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Start Date

2 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4CM131 (Internal)
4CM208 (Internal)
4CM220 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Degree overview

  • UniSA is number one in SA and top 10 in Australia for Art and Design1 and number one for Student Satisfaction and Teaching Quality in Creative Arts2.
  • Be taught by world-class leaders in research – UniSA's research in design is ranked world class3.
  • Gain advanced design and research skills as they relate to emerging materials, new technologies and sustainability. 
  • Learn in our state-of-the-art campus workshops and studios.
  • Work on real-life projects, gaining valuable practical experience.
  • Use this qualification as a pathway to further study.
  • Benefit from our networks and relationships with industry, government and community – locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Learn from teachers who are established designers with strong links to industry.

1Ranked equal 10th, 2019 QS Subject Rankings
2QILT: Graduate Outcomes Survey and Course Experience Questionnaire 2016-18 – Overall Satisfaction and Teaching Quality Indicators (Undergraduate). Public SA-founded universities only.
3Results in Design Practice and Management - 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



This hands-on postgraduate qualification will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of sustainable design thinking as it relates to the changing world of design. 

You will study a balance of sustainable design theory and practical design application, ensuring you build on your previously acquired knowledge and skill set. 

Emerging materials and new technologies will be covered, and you will gain experience working on projects in Indigenous communities. In addition to these 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

Sustainability, emerging materials, new technologies and research are key focal points of this degree.  

You will also study:  

  • sustainable design theory and practice
  • social, cultural, economic and technological advancements and their impact on sustainable design
  • research methodologies  

The first year will comprise of design research studio classes, followed by an internship, research methods, a course in sustainable design, and 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
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Research Studio 2 GRAP 5006 9 Rule(s): 1,2
Principles of Sustainable Design ARCH 6006 4.5
Business Practice for Artists and Designers VSAR 5006 4.5 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 4.5 Note(s): 1,2 Rule(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
Consumer Culture, Technology and Sustainable Design ARCH 6001 4.5 Rule(s): 1,2

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. 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 proposals
  • projects
  • literature/artefact reviews
  • seminar papers
  • 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 (Sustainable Design)

Why this Degree

This industry relevant postgraduate qualification equips you with sustainable design knowledge – and with a strong focus on sustainable design theory, emerging technologies and new materials you will graduate industry-ready.  

As a design student at UniSA you will practice your skills in our state-of-the-art, world-class design studios and five floors of impressive workshops that boast digital fabrication equipment such as:  

  • laser cutters  
  • CNC routers  
  • 3D printers  
  • industry-standard motion-capture and virtual reality systems  

You will also benefit from our strong industry links when you embark on industry placements and award-winning teaching staff.

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.

As Australia’s university of enterprise:

  • we are ranked in the top 10 in Australia for employer satisfaction2
  • we are the largest university in South Australia with more than 31,000 students
  • we are No.1 in Australia for quality education3

We are also fast becoming a renowned centre of innovation and enterprise in the sectors that will drive Australia's future, including smart manufacturing. 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 QILT: 2018 Employer Satisfaction Survey, Overall Satisfaction Indicator – National Report
3 2019 THE University Impact 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 University-wide national and international industry partnerships – providing further opportunities for you to build important industry relationships.

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

Career outcomes

Your career

Job prospects in this field are looking good, with strong growth in employment expected in Australia in the coming years through to November 20201.  

This degree allows graduates to augment their existing qualifications and career paths to include a sustainable design perspective. This has relevance to both the government agencies and private sector industries. Graduates find work across a variety of industries and employment sectors, including: 

  • construction
  • planning and development
  • renewable industries
  • government
  • merchandising
  • design research
  • design management

 Careers to consider:   

  • sustainable design consultant: advise clients to ensure their products, services and buildings improve environmental performance and reduce environmental impact
  • project manager: responsible for delivering a project on time and within budget

 1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections

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


Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has surpassed 700 certifications and registrations under the Green Star – Performance rating tool1.

1Green Building Council Australia 2017


Green Star rated buildings use 66 per cent less electricity than average buildings; produce 62 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions; use 51 per cent less potable water and recycle 96 per cent of their waste1.


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: 

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

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and areas that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

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

Our student support services can make your life at university easier. We provide a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling. You can also access a range of services through our students association, USASA. 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:  

  • 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 program director

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

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

Mr Peter Walker

Program Director


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