Product Design

Qualification: AQA GCSE Design and Technology (8552)

This is an option subject from 2016. It is made up of 50% exam and 50% non-exam assessment (NEA).

Year 9 – Year 10

Unit 1 – Exam: Written Paper. Worth 50% of the grade and lasts for 2 hours.

The exam will be made up as follows:

  • 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.

Year 11

Unit 2 – Non Exam Assessment (NEA): Design and Make Task. Worth 50% of the grade and lasts for 30-35 hours of supervised time.

The NEA will be made up as follows:

  • Substantial design and make task
    • Identifying and investigating design possibilities
    • Producing a design brief and specification
    • Generating design ideas
    • Developing design ideas (including modelling)
    • Manufacture of design ideas
    • Analysing and evaluating
  • The task will be released to schools on 1 June in the year before the submission of the NEA.
  • Students will produce a prototype and a portfolio of evidence.
  • Work will be marked by teachers and moderated by the exam board.


Students will be graded from 9-1.