Link to OFSTED Report
Design & Technology Edexcel GCE Advanced

Product Design


Applying creativity to a problem, making a functional item to improve our lives in some way, is hugely rewarding. From the moment we wake up, we all rely on technology and design; our phone, toothbrush, the bus to school or the classroom ‐ everything is designed. In this digital age, it is essential we prepare the next generation to take on these challenges. Using 3D Computer Aided Design and CNC Manufacturing Techniques (Laser Cam), pupils will be able to realise their design solutions.


With an A Level in Design Technology pupils will have many relevant skills to discuss at interviews and apply to relevant courses beyond TWGGS. The Design Technology A Level will develop the ability to use creativity and imagination when applying design processes, modifying designs, and manufacturing prototypes that solve real world problems, considering others’ needs, aspirations and values. Pupils will identify market needs and opportunities for new products, initiate and develop design ideas and make and test prototypes. They will acquire subject knowledge in Design and Technology, including how a product can be developed through the stages of prototyping, realisation and commercial manufacture. During the course pupils will develop an in‐depth knowledge and understanding of materials, components and the processes associated with product design, testing and evaluation. They will also gain a critical understanding of the wider influences on Design and Technology, including cultural, economic, environmental, historical and social factors.


The course is taught in two components, as illustrated. Pupils will undertake a written exam at the end of the two year course. Each pupil will also produce a design portfolio illustrating the development of an idea to meet a specific design brief, leading to an architectural model or prototype. Their design portfolio will form an integral part of future interviews.

TWGGS pupils have gained university places studying a range of courses: architecture, civil engineering, product design, graphic design, interior design, mechanical engineering, textile design and foundation courses.

Component 1
50% of the qualification
Principles of Design and Technology Topics 1‐12
  1. Materials
  2. Performance characteristics of materials
  3. Processes and techniques
  4. Digital technologies
  5. Factors influencing the development of products
  6. Effects of technological developments
  7. Potential hazards and risk assessment
  8. Features of manufacturing industries
  9. Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment
  10. Current legislation
  11. Information handling. Modelling and forward planning
  12. Further processes and techniques
Written Examination
2½ hours
120 marks The paper includes calculations, short‐open and open‐response questions, as well as extended writing questions.
Component 2
50% of the qualification
Pupils will produce a substantial design; make this; and evaluate the project, which consists of a portfolio and a prototype.
There are four parts to the assessment covering the identification of a design problem, developing the design, making the prototype and evaluating both the design and the final prototype.
Non‐examined assessment
120 marks
The investigation report is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Also see related pages: Curriculum and Prospectus