IGCSE DT – Design Engineering

The IGCSE DT Design Engineering route aims to provide students with an introduction to real world Design Engineering, problem solving and product development through hands-on experiences and experimentation while responding to real world design challenges.

The course teaches students to use engineering principals and apply broader STEM subject knowledge to solve technical problems, allowing them to realize their ideas through physical and computer-based models and products.

Design Engineering will enable students in becoming independent thinkers and learners, who also consider wider issues when engineering products for the benefit of society, the environment, and different stakeholders.

Students will develop their technical understanding of mechanisms, forces and motion, structural integrity, electronics and programmable circuits, systems & control, 3D CAD design and simulation as well as a range of modern manufacturing processes and materials through hands on activities and ‘design and make’ projects.

Course Content

The Design and Make Project (Coursework): 50%

  • The Design and make project involves designing, engineering and manufacturing a product to solve a design brief. It contributes 50% of the IGCSE DT grade.
  • Students will be provided with a range of engineering ‘design contexts’ to investigate and are free to set their own design brief within these contexts.
  • The students will produce a short design portfolio alongside iterative models, and a practical product outcome.
  • The Iterative Design & Make coursework starts in the Michaelmas term of 4th form and runs until Lent half term in the 5th form. The coursework is run in parallel with practice projects and exam theory lessons.

Common content written exam – Designing Products: 25 %

  • 1 Hour 15 minute written exam
  • Students will be set an Engineering design problem and produce a solution.
  • The solution is presented through sketched ideas, developments and discussions of suitable materials, components, technologies, and manufacturing methods. They will also be expected to identify key requirements or functions for the product and evaluate their designs as part of the process.

Specialised content written exam – Systems and Control – 25%

  • 1 Hour written exam.
  • This paper will test specialised knowledge of Design Engineering in 2 Key sections

Section A (50% of paper): Students answer a broad range of entry level questions on the fundamentals of electronic systems, mechanisms and Structures

Section B (50% of paper): Students choose from one of 3 specialised questions that test deeper knowledge of either Electronics, Mechanisms or Structures.

Key Features

The content of IGCSE (9-1) Design and Technology Design Engineering route aims to cover the key topic areas below:

  •  Identifying Design requirements
  •  Learning from existing products and practice
  •  Implications of wider issues
  •  Design Engineering thinking and communication
  •  Material properties and applications
  •  Technical understanding of Engineering principals
  •  Manufacturing processes and techniques
  •  Testing and evaluation viability of design solutions

Pupils will:

  • Gain an understanding of the challenges experienced by engineers in the real world in creating product ideas and developing them towards a commercial reality
  • Develop an experienced understanding of an iterative approach to problem solving and the relevance of this to modern industry practice
  • Develop realistic design solution from the exploration of design opportunities and primary research alongside clients and stakeholders
  • Use their creativity, imagination, and experimentation to provide novel solutions to problems
  • Critique and refine their own ideas, and those of others whilst designing and making
  • Learn how to efficiently communicate design ideas and engineering decisions using different media and techniques, including physical models, computer models, and design sketches
  • Develop decision making and project management skills, including the planning and organisation of time and resources when managing their own project work
  • Develop a broad knowledge of materials, components and technologies and practical skills to develop high quality, imaginative and functional prototypes
  • Become independent and critical thinkers who can adapt their technical knowledge and understanding to different design situations
  • Consider the costs, and commercial viability of Engineered products when making design choices


Cambridge IGCSE (9-1) Design and Technology 0979 (cambridgeinternational.org)

Potential careers

As well as providing a very strong foundation for the A-Level OCR Design Engineering qualification at Wellington, The IGCSE DT Design Engineering route will also prepare students for careers or further study in the areas of.

Civil engineering, mechanical engineering, automotive, aeronautical or aerospace Engineering. Systems or electrical engineering, robotics, automation, engineering manufacture, product or industrial design.

Contact for further information

Mr R Winter – Head of Design, Engineering & Technology : RWW@wellingtoncollege.org.uk