The primary aim of teaching design for mechanical engineering students is to enable the students to achieve a fundamental level of competence in design. This involves creating appropriate learning environment for the students to develop concepts, creativity and critical thinking skills. It is also necessary for the students to develop both individual and team based skills. This paper looks at the student responses based on individual and team based tasks in a second year design course. The student surveys indicate very strong support for team based projects, with a high proportion of students agreeing that they gained many learning benefits as a result: importance of simple design, practical experience of design, and importance of organisation, skills in problem solving and how to work in a team. Overall, the student feedback indicates that they have to work individually to understand the concepts and collectively on a project to achieve a high level outcome.