Section Navigation

Design & Technology GCSE



Head of Department: Mrs K Burden 


What is Design & Technology GCSE? 

Design & Technology follows the creative process that designers, engineers and architects use to identify and solve problems. You will develop skills and understanding in both designing and making, from a problem-solving perspective. You will learn an iterative approach, aiming to produce innovative and creative designs, through a variety of mini projects, challenges and contexts.

What skills will I develop?

You will build on design communication, ICT and practical skills, such as drawing, sketching, computer modelling, model-making and prototyping to develop design ideas. You will work with a range of hand tools, machinery, materials, computer-aided-design and manufacturing processes. You will carry out primary and secondary investigation, such as consulting with a range of stakeholders; collecting views and feedback from others. You will work iteratively in your quest to problem solve and develop a good solution. You will engage in producing, testing and evaluating your own prototypes. You will utilise project management skills, working both independently and collaboratively with others. Design & Technology builds on a range of valuable life and work skills and is a great choice for those that enjoy being innovative and creative.

What course and specification will I follow?

OCR GCSE Design & Technology (9-1)


What will the course look like?

The course is spilt into the following two areas:

* Component 01 - Principles of Design and Technology - 2-hour external examination - 50% of final grade.

* Component 02/03 – NEA - Iterative Design Challenge - Approximately 40 hours of internal controlled assessment - 50% of final grade.

Before beginning Component 02/03 in June of Year 10, you will work on multiple short projects focusing on developing design skills, making skills and theoretical knowledge of a whole range materials and processes. 

Component 02/03 will start in June of the first year of the course. You will design and make a product using the iterative design process that responds to a contextual challenge released by the exam board on June 1st. At the end of the NEA project, you will submit multiple prototypes, a final prototype and a design portfolio that explains the journey of your idea and how you have attempted to respond to the contextual challenge.

Following the submission of the NEA, you will then focus your attention to Component 01 which is a 2-hour written examination testing the theoretical aspect of the course.

NEA = Non-exam assessment

What homework will I get?

You should expect to receive an hour of homework a week, which will consist of: a variety of research; design-based tasks; project-based tasks; theory-based tasks to help consolidate knowledge; and revision for formative tests.

How will I be assessed?

The NEA is an internally assessed portfolio of evidence, which counts for 50% of the final grade. Due to the nature of assessment, regular attendance is essential, plus it is important that work is completed in a timely manner and deadlines are met.

You will complete in-class tests, a mock exam and revision sessions leading up to your written examination (50%) at the end of year 11.

What jobs or further courses of study might this lead to?

A range of suitable post-16 options, such as Engineering apprenticeships and A-Levels, including Design &Technology. It offers a great foundation to a wide range of degree and career choices, including Industrial or Product Design, Interior Design, Transportation design, Engineering, Manufacturing industries, Architecture, Project Management and Town planning.

Are there any entry requirements for this course?

You must have a keen interest in design and technology and the ability to be creative. You must have an interest in why and how products work and what makes them fit for purpose. You will need to learn to apply new knowledge to respond to set contexts and problems. You will conduct independent investigations. You will need to be organised and keep up to date with your work. A desire to develop existing practical skills and drawing skills (by hand and using ICT) is essential. A willingness to describe and analyse designs in writing is essential. Demonstrating mathematical capability is also an advantage.

If I need additional support, what can I access?

Coursework support sessions run after school during the final year. Drop‑in sessions are also available for advice, additional support and the use of subject specialist facilities.

Back to table of subjects