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Start date

2 year(s) full-time

Program Code

2021: AUD$ 34,300 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


Degree overview

  • Gain advanced design and research skills.
  • Learn in world-class facilities in our state-of-the-art on-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.
  • Be part of one of the longest running and most extensive university architectural construction courses in Australasia.
  • Learn from teachers who are practising professionals with strong links to industry.
  • Use this qualification as a pathway to further study.
  • UniSA is top 10 in Australia for graduate careers in creative arts1
  • We are also the only SA university ranked for art and design2.
  • Be taught by world-class leaders in research – UniSA's research in design is ranked world class3.

1ComparED (QILT): Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017-19 – Overall Employment Indicator (Postgraduate). Public founded universities only.
22020 QS Subject Rankings
3Results in Design Practice and Management - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



This hands-on postgraduate qualification will equip you with an advanced understanding of the innovative, changing world of design. You will study emerging trends and technologies, contemporary design issues, construction challenges and management.   

With a strong focus on construction challenges, design principles and client considerations, you will build on your previously acquired knowledge and skill set.  

In addition to fundamental practical skills, a key part of your learning will relate to advanced research skills and you will graduate with the cognitive skills needed to review and analyse research. You will also complete an industry placement as part of your studies.

Advanced Standing

Applicants who have completed a Master of Architecture 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.

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

What you'll learn

What you Learn

Emerging trends and technologies, contemporary design issues, construction challenges and research are key focuses of this degree. You will also develop design proposals, foster client relations, survey building sites, develop research methodologies, and undertake a substantial research-based project.

The first year will include design research studio classes, a specialised design communication course, an introduction to sustainable design, research methods, business practices, and a choice of electives.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Research Studio 1 GRAP 5005 9 Rule(s): 1,2
AAD Research Methods VSAR 4003 4.5 Rule(s): 1,2
Nature, Culture and Sustainability ARCH 6005 4.5 Note(s): 4 Rule(s): 1,2
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Research Studio 2 GRAP 5006 9 Rule(s): 1,2
Business Practice for Artists and Designers VSAR 5006 4.5 Rule(s): 1
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1,2 Rule(s): 1,2
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Masters Project 1 GRAP 6001 9
Masters Project Report 1 ARCH 5036 4.5
Elective Note(s): 1,2
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Masters Project 2 GRAP 6002 9
Masters Project Report 2 ARCH 5037 4.5
Elective Note(s): 1,2 Rule(s): 2

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.



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

  • research projects 
  • presentations
  • literature/artefact review
  • essays and assignments 

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 Master of Design (Design and Construct)

Why this Degree

This unique qualification will extend your knowledge and ensure you have the necessary skills to see a project from the initial concept and design stages, through to construction, client relations and community needs. 

Some of the projects students have completed include the visitor accommodation at Port Resolution, Tanna Island, Vanuatu; Aboriginal ranger accommodation and research facilities in Fish River, Northern Territory; and accommodation and research facilities at Witchelina Station, South Australia. You will be involved in projects such as these from conception through to completion.

UniSA boasts purpose-built studio spaces and five floors of impressive workshops that feature state-of-the-art digital equipment. In addition to these world-class on-campus facilities, you will also benefit from:

  • our strong industry links when you embark on industry placements
  • 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 design1 when you embark on an individual research project as part of your studies.

As Australia’s university of enterprise:

  • 100% of our assessed research is rate at or above world-class2
  • We are ranked 25th in the world's top 50 under 503

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

1 Results in Design Practice and Management - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)
2 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), 4-digit Fields of Research
3 2020 THE Young University 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.  

We also have well over 2,500 national and international industry partnerships University-wide – providing further opportunities for you to build important industry relationships. As a design and construct student you will be involved in a unique learning opportunity undertaking projects across in Australasia and the Pacific. You will be part of a team working on real-life projects with remote Indigenous communities in Australia and overseas. This unique, hands-on learning will help to develop skills, confidence, knowledge and networks. 

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.

Design Construct facility located at the Mawson Lakes campus

UniSA runs the largest design construct program in Australia, providing students with hands-on experience in the design and construction of buildings in unique and incredible locations. The purpose-built facility, based at the Mawson Lakes campus, provides students with an unique opportunity to design and construct buildings for remote communities in Australia and overseas. The large scale prefabrication facilty enables students to see their designs come to life and also experience multi-disciplinary collaboration, modelling professional practice.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

This unique qualification integrates both design and construction. It is particularly relevant for students who wish to pursue careers in areas such as: 

  • architecture (additional study required): design new buildings, and help to restore and conserve old buildings 
  • interior design: design, implement and refurbish interior spaces 
  • civil engineering (additional study required): plan, design and oversee the construction of infrastructure such as roads, railways and bridges 
  • project management: plan, direct and coordinate building projects and personnel; manage budget 

Industry facts


Employment for architects, designers, planners and surveyors in Australia is projected to increase by 17,500 (14.7 per cent) by November 20201

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


UniSA students in the Design Construct degree are currently designing accommodation for Aboriginal rangers in the Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area (IPA).


The Design Construct degree is currently assisting the Community of Port Resolution to build beachside eco visitor accommodation on Tanna Island, Vanuatu.

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


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.  


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:    

  • custom-built on-campus design studios and workshops    
  • Australia’s only Architectural Museum 
  • the South Australian School of Art Gallery 
  • mobile art, architecture and design studio – a unique mobile facility that houses all of the equipment and resources you’ll need when on tour 
Your study spaces

Your program director

I regularly exhibit my works in Australia and North America – and I have collections on display as part of the Australian Parliament House Permanent Art Collection and the RISD Museum of Art in Providence, USA

Mr Peter Walker

Program Director

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

Mr Peter Walker

Program Director


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