GCSE Design and Technology
The new GCSE in DT has a much broader focus than before, including all areas of the subject.

Central to the content of this qualification is the requirement for learners to understand and apply processes of iterative designing in their design and technology practice. They will need to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills through interrelated iterative processes that ‘explore’ needs, ‘create’ solutions and ‘evaluate’ how well the needs have been met.

Why Choose This Subject At GCSE?

Inspiring a love of design and technology – Drawing on authentic design practice and contemporary technologies, students will be able to engage in a variety of contexts to understand and appreciate the design and manufacture of existing products, making them more empathetic designers and more discriminating purchasers.

A focus on iterative designing – Students will learn to deliver their thinking and design skills through iterative design processes that allow them to ‘explore, create and evaluate’ following practices and strategies used by the creative, engineering and manufacturing industries.

Relevant and contemporary – A qualification which is relevant and can evolve as design and technology evolves.

Summary of the Course

During the two year course you will study a wide range of materials including papers and boards, timber, metals, polymers and textile fibres and fabrics to support any potential design solutions you may develop. You will have opportunities to develop an understanding of systems, programmable components and mechanisms as seen in the engineering industries.

You will also learn about wider design principles and the effect of design on users and the world we live in. You will then develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of specific materials and related techniques and processes, in order to construct working prototypes and achieve functioning design solutions; through the study of existing design solutions.

You will complete an iterative design challenge where you will ‘explore’ real needs and contexts, ‘create’ solutions and ‘evaluate’ how well the needs have been met and the problem solved. “Explore, create, evaluate” is a process that occurs repeatedly as design iterations are developed to continually improve the outcome, building clearer needs and better solutions, meaning ideas and prototypes can be developed into successful products in the future.

The content requires you to apply mathematical and scientific knowledge, understanding and skills. This content reflects the importance of Design Engineering as a pivotal STEM subject.

design_technology GCSE
How is This Subject Assessed?

The Iterative Design Challenge is a single task that is worth 50% of the qualification. AQA will release contextual challenges. There will be three open and real-world contexts for learners to interpret and explore, creating iterations when designing and making through the processes of ‘explore, create and evaluate’.

The other 50% of the qualification covers the principles of design and technology in an examination. This is a single examination component with questions covering both ‘core’ and ‘in-depth’ content. This examination is 2 hours and questions offer full access to all learners regardless of their practical experiences in the subject.


AQA GCSE Design and Technology (8552)

Design Engineering GCSE