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Start date
February
June

Duration
3 year(s) full-time

Mode
On-campus

Program Code
DBVC

Prerequisites
None

Assumed Knowledge
None

Fees
2021: AUD$ 29,400 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

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

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements

CRICOS Code
023813F

Degree overview

  • Gain specialised training in typography; image design; print and electronic publications, designing for digital media platforms; brand and identity design; information graphics and packaging design through user experience awareness, concept development, problem solving and design processes.
  • Learn to create innovative design outcomes that motivate and inform through design practice and design thinking, contributing to the cultural and social life of the wider community.
  • Benefit from the opportunity to work on projects addressing real-world issues.
  • Learn from teachers who are established designers and academics, offering insight into what it takes to create effective visual communications and graphics.
  • Learn in on-campus studios and workshops in the vibrant west-end creative precinct in the city.
  • Benefit from our networks and relationships with the design industry – locally, nationally and internationally, and gain valuable practical experience.
  • Gain in-demand skills in concept development and technical skills that industry are looking for.
  • UniSA is No.1 for Student Satisfaction in Creative Arts1 and the only SA university ranked for art and design2.
  • Be taught by world-class leaders in research – UniSA's research in communication design is ranked world class3.

1ComparED (QILT): Course Experience Questionnaire 2018-19 – Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only
22020 QS Subject Rankings
3Results in Design Practice and Management - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Snapshot

Snapshot

Communication Design involves creating innovative identities, messages, ideas and images that inform, motivate and educate across a range of sectors, from logo and identity design, to posters, apps and packaging design. Communication Design contributes to contemporary society through visual strategy, problem solving and design research in various areas of communication.

This degree has been the starting point for many of the country’s leading communication and graphic designers, and it will prepare you for a vibrant career in the design industry. Taught by established academics and designers, you will graduate with an industry-relevant qualification.

A focus on practical learning integrated with design thinking means you will gain the skills and knowledge needed to design stimulating, effective visual communications, and the confidence to create across a range of communication platforms and contexts.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

With an emphasis on practical studio-based learning, creativity and teamwork, you will graduate with the ability to design effective communications applied to diverse contexts. You will:

  • cover topics including: typography, brand and identity design, packaging, drawing techniques, image design, information graphics, app layout and communication, user experience design, web and publication design.
  • learn to design for digital and print platforms, including motion graphics, interaction design, and design strategy.
  • develop practical and technical skills in a variety of media for diverse outcomes.
  • learn how to integrate creative skills with design thinking methods to address wide-ranging communication tasks and scenarios

The Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) is practice-based, involving creative and critical thinking integrated with craft and technical skill. Throughout this degree you will learn how to respond effectively to communication problems through design as you develop the skills to articulate ideas and approaches and to working independently and in a team.

As part of your studies you will also be required to complete design electives. These provide the opportunity for you to further explore areas and pathways of interest, and to build an individual and effective portfolio. 

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
FIRST YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Design Foundation Studio GRAP 1017 9
Introductory Drawing for Design GRAP 1019 4.5
Visual Argument and Design Culture VSAR 1102 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Communication Design Studio 1 GRAP 1020 9
Design, Culture and Society 1 GRAP 1023 4.5
Computer Graphics and Imaging for Design GRAP 1018 4.5
SECOND YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Communication Design Studio 2 GRAP 2007 9
Design for Publication GRAP 2011 4.5
Design, Culture and Society 2 GRAP 2030 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Communication Design Studio 3 GRAP 2008 9
Typography: Design for Reading GRAP 2027 4.5
Design for Web GRAP 2020 4.5
THIRD YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Communication Design Studio 4 GRAP 3006 9
Critical Design Practice GRAP 2022 4.5
Design Elective 4.5 Note(s): 2,3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Professional Practice Studio GRAP 3007 9
Advanced Design Elective 4.5 Note(s): 2,3
Free Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1,3

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 (independent study). 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:

  • reflective journals and papers
  • studio and client-based projects
  • proposals and reports
  • presentations
  • essays and assignments
  • 2D and 3D design outcomes
  • professional portfolio

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

Why Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)

Why this Degree

If you are interested in graphic design and designing visual communications that make an impact and want to learn from industry professionals in a stimulating, creative environment, this degree will provide you with the skills and knowledge to work and succeed in industry.

Our teaching is informed by our research, and industry experience and expectations. Many of our teaching staff are also professional designers, so the curriculum is industry-relevant and highly practical in nature.

On campus, our custom-built workshops, digital printing facilities and design studios ensure you have the opportunity to further develop valuable practical skills. In addition to these purpose-class facilities, you will benefit from our strong industry links and award-winning teaching staff and academics. 

For high achieving students there is also the opportunity to complete a one-year Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours) degree, a one-year Graduate Diploma and two-year Master of Design (Communication Design).

Real-world connections

You will benefit from our strong industry links and relationships with the design profession locally, nationally and internationally. You will have the opportunity to engage with real-life design tasks and practising designers, and engaged in multidisciplinary teams to further strengthen your professional networks and practical experience. UniSA offers an extensive range of career-related events and workshops online, on campus and around Adelaide to develop your skills and increase your knowledge.

Career outcomes

Your career

This industry is expecting strong growth1. Designers work within diverse areas of business and community requiring skills and knowledge of graphic software to create still and animated images for use in promotions, branding, advertisements, magazines, packaging, greeting cards and much more.

Graduates enjoy careers in a variety of roles and job opportunities:

  • communication (graphic) designers are employed in graphic design studios; multi-disciplined consultancies; publishing houses; museums; government and advertising agencies; corporate and local business, digital media studios; printers and new start-ups. They specialise in concept design and strategic planning to coordinate and co-design within multi-disciplined teams and organisations. Communication (graphic) designers generate a variety of design outcomes for corporate and community areas producing digital and/or print outcomes.
  • art director/creative director: who are responsible for coordinating teams through design direction and co-design as the leading liaison between clients and other disciplines and subcontractors.  

There is also strong demand for well-designed and maintain websites, so graduates can secure positions as either an in-house designers or as freelance designers. There is also design work across the development of 2D graphics and 3D forms for packaging, exhibitions and signage.


Creativity, curiosity, interpersonal skills, motivation, commitment and, of course, communication skills, are all qualities of a successful Communication Designer.

1Australian Government, National Skills Commission, Job Outlook 2020

Professional accreditation and recognition

Graduates of this program are eligible for Graduate Membership of the Design Institute of Australia. Graduates are eligible for Associate Membership of the Design Institute of Australia after two 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

data-presentation

The number of graphic and web designers, and illustrators in Australia is 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.

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:

International

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

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 scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

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. You will also have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, law and psychology. 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. Support services include:

  • careers advice
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • services offered through our student association, USASA
  • accommodation services 

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

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.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

As a design student you will have access to:

  • industry-preferred computers and programs.  
  • design studios and workshops, with a range of traditional and new tech machines and tools.  

The Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)is based at UniSA’s City West Campus. This location provides great inspiration both on campus and with the many exciting contemporary venues within close proximity.

Your study spaces

Your program director

Luci Giannattilio is Program Director for the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design), and teaches in the undergraduate and postgraduate programs for Communication Design.

Ms Luci Giannattilio

Program Director

Enquire
Portrait image for Ms Luci Giannattilio
Portrait image for Ms Luci Giannattilio

Ms Luci Giannattilio

Program Director

Enquire

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What others are saying

What I liked the most about this degree was being able to work on projects for real clients, having opportunities for exposure and the opportunity to join various design associations.

Claudia Fernandez Villasante

Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)

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Claudia Fernandez Villasante

Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)