This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers, especially those in the creative industries. Students will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, while enjoying opportunities to put their learning in practice by producing prototypes 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.
A substantial part of the course focusses on the design process and developing practical manufacturing skills. It is a varied course which teaches the use of both compliant and resistant materials, though it is weighted towards the latter.
Paper 1 – Written exam, 2 hours and 30 minutes, 120 marks, 30% of A Level. A mixture of short answer and extended response.
Paper 2 – Written exam, 1 hour and 30 minutes, 80 marks, 20% of A Level. A mixture of short answer and extended response questions. Two sections to be undertaken:
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
Non-exam assessment (NEA) - A substantial design and make project, 100 marks, 50% of A Level.
Evidence: A written or digital portfolio and photographic evidence of a final prototype.
If you are considering a career in Engineering or one of the many creative strands of Design & Technology, such as Architecture or Computer Aided Design, A Level Product Design provides a range of core skills that would be instrumental in supporting a chosen degree course. It is not aimed exclusively at those career paths though as many of the skills are transferable to many other areas.
Product Design is an excellent way to demonstrate aptitude in a number of skills, including creativity, manual dexterity, problem solving and commercial sense. Universities and employers are actively looking for well-rounded students who not only have sound academic knowledge but who can also show logic and ingenuity too, which Product Design fully prepares you for.
AQA past papers and marks schemes can also be found on the Student Share (M) drive. These are currently for the old specification but the majority of questions are still relevant for the new specification.
Please click here to see examples of student work.
Considering a career in Design or Engineering? Click here to find out more information about our 'A' Level course in D & T.