ASHS Coursebook: 3DES (Level 3 Design)

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How do I get endorsement in VA Design?

Information icon.svg 3DES
NCEA Level:
Primary Qualification:
Primary Learning Area:

How do I get endorsement in Design? A merit or excellence course endorsement for VA Design may be obtained by completing 14 credits in the above standards at merit or above for merit course endorsement, or 14 credits at excellence for excellence course endorsement. The 14 credits must include at least 3 external credits, and must be completed in the same school year. More information about NCEA course endorsements is available here:

What is this course about?

In Level 3 Design we will be looking at the historic evolution of Design as well as contemporary practice. We will develop our understanding of how meaning is created and communicated through design, and how this meaning is often politically charged. Design processes we will be using will range from very hands on drawing and collage based through to completely digital workflows.
Three achievement standards are offered along with the opportunity to submit work for the level 4 scholarship examination. Students will complete the first standard 91446 (3.2) value – 4 credits during the first half of term 1. This achievement standard involves using drawing to demonstrate understanding of conventions appropriate to Design. The second achievement standard 91451 (3.3) value – 4 credits will follow on from 3.2. It involves systematically clarifying ideas using drawing informed by established Design practice.
This work is expected to form the foundation for the next standard 91456 (3.4) – the 3 board folio worth 14 credits. This achievement standard involves the production of a systematic body of work that integrates conventions and regenerates ideas within Design practice. It also involves showing knowledge of the characteristics and constraints of established processes and methods in established Design practice.
Scholarship involves the submission of 8 x A3 workbook pages which support the 3 board folio with extensive, in-depth research of ideas, artist models, conceptual and pictorial issues relating to the work on the folio. Scholarship is marked under 3 assessment criteria – 1. Analysis. 2. Communication. 3. Synthesis.

What will I learn?

You will learn how to work more conceptually and creatively. You will explore why and how design communicates complex ideas. You will continue to develop your practical and technical skills, with hand drawing, photographic and computer software (Inkscape, GIMP, Scribus, Photoshop and Illustrator). Most importantly, you will learn about media literacy, critiquing the role that design plays in contemporary culture. It is essential that you learn to generate and regenerate your ideas through analysis and critical thinking, and be able to articulate your intention both visually and verbally.

What sorts of things will I do?

You will work independently on your proposed investigation, but also collaboratively with other class members and the teacher. You will provide assistance to and seek assistance from other class members. You will participate in group critiques to build a strong collaborative learning culture within the class group. At this level you must take a very organised and mature approach to your work. The main body of work for this course is an externally assessed 3 board folio due early in term 4.

You will be expected to spend a lot of time developing design solutions on the computer so homework is essential in this subject choice. There is also a large theoretical component to Level 3 Design and requires a solid foundation from Level Two English.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4











Key Dates / Milestones
  • Due end of term 1
Key Dates / Milestones
  • Due end of term 2
Key Dates / Milestones
  • Due term 4

Key Dates / Milestones

  • Due late Oct

What standards can I enter?

Summary of standards:
NCEA Level: Standard Number: Name of standard: Version Number: Credits: Assessment:

3. 2 - AS91445

Use drawing to demonstrate understanding of conventions appropriate to design

3.3 - AS91450

Systematically clarify ideas using drawing informed by established design practice

3.4 - AS91455

Produce a systematic body of work that integrates conventions and regenerates ideas within design practice

No further assessment opportunities attach to this course
Total available credits: 22

Vocational Pathways provide a framework for students to show how their learning and achievement is valued in the workplace by aligning learning to the skills needed for industry.  Follow thislink to see the profile for this course.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarship involves two components: the workbook and the portfolio (i.e Design 3.4 - 14 credits), and together they inform each other. The workbook and portfolio should articulate visual and conceptual arguments to form a body of exploratory and investigative work which clearly show evidence of the generation, development, analysis, clarification, synthesis and re-generation of the chosen theme. The work should show evidence of on-going decision making, evaluation and in-depth exploration and research of ideas. The workbook consists of eight A3 sized pages only. The research and thinking evident on these pages is marked under three specific assessment criteria, - analysis, communication and synthesis.

Frequently asked questions:

What is the cost of materials for this course?

A course take home materials and production cost of $120 will be charged. It covers the cost of a base package of take home materials, production costs and media and printing paper used throughout the year as well as folio boards, and courier fees to transport folios to Wellington.

Can I take Level 3 Design if I have not taken Year 12 Design?

It is expected that students will have undertaken Design in Year 12. Year 12 Design provides students with the necessary technical, creative thinking and conceptual skills that are much needed for Year 13 Design otherwise students will find this course challenging. Students should be confident in using open source software as most of the course requires a high level of computer literacy.

What tertiary courses could I go to?

Unitec, Whitecliff, AUT, University of Auckland, University of Canterbury and Massey University to name a few all offer courses involving the Arts. Whether graphic design, animation, photography and media art, arts therapy, fashion design, interior designer, graphic artist, industrial designer, web design, photographer, commercial photographer, media, Year 13 art will be a building block towards your future career.

Go to this website for further information.

Is there an extension standard?

Students who show particular ability in Design may be given the opportunity to also undertake Design 3.1 (an academic research standard) and / or Design 3.5 (producing a resolved work)