Designers are the makers of the built environment; they change lives and shape our interactions with the world around us.

Whether you are interested in industrial design, product design, architecture, or any other form of design, the one thing that doesn’t change is humans. Design starts with the needs and motivations of people. It has a reciprocal nature with culture, economy, geography and history, with all these factors feeding into and, in turn, being shaped by the visual culture of the world.

An education in design not only encourages observational and analytical skills, but develops presentation and communication skills. It invites you to explore past objects as an archaeologist and to design what our world will look like in the future. As a designer, you will be responsible for evoking an emotional response from the user and creating a backdrop for all human experience.

At Clifton we have many visiting architects and practising artists and designers who come and work with the pupils. Our A Level academic discussion and CAD skills have been praised by visiting university lecturers as of a degree standard.

Our designers have gone off to study graphic design, product design, architecture and ergonomic design, among many other courses available.


At all levels of the College, Design and Technology is taught as an integrated programme of work incorporating creative design, the study of background technical theory and the practical production of objects. As is appropriate for a creative subject, a high proportion of pupils’ time is devoted to individual project work, with the guidance and assistance of the teaching staff. Whole-class teaching is used as an effective method of communicating new material and theory topics.

Why Study at Clifton?

Clifton’s reputation for excellence in the design department is ever increasing and we are staffed with highly experienced staff who trained as architects and practice as designers. We are lucky to have a full time technician who is there to support the main workshop every lesson.

Clifton has a well-equipped Design Department that includes design studios equipped with two computer rooms, with Adobe, Graphics and CAD programs, scanners, digital cameras, iPads, A3 colour printers and light boxes. The Sixth Form graphics studio also contains individual drawing tables and a library of books and magazines.

In the plastics workshop we have a laser cutter and two 3D printers, a 3D pen, vacuum formers and all necessary equipment for the manipulation of plastics.

We also possess CNC (computer controlled) manufacturing equipment, and a large practical workshop fitted out for the making of products in wood and metal, including a foundry for the casting of aluminium.