Why choose A Level Product Design

Students will be expected to have met St Paul’s entry requirements of 2 Grade 5’s and 4 Grade 4’s. A minimum of grade 4 in English and Maths is essential for all courses.

This qualification is linear. Linear means that you will sit all your exams and submit all your non-exam assessment at the end of each academic year.

What is assessed in Year 12?

Practical application of technical principles and designing and making principles.

How is it assessed?

Single design and make project. Context set by AQA.

80 marks 50% of AS

What is involved in the coursework?

Designing and making principles

Iterative design process.

Students should be aware of, and able to explain, different approaches to user centred design. That in approaching a design challenge there is not a single process, but that good design always addresses many issues, including:

  • Designing to meet needs, wants and values
  • Investigations to inform the use of primary and secondary data:
  • The development of a design proposal
  • The planning and manufacture of a prototype solution
  • The evaluation of a prototype solution to inform further development

What is involved in the exam?

Technical principles

Written exam: 1.5 hours 80 marks 50% of AS

Questions: Short answer and extended response.

What is assessed in Year 13?

Technical principles

How is it assessed?

Written exam (1): 2.5 hours 120 marks 30% of A level

Questions: Mixture of short answer and extended response.


What is assessed?

Designing and making principles

How is it assessed?

Written exam (2): 1.5 hours 80 marks 20% of A-level

Questions: Mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Section A:

Product Analysis: 30 marks

Up to 6 short answer questions based on visual stimulus of product(s).

Section B:

Commercial manufacture:50 marks

Mixture of short and extended response questions.


What is assessed?

Practical application of technical principles, designing and making principles.

How is it assessed?

Substantial design and make project

100 marks 50% of A-level

Evidence: Written or digital design portfolio and photographic evidence of final prototype.

Assessment Board: AQA

A Level Product Design enables you to combine an understanding of materials and manufacturing processes with your own creative visions by taking charge of the design process.

You will develop analytical and evaluative skills alongside drawing and practical abilities, giving you the power to solve design problems.

This qualification can lead to a variety of different career pathways, including product design, engineering and architecture. It could also form part of your route into university, especially if you wish to pursue a subject like Engineering. Some students progress to taking advanced apprenticeships with local companies or gain employment directly in the technology and engineering sector in their local area.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Gillespie (pgillespie@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk)