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Design And Technology Courses

Posted by : October 15, 2021 admin


Remember when woodwork and metalwork were taught in schools?

Great, practical subjects that supported career choices further downstream (construction, cabinet making, furniture design etc), but more importantly a period when boys (the male of the species; he/him) ‘could be boys’! They could get their grubby little hands (boys were allegedly always smelly and dirty back then) on tools and stuff and actually make something nominally useful in school time. Brilliant!

Of course, in today’s ‘gender neutral’ world, embracing inclusivity and diversity principles, such classes would be just as likely to include girls. Conversely, the practical subjects enjoyed primarily by females (girls; she/her) in ‘days of yore’ such as cooking and sewing (or ‘domestic science’) would probably be of interest to males now.

These subjects all now come under the umbrella of ‘design and technology’ in the 21st century curriculum, which description also includes ICT (Information and Communications Technology) – or ‘computer science’ – and are available to members of both sexes and ‘gender assignment’.

Beyond school, a huge demand now exists for design and technology courses for adult learners (post-16), as digital design tools and softwares, such as Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop and Illustrator, and 3-D Modelling become ever more integrated into the world of work.

Indeed, it seems nothing of any value can be designed manually anymore, not least because these designs and technologies make conceptualisation so much easier and faster for non-designers. Paper and ink (or more usually graph paper and pencil) are disappearing from the design desks, now populated with a PC or Mac, a big screen and a 3-D printer…

Additionally, once crystallised, those concepts can quickly be distributed digitally across continents within seconds to manufacturers and workshops to produce a working model within hours. This process would previously have (potentially) taken weeks or months.

Nevertheless, many practical subjects of interest to people from a wide range of age groups and backgrounds are still in huge demand. Design and technology courses in Digital Photography, Living Space Planning, and Interior Design, for example, literally ‘fly off the (digital) shelves’ at Cambridge Open College. Emerging design and technology course subjects in more specialised areas such as sports equipment design, software engineering and application design are already established.

Design and technology courses are available for study online or by distance learning, which provides a much more convenient, flexible and affordable education pathway.

Cambridge Open College’s rapidly expanding Design and Technology Courses range already includes the subjects mentioned, their qualification development team are hard at work to produce more. Go to to see what’s on offer…

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