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Product Design


Product design offers students opportunities to study, propose and realise prototype solutions closely linked to the real world of graphics and product manufacture in a range of material areas. This course gives students a natural progression from GCSE resistant materials or graphic products and allows opportunities to continue their studies either exclusively or as a combination of specific material areas. Creative innovation in design is highly rewarded on this course.

Summary of course content

In Year 12, as well as producing a portfolio of creative coursework, the course covers a broad range of materials and manufacturing processes, with an emphasis on the lifecycle of products. The theoretical element is, for the most part, delivered through focussed practical tasks. In Year 13, the course offers the opportunity to further develop the knowledge and practical skills from Year 12. Students will also undertake a substantial “design and make” project of their own choice.

Topics covered

• Design techniques
• Material properties
• Manufacturing methods
• Graphical imagery
• Digital design and manufacture
• Fashion in design
• Environmental issues
• Energy types
• Ergonomics in design
• Product development and innovation
• Industrial design
• Corporate identity
• Health and safety


There are three assessed units at the end of the course.
Paper 1: 25% – Core technical, designing and making principles – 2 hr.
Paper 2: 25% – Specialist knowledge, technical and designing principles – 2 hr.
NEA (non-exam assessment) – substantial design and make activity of students’ own choice.

How the course differs from GCSE

• The level and depth of quality of your designs is concentrated on in far more detail at this level
• Innovation of your design solutions is highly rewarded
• Making your designs commercially viable
• Understanding a much wider variety of materials and techniques

Skills acquired

• Design and market understanding
• The ability to precisely analyse a product and design improvements
• A far greater understanding of how to create a design that is commercially viable
• Wide range of practical skills and techniques

Where the course leads

Specific time is dedicated to give students the opportunity to consider following a career in the extremely broad area of design. Many students go on to degree courses at higher education institutes such as Loughborough and Bournemouth universities. Our students have gone on to study architecture, engineering, computer animation, graphics, product design, landscape design and furniture design.

Special entry requirements

• Ideally a minimum of grade B in GCSE Design and Technology
• Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure