St John Plessington Catholic College

About the Course:

This subject is offered as an A Level course. The product design course offers an opportunity for you to gain personal satisfaction and a positive experience from designing and making products of your choice. This course aims to develop your appreciation of the complex relationships between design, materials, manufacture and marketing. The practical problem-solving processes involved in this course aim to foster independent learning, creativity and innovation. You will be encouraged to take a broad view of design and technology and its influence in the modern world.


At AS Level you will develop an understanding of a broad range of materials, with emphasis on the life cycle of products, manufacture and final disposal. You will also consider the broader issues for the designer including the environmental sustainability of products and consumer safety.  With help and guidance, you will choose a product to design which should answer a real design problem for a specific target user group. Your product should incorporate a range of materials and should allow you to demonstrate flair and original thought.

AS assessment: You will complete two units at AS level
Unit 1: Written Exam: 2 hours
Weighting: 50% of AS (25% of overall A Level marks)
Paper Topic: Primarily based on Materials and Components

Unit 2: Design and Make Coursework (50 hours approx)
Weighting: 50% of AS (25% of overall A Level marks)


At A2 you will be provided with the opportunity to further develop your knowledge and practical skills from AS. You will continue to develop a body of coursework alongside an understanding of the processes and procedures of commercial production and manufacture.

A2 Assessment: You will complete two units at A2 level
Unit 3: Written Exam: 2 hours
Weighting: 25% of overall A Level marks
Paper Topic: A synoptic paper based on Design and Manufacture

Unit 4: Design and Make Coursework (60 hours approx)
Weighting: 25% of overall A Level marks

Is there anything else I need to know?

For candidates wishing to study Product Design or Industrial Design at higher education the desirable subjects to choose along with Design and Technology are Art and Design, Mathematics, Science (Applied), Physics and ICT. However, other combinations are acceptable depending on the type of higher education establishment.

Progression Routes

Success in this course can lead to higher education qualifications and careers in Product Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Computer Aided Design, Architecture, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering as well as other design and engineering disciplines.

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