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Design Technology

A level

Design and Technology is the study of the design, manufacture and evaluation of the products we interact with, our built environment and the clothes we wear.

To reflect this, you will choose one course to study related to your career aspirations.

  • Product Design/Architectural Modelling
  • Textiles

Course content

Year 1: Skill Building

Your first year will consist of a range of smaller projects aimed at developing knowledge and understanding of design principles while embedding practical skills such as research, drawing/designing, modelling, use of a range of materials, tools, equipment and workshop machinery in preparation for the final major project in Year 2. The skill-building projects are particularly useful for those students who may not have had the opportunity to study DT at GCSE, and will as a result be better prepared for the coursework element in Year 2. 

Year 2: Final Major Project (50%) Coursework Portfolio

Product Design / Architectural Modelling
Depending on your choice of project, you will research and analyse a range of existing design solutions before designing and making products and prototypes such as lighting, jewellery, furniture and other items that address specific needs, using a wide range of materials. Architectural models, for examples, focus on the ‘built environment’, with potential projects relating to interior design, film/theatre set design, the redevelopment of a public space such as a skate park, town centre, or a building designed for a specific need. The emphasis is on researching specific client needs and suitable sites and spaces before designing and creating a high-quality product and other related promotional material.

Textile students will research and analyse a range of textile products, experimenting with a variety of practical textile techniques and procedures before applying this to designing and making textile products and other related accessories.


In addition to the Final Major Project, two written exams are taken at the end of the course. Exam question responses are a mixture of short answers, multiple choice, and extended response. A maths element makes up 15% of the exams:

  • Paper 1 (30%): Technical Principles 2.5hrs
  • Paper 2 (20%): Designing & Making Principles 1.5hrs

Special features

In each of the areas we have well-established links with local retailers such as John Lewis, Cambridge Industrial Design and other local companies. We regularly invite visiting designers and industry professionals to provide insight into professional practice. Educational visits to shows such as the New Designers Exhibition in London are also offered as part of the learning experience.


Is it for me?

You will enjoy and benefit from Design and Technology if you:

  •  are interested in the way things work and how they are designed;
  • would like to use a wider range of techniques including IT (CADCAM) on design projects;
  • are interested in practical work as well as theory;
  • would like to develop your critical thinking and to see the relationships between designer, manufacturer and user;
  • are willing to carry out independent investigative research, including using the internet, and are confident about writing essays.

A course in Design and Technology offers a unique opportunity for you to identify and solve real problems by designing and making products or systems in a wide range of contexts relating to your personal interests.

Entry requirements

At least seven Grade 4s at GCSE in a range of subjects including Maths and English. A Grade 5 or equivalent is required in Design & Technology if taken at GCSE level.  



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