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C10309v1 Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

Award(s): Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication (BDesign)
Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (BA)

UAC code: 609290(Autumn session)
CRICOS code: 077341J
Commonwealth supported place?: Yes
Load credit points: 240
Course EFTSL: 5
Location: City campus

Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Admission requirements
Assumed knowledge
Course duration and attendance
Course completion requirements
Course program
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.

The combined Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication Bachelor of Arts in International Studies provides students with additional practical skills, in particular those that raise their awareness of the international contexts of design, by providing the opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of a language other than English and another culture.

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.

The international experience enhances career options, making students more marketable to prospective employers.

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.

A further two years of study in the international studies component introduces and consolidates learning a language other than English and about another culture.

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
INT.1.1 Graduates will have the capacity to operate appropriately in intercultural professional contexts
INT.1.2 Graduates will demonstrate the application of international knowledge as adaptable, flexible and resourceful practitioners
INT.1.3 Graduates will have a broad and coherent understanding of the historical, political, cultural, social and economic situations in other countries
INT.2.1 Graduates will be able to creatively design and conduct independent, engaged and ethical research in and about other cultural contexts and societies
INT.2.2 Graduates will possess critical problem-solving and research-led analytical skills in international and intercultural change
INT.3.1 Graduates will be able to personally reflect upon the relationship between diverse cultures in Australia while confidently engaging successfully with cultures overseas, particularly in this region
INT.4.1 Graduates will have the capacity to reflect upon and contextualise Indigenous peoples' experiences and circumstances to professional and social situations as and when appropriate
INT.5.1 As informed and engaged international citizens, graduates will demonstrate cosmopolitan openness, with an awareness of, and commitment to, ethical practices
INT.6.1 Graduates will possess a high-level of oral and written communication skills in English and, where relevant, a developed level of oral and written communication skills in at least one language other than English
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


INT = International Studies course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

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 are admitted to the international studies program with no guarantee of entry to a specific major, although every effort is made to meet students' preferences.

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.

The applicants 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 PDFs must be a 150–200 word written submission that selects and identifies one of the submitted pieces of work, addresses what was 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, with 1.5 line spacing).

Assumed knowledge

There are no prior language requirements for the international studies program.

Course duration and attendance

The course is offered on a five-year, full-time basis. Students may study this program part time after consultation with the program director. Students spend two sessions of study at a university or other higher education institution in the country of their major.

Course completion requirements

STM90791 Core subjects 120cp
CBK90005 Country major choice 96cp
CBK90242 Sub-major/Electives (DAB) 24cp
Total 240cp

Course program

The example program below is for a student commencing in Autumn session and undertaking the course with Germany as the international studies major. Other countries may be chosen from the list of majors in CBK90005; the program has the same structure but with subjects specific to the chosen country major.

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
976001 Foundations in International Studies   8cp
97601 German Language and Culture 1   8cp
87441 VC Project: Contexts of Visual Communication   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
CBK90242 Sub-major/Electives (DAB) 24cp  
Spring session
97602 German Language and Culture 2   8cp
87443 VC Project: Typography in Context   6cp
87445 VC Project: Visualising Experience   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
CBK90242 Sub-major/Electives (DAB) 24cp  
Year 3
Autumn session
87731 VC Design Studio: Narrative, Form and Time   12cp
97603 German Language and Culture 3   8cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
CBK90242 Sub-major/Electives (DAB) 24cp  
Spring session
97604 German Language and Culture 4   8cp
976421 Contemporary Germany   8cp
85202 Interdisciplinary Lab A   6cp
Select 6 credit points from the following:   6cp
CBK90242 Sub-major/Electives (DAB) 24cp  
Year 4
Autumn session
977420 In-country Study 1: Germany   24cp
Spring session
978420 In-country Study 2: Germany   24cp
Year 5
Autumn session
87832 VC Design Studio: Design Practice   12cp
85302 Interdisciplinary Lab B   6cp
Spring session
87831 VC Design Studio: Visual Communication and Emergent Practices   12cp
87665 VC Project: Socially Responsive Design   6cp

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
UTS: International Studies