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Design and Technology: Product Design GCE A Level (AQA) at Guiseley School

Course description

This subject is a two year, linear A level course.  This means that the whole course is assessed in Year 13. 


This is an exciting course designed to encourage students to take a broad view of design and technology, to develop their capacity to design and make products and to appreciate the complex relations between design, materials, manufacture and marketing . Focus lies with the creative aspects, lessons are interactive and vibrant, providing a stimulating experience to learn and develop skills in design and making in both years of the course.


Entry requirements

5 GCSEs grade 4-9, this is normally expected to include Maths and English Language or Literature. 

Students will be expected to achieve at least a grade 5 in the A level subjects that they wish to study.



Assessment: 2 Exams (50%) + 1 Extended project (50%) = A level


PAPER 1 - Written examination, 2½ hours, 120 marks (30% of total A level)

This exam focuses on the core technical principles of designing and making, the exam being a mixture of short answer, multiple choice and extended response questions.


PAPER 2 - Written examination, 1½ hours, 80 marks (20% of total A level)

This exam centres on additional specialist knowledge, core technical and core designing and making principles asked through a mixture of short answer, multiple choice and extended response questions.  There are 2 sections to this exam;


Section A: Product Analysis: 30 marks; 6 short answer questions based on visual product(s).

Section B: Commercial manufacture: 50 marks; Mixture of short and extended questions


EXTENDED PROJECT / NEA (non-exam assessment) 100 marks  (50% of total A level)

This is a substantial design and make task lasting at least 45 hours.  This can be evidenced through a written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype(s) must be included.


Future opportunities


Manufacturing in the UK includes textiles, shipbuilding, steel, pharmaceuticals, electronics and engineering, food and drink, the chemical industry, automotive and biotech industries. There is an increasing demand for research and development of new products, such as pharmaceuticals, and new technologies, such as aerospace. All these call for highly skilled employees

Many of our students will go on to study a design or manufacture related course at Degree Level, while others choose a foundation course before specialising in a particular area of design.

Product Design offers a great opportunity to learn and develop an interest in manufacturing. The course is demanding, but exciting.

Successful A Level students may progress on careers and courses such as: industrial product design, visual media and graphics, furniture and interior design, marketing and commercial design, and packaging design and branding, craftspeople, surveyors, physicists and industrial chemists, CAD visualisation specialists, teaching, product design engineering.


Further information


Teaching is normally done by two experienced members of staff and technician support.  Attending all lessons is vital and students must show the ability to be self-motivated and work independently in order to meet deadlines.  Students are expected to spend free periods and after school sessions in the department in order to complete the practical aspects of the coursework.  A wide variety of teaching methods will ensure lessons are interesting, varied and stimulating.


How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 02 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September