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What you can study - Visual Communication Design

Visual Communication Design home  |  Professional majors  |  Key staff  |  How to apply - undergraduate and postgraduate  |  Information for current students  |  Student work and experiences 

John BerrymanThe School of Art, Architecture and Design offers art at undergraduate, honours and postgraduate level, including research degrees. Theory Spine underpins studio-based courses.


So you want to be a designer or visual artist? - Thursday 10 September 2009


Undergraduate

Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) (DBVC)

3 year full-time program or part-time equivalent

The Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) aims to graduate students who are equipped with creative, intellectual, technical and developing professional methods to operate as reflective, socially responsive practitioners in the field of visual communication design. With a focus on studio practice, design theory and technology, the program emphasises diverse methods of idea generation, creativity, intellectual curiosity, problem solving and working collaboratively.

In the first year of the program, students are introduced to fundamental skills and concepts in design theory, studio practice, drawing and technology, investigated through a diverse range of media, techniques and applications, which provide the foundation for the remainder of their studies.  Students major in Graphic Design or Illustration Design and expand their practice through courses such as Design for Multimedia and Web, Animation Design, Package Design, Drawing and Photography.

Design history and theory underpins studio practice throughout the professional majors.  See Theory Spine for how to shape your learning with theory courses, adding strength and depth to your degree in design visual communication.
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  • Level 1 (first year of study) introduces basic skills and concepts in design and establishes a theoretical framework.
  • Level 2 (second year of study) develops competence and knowledge in core course areas.
  • Level 3 (third year of study) expands the intellectual and professional areas of the program.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) are eligible for Associate Membership of the Design Institute of Australia.  Graduates from the program are equipped with the creative, intellectual, technical and professional methods to function as reflective, socially responsive practitioners in the field of visual communication design.

Information brochure (PDF file 5.7mb, download Adobe Acrobat)

Program overview (PDF file, 700.5kb) - courses taken to complete the degree

Studio-based courses

The Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) offers professional majors in:

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Honours

The Honours degree gives students who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in their undergraduate studies the opportunity to expand their creative and research skills as they further specialise in visual communication design. Honours graduates can go on to do a research degree.


Bachelor of Design (Honours) (Visual Communication) (DHVC)

1 year full-time program or part-time equivalent

The Bachelor of Design (Honours) (Visual Communication) is a one-year program for graduates who want to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of their field, as a way to develop critical research and analytical skills for entry into the role of design researcher, practitioner and for entry into higher degree programs.  The Honours program provides students with the opportunity to focus on a particular aspect of either studio practice or theory that may not have been possible during undergraduate studies.

The program allows for an intensive exploration of ideas, theories and processes, forming the basis of your Honours research work.  Topics may be undertaken as a body of work through studio practice and/or theory.  The work culminates in the presentation of your honours project work and critical explanation through a written exegesis, or through a scholarly thesis.

See Theory Spine for how to shape your learning with theory courses, adding strength and depth to your degree in design visual communication.

Interested in applying to do Honours in Visual Communication Design at the School of Art, Architecture and Design?  More information and student work

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Postgraduate

UniSA postgraduate programs are offered either by coursework or by research.

Criteria Research Postgraduate coursework
Program length 2-3 years (full-time) - 4 years maximum (depending on the degree) 1-2 years (full-time) (depending on the degree)
Program fees (Australian students) HECS exempt (no fees) Commonwealth Supported
Program fees (international students) Full fee paying Full fee paying
Prerequisites (Australian) Honours degree or equivalent
Undergraduate degree
Prerequisites (international) Honours degree or equivalent
IELTS score of IELTS 6.5 (academic) or equivalent
Undergraduate degree
IELTS score of IELTS 6.5 (academic) or equivalent
External study available Yes Yes
Part-time study available Yes Yes
Scholarships available Yes Yes


To do a research degree

An applicant for a place in a Masters by research or PhD program must satisfy the Research Degrees Committee of competence to undertake a higher degree by research by:

  1. holding or being eligible to hold from an approved higher education institution an award in an appropriate discipline which is assessed by this University as being equivalent to:
    1. an Honours degree or a Bachelors degree with honours; or
    2. a Bachelors degree and a preliminary course of study of honours standard; or
    3. an appropriate Masters degree; or
  2. holding such other qualifications as are acceptable to the Research Degrees Committee - in such cases the applicant must satisfy the Committee of fitness to undertake advanced work on the basis of the standard of achievement in, and the relevance of, previous higher education studies, and professional experience or published research work.

Research degrees - programs of study available, fees and scholarships, and eligibility (including English language requirements)

To do a postgraduate coursework degree

The entry requirement for graduate and postgraduate awards by coursework is an appropriate first degree, advanced diploma, three-year diploma, or equivalent, from a recognised higher education institution.

Prior studies you have undertaken may contribute towards credit, exemption or advanced standing in the program you intend to study. UniSA has credit transfer agreements with institutions in many countries. Go to Postgraduate applicants for more information and to assess your credit.

To be eligible for entry, prospective students must:

  1. have completed a recognised relevant undergraduate degree (eg industrial design, applied arts, visual arts, fine arts, interior design, design) from an Australian university or equivalent
  2. submit a portfolio of work
  3. submit a written statement of intent

Applications may also be considered from prospective students who do not have an undergraduate degree but may have gained professional experience or other types of qualification. These applicants must submit:

  1. a portfolio of work
  2. a written statement of intent

In such cases applicants, as part of their portfolio submission, must demonstrate achievement in, and relevance of, previous higher education studies, professional experience and/or published research work.

Postgraduate coursework degrees - programs of study available, and fees and scholarships


Postgraduate coursework degrees

Master of Design (Visual Communication) (DMSP)

2 year full-time program or part-time equivalent

Design challenges are increasingly more complex and the profile and role of the designer is changing.  The Master of Design (Visual Communication) advances students through a more in-depth understanding of the changing contexts in which they are designing as they develop the professional skills to work as graduate designers in their specialisation of Visual Communication Design.

The program enables students to develop specialised knowledge and professional skills in areas such as graphic design, illustration design, web and interaction design, information design, digital media, design for sustainability.

Students must have completed a Bachelor degree in Visual Communication Design or equivalent from a recognised higher education institution prior to enrolling in the Master of Design Program.

 

During this program, students will refine their creative, critical, communication and technical skills, and solve increasingly complex design problems through the application of skills and knowledge developed through integrated studies.  Masters Design Studio courses allow students to undertake individual or interdisciplinary projects, internal consultancy and external projects.  Design Internship is a core requirement of the program.  Through their major Masters Design Project students have the opportunity to consolidate their studio project work and its integration with professional design practice.

Student-directed learning is integral to the program, and offers extensive opportunities for specialisation according to individual preferences.  Students can pursue specific areas through the design research components of the program and through advanced electives in consumer culture, sustainable design, global communications, design theory, business practice, marketing and entrepreneurship.

See Theory Spine for how to shape your learning with theory courses, adding strength and depth to your degree in design.

Graduate pathways

Most graduates work within the traditional fields of graphic or communication design or illustration design, employed by private design practices, commercial organisations and by government agencies, or running their own practices.  Many designers develop careers in other areas such as project management, marketing, web and multimedia design, package design, information architecture, art direction and other related fields.

matchstudio link

Graduate Diploma in Visual Art and Design (Specialisation) (DGAD)

Guiseppina Leone, DMAD student1 year full-time program or part-time equivalent

With professional majors in Graphic Design, Illustration Design, Art in Public, Contemporary Curatorial Practice and Arts Writing

The Graduate Diploma normally commences in July each year, with graduation occurring in July of the following year. For specific entry requirements (including English language requirements) go to the Graduate Diploma in Visual Art and Design (Specialisation) (DGAD) program page.


Master of Visual Art and Design (Specialisation) (DMAD)

1.5 year full-time program or part-time equivalent

Following on from the Graduate Diploma in Visual Art and Design (Specialisation) (DGAD), students can undertake the Master of Visual Art and Design for a further six months, graduating in December.

With professional majors in Graphic Design, Illustration Design, Art in Public, Contemporary Curatorial Practice and Arts Writing

See Theory Spine for how to shape your learning with theory courses, adding strength and depth to your degree in design visual communication.

Information brochure (PDF file, download Adobe Acrobat) - coming soon

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Fees and scholarships

Fees for domestic students

Commonwealth Supported Fees for Commonwealth Supported Students are calculated at the course level. Select individual courses in the schedule for the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) (DBVC), Bachelor of Design (Honours) (Visual Communication) (DHVC), Master of Design (Visual Communication) (DMSP), Graduate Diploma in Visual Art and Design (Specialisation) (DGAD) and Master of Visual Art and Design (Specialisation) (DMAD) to determine total program fees. Students studying a commonwealth supported program pay a student contribution and if eligible may choose to defer this using HECS-HELP (Higher Education Loans Program).

Fees for international students

Fees are calculated on a per Unit basis with 1.0 EFTSL = 36 Units. Fees for international students are determined one year in advance and are subject to variation. See Fee information for each program for next year's calculation.

Scholarships

You may be eligible to apply for a scholarship to support your study:

 

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