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Start Date

3 year(s) full-time


Program Code

424151 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time


Assumed Knowledge

Entry Scores
2024 Guaranteed Entry
Year 12 (ATAR-based): 65.00
Year 12 (Grades-based): B,B,C
View Guaranteed Entry Info
2023 Cut-Offs
Year 12 (ATAR-based):
- Internal: 65.00
View full entry requirements

Degree overview

  • Study at the university that developed the first Bachelor of Design degree in the world.
  • Gain specialised training in graphic design; typography; image design; print and screen publications, design for digital media platforms; brand and identity design; information graphics and package 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.
  • Gain in-demand skills in concept development and technical skills that industry are looking for.
  • 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.
  • Be taught by world-class leaders in research – UniSA's research in communication design is ranked world class1.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities2, we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

1Results in Design Practice and Management - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
2UNSTOPPABLE® is a Kellogg Company trade mark used under licence. Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings.



Graphic and Communication Design (often referred to as Visual Communication) 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 package design. Graphic and 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, print and digital image design, information graphics, app layout and communication, user experience design, web and publication design.
  • learn to design for screen 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 (Graphic and Communication Design) is practice-based, involving creative and critical thinking integrated with craft and technical skills. 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 to work independently and in a team.

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

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Design Foundation Studio GRAP 1017 9
Introductory Drawing for Design GRAP 1019 4.5
Design, Culture and Society 1 GRAP 1023 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Communication Design Studio 1 GRAP 1020 9
Design, Culture and Society 2 GRAP 2030 4.5
Computer Graphics and Imaging for Design GRAP 1018 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Communication Design Studio 2 GRAP 2007 9
Design for Publication GRAP 2011 4.5
Type as Visual Language GRAP 2027 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Communication Design Studio 3 GRAP 2008 9
Package Design GRAP 2017 4.5
Design Elective 4.5 Note(s): 2,3,4
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Communication Design Studio 4 GRAP 3006 9
Design for Web GRAP 2020 4.5
Design Elective 4.5 Note(s): 2,3,4
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Professional Practice Studio GRAP 3007 9
Critical Design Practice GRAP 2022 4.5
Undergraduate Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1,3,4

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, as well as to 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. 



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

  • studio and client-based projects
  • design progress and research journals and papers
  • 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. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

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 (Graphic and 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, 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 allow you to further develop valuable practical skills. You’ll also benefit from our strong industry links, award-winning teaching staff, and academics. 

There is also the opportunity to complete further study with a one-year Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours) degree, a one-year Graduate Diploma or a 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 engage 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.

Study Design at UniSA

Hear from UniSA graduates and Designers/Directors of Enoki, Susanna Bilardo and Judd Crush, about their experiences studying Design at UniSA and how it has helped them reach their career goals.

UniSA Video

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/visual) 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/visual) 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 in-house designers or freelance designers. There is also design work across the development of 2D graphics and 3D forms for packaging, exhibitions and signage design.

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

Industry facts


Employment for graphic and web designers, and illustrators in Australia is projected to increase by 13,900 (21.7 per cent) by November 20261.

1Australian Government National Skills Commission, Occupational Employment Projections 2021


The number of graphic and web designers, and illustrators in Australia is expected to reach 78,100 by 20261.

1Australian Government National Skills Commission, Occupational Employment Projections 2021

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Alternative Pathways


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


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


This degree is available for deferment. This option is made available by responding to your offer during the application process via the SATAC website. Applicants who receive an offer into a midyear degree are eligible to defer for six months.


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

Our campuses are home to fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student sports and fitness facilities, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. 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 loads more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal 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

Our student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • career services and mentoring
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

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 modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces 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

Dr Chris Thornton

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Chris Thornton
Portrait image for Dr Chris Thornton

Dr Chris Thornton

Program Director


Ask UniSA

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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)

Placeholder image

Claudia Fernandez Villasante

Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)