NCEA Level 3 Visual Arts Design

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Ms J. Braithwaite.

Students are able to take more than one Visual Arts course. Each course counts as a unique domain for University Entrance. For example students taking Visual Arts Photography and Visual Arts Design would count as 2 separate University Entrance Domains.

This course has a NZQA Scholarship option.

Visual Arts Design is a course for students who wish to work on an individually chosen proposal.

This course prepares students for a career in Visual Art Design or tertiary study. There are many related digital design careers and emerging Creative Industries linked to this area of study. This creative course consists of drawing digitally in a free and personal way, whilst understanding the principles of design and the ways that designers work. In particular, they will work through the design process and communicate visually about their area of interest. 

Digital drawing plays a major part in this course as the central means of generating ideas and work is made using the Adobe Illustrator software. Some students will be encouraged to enter the Scholarship examination.

Potential areas of student led study on this course-

  • Character design and animation.
  • Infographics, book illustration, comic graphics, typography.
  • Creating a business concept and developing promotional material including logos, posters, web pages etc.
  • Game design illustration, world building (design the way the game looks and the characters within it).

The content of this course enables students to specialise in transferable skills that can apply to a wide range of design career opportunities such as graphic, website, advertising, campaign promotion, industrial, fashion, typographic, illustration, architecture and interior design to name a few. 


Visual Art in Year 13 covers a group of single subjects. Five single subjects are offered and students can enter up to two of these, or three at the discretion of the HOD Art. The subjects offered are: Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture.



Recommended Prior Learning

Open entry. However, where the Level 2 Visual Art External Standard has been attempted and not achieved, entry into Level 3 Design is at the discretion of the HOD.

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

There is a cost of $65 (TBC) which contributes toward materials and folio boards. Students will need their own USB storage and an A3 clearfile folder. Either a 1 TB external storage device or a laptop is also ideal. Students will need to purchase their own printing paper available through the school; allow $75 over the year.

Credit Information

You will be assessed in this course through all or a selection of the standards listed below.

This course is eligible for subject endorsement.

This course is approved for University Entrance.

Total Credits Available: 22 credits.
Externally Assessed Credits: 14 credits.
Internally Assessed Credits: 8 credits.

Internal or
L1 Literacy Credits
UE Literacy Credits
Numeracy Credits
A.S. 91445 v2
Design 3.2 - Use drawing to demonstrate understanding of conventions appropriate to design
Level: 3
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 4
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0 *
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91450 v2
Design 3.3 - Systematically clarify ideas using drawing informed by established design practice
Level: 3
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 4
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0 *
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91455 v2
Design 3.4 - Produce a systematic body of work that integrates conventions and regenerates ideas within design practice
Level: 3
Internal or External: External
Credits: 14
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0 *
Numeracy Credits: 0
Credit Summary
Total Credits: 22
Total Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
Total University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Total Numeracy Credits: 0

Approved subject for University Entrance

Number of credits that can be used for overall endorsement: 22

Only students engaged in learning and achievement derived from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa are eligible to be awarded these subjects as part of the requirement for 14 credits in each of three subjects.