KS4 Design Technology.

From September 2017 there will no longer be different courses offered by the Exam Boards for DT. All the individual DT GCSE subjects have been combined into 2 specifications.

The new D&T GCSE / Technical Awards will be delivered for first teaching in 2017. KS4 will begin at the start of Year 9 and conclude in Year 11. There are 2 options only now for the new DT specifications:

1. GCSE Design Technology.         
2. Level 1 / 2 Technical Awards in DT.

The major differences between the courses are outlined below.

GCSE Design Technology.

• The specification combines theoretical content with practical application

• There is a greater emphasis on design.

• The use of mathematical skills is a key requirement, and is tested in the

examination (15% of the written paper).

• An understanding of underlying scientific principles is expected.

• An iterative approach to designing is encouraged.

• The acquisition of practical skills is still expected.

The course will be assessed as follows:

Written Exam      50%
Coursework- single design and make task 50%

Why choose this course?

This course builds on the successful existing suite of GCSE D&T


• It gives learners the opportunity to demonstrate creativity and innovation.

• AQA will continue to provide the support you have become used to, both at

the start and during the lifetime of the qualification.

• The specification is designed to be flexible in approach, offering learners the

opportunity to focus on specific materials or adopt a broader approach

encapsulating a range of different materials.

• There will be a wealth of useful resources, including endorsed textbooks, to
help you in the delivery of the course.

Key features and benefits

• Provides sound progression from KS3

• Offers relevant and interesting content for study

• Focuses on the production of a prototype

• Gives centres the flexibility of adopting a broad multi-material or more
specialised approach

• Students have the opportunity to work with a wide range of materials or to

specialise once the core has been covered

• Enables progression to further study at A Level or Level 3 vocational

• Would serve to complement study in related Level 1/2 Technical Awards or
the GCSE in Engineering

• Will automatically count toward school/college performance tables

About this qualification

Our new Level 1/2 Technical Awards in non-EBacc subjects are ideally suited to learners with a preference for practical, rather than theoretical learning. Many of them are tailored towards specific career areas and all of them are brilliantly creative.

These vocational qualifications will fulfil entry requirements for both academic and vocational study post-16, alongside GCSEs and will count as equivalent to one GCSE in the Key Stage 4 performance tables.

Who is this Level 1/2 Technical Award in Materials Technology for?

It enables learners to work in a hands-on way to develop the core skills needed to manufacture products in their area of interest. They will gain:

• A broad understanding of the sector, including career opportunities

• Core practical skills working in their chosen material area

• Transferable skills including communication and teamwork

14-16 year olds who want to study materials in a practical way and understand the working properties of woods, metals and polymers will really enjoy this course. It will enable learners to work in a hands-on way to develop the core skills to make high-quality products using woods, metals and polymers (plastics).

Learners will have the opportunity to use traditional skills and also modern technologies.

This Technical Award in Materials Technology will help learners develop the knowledge, skills and experience required within the industry and could potentially open the door to a career in related industries.

The course will be assessed as follows:

Unit 1. Practical skills demonstrations.  30%
Unit 2 Extended making project   30%
Unit 3 Written exam     40%

This Level 1/2 Technical Award in Materials Technology complements vocational qualifications including areas such as plumbing, carpentry and jewellery manufacturing.

It's also a great partner for GCSE Design and Technology or Art and Design.

Upon completion, learners can progress to Technical Certificates and other Level 3 vocational qualifications such as NVQ Carpentry or Manufacturing and Production and A-level Design and Technology: Product Design.

For further information please contact

Mr Rudd Head of DT or refer to the AQA website, www.aqa.org.uk