Subject content

Our GCSE Design and Technology specification sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills required to undertake the iterative design process of exploring, creating and evaluating. The majority of the specification should be delivered through the practical application of this knowledge and understanding.

Topics and themes have been grouped to help you teach the specification, but these are not intended as a route through the specification, you can teach the content in any order. The subject content has been split into three sections as follows:

  • Core technical principles
  • Specialist technical principles
  • Designing and making principles

Core technical principles covers core technical principles and all content must be taught. Specialist technical principles covers specialist technical principles where students will go into greater depth. Each principle should be taught through at least one material catergory or system. Designing and making principles covers design and making principles and all content in this section must be taught.

The specification content is presented in a two column format. The left hand column contains the specification content all students must cover, and forms the basis for the assessments. This column sets out what students must know and understand to ensure they study the topic in appropriate depth and gives teachers the parameters in which the subject will be assessed.

Students must also demonstrate mathematical and scientific knowledge and understanding, in relation to design and technology. The right hand column throughout this section illustrates where the maths and science skills and knowledge can be applied to the wider design and technology content. These are examples of where these skills can be applied and are not intended to be exhaustive.

The maths and science skills and knowledge as required by the DfE, are set out in Appendix 1: Links to maths and science of this document.

Subject content areas