Design and Technology

Design and technology (D&T) is a curriculum designed to produce literacy in design and related technologies. It is offered as a school subject at all levels of secondary school in the United Kingdom and is part of the National Curriculum of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. And part of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in Scotland.

As a school subject, it involves students in designing in a practical context with a focus on, for example, food, textiles, resistant materials or digital media.

About Design & Technology

Design and Technology is a subject taught across the UK curriculum and students can sit national assessment exams at 16, GCSE’s in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 5 in Scotland, these are two year courses with exams sat at the end to grade the students. These qualifications can be broken down into sub areas of design and technology.

Once students have their GCSE’s or National 5 exams, they can choose to continue studying science at a more advanced level with A-Levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Highers/Advanced Highers in Scotland.  These are studied over 2 years (A level) or one year (Highers/Advanced Highers)

For National 5 and Highers in Scotland, students can study the following subject areas...

  • Graphic Communication
  • Design and Manufacture
  • Engineering Science
  • Practical Electronics (available to N5 level)
  • Practical Woodwork (available to N5 level)
  • Practical Metalwork (available to N5 level)

For GCSE and A-Levels, students can study the following subject areas...

  • GCSE Design and Technology: Electronic Products
  • GCSE Design and Technology: Food Technology
  • GCSE Design and Technology: Graphic Products
  • GCSE Design and Technology: Resistant Materials
  • GCSE Design and Technology: Systems and Control
  • GCSE Design and Technology: Textiles Technology
  • GCSE Design and Technology: Product Design

Why study Design and Technology?

Design and Technology is a core part of the UK curriculum and taught as a compulsory subject, but Design and Technology is also a powerful tool with many applications. Advanced training can lead to many career opportunities, including business, finance, medicine, engineering, and education. 

  • Engineering and building- 40.4%
  • Information technology- 18.6%
  • Technicians and other professionals- 6.4%
  • Retail, catering and bar work- 7.9%
  • Other- 28.7%

The top five jobs held by graduates employed in the UK include engineering professions such as electrical and electronic, but also programmers and software development professionals.

  • Unemployed- 7.9%
  • Further study- 12.6%
  • Employed- 73.0%
  • Working and studying- 2.9%
  • Other- 3.5%

Fun Facts about Design and Technology

  • From 1947 to 1949 Jan Tschichold developed a set of design guidelines to help standardize Penguin Books.
  • On February 25, 2010, Milton Glaser became the first designer to receive the National Medal of Arts.
  • In the early 20s, the owner of Château de Crémat allowed Coco Chanel to use their double-C logo for her own brand


Famous Quotes about Design and Technology

“Graphic design will save the world right after rock and roll does.”- David Carson
“It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”- Paula Scher

“Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because that idea wasn’t theirs.”- Frank Chimero

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