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A Level Design Technology: Product Design

A Level Design Technology at St Edmund’s College will develop your skills as a 3D designer.

3D design is part of everyday life. Your mobile phone with its delicious curves was designed on a computer screen. The car you yearn for started life as a reduced size clay model. A building you admire sprang from the drawing board of an architect. This is not a new phenomenon. Human fascination with 3D design can be traced back to flint arrowheads and earthenware pots.

Through this A Level course you will develop a diverse range of knowledge and skills. Creativity to imagine the shape and function of an object, alongside in-depth knowledge of different manufacturing processes, materials and marketing.

Enrichment opportunities at St Ed’s include:

  • Period 7 design activities (4 days per week)
  • Lunchtime access to department facilities and support
  • Local and national design competitions
  • Work experience placements


Head of Department Miss A M Healy BA (Hons), PGCE (Luton)
Syllabus AQA


Course structure

This creative and thought-provoking qualification gives students the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and confidence to succeed in a number of careers, especially in creative industries.

Students investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology, whilst enjoying opportunities to put learning in to practice by producing prototypes.

Rhetoric I (Year 12)

In the first year, students complete smaller projects to develop knowledge and understanding of design principles, while embedding practical skills such as research, drawing and designing, modelling, using a range of materials, tools, equipment and workshop machinery in preparation for their final assessed project.

Rhetoric II (Year 13)

In Rhetoric II, students complete a final project (non-examined assessment) and prepare for two written examination papers.


Paper 1: Technical principles (30% of final mark)

Students are expected to be able to name specific materials for a wide range of applications. They must be able to provide details and justified explanations of why specific materials are suitable.

Paper 2 - Designing and making principles (20% of final mark)

Students are expected to explain different approaches to user centred design, considering that in a design challenge there is not a single process, as good design addresses may issues.

Non-examined assessment (NEA) - 50% of final mark

This unit is a substantial design and make project, based on delivering a client based brief.

This encompasses:

  • Developing existing and new skills across a range of materials and manufacturing processes
  • Undertaking detailed primary and secondary research
  • Creating a product specification
  • Developing using CAD software
  • Planning manufacturing to produce a quality end product
  • Producing a final product prototype
  • Completing a product evaluation
  • Completing an accompanying design portfolio



Key skills developed
Assembling and assessing data Working as a team
Investigating facts and using deduction Independent learning and research
Communicating your ideas and views Creative problem solving
3D design is an enormously satisfying career. You can see your ideas come to life. Imagine how satisfying it must be for the person who designed the iPhone or Razr to hold the finished product in their hand.

Future paths

A Level Design Technology: Product Design can lead to a Foundation or Degree course in a range of design disciplines.

This course is beneficial to those who intend to pursue a career in design, fashion and textiles, electronics and systems, engineering, construction or food technology.