Design & Technology: Product Design


This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers.
Especially suitable for those wanting to pursue a career in the creative industries.
They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put their learning in to practice by producing prototypes of their choice.
Students will gain a real understanding of what it means to be a designer, alongside the knowledge and skills sought by higher education and employers.


LEVEL: A Level – Linear


A Level Design and Technology: Product Design requires students to engage in both practical and theoretical study. This specification requires students to cover design and technology skills and knowledge as set out below. These have been separated into:

  • technical principles
  • designing and making principles.

Students should develop the ability to draw on and apply a range of skills and knowledge from other subject areas to inform their decisions in design and the application or development of technology. There are clear links between aspects of the specification content and other subject areas such as Computer Science (section ‘The use of computer systems’ and section ‘Digital design and manufacture’); Business Studies (section ‘Enterprise and marketing in the development of products; Art and Design (section ‘Design communication’) and History (section ‘Design Theory’). This is not an exhaustive list, and there are other opportunities within the specification for students to integrate and apply their wider learning and understanding from other subject areas studied during Key Stage 4, as well as those subjects that they are studying alongside A Level Design and Technology.

Students must also demonstrate mathematics and science skills. The right hand column throughout subject content illustrates potential links where mathematics and science skills and knowledge can be applied in the context of design and technology. These are examples of where these skills can be applied and are not intended to be exhaustive.


  • Paper 1: Technical Principles – Written exam: 2 hours and 30 minutes/ 120 marks/ 30% of A Level – Mixture of short answer and extended response.
  • Paper 2: Designing and Making Principles – Written exam: 1 hours and 30 minutes/ 80 marks/ 20% of A Level – Mixture of short answer and extended response.
    (Section A: Product Analysis: 30 marks/ Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s) AND Section B: Commercial manufacture: 50 marks/ Mixture of short and extended response questions)
  • NEA (Non-Exam Assessment)
    Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles are assessed.
    Substantial design and make project/ 100 marks/ 50% of A Level
    Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.