Design and Technology

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Exam Board: AQA

This course has been designed to encourage students to take a broad view of design and technology, to develop their capacity to design and make products and to appreciate the complex relations between design, materials, manufacture and marketing. Product Design encourages students to enhance their knowledge and skills in CAD / CAM, design, material knowledge and manufacture. This is a brand-new course which has been created in collaboration with degree students, manufacturing companies and experts from a varied range of design and manufacturing industries.

Course Content

Paper 1 – Materials, Components and Application

  • Written exam: 2.5 hours
  • 120 marks
  • 30% of A-level
  • Section A: Materials and Components
  • Section B: Design and Market Influences
  • Section C: Processes and Manufacture

Based primarily on materials and components and consisting of three sections. This exam is designed to test your knowledge in manufacturing processes, properties of a range of materials and their suitability in the design and make of industrial products. Students will also develop knowledge of the health and safety issues relevant to working with materials and will learn about the use of computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacture (CAM) in design. In addition to this, students will gain and understanding of the broader issues related to design such as; environmental sustainability of products and their manufacture, ergonomic and anthropometrics and consumer safety.


Paper 2 – Design and Manufacture

  • Written exam: 1.5 hours

  • 80 Marks

  • 20% of A-level

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


Topics include:

Major developments in technology, product life cycle, the influence of design and technology in society, the role of the designer, the marketing function, design processes, safety legislation, illustration, selection and use of appropriate 2D/3D techniques, human factors, and the work of past and present designers, sustainability and environmental concerns.

Specialist knowledge, technical, designing, and making principles.


Non Exam Assessment (NEA) – Design and Making Practice

  • Substantial design and make task
  • 45 hours
  • 100 marks
  • 50% of A-level

This is a major design and make unit where knowledge of the Product Design subject content is applied to the design and manufacture of the student’s own projects.

Students will have the opportunity analyse, research, design and develop a product from a set brief before getting creative in the workshop and indulging in a range of practical skills. The non exam assessment allows the students to investigate modern design trends and manufacture a working prototype of their own creation using the modern materials and machinery available to them. The students will also have the opportunity to learn and use the range of CAD / CAM facilities available in the workshop.