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Product Design (A Level)

Why study Product Design at Tapton?

Love it or hate it, our world is becoming more and more reliant on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and yet, most young people are unaware of the career possibilities that studying one of these subjects can unlock. Every year, thousands of vacancies go unfulfilled due to a lack of skills. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), the UK is set for a Science and Technology boom, with the sector accounting for around a quarter of all new jobs. Careers include Graphic Design, Interior Design, 3D Design, Product Design, Industrial Design, Marketing amongst a host of others. 

Destinations for A-Level Product Design students have, in the past, included Product Design, Architecture , Civil Engineering, Fashion Design and Building Surveying degrees at Universities such as Loughborough, University of Sheffield, Liverpool John Moores, Leeds University, and a number of other Russell Group institutions.

Visits to places of industrial interest are vital to the understanding of Product Design. Many links exist between our department and outside agencies, and professional help is often sought for project work, involving state of the art processes. Tapton also competes in the Greenpower Electronic race car series which requires designers and engineers from the Product Design A level.

Entry Requirements

5 in the relevant Design Technology and 5 in Mathematics.

Qualities Required

You should be passionate about designing and making creative products. You need to enjoy coursework and the problem solving processes in reaching a Final Design. Exploring a range of possible solutions using rigorous, analytical and fluent communication skills to propose the most viable conclusion should be one of your targets.

Links with Other Subjects

Product Design is an excellent choice in any combination of other subjects as it promotes problem solving/creativity in a commercially realistic setting. Particularly strong vocational combinations might include Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science

Exam Board


Method of Assessment

Exams: 50% Externally Assessed
Iterative Design Project: 50% Internally Assessed

What will I Study?

Product Design is focused towards consumer products and applications; their analysis in respect of materials, components, and marketability to understand their selection and uses in industrial and commercial practices of product development. Students will:

  • Analyse existing products 
  • Demonstrate their technical knowledge of materials, product functionality, manufacturing processes and techniques 
  • Demonstrate applied mathematical skills 
  • Demonstrate their understanding of wider social, moral and environmental issues that impact on design/manufacturing industries
  • Apply their knowledge, understanding and skills of designing and manufacturing prototypes and products
  • Demonstrate their higher thinking skills to solve problems and evaluate situations and suitability of design solutions.

 The ‘Iterative Design Project’ requires students to undertake a substantial design, make and evaluate project centred on the iterative processes of explore, create and evaluate. Students identify a design opportunity or problem from a context of their own choice, and create a portfolio of evidence in real time through the project to demonstrate their competence.