Course Structure

Unit Assessments

Currently, the course is split into two main sections:

  1. Design
  2. Materials and Manufacture

The design section sees pupils undertake a research task in order to provide a detailed specification for the design of a child’s chair which will be sold in IKEA. Once this task is completed, pupils then move on to design a chair for a 3-8 year old child working their way through the design process. This process remains the same through National 4 to Advanced Higher level.

The materials and manufacturing section involves pupils looking at the production of a range of commercial products. One of these products will be an electrical product, for example; hair products, household items like irons and kettles, hand-held fans etc. Pupils are required to select a product and disassemble it before identifying the materials and processes used during manufacture and writing this information into a folio. They will have to explain how they worked out which materials and processes have been used and why they are suitable for the product. This task also looks at sustainability of materials and processes, transport of the product and recycling of the product at the end of it’s life.

For the second part of the materials and manufacturing section requires pupils to select a commercially manufactured product and explain how it has been manufactured. They will then create a scaled model of the product to show the various steps taken during the manufacture.


The Higher Design and Manufacture assignment equates to 50% of a pupil’s overall grade for the course and is completed during class time between February and April. Pupils are given a design task and must work their way through the design process to come up with a solution.

The skills required for pupils to be successful in this task will have been taught during class time in order to pass the unit assessments and therefore pupils should feel at ease when completing the task. The task is updated every year and is currently assessed in school by teachers within the department.

The other 50% of the overall grade comes from the SQA exam which is sat in May/June time during the SQA exam diet.