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Design and Technology: Product Design A level **FEES PAYABLE** at Marlborough College

Course description

This course provides a logical progression for pupils who have followed a GCSE course in Design Technology and is of direct relevance to students with a longer term interest in the fields of product design, engineering, architecture or business; the course may also be of value to those who wish to add breadth to their studies and gain an insight into commerce and manufacture, without wishing to target a career within the design world.

A ‘hands on’ approach to learning characterises the course and, to be successful, pupils must enjoy working in this manner. Projects play a key role with a balance between design activity and product manufacture needing to be maintained. 

Course content

Design & Technology is becoming an increasingly complex subject. As user needs become more specialized and markets more competitive, understanding human biases and general design principles requires astute academic insight.  As a subject discipline it prepares pupils to engage with rapidly changing technologies and provides opportunities to respond to the environment in which they live. Here at Marlborough we seek to enable our pupils to explore their creativity and enjoy the wide ranging opportunities which Design & Technology can offer.

Through the provision of a stimulating and creative environment our pupils are encouraged to think and intervene imaginatively to improve quality of life. The subject calls for pupils to become creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. They must look for needs and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas which they can then communicate, through a design folio and practical solution.

There is a particular emphasis on the use of ICT as a means of conveying, resolving and realising ideas. The department has at its heart a desire to straddle the continuum between Science and Art; the technical and the aesthetic. Pupils are able to develop projects which match their level of interest and courses are offered to suit each end of this spectrum. They are supported by an experienced and dedicated staff who enjoy the challenge that project activities provide. 

Entry requirements

Students wishing to join the College in the Sixth Form may be reassured to know that a GCSE Design Technology course specialising in Graphics also provides a suitable foundation for this A level.


Coursework accounts for 60% of the assessment with three structured assignments taking place in the Lower Sixth year; these are followed by a major project, working for an external client, which dominates the Upper Sixth year. Theory is assessed through two written papers taken in the summer of the Upper Sixth year.

UNIT 1: Portfolio of Creative Skills (30%)

Coursework. Students submit a portfolio of evidence that comprises three distinct elements of design activity: a product analysis task, a product design challenge and a manufacturing assignment.

UNIT 2: Design and Technology in Practice (20%)

Candidates are assessed on their knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes, commercial production techniques and the relative benefits of Computer Aided Design and Manufacture.

UNIT 3: Designing for the Future (20%)

This unit places greater focus on contemporary design issues and the use of smart materials in design activity. The designer’s responsibility towards the environment is studied alongside issues concerning sustainability.

UNIT 4: Commercial Design (30%)

Coursework. In this unit students are given the opportunity to apply the skills they have acquired and developed throughout the course to design and make a product of their choice. This product must comply with the requirements of a design brief that is set in conjunction with an external client.

Future opportunities

The course looks to develop pupils' knowledge and understanding of, and skills and application in, designing products. They will also develop their research, analysis, product development, project planning and evaluation skills.

These are skills which are transferable and are applicable to many different careers. 

Further information

The department is open during free time for student use. An open house approach is adopted with pupils tackling projects of their own volition as well as working on coursework assignments.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Marlborough College directly.

Last updated date: 18 November 2016