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Product Design


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Course Description

Product Design Technology at GCSE level builds on the Design and Technology experiences that our learners have gained during earlier education and provides opportunities for designing and making quality products. Learners who opt for this subject will have the opportunity to develop their skills in Manipulating and Combining Materials; Evolution of Product Design; Design in Practice; Design in the Human Context; Product Manufacture; Industrial and Commercial Practice; and Systems and Control.

Learners are encouraged to use initiative and motivation to design and make quality products based on the needs of today’s modern technological society. Learners have the opportunity to work with a range of different materials and use modern manufacturing processes which include CAD/CAM and ICT. As a minimum requirement learners must study Paper/Card and one other material area (Timber based materials; Ferrous and non-ferrous metals; plastics; or Control Components). We encourage learners to develop an awareness of other material areas.


This course is practically based and involves a hands-on approach to learning. There is also a 45-hour coursework element that involves the production of a design portfolio containing design proposals and a 3-dimensional outcome (60% of the final marks).At the end of the course learners will also take a final written examination that is set and marked by AQA. (40% of the final marks). The paper will be set as a single tiered assessment as shown below:

A 2-hour examination to cater for learners of all abilities. GCSE grades available A*- G

General Comments

Learners who have demonstrated a high degree of skill and aptitude for this subject, and who enjoy the challenge of designing and making quality products that involve using the above technologies, will be well suited to this course. This course is especially aimed at those learners who enjoy designing, making and using a range of materials and processes. There is no requirement to incorporate electronics or systems in the final project.


If you are interested in Design and Technology there are a range of job opportunities including:

  • Engineering
  • Construction
  • Architecture

Students’ Comments

“I chose this subject because I enjoyed making my clock project in Year 9 and I like making colourful, high-tech looking products.”

“I particularly enjoy the drawing and modelling in card.”

“I have enjoyed designing using the computer and am looking forward to making my product.”

“It is fun, but you also have to work really hard to get the work done.”

“I am more organised now. I have learned loads of new stuff – especially using the machines.”

“I like making without soldering – YES!”

Future prospects

This course would suit students with an interest in following a career in Engineering, Industrial Design, Computers, Manufacturing, Graphic and Product Design, Advertising, and Craft Trade. It also links closely with further education courses (A level Design, Degree level, Art Foundation and Degree courses).

“Tell me and I forget – show me and I may remember – let me do it, and I learn.   Learning through making works!”

(Prue Leith, Leith’s School of Food and Wine)