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Product Design

GCSE Product Design Course Outline:


Time Allocation – 2 hours per week


Examination board – OCR


Product Design

This course include elements of Resistant Materials (metal, wood, plastic), Graphic Products (paper, card, modelling) and Electronics (electronic components and systems & control).

For the Controlled Assessments students will specialise in one of the above.


Course Content:

During this course, students will have an opportunity to work with many materials. They will develop their ICT skills, in particular, making use of computer-aided design and manufacture (CAD and CAM). Students will learn how to develop and apply design skills, including generating design proposals. They will learn about manufacturing a prototype and how to test, evaluate and market it too. Students will study iconic products, trendsetters, design eras and design movements as well as the use of new technologies and materials.



Year 9


Design Influences

  • To provide pupils with an insight into the various influential designers and movements and the skills to respond to them effectively.


  • To provide pupils with the opportunity to produce a product of high quality whilst investigating how to carry out formal checks along with manufacturing systems.

Product Study

  • To enhance pupils understanding of everyday products and how they interact with society.
  • To develop creative skills and experiment with design proposals.


  • To provide pupils with a greater understanding of how to present sketches, physical models, CAD models of design proposals.


  • To build on subject knowledge of manufacturing; investigating globalisation and economies of scale supported with product analysis skills.


Year 10


Cultural Lighting

To enhance pupils understanding of issues which influence product design and how they interact with society. To develop creative skills and experiment with design proposals.

Preparation for the A551 controlled assessment.


A551 – Developing and applying design skills commences


Workshop Skills

To provide students with a greater knowledge of the materials, tools, machines and processes used within D&T. Preparation for the A553 controlled assessment.


A554 – Design Influences Preparation and Mock Examination

Year 11


A553 – Making, testing and marketing products commences

A552 – Designing and Making innovation Challenge Preparation and Mock Examination


A554 – Design Influences Preparation


Formative Assessment:

Each unit of work, lasting 12 lessons, will be formally assessed and given a representative GCSE Grade. Homework will be set weekly and consist of a combination of short and extended tasks dependent on the unit of work and will be marked according to the school protocol. During the controlled assessment phase students will be required to work on their digital portfolios each week, make notes in an independent support booklet and submit work periodically. Although student work will be marked, examination rules state that diagnostic feedback is not allowed.


Summative Assessment:

The GCSE course consists of 4 units:


A551 – Developing and applying design skills Controlled Assessment - Worth 30%

This is a coursework which is about building on the researching skills and designing skills from year 9. Students can decide on a product which they would like to design, based on a specified design problem to solve. Marks are awarded for creative solutions which have features and functions above and beyond the solutions normally seen.


A553 – Making, testing and marketing products Controlled Assessment - Worth 30%

This is all about making a quality product. This coursework allows students to demonstrate their planning and making skills through a production log resulting in photographic evidence of a final manufactured product. This product is then marketed towards a specific target market.


A552 – Designing and Making innovation Challenge Public Examination -Worth 20%

This examination involves students in a designing and modeling activity. The exam will take place within the D&T dept. mostly. It is a design challenge assessing candidates’ ability to design and model a product and then reflect on their design concept. Marks are awarded for innovation and originality. It is sat over 2 x 3hr practical exams over different days, and is based on a given theme such as Sports Day for example.


A554 – Design Influences Public Examination - Worth 20%.

This is a public examination which assesses your understanding of why things are designed the way that they are. Throughout the course, students will begin to see and understand how important the history of product design is to us now and in our everyday lives. This examination will assess knowledge of famous designers and their products as well as theoretical topics such as; consumer law, globalization, sustainability etc.


Why you should consider studying Product Design GCSE:


We are surrounded by products of one sort or another. We interact with them every single day. This is a lively, inspiring course which introduces you to the basic principles of designing a successful product. It involves experimentation, innovation and flair, and provides a great insight into the technological world around you.


What skills profile a GCSE Product Design student should have:


Do you have flair and imagination? This GCSE will encourage you to explore, develop, experience and express your ideas.  "If you think you have sufficient desire, motivation and ability you should give it a try. And if you trust in your ability to regularly come up with strong ideas and are willing to make mistakes and learn from them, there is a good chance that you will find success.”



What opportunities a GCSE in Product Design will lead to:


Product Design can take you down a number of exciting career paths. Of course there’s industrial product, and automotive design. But what about computer generated cartoons? Or maybe even CAD for industry appeals to you more? This course could take you into architecture, teaching, manufacturing, advertising or engineering. Maybe you could be the next Philippe Starck or James Dyson?


Famous designers and designs include:


Wally Olins – corporate identity e.g. the Orange Logo; James Dyson – variety of products based on air cyclone technology; Philippe Starck - furniture, interior design. Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Frank Lloyd Wright and many more successful architects.


For more information, contact  Mr Hourican – Curriculum Area Leader for Design & Technology