NCEA Level 2 Design and Visual Communication

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr R. Forrest

Recommended Prior Learning

It is preferable - although not essential - that a student has taken this subject in Year 11.

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 Level 1 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:

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

The course is a full achievement standards course with students assessed using four achievement standards one of which will be chosen depending on student interest. (Architecture or Product Design). Additionally one unit standard is available for students with a specific interest in computer aided 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A student will be withdrawn from a standard if the teacher is not confident that the achievement of the standard is within the reach of the student or there is no evidence of the student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
Focus on use of design language and design elements.
Research standard AS91340 'Use the characteristics of a Design Movement or Era to inform Design Ideas' (3 Credits internal) Due approx Week 8. Generation of design ideas in this standard contributes to evidence for external standard AS91337 .

Term 2
Focus on developing spatial design skills including key elements of a beachhouse design project, architectural working drawings.
Spatial Design AS91341 'Develop a spatial design through graphics practise' (6 Credits internal)

Learn how to operate the laser cutter and to create geometry using AutoCAD.
Unit Standard 2433 Produce Engineering Component drawings using CAD software. (6 Credits)

Term 3
Focus on developing product design skills based on teacher or student directed brief.
Product Design AS91342 'Develop a Product design through graphics practise' (6 Credits internal)
AS 91338 'Produce working drawings to communicate technical details of a design'
AS 91339 'Produce instrumental perspective projection drawings to communicate design ideas' (Optional)

Term 4
Compile portfolio for external assessments.



Assessment Policy & Procedures

NCEA Level 3 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.

Career Pathways

Animator/Digital Artist, Mining Engineer, Aeronautical Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Technician, Patternmaker, Architect, Architectural Technician, Tailor/Dressmaker, Biomedical Technician, Metal Worker, Boat Builder, Naval Architect, Mechanical Engineer, Building and Construction Manager, Cabinet Maker, Surveyor, Carpenter, Urban/Regional Planner, Civil Engineer, Civil Engineering Technician/Draughtsperson, Fashion Designer, Graphic Designer, Interior Designer, Industrial Designer, Jeweller, Engineering Machinist, Environmental Engineer, Landscape Architect, Signmaker, Marketing Specialist, Geospatial Specialist, Garment Technician, Facilities Manager

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

A3 visual diary, A3 Clearfile
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 $25. 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


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.