Design & Technology

Subject: Design & Technology
Syllabus Number: AQA 8552
Teacher who leads the subject: Mr J Bonney

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Why study GCSE Design and Technology

  • Design & Technology provides you with a natural link between knowledge and the application of science and mathematics in business and commerce.
  • The coursework component provides, through the design and manufacture of fully functioning products, opportunities to develop key project management skills that you will be able to transfer to any future career.
  • Design & Technology is a fun, practical, dynamic course and provides opportunities for you to work as individuals or as part of a team on projects such as, media and advertising prototypes, amplifiers, mechanical toys, structures and storage solutions.
  • Design & Technology at GCSE provides a firm platform for you to build on the core personal, learning and thinking skills developed at KS3. In particular, it develops you into creative, independent thinkers who are confident in applying practical skills and able to innovate and problem solve.
  • Having a Design & Technology qualification can lead to careers in fields such as furniture design, product design, construction, production design, engineering, automotive design, manufacturing, and industrial design. These fast-moving industries are expanding all the time and are some of the largest employers in the UK.

This subject will prepare you to participate confidently and successfully in an increasingly technological world. It will help you to become a future thinker and confident communicator who can make real, innovative and practical contributions to the challenges we face in the 21st Century. This course will develop you as rounded human beings who can think for themselves and put their ideas into action - in whatever walk of life you choose to follow.

Outline of syllabus content

The course is in two main parts and allows considerable opportunity for you to develop your own ideas. You will be encouraged to recognise and use ICT in the form of CAD/CAM, where appropriate, throughout the course. It will also foster an awareness of sustainability and how design decisions will impact on society and the environment. The course has core technical and designing and making principles, including a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. You will then have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth through a chosen material area in the written exam and coursework.


Designing & Making (Non-Examination Assessment) – approximately 35 hours, 50% of GCSE
Consists of a single design and make activity selected from a broad range of tasks. This includes drawing up a specification, collecting relevant data, researching existing products, presenting results and generating design solutions including prototype modelling. Students will develop a range of skills and techniques appropriate to the task and chosen material area, working with both hand and machine tools. Students will also learn about a range of industrial and commercial processes and applications, including the use of CAD/CAM.

Written Paper – 2 hours, 50% of GCSE
Knowledge and understanding - students will develop their experience of materials, finishes, manufacturing processes, quality control and health and safety.

This course is dedicated to a series of modules that develop practical and theory core skills and knowledge.

Additional information is available on the Curriculum Overview section of the website - click here