St Augustine's Catholic College

A Level Product Design

“Design and Technology is a phenomenally important subject. Logical, creative and practical, it’s the only opportunity students have to apply what they learn in Maths and Science - directly preparing them for a career in engineering.”

— Sir James Dyson

Suitable for students wanting to progress in the creative and engineering industries.

Product Design is an opportunity for students to learn to be better problem solvers. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real-world problems, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. This specification, launched in September 2017, focusing on modern design and manufacture where students can learn about contemporary technologies, materials and processes, as well as established practices.

The course encompasses a wide range of design disciplines required to design and make high-quality products by hand or using CAM. They will also explore modern 3D CAM processes including 3D printing and develop their understanding of advanced CAD using industry-standard software such as Solidworks and Adobe Photoshop.

Students will have the opportunity to investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology first hand through exciting design-related city excursions. The course requires students to demonstrate their application of knowledge, understanding and skills of Mathematics and Science in both theoretical and practical ways.

Course Content

  1. Technical principles (25% of A Level) – 1hr 30 minutes exam

  2. Designing and making principles (25% of A Level) - 2hr 30 minutes exam

    • Section A:

      • Product Analysis

      • Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s)

    • Section B:

      • Commercial manufacture

      • Mixture of short and extended response questions

  3. Non-exam Assessment (NEA) (50% of A Level) - Substantial design and make task

Career progression

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 and engineering industries.

Through engaging with designing and making activities, students develop a range of skills and personal qualities which will support them through life—and are valued by employers. These skills include independence, team working, resilience, time management, resourcefulness, risk taking and entrepreneurship.

“Fab facilities – industry standards – the quality of coursework is exceptional, with great staff who are always there for you”

— Rhys Jones, A Level Graphics (went on to read Product Design at Loughborough)