Why choose our specification?

Our GCSE (9-1) Design and Technology 2017 qualification offers a practical project-based study of design, with the option to specialise for the examined component.

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We developed our GCSE Design and Technology 2017 in collaboration with teachers and the design and technology education community, to create a rigorous and engaging qualification that prepares students for a broad study of the design process with the option to specialise through the study of material areas, from timbers to textiles. ​

Our qualification provides these specialism pathways to allow teachers and centres the total freedom to design a bespoke course offer, suitable in the context of their school facilities and interests of the students.​

Whether students want to progress into technical study with a specialism in electronics, or pursue a more aesthetic route, they will have the freedom to build a portfolio of work through a project-based coursework component, and sit an exam tailored to their choice of specialism.

Explore our subject guide (PDF 1.3MB)

The qualification specialism structure means that students will all study a core body of content, that will help them learn about the world of design and methods for successful problem solving centred around users, but will allow them to take a deeper dive into a material specialism area from a choice of:​

  • Paper and boards​
  • Timbers​
  • Metals​
  • Polymers​
  • Electronics​
  • Textiles​

In choosing a specialism, students are able to gain a much stronger appreciation of a material area, and narrow their field of study to achieve excellence or push the boundaries of those materials. Students can use this learning to influence how they approach the Non-Examined Assessment portfolio by focusing on that material in a high-quality made outcome.

Our qualification doesn't shy away from the challenges of facilitating a multi-material experience for students, especially where equipment and facilities are needed to do so effectively. Our qualification allows for specialisms, so that departments can deliver a textiles course, an electronics course, or a resistant material style course, without the concern that their learning spaces are not sufficiently resourced and capable of multi-material study. Whilst this continues to support schools in sufficiently delivering a course, it also means that where facilities and resourcing are more significant, centres can expand the experience of their students and encourage a less material-led study of design and technology, where user needs are realised through creative design, and materials are identified through exploration. ​

Whichever way you approach the course, both the coursework and examination aspects of the course are supported so that your students can achieve their very best.

Our comprehensive suite of material papers are complemented by focused materials, that will help teachers to both plan and deliver the qualification at their centre. ​

We have a GCSE (9-1) Design and Technology textbook* which provides full coverage of the entire specification, with:​

  • Support for the core content and each of the material specialisms supports ​
  • Guidance for the teaching of non-examined assessment (NEA) with exemplar work​
  • Hints and tips on how to get it right ​
  • 'Apply it' and 'Checkpoint' features including 'Maths in Practice', supporting learners through the understanding and application of the necessary maths skills ​
  • Preparation for the examined component, with dedicated exam preparation sections at the end of each topic and lots of practice and guidance throughout.​

To help you prepare your students for their NEA portfolio, we provide both an on-demand course around assessing portfolios internally, and a number of annual live Q&A sessions looking at new materials and answering key questions.

*You do not need to purchase our resources in order to deliver the qualification.

As a Pearson Edexcel centre, we offer support unlike any other to centres both new to our qualifications, and those experienced in their delivery. Departments who need support in any of the following can request a consultation call using our request form. Our support will help you with:

  • How to improve your curriculum offer
  • Modernising the department
  • Ways to reduce running costs and investing in your spaces
  • Marketing to students
  • Championing D&T to senior leadership.

Evren Alibaba, your dedicated Design and Technology Subject Advisor, is on hand to help whenever you need any support and advice for teaching. Take a look at your Design and Technology community and follow Evren on Twitter and Facebook.