VCE Design & Technology

Product design is part of people's responses to changing needs to improve quality of life by designing and creating artefacts. Product design is enhanced through knowledge of social, technological, economic, historic, ethical, legal, environmental and cultural factors. These factors affect the aesthetics, form and function of products developed in the past and those yet to be developed. Central to VCE Product Design and Technology is the Product design process, which provides a structure for students to develop effective design practice. The design process involves identification of a real need that is then articulated in a design brief. The need is investigated and informed by research to aid the development of solutions that take the form of physical, three-dimensional functional products. Development of these solutions requires the application of technology and a variety of cognitive and physical skills, including creative design thinking, drawing and computer-aided design, testing processes and materials, planning, construction, fabrication and evaluation.


In VCE Product Design and Technology students assume the role of a designer-maker. In adopting this role, they acquire and apply knowledge of factors that influence design. Students address the design factors relevant to their design situation.


The knowledge and use of resources is integral to product design. These resources include a range of materials, and the tools, equipment and machines needed to transform these materials in a safe manner into useful products. Increasingly, the importance of environmental sustainability is having an impact on product design and development. More sustainable approaches are therefore at the forefront throughout the product lifecycle.


Designers play an important part in our daily lives. They determine the form and function of the products we use. They transform ideas into drawings and plans for the creation and manufacture of useful products that fulfil human needs and wants. In recent history the use of resources to create an ever-increasing array of products has given designers an increased responsibility to think sustainably.


Students develop an understanding of the consequences of product design choices. They develop the necessary skills to critically analyse existing products and to develop their own creative solutions.


VCE Product Design and Technology can provide a pathway to a range of related fields such as industrial, product, interior and exhibition design, engineering, and fashion, furniture, jewellery, textile and ceramic design at both professional and vocational levels. Moreover, VCE Product Design and Technology can inform sustainable behaviours and develop technical skills to present multiple solutions to everyday life situations. It contributes to creating confident and unique problem solvers and project managers well equipped to deal with the multi-disciplinary nature of modern workplaces.


The study is made up of four units:

Unit 1: Product re-design and sustainability
Unit 2: Collaborative design
Unit 3: Applying the product design process
Unit 4: Product development and evaluation

Each unit contains between two and four Areas of Study.



There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education. All VCE studies are benchmarked against comparable national and international curriculum.