Technology, Innovation, Design & Enterprise (TIDE)

Materials are the basic ingredients of technology. Materials are used to make machines and these machines use materials to make products. Materials also supply the energy to enable technology to function. Throughout history, the evolution of technology has been largely determined by the availability of materials. The strong historical links between materials, design and technology remain significant in society today. As long as the desire to create new opportunities and to continue to improve our quality of life remains, the development of materials will continue.

The Materials Design and Technology General course is a practical course. The course allows students to explore and use wood and associated materials with the design and manufacture of products as the major focus. There is also the flexibility to incorporate additional materials from outside the designated contexts. This will enhance and complement the knowledge and skills developed within the course as many modernday products are manufactured using a range of different material types. Students examine social and cultural values and the shortterm and longterm impacts of the use and misuse of materials and associated technologies. Through this inquiry, experimentation and research, students develop their creativity and understanding of the society in which they live.

Working with materials, students develop a range of manipulation, processing, manufacturing and organisational skills. When designing with materials, they develop cognitive skills, such as solving problems, generating ideas, creative design strategies and communicating what they do. This makes them more technologically literate and, as consumers, enables them to make more informed decisions about the use and misuse of technology.

The course outcomes are relevant to a number of learning areas, including but not limited to, Technology and Enterprise, Society and Environment, The Arts, Science and Mathematics. This course also connects to the world of work, further vocational education and training and university pathways. Students may achieve vocational education and training (VET) competencies as they complete their design projects, while at the same time, developing cognitive skills fundamental to designing in a practical context. This process enhances employability and may lead to further training and employment opportunities in areas that include, manufacturing, design, built environment, science and engineering.

The Materials Design and Technology General course aims to prepare all students for a future in a technological and material world by providing the foundation for lifelong learning about how products are designed and how materials are developed and used. 

The Year 12 syllabus is divided into two units, which are delivered as a pair. The notional time for the pair of units is 110 class contact hours.

Unit 3

Students develop an understanding of the elements and fundamentals of design and consider human factors involved in the design, production and use of their projects. They develop creative thinking strategies and work on design projects within specified constraints. Students learn about the classification and properties of a variety of materials and make appropriate materials selection for design needs. Students learn about manufacturing and production skills and techniques. They develop the skills and techniques appropriate to the materials being used and gain practice in planning and managing processes through the production of design project. They learn about risk management and ongoing evaluation processes.

Unit 4

Students learn about the nature of designing for a client, target audience or market. Students apply an understanding of the elements and fundamentals of design and consider human factors involved in their design projects. Students learn about the nature, properties and environmental impacts related to a variety of materials and production techniques. They develop creative thinking strategies, work on design projects within specified constraints and consider the environmental impacts of recycling of materials. Students extend their understanding of safe working practices and contemporary manufacturing techniques and develop the knowledge, understanding and skills required to manage the processes of designing and manufacturing.

Outcome 1:       Technology process

Outcome 2:       Understanding the use of materials
Outcome 3:       Using technology skills
Outcome 4:       Understanding materials, society and the environment

Prerequisite: Year 11 Materials, Design & Technology (Wood) – General to a C grade.

Cost: There is a materials fee of $50 for this subject to cover basic materials and students pay for their own timber.

Demonstrate a high level of Occupational Health and Safety practices.

Design is the human power to conceive, plan, and realise products that serve human beings in the accomplishment of any individual or collective purpose.’ (Richard Buchanan, Carnegie Mellon University) Design involves the strategic development, planning and production of visual and tactile communication. It deals with the effective and efficient communication of ideas, values, beliefs, attitudes, messages and information to specific audiences for specific purposes and with specific intentions.

Design has its own set of theories and practices and incorporates a wide range of principles, methods and techniques drawn from a variety of different disciplines such as psychology, communication studies, digital design, technical graphics, art, engineering, architecture, sociology, cultural studies, marketing and economics. The disciplined application of these elements forms a design process that guides the development of creative and functionally effective solutions to identified possibilities or problems.

We live in a diverse and constantly changing information‐rich society and culture, constantly immersed in design communication. Sometimes the intention of design is to inform, express, educate or entertain. Often the intention is also to influence or persuade. An understanding of design and how it works can enhance an individual’s ability to interact with their environment, to learn from it and to grow within it. It also empowers the individual by making them more discerning of, and therefore less susceptible to, manipulation and influence via design.

The goals of the Design General course are to facilitate a deeper understanding of how design works; and how ideas, beliefs, values, attitudes, messages and information are effectively communicated to specific audiences with specific intentions or purposes via visual media forms. This course aims to achieve these goals by exposing students to a variety of communication forms and a thorough exploration of design. Design projects allow students to demonstrate their skills, techniques and application of design principles and processes; to analyse problems and possibilities; and to devise innovative strategies within design contexts. There is potential for students to develop transferable skills and vocational competencies while devising innovative designs. In this course, students develop a competitive edge for current and future industry and employment markets. This course also emphasises the scope of design in professional and trade based industries allowing students to maximise vocational and/or university pathways.

Unit 3

The focus of this unit is product design. Students learn that the commercial world is comprised of companies, requiring consumer products, services and brands for a particular audience. They are introduced to the concept of intellectual property. Using the design process, they create products/services, visuals and/or layouts with an awareness of codes and conventions. They use relevant and appropriate production skills and processes, materials and technologies relevant to the design.

Unit 4

The focus of this unit is cultural design. Students learn that society is made up of different groups of people who share diverse values, attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and needs, and that different forms of visual communication transmit these values and beliefs. Students are encouraged to create designs that link to a culture or sub-culture and are introduced to ethical issues concerning representation. Students develop a design process with an understanding of codes and conventions. They consider communication strategies and audience. They define and establish contemporary production skills and processes, materials and technologies.

Prerequisite: Year 11 Design (Technical Graphics) – General to a C grade.


If you’ve always wanted to work with a range of materials including glass, precious metals and ceramics to create jewellery, fused glass artworks and three-dimensional objects then this is the course for you.

Students taking this course will develop a unique skill set working with handmade glass, learning fusing and slumping processes. They will also work with base and precious metals to construct objects from original designs using cutting, forming, casting, soldering and polishing processes with professional equipment in a custom built studio.

As their skills develop, students will be encouraged to utilise all of the materials and equipment found in the Technology, Industry, Design and Enterprise (TIDE) studios. This includes working with wood, using Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Photoshop and Illustrator software, 3D printing, sandblasting, engraving and etching to create original sculptures and jewellery.

The course covers Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and teaches safe workshop practices when using a wide range of machinery and hand tools.

This subject represents the second year of a two-year course where students have the opportunity to gain a Certificate III in Design Fundamentals.  Over the two years the students will cover workplace skills and knowledge related to working in the Creative Arts and Design industry. In this time frame 12 Units of Competency (UoC’s) must be completed: 7 core units and 5 elective units (to achieve the full qualification). WACE equivalence of 220 hours for partial completion of this course is possible if all units enrolled in in Year 12 are completed.


All students completing a Certificate III in Design Fundamentals through the Technology, Industry, Design and Enterprise learning area (TIDE) will be engaged in an exciting, not for profit initiative, creating fused glass artworks and other hand crafted objects for the College and wider community. This will include sourcing materials, consulting with clients, working on designs for packaging and presentation and collaborating with younger students engaged in TIDE courses. In addition to creating original works in class, students will be encouraged to be generous with their personal time through volunteering to work outside allocated class hours.


All certificate courses are undertaken in partnership with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Our college has an auspicing arrangement with the Central Institute of Technology for this qualification, so students will be enrolled with this RTO. All students will be inducted into Central’s requirements at the beginning of the school year. Each student is expected to have applied for a Unique Student Identifying number (USI) in order to be enrolled in this course.

Pathways Information:  At the completion of the Certificate III in Design Fundamentals you will gain a range of foundation skills required to work with precious metals and glass that could lead to occupational roles/functions within the Jewellery Manufacturing industry, Visual Arts and Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Kiln Forming and Firing Glass in a studio environment.

Employability Skills:  The industry/enterprise employability skills requirements for this qualification include communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organising, self-management, learning, technology.

Course Fee:  A student choosing to complete this qualification at Prendiville Catholic College will be charged a subject levy which absorbs the delivery costs of completing the qualification from the RTO (Registered Training Organisation). A subject levy plus a materials fee of $200 per student will be incurred.

Prerequisites:  This qualification requires some theory work and students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills, due to the expectations to be qualified and employable at this level. Students who have not completed the first year of the course in Year 11, are ineligible for the full qualification but will be eligible for a ‘Statement of Attainment’ with units of competency completed in Year 12.


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