“Design is concerned not just with making an object… but as importantly with making choices, with choosing what we use, choosing how to live.”
David Mellor exemplary British designer and manufacturer
Design Technology is an inspiring rigorous and practical subject. The course creators worked closely with higher education and industry to ensure that the direction of the qualification supports progression beyond A level.
There is a focus on ensuring the content reflects authentic practice, giving an insight into the ways the creative manufacturing industries function. The specification requires you to apply mathematical and scientific knowledge, understanding and skills and reflect the importance of Design technology as a pivotal STEM subject.
During the two-year course, you will study a range of materials. You will develop a technical understanding of how products function and how they are made to appropriately support the design and manufacture of your own design solutions.
You will learn about wider design principles and the effect of design on users and the world we live in.
You will identify market needs and opportunities for new products, initiate and develop design solutions, and make and test prototypes/products.
You will develop your subject knowledge, including how a product can be developed through the stages of prototyping, realisation and commercial manufacture.
You will develop a critical mind through enquiry and problem solving, exploration, creation and evaluation of iterative designs. We encourage freedom in approaches towards designing and making so as not to limit the possibilities of project work or the materials and processes being used.
The course content requires you to apply mathematical and scientific knowledge, understanding and skills. This content reflects the importance of Design and Technology as a pivotal STEM subject.
At A-Level: Exam: 26.7% of A-Level (1hr 30 minutes - written paper)
Analyse existing products, demonstrate their technical knowledge of materials, product functionality, manufacturing processes and techniques, demonstrate applied mathematical skills, demonstrate their understanding of wider social, moral and environmental issues that impact on design/manufacturing industries.
Problem Solving: 23.3% of A-level (1hr 45 minutes - written paper)
Apply their knowledge, understanding and skills of designing and manufacturing prototypes and products, demonstrate their higher thinking skills to solve problems and evaluate situations and suitability of design solutions.
Iterative Design Project: 50% of A-level (Approx. 65 hrs Non-Examined Assessment)
The ‘Iterative Design Project’ requires learners to undertake a substantial design, make and evaluate project centred on the iterative processes of explore, create and evaluate. Learners identify a design opportunity or problem from a context of their own choice and create a portfolio of evidence in real time through the project to demonstrate their competence.
Five or more GCSE grades 9-4 or equivalent, including Grade 4 in English Language and Grade 4 in Maths.
Minimum of GCSE Grade 5 in DT or a Level 2 equivalent
You will gain skills that are useful in a wide range of jobs, in further study of design or engineering and in your personal life develop decision making skills, including the planning and organisation of time and resources when managing a project
You will build and develop on your knowledge and understanding from GCSE whilst also having the freedom to focus in more depth on areas of design and technology that most interests you.
This allows access to a range of future career aspirations in the design and engineering industries, leading to future careers in product design, engineering, architecture, fashion and graphic design; it will develop your design and thinking skills that open up a world of possibility, providing the tools to create the future.