GCSE Engineering (CCEA)

This specification encourages a student-centred approach to learning and gives students opportunities to apply their developing knowledge in relevant, enjoyable and work-related contexts.

GCSE Engineering helps prepare students for A Level Technology & Design / Engineering along with some units of work in the BTEC National in Engineering. It also provides some of the underpinning knowledge and understanding required for the National Vocational Qualification in Performing Engineering Operations.

Through studying Engineering at GCSE Level students:

  • gain core knowledge and understanding of the engineering industry;
  • begin to understand the contribution that engineering makes to society and the economy;
  • develop and use a range of transferable skills, including computer aided design (CAD) and technical skills, to design and make engineered products;
  • develop an awareness and understanding of environmental issues and sustainable development;
  • develop an awareness and appreciation of commercial and industrial issues and emerging technologies in the context of engineering;
  • apply their knowledge and understanding of engineering by using evaluation and problem-solving skills; and
  • develop as effective and independent learners.

This Course has been divided into three units:

Unit 1: Engineering Design and Graphical Communication;
Unit 2: Engineering Production; and
Unit 3: Engineering Technology.

Controlled Assessment

Students must complete two controlled assessment units: Unit 1: Engineering Design and Graphical Communication and Unit 2: Engineering Production. The controlled assessment units are each worth 30 percent of the final GCSE grade. Each controlled assessment task is issued in September for students starting Year 11. Students must submit the completed tasks in May of Year 12.

Unit 1: Engineering Design and Graphical Communication

This unit is about the process of designing. Students analyse a client brief, detail production constraints, develop a range of design specifications and choose a final design solution. They produce engineering drawings of their final design to test it against the set client brief. Students learn how to:

  • analyse client design briefs;
  • develop design specifications and solutions;
  • read and produce engineering drawings;
  • choose engineering drawing techniques; and present their design solution.

Students may complete their research and engineering drawings outside of the classroom environment. Students have 5 hours available to do this. They must, however, complete the final portfolio within the classroom environment in 20 hours.

Unit 2: Engineering Production

Students make an engineered product made up of two different materials. Students learn how to:

  • use product specifications;
  • read and interpret engineering drawing and diagrams;
  • produce a production plan;
  • choose suitable materials, parts and components for a product;
  • use production processes and begin to understand their importance for functional and aesthetic reasons;
  • use quality control techniques to check the quality of their work conforms to the standards required;
  • use processes, tools and equipment, including computer-aided manufacture (CAM), required to make an engineered product; and
  • apply health and safety procedures.

Marks are awarded for the complexity of the product and the quality of making and finishing.

Students may practice the required skills outside of the classroom environment. However, they must complete the final product within the classroom environment in 20 hours.


Students must complete two Examination papers at the end of Year 12 based on the theory they have covered throughout their GCSE course. Paper one directly related to Engineering theory taught in Unit 3: Engineering Technology, whilst Paper Two is a Synoptic type paper, which students must research before sitting their final examination. The theme of this paper is distributed to schools prior to the final exam in order to give adequate preparation time.

Unit 3: Engineering Technology

This unit is theory based. There may be some links between this unit and the other two. In it, students learn about:

  • engineering materials and their properties/functions;
  • quality control techniques;
  • new technology used in and by the engineering industries;
  • impact of modern technologies; and engineered products.