Product Design

A level

Examination Board: Pearson Edexcel

Specification: 9080

Course Leader: Mr C Ellis

Contact Email:

What Will I Study?

Product Design is intended to be of interest to a wide range of candidates, including those intending to directly follow a higher education course or career in Design and Technology or an associated area.

The course builds upon the knowledge, understanding and skills established by the National Curriculum and GCSE, whilst at the same time accommodating the needs of candidates who have not studied Design and Technology at GCSE.

It promotes progression and provides a suitable foundation for the study of Design and Technology, or a related area of study at higher education and/or preparation for future employment and the world of work.

There are opportunities for candidates to gain a broad understanding of the skills and knowledge inherent in Design and Technology and to specialise in one focus area.

Product Design encourages candidates to develop their critical thinking, to see the relationships between designer, manufacturer and user and to perceive Design and Technology within the world in which
we live.

Entry Requirements

Suggested you have taken GCSE Design & Technology, Engineering or Art (graphics/3D design etc) or a keen interest in the subject.


EXAM - Component 1 : Principles of Design and Technology 

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

50% of the qualification - 120 marks

Content overview

Topic 1: Materials

Topic 2: Performance characteristics of materials

Topic 3: Processes and techniques

Topic 4: Digital technologies

Topic 5: Factors influencing the development of products

Topic 6: Effects of technological developments

Topic 7: Potential hazards and risk assessment

Topic 8: Features of manufacturing industries

Topic 9: Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment

Topic 10: Current legislation

Topic 11: Information handling, Modelling and forward planning

Topic 12: Further processes and techniques.

Assessment overview

● The paper includes calculations, short-open and open-response questions, as well as

extended-writing questions focused on:

  • analysis and evaluation of design decisions and outcomes, against a technical principle, for prototypes made by others 
  • analysis and evaluation of wider issues in design technology, including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.

● Students must answer all questions.

● Students must have calculators and rulers in the examination.

COURSEWORK - Component 2 : Independent Design and Make Project 

Non-examined assessment - 50% of the qualification - 120 marks

Content overview

● Students individually and/or in consultation with a client/end user identify a problem

and design context.

● Students will develop a range of potential solutions which include the use of computer

aided design and evidence of modelling.

● Students will be expected to make decisions about the designing and development of

the prototype in conjunction with the opinions of the client/end user.

● Students will realise one potential solution through practical making activities with

evidence of project management and plan for production.

● Students will incorporate issues related to sustainability and the impact their prototype

may have on the environment

● Students are expected to analyse and evaluate design decisions and outcomes for

prototypes/products made by themselves and others

● Students are expected to analyse and evaluate of wider issues in design technology,

including social, moral, ethical and environmental impacts.

Assessment overview

● The investigation report is internally assessed and externally moderated.

● Students will produce a substantial design, make and evaluate project which consists of

a portfolio and a prototype

● The portfolio will contain approximately 40 sides of A3 paper (or electronic equivalent)

● There are four parts to the assessment:

  • Part 1: Identifying and outlining possibilities for design Identification and investigation of a design possibility, investigation of client/end user needs, wants and values, research and production of a specification 

  • Part 2: Designing a prototype Design idea, development of design idea, final design solution, review of development and final design and communication of design ideas
  • Part 3: Making a final prototype Design, manufacture and realisation of a final prototype, including tools and equipment and quality and accuracy
  • Part 4: Evaluating own design and prototype Testing and evaluation

Department Staff

Mrs A Ashton (AAS) Teacher of Technology Contact
Mr C Ellis (CEL) Head of Technology Contact