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Start date
February
July

Duration
2 year(s) full-time

Program Code
DMSP

Fees
2018: AUD$ 29,500 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements

CRICOS Code
082771M

Key features

  • Gain advanced design and research skills.
  • Learn in our state-of-the-art campus workshops and studios.
  • Work on real-life projects, gaining valuable practical experience.
  • Benefit from our networks and relationships with industry – locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Learn from teachers who are established designers.
  • Use this qualification as a pathway to further study.
  • Study at a School that has been ranked in the World Top 100 for art and design1.

12017 QS Subject Rankings

Snapshot

Snapshot

This hands-on postgraduate qualification will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of the innovative, changing world of communication design.

With a strong focus on adaptability and the importance of being able to respond to changing design issues, you will gain advanced skills in areas such as web and print design, as well as emerging technologies and research processes.

In conjunction with industry, you will also be given the opportunity to work on creative projects, developing skills in writing project proposals and presenting information.

In addition to the necessary practical skills, a key part of your learning will relate to advanced research and you will graduate with the cognitive skills needed to review and analyse information.

You may also complete an industry placement as part of an elective.

Advanced Standing

Applicants who have completed a Bachelor (Honours) degree in a related discipline are eligible to enter the program with 1.0 EFTSL Advanced Standing and complete the program in 1 year of full time study or equivalent part time study. Applicants must also submit a portfolio of work, curriculum vitae and a written statement of intent.

2 years- SATAC CODE 4CM131

1 year- SATAC CODE 4CM208

Why Master of Design (Communication Design)

Why this Degree

This unique qualification will extend your knowledge and skills in graphics and illustration. It will also provide you with advanced research skills. 

The Master of Design (Communication Design) builds on knowledge and skills already attained and will extend your learning in preparation for a rewarding career across of a range of creative employment sectors, including: 

  • advertising
  • branding
  • merchandising
  • communication
  • publication design 

The School of Art, Architecture and Design boasts award-winning, purpose-built studio spaces and five floors of impressive workshops that feature state-of-the-art digital equipment.

You will also benefit from:

  • our strong industry links when you embark on industry placements
  • our world-class teaching staff
  • industry master classes hosted by national and international industry professionals

Our teaching staff are professional designers, so the curriculum is industry-relevant and mostly practical in nature. You will also work alongside world-class researchers in visual arts and crafts1.

As Australia’s university of enterprise:

  • we have an Overall Five-Star Rating2
  • 97 per cent of our research is world-class1
  • we held 24th spot in the QS World University Rankings for institutions under 50 years old in 2016

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented in South Australia. In the 2015 nationwide Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 97 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above.

It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

1 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 
2 2017 QS Stars Rankings

Real-world connections

Our teaching staff are highly trained industry professionals who bring with them years of experience. They have strong industry links and many hold professional positions with national and international organisations. For students this means links to industry and the opportunity to build important networks.  

UniSA also has well over 2,500 national and international industry partnerships – providing further opportunities for you to build important industry relationships.

As part of your studies you may also take part in an industry placement, and will have the opportunity to attend master classes hosted by industry professionals.

We host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Your career

This industry is expecting strong growth in long-term employment prospects Australia-wide, with the number of job openings over the next few years, until November 2019, expected to be above average1.

Graduates from this degree enjoy careers in a variety of roles, such as:

  • animation and motion designer: use graphic software to create animated images
  • art director: responsible for the visual aspects of a publication, campaign, or other published material; a chief liaison between the client and designers
  • graphic designer: create visual concepts to inspire, inform or captivate an audience
  • communications designer: use software applications to create visual design elements for publishers, web developers and multimedia companies
  • illustrator: produce still drawings for use in advertisements, magazines, on packaging, greeting cards and in newspapers
  • typographer: create the typeface that graphically reflects a client’s brief
  • web designer: create and maintain websites, this may include the design, layout and coding  

Creativity, patience, motivation, commitment and, of course, excellent communication skills, are all qualities of a successful communication designer. 

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015

Professional accreditation

Graduates of this program are eligible for Associate Membership of the Design Institute of Australia. Graduates are eligible for membership of the Design Institute of Australia after three years of professional practice.

Industry facts

column-chart-growth

Employment for graphic and web designers, and illustrators in Australia is projected to increase by 6,800 (14.5 per cent) by November 20201.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015

line-graph-growth

The number of graphic and web designers, and illustrators in Australia expected to reach 53,300 by 20201.

1ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020

What you'll learn

What you Learn

To be an effective communication designer you need to be able to identify problems, and to examine and develop strategies and approaches to overcome them. This qualification addresses design issues that you may be faced with in the workplace, such as:

  • socio-cultural change
  • economic constraints
  • environmental impacts

You will also develop an advanced understanding of communication design principles and graduate with the ability to develop and design effective communications for a range of audiences. Cognitive skills needed to review and analyse research will also be developed.

This master degree comprises design research studio classes, advanced research skills and a choice of electives, including an internship.

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums. So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.

Assessment

Assessment

Your studies will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • design studio project work
  • project analysis, documentation and management
  • placement reports
  • research proposals
  • literature/artefact reports

There may also be essays, assignments and examinations.

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

What courses you'll study

Structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
FIRST YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Research Studio 1 GRAP 5005 9 Rule(s): 2
AAD Research Methods VSAR 4003 4.5 Rule(s): 2
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1,2 Rule(s): 2
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Research Studio 2 GRAP 5006 9 Rule(s): 2
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1,2 Rule(s): 2
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1,2 Rule(s): 2
SECOND YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Research Studio 3 GRAP 6001 9
Masters Research Project 1 ARCH 5036 4.5
Masters Elective 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Research Studio 4 GRAP 6002 9
Masters Research Project 2 ARCH 5037 4.5
Masters Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1,2

I’m passionate about increasing awareness of Indigenous knowledges and providing expansive opportunities for students to engage in the educational process.

Mr Peter Walker

Program Director

Enquire
Portrait image for Mr Peter Walker
Portrait image for Mr Peter Walker

Mr Peter Walker

Program Director

Enquire

Scholarships

Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarship search page for more.

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Adelaide - City West campus

City West is in Adelaide’s most lively precinct, close to art galleries, music venues, cafés and restaurants. It has brand new learning spaces; modern lecture theatres; architecture workshops, contemporary art and design studios; and well-equipped student lounges. Explore City West >

Your study spaces

As a design student you will have access to:

  • state-of-the-art on-campus design studios and workshops
  • the South Australian School of Art Gallery
  • the University library’s collection of art, craft and design resource materials, which is the largest in the state
Your study spaces

Your study experience

As a student at the University of South Australia you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

Alternative Pathways

Australian
There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including: 

This degree is part of a nested suite of degrees, which means you may be able to exit early and graduate with a Graduate Diploma in Design. 

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