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Product Design AS / A LEVEL AQA at Beacon Academy (Beacon Community College)

Course description

Product Design is at its most innovative right now with developments in Materials and Technology. The AQA A Level Product Design course is recognised as an academically rigourous programme of study by all Universities. It sits very well alongside other subjects like Maths,Business Studies, Language or Science. Students who have a passion for Design and an interest in new technology will progress very well on this course.

Design skills, such as graphical communication, computer aided designing(CAD), computer aided manufacturing(CAM), and Information and CommunicationTechnology (ICT) will be developed through a combination of core and individual task activities 

Course content

Subject Content & Assessment


This course aims to instill a wide understanding and appreciation of the resources and skills, both modern and historic, necessary to take a product from conception to sale and beyond.  In addition, it encourages students to develop further their own creativity and design and technology capability.  This subject is acknowledged by all English Universities.


The course content is taught through ‘Design and Make’ practical assignments and supporting theory studies.  Each coursework unit results in a design portfolio and a practical outcome.  Students are encouraged to identify and solve design problems for real clients.  Coursework is monitored continuously and assessed internally and then moderated by the Exam Board.  There is one compulsory project in Year 12 and one in Year 13.  The coursework element represents 50% of the final grade.





Unit AS


1: Materials, Components and Application


Weighting: 50% AS 25% A Level

Assessment: External:

2 hour written examination


2: Learning through Designing and Making

Weighting: 50% AS 25% A Level

Assessment: Internal coursework approx. 50 hours


Unit A2


3: Design and Manufacture

Weighting: 25% A Level

Assessment: External:

2 hour written examination


4: Design and Making practice

Weighting: 25%

Assessment: Internal coursework approx. 60 hours

Entry requirements

Candidates need to have studied and achieved a B at GCSE Design & Technology before commencing work on this specification; Students should show strengths in the practical working of their chosen material and a particular interest in post ‘A’ level study is encouraged.




Learning Methods

Key to success in this subject is involvement in all aspects of the course.  Students follow a self-determined  investigation into aspects of their chosen material.  Students are encouraged to study aspects of 20th century product design and the social environment. The aim is to explore these through personal study, fact finding using links with business, a variety of media , group presentations and debate.  A willingness to develop communication skills and produce relevant evidence through sketching, technical illustration, modeling, computer-generated design and ICT is essential for success in the coursework portfolios.  Within the two-year course there will be educational visits to support research work looking at historical and commercial aspects of product design; These visits average one a year and cost approximately £15-£20. 

Future opportunities

This course promotes communication, teamwork and three-dimensional design skills and business awareness.  This is useful for students wishing to study Art, Graphics, Maths, Media, Physics or Engineering in further education

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Beacon Academy (Beacon Community College) directly.

Last updated date: 23 October 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Course code: Dt