GCSE AQA Design & Technology (8552)

GCSE Design and Technology will prepare students to participate confidently and successfully in
an increasingly technological world. Students will gain awareness and learn from wider influences
on Design and Technology including historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic
factors. Students will get the opportunity to work creatively when designing and making and
apply technical and practical expertise.
The GCSE allows students to study core technical and designing and making principles, including

a broad range of design processes, materials techniques and equipment. They will also have the opportunity to study specialist technical principles in greater depth

Offering Core Theory in:

Paper & boards, textiles, wood & wood based materials, metals, polymers & electronics & mechanical systems.

Offering Specialist Subject knowledge in one of (students choose):

Paper & boards, textiles, wood/wood based materials or metals.

At the end of this linear course, students will:

  1. Submit a Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) - A practical piece with accompanying 20 A3 page folder based on a contextual challenge 30-35hrs (50%)
  2. Complete a 2hr written exam (50%).


NOTE: NEA Contextual challenges to be released annually by AQA on 1 June in the year prior to the submission of the NEA (ie at the end of year 10).


EXAM Questions will be structured as follows:

Section A – Core technical principle

s (20 marks) A mixture of multiple choice & short answer questions assessing a breadth of

technical knowledge & understanding.

Section B – Special

ist technical principles (30 marks) Several short answer questions (2–5 marks) & one extended response to assess a more in depth knowledge of technical principles. Section C – Designing & making principles (50 marks) A mixture of short answer & extended response questions.


GCSE Design & technology is a highly creative subject harnessing problem solving skills & a general can-do attitude. It leads onto a number of valuable paths/professions:

Continue with Technical & Applied (vocational qualifications) such as: Building, Computing/IT, Construction, Design, Engineering, Fashion, Manufacturing, Textiles etc.

Continue with Apprenticeships (earn as you learn) such as: Building, CAD, Construction, Engineering, Fashion & Textiles, Graphic Design, ICT, Manufacturing, planning etc.

Continue with A level D&T – with: Engineering, Fashion & Textiles, Product Design.

Continue after A level Courses with: BA, BEng & BSc degree courses such as: Architecture, Design (including: Digital & Interactive, Fashion & Textiles, Product etc.), Engineering (including Aerospace, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical etc.) & much more..

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