Design & Technology (GCSE) -


Examination Board


8552 (currently in draft, awaiting approval)

Overview of the course:

The new GCSE places greater emphasis on understanding and applying iterative design processes. Students will use their creativity and imagination to design and make prototypes that solve real and relevant problems, considering their own and other's needs, wants and values.

Core technological principles taught include: New and emerging technologies • Energy storage and generation • Modern and smart materials • Systems approach to designing • Mechanical devices • Materials and their working properties.

In addition to the core, the following specialist technical principles will each be studied through at least one of the D&T material areas (timber, metals, polymers, composites, textiles or paper and board): • selection of materials or components • forces and stresses • ecological and social footprint • scales of production • sources and origins • using and working with materials • stock forms, types and sizes • specialist techniques • surface treatments and finishes.

Students will learn key design and making principles: Students should know and understand that all design and technology activities take place within a wide range of contexts. They should also understand how the prototypes they develop must satisfy wants or needs and be fit for their intended use. They will need to demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of designing and making principles in relation to the following areas: • investigation, primary and secondary data • environmental, social and economic challenge • the work of others • design strategies • communication of design ideas • prototype development • selection of materials and components • tolerances • material management • tools and equipment • techniques and processes.

The above content will be examined through a 2 hour written exam paper, constituting 50% of the GCSE outcome.

In addition to the examination, students will undertake a substantial Non Examined Assessment Task (NEA): a project in which they will respond to a contextual statement released by the examination board in the June of year 10, requiring candidates to:

·         identify, investigate and outline design possibilities to address needs and wants.

·         design and make prototypes that are fit for purpose.

·         analyse and evaluate design decisions and outcomes, as well as wider issues in design and technology.

The NEA task is assessed by the school, and assessments are moderated by the exam board. It constitutes the remaining 50% of the GCSE outcome.

Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a GCSE graded on a nine point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

Post 16 courses available to you:

Students attaining 5 points or better may move on to study Product Design at A level

Career options

Students who study Design & Technology at GCSE and A level could go on to enter careers in Product development, Industrial design, Engineering, Architecture and many other creative industries.