digital design folder or portfolio.

Product Design Specification

What do I need to study this course?

You will need five GCSEs at grade 4, which should include GCSE English Language, GCSE Maths and a GCSE in either Art or Design (if studied). If you did not have the opportunity to study Art or Design at GCSE, entry onto the course will be dependent on the successful completion of a design task set by the department.

What will I study?

You will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology. Developing computer and physical modelling skills, you will use your creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering your own and others’ needs, wants and values.

What next?

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

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