University of Technology, Sydney

Staff directory | Webmail | Maps | Newsroom | What's on

C10308v1 Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication

Award(s): Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication (BDesign)
UAC code: 602070(Autumn session)
CRICOS code: 077339C
Commonwealth supported place?: Yes
Load credit points: 144
Course EFTSL: 3
Location: City campus

Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Assumed knowledge
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Professional recognition
Other information


In the Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication students learn how to create visual messages and experiences that communicate information and ideas across many media.

Students experiment with both traditional and emerging design practices, and develop a visual language that allows them to work across digital, physical and analogue media. This visual language is broad, encompassing typography, interaction and image-making.

This degree prepares students for the evolving nature of design by engaging with the social, technological and ecological context of design practice.

Graduates are industry-ready, thanks to their ability to articulate design practices and process, the degree's internship program, and the curriculum's emphasis on real-world problem solving.

Course aims

The degree has a hands-on, studio-based culture that is supported by a strong theoretical component. Academics encourage both traditional and experimental research methods to help students make work that is conceptually rigorous and socially responsive.

Offering a variety of interdisciplinary subjects, graduates are able to move into their professional lives with the diverse knowledge and skills required to work collaboratively and across disciplines. All students work with industry clients on real-world projects and undertake work experience during their degree.

Career options

There are many career options in a range of fields for graduates, such as digital media, publication designer, graphic designer, interactive media designer, web designer, branding specialist, art director, motion graphics designer, advertising, illustrator, and exhibition designer. Graduates are also equipped with the skills to become writers, researchers, editors and critics, and to apply design thinking in a non-design industry business.

Course intended learning outcomes

A.1 Understanding the social and cultural dimensions of design
A.2 Understanding the implications of sustainable practice
A.3 Reflective approach to one's own design agency
A.4 Value for international and cultural diversity
A.5 Sensitivity to cultural contexts including Indigenous perspectives
A.6 Understanding of professional ethics, copyright etc.
A.7 Respect for others
C.1 Effective written communication skills
C.2 Effective oral communication skills
C.3 Effective visual presentation skills
C.4 Capacity to work with others
C.5 Ability to engage with other disciplines/stakeholders
C.6 Capacity to consider alternate points of view
I.1 Creatively applied design concepts
I.2 Appropriately responds to design context
I.3 Range and quality of visual processing
I.4 Ability to challenge convention through design
I.5 Capacity to develop original visual language
I.6 Capacity to think divergently
P.1 Appropriate levels of technical skills
P.2 Rigour and care in documentation of process
P.3 Sensitivity to craft
P.4 Capacity to manage project constraints
P.5 Professional Work Practices
P.6 Ethical approaches to practice
P.7 Engagement in design culture
R.1 Ability to analyse and synthesise complex ideas
R.2 Ability to develop well-supported arguments and rationales
R.3 Ability to understand design context through relevant research
R.4 Capacity to use a variety of research methods
R.5 Capacity to develop relevant insights from research
R.6 Ability to reflect on practice
R.7 Academic referencing skills

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed an Australian Year 12 qualification, Australian Qualifications Framework Diploma, or equivalent Australian or overseas qualification at the required level.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building may consider applications based on the results of the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) if students lack academic qualifications but have extensive professional experience. The STAT is conducted through the Universities Admissions Centre.

Students must refer to the inherent requirements for all degrees offered by Design and Architecture in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building.

Non-current school leavers are selected on the basis of academic merit or on the basis of portfolio and interview rank.

Applicants are advised to submit an optional portfolio by Tuesday 31 October 2017.

The English proficiency requirement for international students or local applicants with international qualifications is: Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall with a writing score of 6.0; or TOEFL: paper based: 550-583 overall with TWE of 4.5, internet based: 79-93 overall with a writing score of 21; or AE5: Pass; or PTE: 58-64; or CAE: 176-184.

Eligibility for admission does not guarantee offer of a place.

International students

Visa requirement: To obtain a student visa to study in Australia, international students must enrol full time and on campus. Australian student visa regulations also require international students studying on student visas to complete the course within the standard full-time duration. Students can extend their courses only in exceptional circumstances.


International students

International students (excluding those studying in an Australian high school) must submit an application to UTS International (in person, by mail or online) or through an accredited UTS representative.

International students with an ATAR up to five points below the minimum cut-off must submit the following material:

  • a six-page digital portfolio in PDF format (landscape) of their work; this may include images, animation or video (max. size 5MB)
  • one of the pages must be a 150–200-word written submission that selects and identifies one of the submitted pieces of work, and addresses the aim of the work and why it succeeded (to enable this PDF to be easily viewed, text must be supplied in 16-point Helvetica font, with 1.5 line spacing).

The faculty reserves the right to request a portfolio from applicants.

Assumed knowledge

Any two units of English.

Design and Technology, Visual Arts are recommended.

Course duration and attendance

The course is offered on a three-year, full-time basis. Students may study this program part time after consultation with the program director.

Course structure

Students must complete 144 credit points made up of 120 credit points of core subjects and 24 credit points of electives.

Course completion requirements

STM90791 Core subjects 120cp
CBK90242 Sub-major/Electives (DAB) 24cp
Total 144cp

Course program

A typical program is shown below.

Year 1
Autumn session
87631 VC Design Studio: Text and Image 1   12cp
87100 VC Project: Ways of Seeing   6cp
85502 Researching Design History   6cp
Spring session
87632 VC Design Studio: Text and Image 2   12cp
87222 VC Project: Symbols and Systems   6cp
85503 Thinking Through Design   6cp
Year 2
Autumn session
87731 VC Design Studio: Narrative, Form and Time   12cp
87441 VC Project: Contexts of Visual Communication   6cp
Select 6 credit points of electives   6cp
Spring session
87443 VC Project: Typography in Context   6cp
87445 VC Project: Visualising Experience   6cp
85202 Interdisciplinary Lab A   6cp
Select 6 credit points of electives   6cp
Year 3
Autumn session
87832 VC Design Studio: Design Practice   12cp
85302 Interdisciplinary Lab B   6cp
Select 6 credit points of electives   6cp
Spring session
87831 VC Design Studio: Visual Communication and Emergent Practices   12cp
87665 VC Project: Socially Responsive Design   6cp
Select 6 credit points of electives   6cp


The Bachelor of Design (Honours) in Visual Communication (C09061) is available to meritorious students with an additional one year of full-time study.

Professional recognition

Graduates are eligible for membership of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) and the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA).

Other information

Further information is available from the UTS Student Centre on:

telephone 1300 ask UTS (1300 275 887)
or +61 2 9514 1222
UTS: Design, Architecture and Building