Course Outline

The Design and Technology (Product Design) GCE course is designed to give students opportunities to engage in technological problems, realise quality solutions and produce quality working prototypes. This course is intended to be a progression from all areas of GCSE Design & Technology; however students who have followed Resistant Materials, Graphic Products or Electronic Components will have an advantage.

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology. Students will be required to apply knowledge and understanding of a wide range of materials, including modern and smart materials, and the industrial processes used in product design and manufacture. Students will also develop a full understanding of digital technologies along with a full understanding of the influence that past designers and design movements have had on contemporary design. Students will also have a full appreciation of the wider issues in design and technology including, the social, moral, ethical and environmental impact that technological developments, both current and historical, have had on society.

DT A level 02Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project. The purpose of this component is to undertake a substantial design, make and evaluate project which will test students’ skills in designing and making a functioning prototype. Students are required to individually and/or in consultation with a client identify a problem and design context from which they develop a range of potential solutions and then realise one through practical making activities. The project must allow candidates to apply knowledge and understanding in a product development process to design, make and evaluate prototypes.

Entrance requirements and skills needed

This is a new two year course and will result in a full GCE at the end of two years of study (there is no AS after the completion of year one). Students considering this course will need to be capable of following it through to completion and therefore be highly motivated and able to demonstrate a high level of ability in Design & Technology but most importantly display an interest and passion for design and manufacturing.

Assessments - Pearson qualification

DT A level 01

Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology:
Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes, 120 marks & 50% of the qualification.
Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project:
Non-examined, internally assessed, 120 marks & 50% of the qualification.
All components will be assessed at the end of the second year.


Why Study Product Design

designers_copyThe manufactured world today would be a far less interesting place without the influence of designers. Designers influence the way we dress, the homes we live in, the food we eat, the cars we buy, the TV we watch and the newspapers and magazines we read. As a society we all rely on a wide range of products for survival and for making our lives comfortable, and it is the few creative and innovative people who have the biggest influence on our lives without us even realising it. 

By following this course at A level and then onto degree level at university, many students will pursue excellent and rewarding careers within the Design and Technology sector and by undertaking the A-level Product Design course at Highams Park 6th Form you will be given the foundation for further study in a wide range of Design related courses at university and a resulting future career.

Some design related facts (source Design Council). The current UK design sector is made up of:

  • 12,450 design consultancies employing 60,900 designers and 348,300 non-designers.
  • 47,400 self-employed and freelance designers.
  • 77,100 in-house designers in 5,900 businesses with at least 100 or more employees.
  • 31% of design businesses are based in London - that's 20,436 businesses.


You can see some of the products designed and made by students on this course in the pictures below.


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