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Product Design AS and A Level at Nelson Thomlinson School

Course description

Course Content

AS Level:

Unit 1: Portfolio of Creative Skills (60% of AS Level grade 30% of overall grade) The portfolio consists of three equal elements of work:

1. Product Investigation: examining a product to see what materials it is made from, how it is made and how quality of the product is guaranteed.

2. Product Design: designing a creative and adventurous product, modelling a prototype demonstrating a wide range of presentation skills.

3. Product Manufacture: planning and making products demonstrating a wide range of practical skills.

Unit 2: Design and Technology in Practice (40% of AS Level grade, 20% of overall grade).

This unit covers the underpinning knowledge required by a 21st Century designer; learning about a wide range of materials and commercial manufacturing processes.


A Level:

Unit 3: Designing for the future (40% of AS Level grade, 20% of overall grade).

This unit develops students’ knowledge and understanding of a range of modern design and manufacturing practices and contemporary design issues. The unit content is divided into four sections: ICT, Systems and Control Technology used in the design and manufacture of products; the contributions of designers from the past; the environmental impact of design; technological activities.

Unit 4: Commercial Design (60% of AS Level grade, 30% of overall grade).

This unit requires the application of skills acquired and developed throughout the course of study, to design and make a product of the student’s choice. The product should have a real commercial use, in that it should be useful to a wider range of users beyond an individual.


Entry requirements

No specific entry requirements.

Student Attributes

  • Creative, innovative thinkers.
  • Strong design and graphical communication skills.
  • Enjoy the challenge of problem solving through design.
  • Ability to manage projects to tight deadlines is essential.


Units 1 and 4 are assessed internally and then externally moderated.

Units 2 and 3 are assessed by externally set written exam papers, one per unit.

Future opportunities

Students can further their studies to degree level in a variety of 3D Design areas (eg. Product or Industrial Design, Furniture Design). There is also the potential to pursue a career in Industry, Teaching and related careers.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Nelson Thomlinson School directly.

Last updated date: 23 September 2016
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