Senior Design

Design focuses on the application of design thinking to envisage creative products, services and environments in response to human needs, wants and opportunities. Designing is a complex and sophisticated form of problem-solving that uses divergent and convergent thinking strategies that can be practised and improved. Designers are separated from the constraints of production processes to allow them to appreciate and exploit new innovative ideas. Students learn how design has influenced the economic, social and cultural environment in which they live. They understand the agency of humans in conceiving and imagining possible futures through design. Collaboration, teamwork and communication are crucial skills needed to work in design teams and liaise with stakeholders. They learn the value of creativity and build resilience as they experience iterative design processes, where the best ideas may be the result of trial and error and a willingness to take risks and experiment with alternatives. Students learn about and experience design through exploring needs, wants and opportunities; developing ideas and design concepts; using drawing and low-fidelity prototyping skills; and evaluating ideas and design concepts. They communicate design proposals to suit different audiences. 



A course of study in Design can establish a basis for further education and employment in the fields of architecture, digital media design, fashion design, graphic design, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture.
​By the conclusion of the course of study, students will:
  • Describe design problems and design criteria
  • Represent ideas, design concepts and design information using drawing and low-fidelity prototyping
  • Analyse needs, wants and opportunities using data 
  • Devise ideas in response to design problems 
  • Synthesise ideas and design information to propose design concepts 
  • Evaluate ideas and design concepts to make refinements 
  • Make decisions about and use mode-appropriate features, language and conventions for particular purposes and contexts.​


Unit 1
​Unit 2
​Unit 3
​Unit 4

Design in practice 

  • Experiencing design
  • Design process
  • Design styles

Commercial design
  • Explore — client needs and wants
  • Develop — collaborative design 

Human-centred design

  • Designing with empathy

Sustainable design

  • Explore — sustainable design opportunities
  • Develop — redesign


Schools devise assessments in Units 1 and 2 to suit their local context. In Units 3 and 4 students complete four summative assessments. The results from each of the assessments are added together to provide a subject score out of 100. Students will also receive an overall subject result (A–E).

Summative assessments​

​Unit 3
​Unit 4
Summative internal assessment 1 (IA1):
  •  Examination — design challenge
 Summative internal assessment 3 (IA3):
  • Project
Summative internal assessment 2 (IA2):
 • Project
Summative external assessment (EA): ​
 • Examination — design challenge