Department of Education

Design Technology

Course Leader: Mark Norris

What does the Sussex ITE partnership offer?

You can apply directly to the university to study for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) specialising in Design Technology. Alternatively, many schools work in partnership with the University to offer School Direct places which also lead to a History PGCE award. Either route will prepare you, as a trainee teacher, to teach Design Technology at Key Stages 3 and 4 (11-16 years) with enhancement opportunities in the Post-16 Design Technology curriculum.

This course can also be undertaken part-time over two years by suitable candidates. 

Successful trainees will be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Why is Design Technology teacher education distinctive at Sussex?

The study of Design and Technology in schools is a core element of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 and covers a range of GCSE and vocational options at Key Stage 4. The introduction of T levels alongside existing A-Levels at Key Stage 5 makes it an exciting time to teach and study the subject.

Developing the skills needed to intervene creatively with the world around us gives learners the opportunity to apply an iterative approach to designing, making and problem-solving using a range of materials and equipment. As such, it plays a key role in any balanced and creative curriculum. Design Technology teacher education at Sussex focuses on supporting you and developing your skills - as an effective teacher and a reflective learner, as well as how to become a dynamic and creative teacher across the Key Stages. Tutors will support you to explore the subject through the full range of subject specialist areas, including resistant materials, textiles and graphics, control systems, food preparation and nutrition. You will specialise in two of these areas appropriate to your previous experience, subject knowledge and skills and interest..

Our curriculum studies programme covers both classroom pedagogy and how to effectively and safely guide you in making and modelling products in all materials areas alongside the use of CAD/CAM. Trainee teachers come to us from a variety of design or food and nutrition backgrounds and are encouraged - both at university and on placement - to deliver the curriculum through new materials areas alongside your own specialism. 

Teaching, learning and assessment

You will learn to be a Design Technology teacher through a combination of taught sessions at the University and school-led professional development and classroom practice. You will start your course with a 2-3 week induction at the University in September, which is followed by a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops every Friday. These involve presentations, group work, role play, classroom modelling and peer teaching for which you will explore ideas and approaches and reflect on your own experiences.

Over the course of the acdemic year, you will undertake two periods of professional practice in two different schools (these may vary slightly in length, but will equate to a minimum of 120 working days in total). You will be supported in your professional placements by a Design Technology specialist who will act as a mentor, offering you tutorial support and developing a programme of practice-based professional studies for you. Your progress will be assessed through observations, feedback and discussion. To this end, you will create and maintain a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how you have met the various Teacher's Standards.

You will engage with the theoretical foundations of classroom practice and demonstrate the depth of your professional knowledge by completing two compulsory assignments during the course.

Additional entry requirements

To be accepted on this course, you must meet the partnership's established entry requirements for Initial Teacher Education. See 'Our Entry Requirements' at the bottom of our Applying web page. Additionally, given the significant competition for those applying for a place on the Design Technology Initial Teacher Education course specifically, you should be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A strong knowledge and understanding of Design Technology and a sound awareness of how the subject is currently taught within Secondary state schools
  • A good honours degree (2:2 or above) in a design related subject, including Product/Mechanical/Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Architecture, Product/Furniture/Industrial/3D Design, Art and Design, Sculpture, Architecture, Food and Nutrition, Food Science, Dietetics.

Undertaking a short classroom type teaching task and showing an awareness of the curriculum and school life is part of our interview process, so candidates may wish to prepare themselves by spending some time in an appropriate school setting for the subject/phase they intend to teach beforehand.

All candidates offered a place on a teacher training course will be required to satisfactorily complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a CRB check), including a check of all cautions and warnings as well as convictions, before their place can be confirmed. The University will pay the costs of this check on your behalf.

How to apply

Applications for all Initial Teacher Education courses are made online via the Government's Department for Education website.  See also our 'Applying' web page for a step-by-step process for how to apply to train to teach at Sussex.


See our Scholarships, fees and living costs web page for information on fees and eligibility for financial support. Specific information on bursaries, financial incentives and other sources of funding for Initial Teacher Education are available on our PGCE & School Direct Trainee Fees & Bursaries: 2023 and from the Department for Education.


See full details of the Secondary Design Technology PGCE course at Sussex on the Prospectus.

General enquiries about any ITE course, including application queries, should be directed to the ITE admissions team:

Specific course enquiries can be directed to the Course Leader: