Design Engineering



Design Engineering sits well with maths and science subjects as it teaches key skills in problem solving, project management, rethink design and development of conceptual ideas. It can link well with the Arts, developing competency with different materials and creativity. For anyone aspiring towards a degree and/or career in engineering, design or manufacturing it is an essential subject. Students go on to study Architecture, Engineering or Product Design.


Aside from the obvious making and assembling skills, students learn about drawing and graphical representation, the use of computers for drawing and product creation through the use of the laser cutter, 3D printing and CNC routing. Design Engineering also gives students an increased knowledge of, and competence with using ICT in a practical way through the use of CAD programmes.

Year Group

Areas of Study

7 & 8

Unit 1: Art Deco Box – design and make a timber box in the style of Art Deco

Unit 2: Tube Map Puzzle – design and make a tube map puzzle in the style of Henry Beck

Unit 3: Compact Mirror – Design and make a Compact Mirror in the style of Des Stijl design movement. Teaches about CAD and sublimation printing

Unit 4: Clocks – design and make a design clock suitable for a chosen target market, make in acrylic

Unit 5: Graphic skills – looking and presentation skills and drawing skills to make the students into successful young designers

Unit 6: CAD skills – Students learn Tinkercad, a free online modelling programme

NB. Students study Design Engineering for the whole year in either Year 7 or Year 8


Unit 1: Tablet Stand – design and make a tablet stand based on the bagpress manufacturing process

Unit 2: Anglepoise Lamp – a skills unit where students manufacture their own interpretation of the famous anglepoise lamp, in timber

Unit 3: Biomimicry Bookmark – students explore conceptual ideas to design and make a bookmark inspire from design in nature. This uses the sublimation process to print on metal

Unit 4: Sustainable Candleholder – A short project exploring sustainability and reuse by making a candle holder from repurposed timber

Unit 5: Eliminium Light – A simple and playful folded metal light based on an animal, powered by a usb colour changing LED light

Unit 6: Graphic skills – observational and presentation skills and drawing skills to make the students into successful young designers

NB. Students make mini option choices in the creative subjects and through these opt into studying Design Engineering




Outline of the Course

  • GCSE Design Engineering: DT is a popular subject that focuses on the creative development of products by planning, designing and engineering solutions to everyday problems. This involves lots of making and hands on iterative design in the school workshops.
  • Year 10 focuses on building key design and making skills through a range of exciting projects – this is only assessed in school.
  • Year 11 focuses on the major coursework project and end of year examination.
  • DT teaches you key skills and will help support many subjects such as maths and science. We will also help you develop sketching skills and design style.
  • You use many tools and machines to produce a range of exciting projects. You will experience using the laser cutter, 3D printer and CNC cutter (all CAM machines).
  • Class sizes are small, approx 16 per class.
  • 1 in 11 jobs in the UK are in the creative sector. DT opens many career opportunities such as engineering, architecture, furniture design, fashion, retail etc.



Type of Assessment




Year 10 – internally assessed through mini projects and theory lessons

All Year 10



Non Examinable Assessment – Year 11 Major Coursework Project based on exam board project ideas

June Year 10 –
March Year 11



Examination – based on key theory learnt in Years 10 and 11 based on materials, processes, design influences and design issues

2 hours