Product Design and Technology Units 3 and 4


In this subject you will design for others i.e. you design and make a product for end-users. The major project (SAT) is worth 50% of the final assessment; it starts in Unit 3 and continues in Unit 4. It consists of a folio of design and developmental work and a product.

Other theory tasks about design, industry, products and sustainability contribute 20% to the final score. A final examination contributes 30%.

Who is it for?

The subject is for students who not only like to create, but who are passionate about the discipline of design. You will learn to solve design problems, which is a skill that can be applied throughout your life.

What do you do?

You will:

  • decide on end-user/s to solve a personal, local or global design problem and follow the Product Design process
  • develop drawings and ideas from research
  • develop the best idea, plan its construction and produce a finished product
  • learn about design in industry and research specific companies
  • consider sustainability in product design.

What skills do you need?

Thinking is a great skill for design. A willingness to research widely, try things, seek out help and use critical and creative thinking to propose creative solutions to a problem are all necessary skills.

Strong drawing skills and practical skills for construction are beneficial in this subject, but they can be developed with deliberate practise.

What skills do you develop?

You will develop the following skills in the Product Design Process:

  • problem solving skills
  • learning to “think outside the square”
  • learning to question everything, (E.g. Why has something always been done this way? What if…? What are the problems with…? What are the benefits of…?)

Other skills you will develop in this subject include planning and time management, critical and creative thinking, designing by using sketches or design tools, the ability to choose appropriate materials, processes and tools and use them safely, and file management and general organisation skills.




This is an online course. Students access the content and submit work online on a weekly basis.Students are expected to purchase their own materials. Photographs of work need to be taken as evidence, so a digital camera or mobile device is required.

Students working in:

  • wood, plastics or metal – need access to a fully equipped workshop with all safety equipment and a supervisor who has completed DET safety requirements (essential)

  • textiles – need access to sewing machines in either the classroom or at home.

A textbook can be purchased (optional) – Nelson Product Design and Technology VCE Units 1-4 4th Edition by Jacinta O’Leary and Jill Livett

Things to think about

Self-motivation is essential in this subject as it is not a matter of right or wrong answers. You need to be comfortable with a blank page, where you create your own project according to the requirements of the task. Asking for assistance along the way is vital.

Things you can do now

Practice drawing with bold outlines and colour. Learn the language of the design elements and principles by clicking the links on the left of the Design Awareness in Schools page.

There are many instructional videos and websites on the internet that you can include in your research. Below are just a few examples:

Revise the Product Design Process and the Product Design Factors on pages 9-11 from the 2018-2022 Study Design on the VCAA website.




Things to have a look at

Idea sketches

Idea sketches exploring design elements and principles by Daniel Roberts

Working drawing

Working drawing for a skateboard by Daniel Roberts


Journal of construction processes by Sophie Allen