Design and Technology (KS4)


AQA 8552: specification

Course Description

This exciting new GCSE Design and Technology course will enable students to work creatively when designing and making bespoke products, applying technical knowledge and practical expertise. Students will experience a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment, with the opportunity to make products such as:

  • MP3 amplifiers
  • Radios
  • Games such as Backgammon and Chess
  • Programmable Robots
  • Interactive Toys
  • Toy vehicles

As well as using traditional skills to make these products, students can choose to use analogue and digital electronics to enhance these products should they wish to do so.

Core technical principles

 Students will study a wide breadth of technical knowledge and understanding including:

  • New and emerging technologies – including their impact on industry, culture, society, and the environment.
  • Energy storage and generation
  • Modern and smart materials
  • Electronic systems including programmable components
  • Mechanical devices
  • Materials and their working properties

 By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Design prototypes/ products based on users’ needs
  • Use their imagination, and experiment with ideas
  • Review their designs against specifications with a view to further improving them
  • Communicate their design ideas and decisions using different media and techniques
  • Develop project management skills
  • Develop a broad knowledge of materials, components and practical skills ( using hand-tools as well as larger equipment and the laser cutter) to develop high quality, imaginative and functional products
  • Consider the costs, commercial viability and marketing of products
  • Demonstrate safe working practices in design and technology


Exam Assessment ( 50% )

 Two hour written exam.

15% of the marks are awarded for questions containing applied mathematics.

Non-exam assessment( 50% )

This consists of a practical design and make task based on an investigation set by AQA.

This project will take up to 35 hours to complete.

Students create a working prototype and a concise portfolio of approximately 20 pages of A3 paper.

Redesigns of everyday products can be undertaken, but there is room for the more unusual ideas such walking talking robots and programmable cyber-pets.

 Why study Design and Technology?

Design and Technology is part of everyday living- so students will develop skills for life, as well as achieving a qualification.

Creating products is satisfying and rewarding! There will be plenty of active learning, and every lesson will be varied, fun and challenging.

You will fine hone your practical skills, and underpin your understanding with detailed technical knowledge so you can produce high quality products to be proud of.

You will be able to apply your knowledge and understanding in practical contexts on the examination paper.

You will learn about commercial processes and careers in related industries.


Further information can be obtained from Mr Jara, Head of Product Design, Mr Bosley and Mr Rose.