Accessibility links

Product Design A level at Balcarras School

Course description

The world we live in is becoming steadily more complex and technologically advanced. Users increasingly demand that everyday products be attractive and easy to use. The role of the product designer is gaining increasing importance as innovation and new technologies become more significant in the design process.

Advanced level product design looks at the transformation of ideas into successful products matched to the needs of the user and the market place. You will analyse a range of commercial products during the course and comment on their aesthetics, functionality, ease of use and how well they perform their intended role. Product design at Balcarras closely follows the work undertaken in product design courses at university.

Course content

The coursework component will give you the opportunity to use your creativity and imagination to design and manufacture solutions to problems that you have identified, problems that have not already been solved countless times by others. It is important to emphasise that you will not only be judged by the finished results but also by how you respond to the design process. In a creative process you will be expected to experiment with different constructions, materials, components and production methods in new combinations. Above all, there is an emphasis on innovation and new thinking. Eventually, you will produce functioning and aesthetically attractive solutions, based upon how people use, and interact with, the product.

In addition to developing your designing and making skills, you will begin to consider the role and responsibilities of the professional product designer. This will involve developing an understanding of customer needs, concept generation and design for manufacture, both at an industrial level and within the school workshop. During the course you will consider contemporary and developing technologies and materials, and how they impact on the products we use everyday.

The computer is a powerful and essential tool for the product designer. During the course, you will be introduced to specialist equipment, including sublimation printers, a laser cutter and rapid prototyping machines. You will be expected to submit your coursework in the form of an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio).

Entry requirements

Students should, ideally, have achieved a grade B, or higher, at GCSE-level in a technology course. However, students with a C grade, or who may not have studied a technology subject at KS4, may be considered on an individual basis.


Examination Board – AQA


Unit 1: Written paper: Materials, components and application, 2 hrs - 50% of AS

Unit 2: Coursework, 50 hrs - 50% of AS


Unit 3: Written paper: Design and manufacture, 2 hrs - 25% of A-level

Unit 4: Coursework, 50 hrs - 25% of A-level

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years