Design Engineering has been added to My Courses


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Course specifics

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including English Language). Level 2 vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC/OCR) must be a merit grade or above and only one will count as one GCSE equivalent
  • A grade 3 in English Language is accepted for this course providing you have a grade 4 or above in English Literature. You will also need to enrol on English Language GCSE alongside your A-levels.
  • GCSE Mathematics at grade 6
  • GCSE Science at grade 5
  • GCSE DT grade 4 is preferred but NOT essential



Exam board: OCR


D&T Design Engineering allows students to research and apply technical knowledge to test and create 3D functional products through various design approaches including hand sketching, CAD and 3D model making with workshop machinery. Both Design Engineering and Product Design courses lead to the same qualification so cannot be taken together.

The ability or willingness to learn to draw is required – there is full support for this as it is a fundamental part of the course. Should you not meet these course requirements you may choose Product Design which requires a Grade 4 in Maths with ideally a 4 in Design and Technology.

Design Engineering

Design Engineering

A-level Product Design & A-level Design Engineering Open Event Presentation

Course Content

First Year

The first year of the course is divided into separate modules, commencing with an induction course. 

Students studying the Design Engineering course will undertake a broad approach to engineering through the iterative design of products and gain skills to communicate visually through coursework projects and theoretical knowledge. Design Engineering coursework is focused towards mechanical engineering, mechatronics and electronic products and systems. Analysis of products in respect of function, operation, components and materials is used to understand their application and uses with a view of commercial viability. 

Design sketching forms a part of the course as does using mathematics and science to underpin technical considerations. The use of industry standard CAD software is included in the course, alongside more traditional skills such as rendering, marker pen work and presentation. 3D modelling is integrated with 2D graphic techniques to produce students with outstanding skills. Integral to the course is the iterative design process. Students are encouraged to become independent learners and will gain an understanding of, and simulate the work of professional engineers in their project work.

Second Year

A focus on implementing the skills learnt in the first year will lead to high quality coursework outcomes. A folder of work will lead to a quality prototype model and work suitable for portfolios.

Unit 1

Principles of Design Engineering

Exam board OCR



Unit 2

Problem Solving in Design Engineering

Exam board OCR



Unit 3

Iterative Design Project

Exam board OCR



Choosing Your Design Course 

The College runs three design courses. D&T Design Engineering and Product Design allow students to explore CAD modelling, drawing and presentation techniques and has an integral 3D element involving model making and use of workshop machinery. Graphic Communication encourages free expression and focuses on font work and the relationship between typography and image leading to purely 2D outcomes. Both Design Engineering and Product Design courses lead to the same qualification so cannot be taken together, however the Graphic Communication has some complementary overlaps which mean it can be taken alongside one of the DT subjects by students who wish to specialise in design at a higher level.

The D&T Design Engineering course is compatible with most other Linear A-level courses, depending on your chosen career path. They include Art & Design, Graphic Communication, Photography, Business Studies, Mathematics and Physics. The exact combination can lead to different career options and can be discussed with staff at enrolment events.

Methods of Teaching and Learning

A series of focused design tasks are set, that are organised so that you develop a wide range of design skills and understanding.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment is undertaken by a combination of coursework assessment and written/design examination. There is a Maths content in the examined unit equalling 25% of the grade. This is at higher tier GCSE maths level and will be taught as part of the theory content for the course.


Design and Technology has a purpose built suite of rooms complete with a design studio and workshop including a range of industry standard CNC machines. We have also added a suite of 3D printers which allow students to explore 3D design options quickly and accurately.


Visits are made to the New Designers exhibition in London, BMW mini Plan in Oxford and ongoing development of industry links.


On successful completion of these courses, and depending on other A-level subjects taken, students can develop their studies through a range of Higher Education courses. These include: Engineering, 2D and 3D degree courses, architecture, Product design and CAD/CAM based manufacturing courses. It would also be valuable for students aiming to pursue career paths in Engineering professions through work based apprenticeships.

What's Next

Students will have access to careers in engineering, automotive design, civil engineering, product design, computer aided design and architecture. Previous learners have gained apprenticeships with companies including GKN, Airbus, Babcock, Integral and Rolls Royce amongst others.

Some highlights from Design Technology!



Additional Costs

The additional costs for this subject are as follows:

Design Engineering year 1- £20 studio fee and cost of studio kit is £49.22

Design Engineering year 2 - £20 studio fee and no kit.

Financial assistance is available via the college Bursary Scheme

How to order your studio kit