University of Technology Sydney

C09146v2 Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication Bachelor of International Studies (Honours)

Award(s): Bachelor of International Studies (Honours) (BIntSt(Hon))
Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication (BDesign)

CRICOS code: 106927E
Commonwealth supported place?: Yes
Load credit points: 240
Course EFTSL: 5
Location: City campus


This is an exit-only course. There is no direct admission to it. Current UTS students may be able to submit an Internal Course Transfer (Graduating) application to exit with this course. See the Course transfer page for further details.

Course aims
Career options
Course intended learning outcomes
Inherent requirements
Assumed knowledge
Course duration and attendance
Course structure
Course completion requirements
Course program
Levels of award
Other information


The Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication Bachelor of International Studies (Honours) is an exit-point for students who have completed the International Honours pathway within the Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication Bachelor of International Studies (C10309).

This distinctive degree explores diverse forms of visual communication across design, culture and media. Visual Communication students acquire in depth understanding of the histories, practices and meanings of the visual world. In turn, obtaining the visual knowledge and skills required to negotiate rapidly changing technology, visual media and culture while becoming skilled in apprehending the unprecedented pace at which visual images, visual technologies and information data are produced.

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.

In the fourth year of the combined degree, International Honours students spend an academic year studying in the local language at a university in the country of their major and also complete an honours level research project under the supervision of a relevant UTS academic.

Entry to the International Honours pathway is dependent on students maintaining a credit average (or higher) in both their International Studies and professional degree in their first three years of study, and on the availability of placements in particular majors.

Students immerse themselves in a practice-oriented, studio-based culture, studying a range of interdisciplinary subjects encompassing typography, interaction and image-making. Taught by experts in visual communication, students learn everything from the history and theory of visual culture and technology to producing cutting edge creative work in digital media, photography, editorial design, information visualisation, web design, wayfinding, mobile apps, code, interaction design, machine learning, motion graphics, the internet of things and 3D technologies such as VR/AR and 3D printing. Exploring both traditional and experimental research methods students learn to produce conceptually rigorous and socially responsive work. They graduate with the capacity to work across and between disciplines, to articulate design practices and processes, and to apply them to complex problems. Graduates develop industry experience through the degree's emphasis on addressing real-world issues in collaborative and team-based work.

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 historical and theoretical component. Academics encourage both innovation and experimentation in research and practice to help students make work that is conceptually rigorous and ethically 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 Establish and develop a sustainable, informed and ethical position towards social and cultural issues.
A.2 Engage critically in urgent ecological issues in practice-led projects.
A.3 Practice cultural principals and protocols required to work in Indigenous contexts.
C.1 Work cooperatively and professionally as part of a team, initiate partnerships with others, take a leadership role when required, and constructively contribute to peer learning.
C.2 Communicate an informed well-researched viewpoint.
C.3 Communicate ideas effectively in a variety of ways, including oral, written and visual.
I.1 Create designs that respond to their context in formally or conceptually innovative ways.
I.2 Advance ideas through an exploratory and iterative design process
I.3 Independent development of high level technical and craft skills for the production, presentation and documentation of work.
I.4 Ability to innovatively and critically use a variety of digital technologies.
INT.1.1 Understand and employ effective strategies to operate within professional and everyday settings across diverse cultures in Australia and internationally.
INT.2.1 Conduct a major independent applied research project using advanced theoretical and specialised knowledge into international aspects of contemporary societies and cultures.
INT.2.2 Evaluate critically research findings and creatively use applied research methods to understand complex problems.
INT.3.1 Understand and engage with cultural diversities in Australia and internationally.
INT.4.1 Acquire knowledge and skills of Indigenous Australian communication, engagement, research ethics and practices to work effectively with and for Indigenous Australians across a professional context.
INT.5.1 Engage critically with current issues to act in socially responsible ways in Australian and international settings.
INT.6.1 Communicate clearly and effectively in written and spoken language using diverse digital technologies.
P.1 An ability to critique your own work and the work of others with reference to standards drawn from contemporary design practice.
P.2 Awareness of and/or engagement with the local and global design community.
P.3 Understanding of academic and professional ethics, copyright and appropriate acknowledgement of intellectual property.
P.4 Independently engage in self-directed learning and select and apply appropriate methodologies specific to the project.
P.5 Students will have knowledge of Indigenous Australian contexts to apply professional capabilities when working with and for Indigenous peoples across Design in Visual Communication projects and industry.
R.1 Source, evaluate and utilise appropriate academic and professional references.
R.2 Employ a range of qualitative research approaches including practice-led visual and material exploration and social and participatory methods.
R.3 Analyse, synthesise and formulate complex ideas, arguments and rationales and use initiative to explore.
R.4 Demonstrate knowledge of design history and theory and to place creative practice within a historical and theoretical framework.
R.5 Reflect and engage in self-critique and critical thinking.


INT = International Studies course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are academic and non-academic requirements that are essential to the successful completion of a course. For more information about inherent requirements and where prospective and current students can get assistance and advice regarding these, see the UTS Inherent requirements page.

Prospective and current students should carefully read the Inherent Requirements Statement below and consider whether they might experience challenges in successfully completing this course.

UTS will make reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning, assessment, professional experiences, course related work experience and other course activities to facilitate maximum participation by students with disabilities, carer responsibilities, and religious or cultural obligations in their courses.

For course specific information see the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building Inherent (Essential) Requirements Statement.

For course specific information see the Bachelor of International Studies Diploma in Languages Inherent (Essential) Requirements Statement.


Assumed knowledge

There are no prior language requirements for the international studies program. During their first year of study students complete a language survey to ensure they commence their language and culture study at the appropriate level.

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 structure

Students must complete 240 credit points comprising 108 credit points of core subjects, a 24-credit-point of design studies, 12 credit points of electives in visual communication and 96 credit points in International Studies.

International Studies (96 credit points):

  • Intercultural Communication (8 credit points)
  • International Research Methods (8 credit points)
  • Contemporary Society subject (8 credit points)
  • Language and Culture subjects (32 credit points)
  • International Honours (40 credit points)

Overseas study

International Honours students spend a full year at a relevant partner university where they complete an honours level research project.

Course completion requirements

STM91427 Core Subjects (Visual Communication) 108cp
STM91882 Design Studies 18cp
STM91883 Electives Choice 18cp
CBK92058 Country and Language choice (Honours) 96cp
Total 240cp

Course program

The example program below is for a student commencing in Autumn session and is undertaking the course with the German Language and Culture major, and the International Honours pathway.

Levels of award

The Bachelor of International Studies (Honours) may be awarded with first class honours, second class honours division 1, second class honours division 2, and Pass level.

The calculation of the Honours level will be based upon the 48 credit points of study completed in the UTS subjects 999781 International Research Methods, In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 1 and In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 2, all completed while students are overseas on In-country Study.

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