The Preliminary course involves the study of both designing and producing. This is explored through areas such as design theory and practice, design processes, environmental and social issues, communication, research, technologies and the manipulation of materials, tools and techniques. The Preliminary course includes the completion of one design project. The project involves the design, production and evaluation of a product, system or environment and includes evidence of the design process recorded in a design folio.
The HSC course applies the knowledge and understanding of designing and producing from the preliminary course. It involves the development and realisation of a Major Design Project, a case study of an innovation, along with the study of innovation and emerging technologies. The development of a Major Design Project, worth 60% of the HSC mark, requires students to select and apply appropriate design, production and evaluation skills to a product, system or environment that satisfies an identified need or opportunity. The case study of an innovation requires students to identify the factors underlying the success of the innovation selected, analyse associated ethical issues and discuss its impact on Australian society.