Design and media studies

A specialist course to take a step behind the scenes to learn about the practices and techniques used by designers and media creators.

Specialist department-approved elective courses have specific requirements. Due to this, running specialist department-approved elective courses may require substantial investment in areas like staffing, professional learning, school resources, infrastructure, and equipment.

Before considering if Design and media studies will be a viable addition to the curriculum in your school, course-specific requirements must be met.


Design and media studies is a beneficial addition to Stage 5 study. It offers highly practical and flexible content that is rigorous, challenging and responsive to student interest and teacher expertise.

Engaging in design and media studies will equip students to understand the conventions and practices used to communicate with and persuade audiences in particular mediums. Students will be challenged to make effective and engaging design and media products and put those techniques into practice as they create their own design and media works, including the development of a long-term creative project.

The broad scope of this course allows for students to engage with a range of practices to create 2D, 3D, and time-based media, including:

  • filmmaking and video production
  • illustration, cartooning, and animation
  • graphic design
  • 3D, game, and interactive design.


This course aims to engage and develop student interest, skills, knowledge, and understanding of design and media production. Students will use professional practices to produce high-quality design and media works. They will work individually and collaboratively with their peers.

Staffing requirements

Design and media studies may be taught by any teacher with relevant skills and knowledge in design and media. Principals are best placed to make staffing decisions based on the skills and experience of their staff.

Specialist support staff are not required to run design and media studies, however, the prominent use of computer and technology resources may require some additional support from school-based IT coordinators or support staff.

School resources

Design and media studies is a course with a practical focus and will require the use of specialist equipment and software.

Specialist equipment to support the delivery of options topics may include:

  • interchangeable lens cameras with upgraded lenses suitable for filmmaking, or dedicated video cameras, with additional battery, data storage/transfer, cleaning and storage accessories
  • audio recording equipment
  • lighting equipment
  • tripods and stands
  • graphics tablets
  • specialist computer software.

Work, health and safety

In Core 1, students identify safe working practices in design and media production, including:

  • physical safety protocols and Work Health Safety (WHS) policies
  • the role of preparation
  • safe use of specialist equipment.

Specific WHS considerations are further outlined in support resources and include:

  • safe use of electrical equipment such as lighting
  • safe use of other equipment that may present hazards, such as tripods, cabling, and audio/lighting equipment mounted on stands
  • supervision and management of group work outside the classroom.

Class sizes

Class sizes for this course are not addressed specifically in the staffing agreement. It is recommended that no class need exceed 22 students. This aligns Design and media studies with Design and Technology (elective), where there are similarities between classroom activities and course content.

Additional subject-specific requirements

Exhibition, presentation or publication of design and media works to audiences is essential to the course. Schools will need to provide opportunities for students to exhibit their works such as in a school exhibition or showcase.

Course information for leaders

The design and media studies course has been developed in consultation with schools that previously delivered the course as a school-developed board endorsed course, however, there have been significant changes to the course content and requirements.

Important information:

  • design and media studies may be delivered as a 100 or 200-hour course
  • a set of resources has been published to support the implementation of design and media studies in schools, including
    • course documents
    • sample scope and sequences
    • assessment advice.

Schools may need to consider the following if delivering design and media studies:

  • provision of adequate time for planning and programming
  • resourcing, including
    • staffing
    • new teaching resources and materials
  • budget implications to upskill teachers, including casual release.

The course

Schools must use the Design and media studies course document (DOCX 245 KB) to develop educational programs for this course to comply with the Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K–12 Policy and associated policy standards.

Scope and sequences are flexible documents and may vary according to local school contexts and student cohorts, provided they comply with the course documents.


Design and media studies assessment advice (DOCX 203 KB) is available to assist teachers to select a range of different activities for the purpose of assessing and reporting.

Department-approved elective courses are not eligible for credentialing on the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). Assessment activities should reflect the school's organisation of the course and provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Teaching resources

Schools may adapt or modify this content or use other materials suitable to their local context, provided they comply with the course documents.

For more information


  • Teaching and learning


  • Classroom teachers
  • Curriculum and Reform
  • School executive
  • Teaching and learning
  • Web page
  • Year 10
  • Year 9

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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