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Design Technology (HL and SL)

Design is intelligence made visible. Alina Wheeler  

 Design Technology is the subject that draws from and relates to all others. It looks at how we function as individuals and societies and helps us to consider how we can change our world for the better. Design helps us to identify problems and solve them using analytical research, conceptual thinking, prototyping, testing and evaluation, and manufacturing.   

Course content

This is an engaging course where students gain an in depth understanding of: the properties of materials and their uses; theories of marketing and promotion; the way that products are made in industry; how sustainable design and the future of product production is changing and will change further; modern technology in design and manufacture; and how to design for people- using physical and psychological data.     

There is a mix of practical exploration, theory learning and design projects where knowledge and skills can be applied. We encourage students to identify problems and solve them using whichever materials and processes are most suitable. Having a good grounding through study of Design Technology at GCSE level or equivalent is essential for this course. 

Standard Level  

Higher Level  

Core: Human Factors and Ergonomics, Resource Management and Sustainable Production, Modelling, Raw Material to Final Product, Innovation and Design, and Classic Design.  


Extension: User Centred Design, Sustainability,  

Innovation and Markets, and Commercial Production.  



Standard Level  

Higher Level  

Internal assessment  

Design project (40%)  

Design project (40%)  

External assessment  

Multiple choice (30%) Applied design (30%)  

Multiple choice (20%)  

Applied design (20%)  

Applied design (20%)  


Visits to practising designers, degree exhibitions, Design Museum, CAS project with students from West Kent College, design competitions.  

Further study

Many students have recently continued their design related studies at university, including Design Engineering (Imperial), Architecture (Nottingham Trent), Costume Design (Nottingham Trent), Marketing with Design (Leeds), and 3D Design (Bournemouth).  

 Not only is IB DT great because it allows you to study many different aspects of design and its relationship with the wider world, but it enables you to become a creative thinker and appreciate design in a range of contexts.  Sophie