Technology is the inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all pupils to live and work in the designed and made world.

The department has an excellent academic record with an average pass rate of 96% at GCSE and 100% at A level. The extensive facilities and expertise of the staff allow the pupils to realise most of the design concepts. After studying Technology pupils have gone to study a wide variety of engineering and design disciplines including architecture, civil engineering, product design, fashion design and ship design.

Extra Curricular

The department encourages all pupils to make full use of the facilities during activity time and prep for both personal and exam projects.  

Head of Department: Mr Alasdair Purdie, BSc, BEd

Alasdair Purdie BEd, joined the College in 1992. He is a residential tutor in Skrine's and coaches boys' and girls' hockey.

Mr Jed Case BDes, joined Glenalmond in 2021 and in addition to his teaching experience he worked in the design industry for a number of years. He is a rugby coach and very keen cricketer.

Recommended Entry Requirements

While GCSE in Design and Technology is desirable, we have had great successes with pupils who have never studied the subject before.


GCSE Electronics provides a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It encourages pupils to develop confidence in, and a positive attitude towards, electronics and to recognise its importance in their own lives and in today's technological society.

The subject ensures that pupils have the scientific and mathematical knowledge and understanding, and the engineering skills, to tackle problems in an electronics context. GCSE Electronics is to be studied in such a way as to develop and maintain the pupil’s interest in engineering subjects and the appreciation of their relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of the pupil’s study should be coherent and practical. The practical work enables pupils to see the theoretical knowledge contained in the specification in action and to gain greater understanding of the knowledge in a practical context.

Studying GCSE Electronics enables pupils to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the behaviour of analogue and digital electrical/electronic circuits including a wide range of electronic components
  • develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of electronics as an engineering discipline to help them answer questions about practical circuits
  • be aware of new and emerging technologies
  • develop and learn how to apply observational, practical, problem solving and evaluative skills in the identification of needs in the world around them and to propose and test electronic solutions

Assessment Methods

NEA (coursework) 20%
Examination 80%

Component 1 - Discovering Electronics - 40% of qualification
Component 2 - Application of Electronics - 40% of qualification
Component 3 - Extended system design and realisation task - 20% of qualification

Design Technology is an area of study that focuses on planning, designing and creating products which people use. As part of Design Technology the pupils will be able to build up their problem solving, planning, and evaluation skills.

Component 1
Written examination
50% of the qualification

Content overview

  • Graphic Product Design
  • Industrial Product Design

Section A: Core
This section is 40 marks and contains a mixture of different question styles, including open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions.

Section B: Specialist Areas
This section is 60 marks and contains a mixture of different question styles, including
open-response, graphical, calculation and extended-open-response questions.

Component 2
Non-examined assessment(NEA)
50% of the qualification

Content overview

There are four parts to the assessment:
1 – Investigate
2 – Design
3 – Make
4 – Evaluate

Assessment Methods
NEA (coursework) 50%
Examination 50%

Non-examined assessment (NEA)
This is an integral element of the GCSE and will be undertaken in the Fifth Form. Some example projects are: TV Stand - Quad Bike trailer – Gun case-garden seat - New design of MP3 player - Packaging for a new range of cosmetics - Jewellery range – Exterior and Interior Building Design

The courses make extensive use of Information Technology and develop a broad understanding of the ever changing technological world. Computer use and CAD/CAM is an integral part of the course and the pupils use a range of this including 3D printers, vinyl cutters and lasers cutters. This is in addition to two fully equipped traditional workshops and a large project area.

These courses are appropriate for pupils considering a career in any of the following fields: interior design, graphic design, product design, architecture, electronic engineering, manufacturing, business, stage design, mechanical engineering, agriculture and computing.

This GCSE option forms a good starting basis for A Level Product Design in the Sixth Form.

Design and Technology: Product Design seeks to develop pupils’ knowledge, understanding, skills and application for designing products.  Product Design encompasses a wide range of design disciplines but is firmly rooted in the skills required to design and make high quality products.  Products that are fit for purpose, satisfy wants and needs, enhance our day-to-day lives and, most importantly, give pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their design and technology capability.

The study of A Level Design and Technology aims to:

  • provide an opportunity for pupils to develop their own creativity, capability and entrepreneurial skills 
  • apply knowledge and understanding to a range of technological activities
  • develop critical thinking and collaborative skills 


Component 1: Principles of Design and Technology

Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes

50% of the qualification

Topic 1: Materials

Topic 2: Performance characteristics of materials

Topic 3: Processes and techniques

Topic 4: Digital technologies

Topic 5: Factors influencing the development of products

Topic 6: Effects of technological developments

Topic 7: Potential hazards and risk assessment

Topic 8: Features of manufacturing industries

Topic 9: Designing for maintenance and the cleaner environment

Topic 10: Current legislation

Topic 11: Information handling, Modelling and forward planning

Topic 12: Further processes and techniques.


Component 2: Independent Design and Make Project (Paper code: 9DT0/02)

Non-examined assessment

50% of the qualification

There are four parts to the assessment:


Part 1: Identifying and outlining possibilities for design

Identification and investigation of a design possibility, investigation of client/end user needs, wants and values, research and production of a specification

Part 2: Designing a prototype

Design ideas, development of design idea, final design solution, review of development and final design and communication of design ideas

Part 3: Making a final prototype

Design, manufacture and realisation of a final prototype, including tools and equipment and quality and accuracy

Part 4: Evaluating own design and prototype


Assessment Methods

Coursework       50%

Examination       50%


Recommended Entry Requirements

While a C grade at GCSE in Design and Technology is desirable we have had great successes with pupils who have never studied the subject before.


Subject Combinations

Design and Technology is designed to be either a complementary subject to Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Art and Design, or to be a contrasting subject with English, History, Geography and Modern Languages.


Careers and Higher Education

This subject could lead to the following courses in Higher Education: Product  Design; Furniture Design; Industrial Design; Interior Design; Materials Science; Graphic Design; Computer Graphics; Art and Design; Engineering