GCSE Product Design

Course Description


Product Design is a practical subject which helps students develop their creativity, with making of products. A process of creating a new product to be sold by a business to its customers. A very broad concept, it is essentially the efficient and effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products.


Course Content

This two unit course requires students to develop their application of knowledge and understanding when developing ideas, planning, producing products and evaluating them.


GCSE Product Design will enable learners to:

Actively engage in the processes of design and technology to develop as effective and independent learners.

Make decisions, consider sustainability and combine skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design and make quality products.

Explore ways in which aesthetic, technical, environmental, ethical and social dimensions interact to shape designing and making.

Analyse existing products and produce practical solutions to needs, wants and opportunities, recognising their impact on quality of life.

Develop decision-making skills through individual and collaborative working.

Understand that designing and making reflect and influence cultures and societies, and that products have an impact on lifestyle.

Develop skills of creativity and critical analysis through making links between the principles of good design, existing solutions and technological knowledge.





Paper 1
What’s assessed

·         Core technical principles

·         Specialist technical principles

·         Designing and making principles

How it’s assessed

·         Written exam: 2 hours

·         100 marks

·         50% of GCSE


Section A – Core technical principles (20 marks)

A mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions assessing a breadth of technical knowledge and understanding.

Section B – Specialist technical principles (30 marks)

Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) and one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles.

Section C – Designing and making principles (50 marks)

A mixture of short answer and extended response questions.

Non-exam assessment (NEA)
What’s assessed

Practical application of:

·         Core technical principles

·         Specialist technical principles

·         Designing and making principles

How it’s assessed

·         Non-exam assessment (NEA): 30–35 hours approx

·         100 marks

·         50% of GCSE


·         Substantial design and make task

·         Assessment criteria:

o    Identifying and investigating design possibilities

o    Producing a design brief and specification

o    Generating design ideas

o    Developing design ideas

o    Realising design ideas

o    Analysing & evaluating

·         In the spirit of the iterative design process, the above should be awarded holistically where they take place and not in a linear manner

·         Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA

·         Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence

Future Opportunities

GCSE specifications in design and technology will encourage learners to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and gain an insight into related sectors, such as manufacturing. The course will prepare learners to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.
The times they are a changing. Especially within the technology industry, it is becoming increasingly important to broaden our skills as designers, embracing ones previously thought superfluous. Even ones that don’t exist yet.