IGCSE DT – Product Design

The IGCSE DT Product Design route aims to provide students with an introduction to real world product design and development through a creative, hands-on experience of product creation, experimentation and problem solving.

The course teaches the core design model of research, analyse, design, develop, test and evaluate through practical and cognitive challenges that seek to solve real world problems.

Product design will enable students in becoming independent thinkers and learners, who consider wider issues and develop considered products for the benefit of society, the environment and differing users and demographics.

Course Content

The Design and Make Project (Coursework): 50%

  • The Design and make project involves designing, developing and making a product to solve a design brief. It contributes 50% of the IGCSE grade.
  • Students will be provided with a range of ‘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 a design problem and brief and produce a solution to this problem.
  • The solution is presented through sketched ideas, developments and discussions of suitable materials, components 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 – Materials and Manufacturing – 25%

  • 1 Hour written exam.
  • This paper will test specialised knowledge of the materials, tools and manufacturing processes used to produce products in a range of material areas (polymers, metals, timbers and composites)
  • It will also test students’ knowledge of wider issues such as ergonomics, inclusivity, sustainability, and effective design communication.

Key Features

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

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

Pupils will:

  • Gain an understanding of the challenges experienced by designers and engineers in the real world in creating product ideas and developing them towards a commercial reality
  • Develop an experienced understanding of an iterative design process and the relevance of these to modern industry practice
  • Develop realistic design proposals resulting 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 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, commercial viability, and marketing of products


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

Potential careers

As well as providing a strong foundation for OCR DT Product Design A-Level at Wellington, the IGCSE Product Design course may lead to further study or careers in:

Architecture, engineering, industrial or product design, set design, materials science, automotive design, advertising & marketing and many other creative industries.

Contact for further information

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