Design, and the resultant development of new technologies, has given rise to profound changes in society: transforming how we access and process information; how we adapt our environment; how we communicate with others; how we are able to solve problems; how we work and live. Designers need to have an understanding of the possibilities offered by science to realize the full potential of what they can design in terms of new technologies, products and systems.

Decision-making needs to be supported by adequate and appropriate research and investigation. Designers must think “out of the box” to develop innovative solutions, while thinking “in the box” to conform to requirements set by clients or research.


The course is structured to equip the student to learn and develop through their use of design and technological concepts. Students will research, design and manufacture a product and plan to develop it into an innovation; that is to theoretically get the product to diffuse into the marketplace.

Past experience shows that students will be able to study design technology at Standard Level successfully with no background in, or previous knowledge of, the subject.

Standard Level

The core material provides information about the experience of designing and the role of the designer. At the same time it provides details about materials and processes.

The students will cover the following topics in the core: Human factors and ergonomics, Resource management and sustainable production, Modelling, Final production, Innovation and design, Classic design.

Assessment (SL)
External examination
Paper 1: 30 multiple-choice questions (0.75 hours, 30%)
Paper 2: short-answer questions (1.5 hours, 30%)

Internal Assessment
Design Project: 40%

Higher Level

Higher level is an extension study of the core covered at (Standard Level), it builds upon the six topics studied by looking into an additional four topics of: User-centred design (UCD), Sustainability, Innovation and markets, Commercial production. It allows students to see how a product can be turned into an innovation, successfully diffused into the market place and what is needed for a product to be part of a commercial product family.

Assessment (HL)
External examination
Paper 1: 40 multiple-choice questions (1 hour, 20%)
Paper 2: short-answer questions (1.5 hours, 20%)
Paper 3: structured questions on the HL extension material (1.5 Hours, 20%)

Internal Assessment
Design Project: 40%