A Level Product Design

Course description

Product Design focuses on meeting the needs and requirements of users through user centred iterative design. The course covers the designed world; the analysis of existing solutions in respect of economic and market considerations, enterprise and innovation and wider issues in order to understand how best to apply design to create solutions. Reflecting authentic practice, giving an insight into the way creative design and manufacturing industries function. Applying innovation and creativity and developing problem solving skills reflects the importance of Product Design as a key link between STEM and The Arts. Central to the content of Product Design is the requirement of the leaners to understand and apply iterative user centred design. Demonstrating knowledge, understanding and skills through interrelated iterative processes that ‘explore’ needs, ‘create’ solutions and ‘evaluate’ how well the needs will be met with the user and stakeholders at its centre. There is distinct content for the exam and non-exam assessment, which is bound together via 9 topic areas that shape all components and give clarity, these are:

  • identifying requirements
  • learning from existing products and practice
  • implications of wider issues
  • design thinking and communication
  • material considerations
  • Technical understanding
  • manufacturing processes and techniques
  • viability of design solutions
  • health and safety

Materials, components and markets are studied from the perspective of analysing modern products that are designed to meet identified needs, their design, manufacture and place in the market. These are taught within the context of product development and industrial and commercial practices to take products to market while considering the wider issues and sustainability. Pupils will gain practical experience of using computer aided design, materials and advanced manufacturing techniques through applied practical activities, set within realistic design scenarios. Developing the skills to design and take solutions to market in the modern world.

Suggested Packages

Product Design





Assessment structure

NEA Iterative Design Project 50%

  • A non-examined ‘Iterative Design Engineering Project’ is a design, make and evaluate project centred on the iterative processes of explore, create and evaluate.
  • Product Design will focus on the user and stakeholder requirements.
  • Pupils are required to use their problem solving skills and apply market data to create an innovative solution to a design opportunity or problem from a context of their own choice.
  • Innovative design approaches will be required resulting in a final prototype that will be evaluated by users and focus groups in a real world setting.

Principles exam 27%

  • Demonstrate applied technical knowledge and understanding of materials, product functionality, manufacturing processes and techniques.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of design thinking and wider social, moral and environmental issues that impact on the design and manufacturing industries.
  • The paper is 1 hour 30 minutes long.

Problem Solving 23%

  • Critically evaluate a design problem by considering the wider issues using the information provided in the resource booklet
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate a problem and apply technical knowledge to create a designed solution to a problem


OCR H406

Contact for further information

Mr JA Inglis: jai@wellingtoncollege.org.uk