NCEA Level 1 Design and Visual Communication

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr R. Forrest

Recommended Prior Learning

It is preferable for a student to have taken this subject in Year 9 and/or 10.

This course is intended for students interested in design as a means to develop their own visual communication skills or as an intended career pathway. The course is a progression from Year 10 and extends student learning through the introduction of different media design and communication skills. Students will further develop their skill in computer aided design (CAD) and image enhancement technologies. Learning will be directed at three main areas throughout the year:

  • Design and Visual Communication
  • Spatial Design (Environmental/Architectural)
  • Product Design

A student will be withdrawn from a standard if the teacher is not confident that the achievement of the standard is within the reach of the student or there is no evidence of the student attempting the assessment.

Course Overview

Term 1
Focuses on basic freehand drawing and visual communication skills and the application of design language. Students will complete a research assignment and generate design ideas for a product inspired by an influential designer. Evidence gathered during this term will contribute to an end of year portfolio which is marked externally.

Learning how to use appropriate design principles and elements culminating in a research/design assessment mid term.

Term 2
Application of a design process to communicate a design solution.
Students will undertake development of design ideas through graphics practice including composition, layout and presentation skills.

Term 3
Instrumental and working drawings. Foundation skills with 3D Modelling software Fusion 360 and Inventor.

Term 4
Compilation of design portfolio for external assessment submission.



Assessment Policy & Procedures

NCEA Level 2 Design and Visual Communication

The course is intended for students interested in developing their skills in either product design, interior design, engineering or architecture. Ultimately, students can progress through to Year 13 which is a university entrance approved course.

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

1 x A3 Clearfile (or can use existing from Y10), 1 x A3 Visual Diary
Students must supply their own rendering materials (pencils, colouring pencils marker pens) as well as a compass.
It is recommended that students pay the subject charge $20. This covers the cost of all take home materials used in this course (Limited 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling for the production of prototypes) and any colour printing costs.

Pathway Tags

Architect, Photojournalist, Graphic designer, Creative Director, Print Production Artist, Art Director, Web Designer, Desktop Publisher, Web Programmer, Web Developer, Marketing Designer, Marketing Director, Illustrator, Communications Manager, Visual Artist, Film Producer, Video Maker, Product Designer, Landscape Architect, Interior Architect, Engineering Draughting, Architectural draughting


It is the policy of Taupo-nui-a-Tia College to have school-wide policies that inform parents and students of the criteria for administering all Assessments for National Qualifications.

Credits listed may change.