Higher Design and Manufacture

The main purpose of the course is to allow candidates to develop the skills and knowledge associated with designing and manufacturing. Candidates study the lifecycle of products from their inception through design, manufacture, and use, including their disposal and/or re-use. It helps candidates to appreciate the impact commercial manufacture has on design and the need for balance and compromise when developing successful commercial products.

Candidates develop:

- research skills

- skills in designing products

- knowledge and understanding of materials and commercial manufacture

- knowledge and understanding of design factors

- an understanding of the impact of design and manufacturing technologies on society, the environment and the world of work 

Who is this course for?

The course is suitable for candidates attracted by the creative and practical activities required to design and manufacture commercial products. It allows candidates to be innovative and resourceful when exploring and resolving problems. The course provides a foundation for those considering further study or a career in design, manufacturing, engineering, science, marketing, and related disciplines. The course also offers a complementary practical experience for those studying subjects in the technologies and expressive arts.

Course Overview

The course has two areas of study:


Candidates study the design process from brief to design proposal. This helps them to develop skills in initiating, developing, articulating and communicating design proposals. Candidates explore and refine design proposals using the design/make/test process and by applying knowledge of materials, processes and design factors to reach a viable solution. This helps them to develop an understanding of the iterative nature of the design process. Candidates also develop an understanding of the factors that influence the design, marketing and use of commercial products. 


Candidates study the manufacture of commercial products. They develop knowledge of materials, manufacturing and production processes and strengthen their understanding of how these influence the design of products. This provides candidates with the knowledge and understanding required to develop a viable design proposal for a commercial product and to plan its production. Integrating the two areas of study is fundamental to delivering the course successfully. It helps candidates to understand the relationship between designing products and manufacturing products and it helps them to see how this connection influences a product’s lifecycle. By combining the study of design with the study of manufacturing, candidates also learn to appreciate the impact design and manufacturing technologies have on society, the environment and the world of work.

Course assessment: 

Question Paper

The question paper has 80 marks out of a total of 170 marks for the course assessment. It assesses knowledge and understanding from the following areas of design and manufacturing:

- Design 30–50 marks

- Materials and Manufacture 26–42 marks

- Impact of design and manufacturing technologies on society, the environment, and the world of work 4–8 marks


The assignment has 90 marks out of a total of 170 marks for the course assessment. The assignment assesses the ability of candidates to apply design skills to develop a proposal according to a set brief. It provides an opportunity to demonstrate the skills as listed in the ‘Skills, knowledge and understanding for the course assessment. 

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Useful Links

BBC Bitesize Higher

Explain stuff

Michael DiTullo

Technology Student.com


Plastic Processes

Specimen Paper

Past Papers 


Spencer Nugent 


Higher Design & Manufacture OneNote