Design and technology

Qualification type: GCSE
Exam board: AQA
Course code: 8552
Contact: Mr Stanley –

Design and technology covers a wide range of material areas that can be used to develop new products that solve problems in everyday life. Students will design and prototype their own creative solutions to problems and will present their ideas using CAD and traditional drawing skills.

What will be studied?

Students learn a range of practical skills that enable them to solve and adapt to a wide range of challenges. Students need to be:
• imaginative and creative
• problem solvers
• independent thinkers
• organised and able to meet deadlines
• team players

Students will learn about ethical design, the environment and future technologies. Engineering, mechanisms and manufacturing knowledge will be developed to create products that meet a need.

Why study design and technology?

Students will gain valuable transferable skills that will prepare them well for a changing workplace, where creative thinking is highly prized as automation replaces traditional jobs and skills. Students will also be able to apply their practical knowledge and problem-solving skills to develop useful products that could be commercially viable. They will cover the ethical responsibilities of designers and how funding can be sourced to make their own designs commercially successful business ventures.

Assessment structure

50% coursework – product development
50% exam – design principles

Career opportunities

This course leads directly to a wide rang of careers including:
• Engineering
• Architecture
• Product design
• Interior design
• Furniture design
• Graphic design
• Project management
• Health and safety officer
• Construction
• Building services
• Manufacturing
• Motor vehicle technology and repair
• Agriculture

Students will also develop problem-solving skills that will be needed in a landscape with more automation in the workplace.