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Upton Hall School

Inspiring Young People

Product Design

Course Overview

A Level Product Design develops the students' skills in creative and innovative thinking and problem solving through practical coursework, Design and Make tasks and the study of materials and manufacturing processes, and enabling them to relate this to how the products would be commercially manufactured.

Entry Requirements

If  GCSE DT Product Design, Graphic Products or  Resistant Materials was studied ay GCSE then a minimum grade 6 is required. Where those subjects were not taken, a grade 6 in Art & Design  would be acceptable, especially if  combined with a different DT subject.

As 15% of the assessment is of a mathematical nature at least a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics is highly recommended.

A Level Topics and Assessment

This course is a linear course with all assessment taking place at the end of Year 13.

There are 3 components to the assessment:

1. Paper 1: Technical Principles. A 2h 30 minute examination  consisting of a mixture of short and extended response  questions. (18% Mathematics).

2.Paper 2 Designing and Making Principles. A 1h 30 minute examination also consisting of short and extended responses, Product Analysis and questions on Commercial Manufacturing (12% Mathematics).

3.  Non-Examined Assessment (NEA). A substantial design and make task consisting of a design portfolio and a Student manufactured prototype product.


Paper 1

Paper 2

Non examined assessment


Written Examination

2 hours 30 minutes

Written Examination

1  hours 30 minutes

Project 45+ hours


30% of A Level

20% of A Level

50% of A Level

Beyond the Classroom and Future Prospects

In Year 12, students produce a fully functional prototype of a product aimed at the less able, however in Year 13, students choose their own project. This project should relate to students' career aspirations and this allows them to immerse themselves in the sectors they wish to enter after completing their A Levels.
Product Design students will enjoy a range of subject-specific visits during the course, particularly those that relate to their own projects. Product Design leads directly to degree courses in 3D Design, Product Design and Industrial Design. It also provides an excellent qualification that is favoured by admission tutors in all engineering disciplines, construction, architecture, planning and many other manufacturing and production focused courses. Product Design is also favoured when applying to complete apprenticeships in manufacturing industries.

Student Experience

Product Design is a subject I really enjoyed because I was able to develop a wide range of new skills using different materials and design a variety of poducts using both traditional and new technologies.

Tara, who completed A Level Product Design in 2017.