A-level Design and Technology: Product Design

Head of Department

Mrs R Clark-Keen

Examining Body


Overview of the course:


The new qualifications place greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. 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.

Course Details 

What Will You Study:

Product Design requires students to engage in both practical and theoretical study. This specification requires students to cover design and technology skills and knowledge. These have been separated into technical principles and designing and making principles.

Students will 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 specification content and other subject areas such as Computer Science, Business Studies, Art and Design and History. Students must also demonstrate maths and science skills.


Paper 1; Technical principles, 2.5 hour exam, 120 marks (30%)
Mixture of short answer and extended response.

Paper 2; Design and making principles, 1.5 hour exam, 80 marks (20%)

Questions are a mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Section A: Product Analysis: 30 marks. Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s)

Section B: Commercial manufacture: 50 marks

NEA; Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles. Substantial design and make project, 100 marks, 50% of A-level. Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.

Possible Career Paths 

  • Textile Technology
  • Consumer science
  • Electronics
  • Dental technology
  • Architecture
  • Furniture making
  • Printing
  • Cybernetics
  • Product Design
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Medical technology
  • Model-making
  • Vehicle design
  • Packaging technology
  • Building crafts
  • Prosthetics
  • Sign-making
  • D&T teaching
  • Food technology
  • Structural engineering