- About the Bachelor of Communication Design
Communication design is a growth industry, with strong demand for designers who are skilled visual communicators across graphic design, traditional print work, as well as digital media extensions and multidisciplinary design.
Nationally recognised and highly respected, Billy Blue Bachelor of Communication Design is a comprehensive design qualification that has been developed and is taught by leaders in the visual communication design world: from brand and design consultants, to graphic designers and creative directors.
In this degree you will focus on the creation of visual messages, ideas and information for a range of audiences. You will develop broad visual communication design skills informed by theoretical and technical knowledge and be able to apply those skills to real world graphic design outcomes.
Throughout the course you will explore essential areas of communication design including; typography, image generation, branding, information design, packaging and branded environments. An emphasis on creativity, design thinking, collaborative practice and problem solving will add depth to your practice.
You’ll graduate a highly qualified designer with in-demand skills and a professional-calibre portfolio to land serious work in the ever exciting, always evolving creative industries.
Build Skills and a Professional Portfolio
The Communication Design course is structured to prepare you for careers in which information is conveyed visually. These include graphic design, advertising, publishing, packaging, art direction, print and digital media.
You’ll learn about design usability, typography, ideation and idea generation, digital media, design research, information design and more. You’ll also learn how to use Photoshop and Illustrator. The design work you do throughout your study contributes to your professional portfolio – your passport to a serious design career.
Nationally recognised and highly respected, learning with Billy Blue provides you with comprehensive skills, know-how and confidence for a successful and dynamic career in the communication design space.
Billy Blue has a long history delivering Communication Design qualifications. Our courses are industry revered and have been anchored in innovative, work integrated, commercially relevant applied learning since inception, with an outstanding employment record for our graduates who are enjoying career successes both nationally and internationally. You’ll practice as an informed, cutting-edge designer with in-demand skills – and a professional-calibre portfolio to land serious work in the ever exciting, always evolving creative industries.
You will make commercial environments a reality through documentation, contract management, professional design practice and cross-disciplinary interaction. You will also have the opportunity to apply theory to practice by creating a range of commercial interior design solutions for real clients.
The design work you do throughout your study contributes to your professional portfolio – your passport to a serious design career.
Graduate employment opportunities
Graduates may find a range of career pathways and employment opportunities including:
- Art direction
- Book & publication design
- Branding & identity design
- Design strategy
- Design thinking
- Graphic design
- Information architecture
- Interactive design
- Interface design
- Marketing & promotion
- Visual communication
- Web design
|Course Title||Bachelor of Communication Design|
|Study Options – Domestic Australian students||Face to Face delivery
Full-time and part-time options available.
|Study Options – International students||International students on a student visa must not enroll into any more than a third or 33% of online subjects over their course and must study at least one subject that is face to face in each trimester.
International students on a student visa are required to study full time, i.e. the student must complete a minimum of 1.0 EFTSL of study per year.
|Start Dates||February, June, September
For specific dates visit the website.
|Course Length||Full-time: 3 years
Part-time: 6 years
|Payment Options – Domestic Australian students||Upfront payment
This means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date.
FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses.
Further information within this Course Information Sheet
It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold. Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.
|Payment Options – International students||Upfront payment
This means tuition fees will be invoiced each trimester and payment is required on or before the due date.
Further information within this Course Information Sheet
|Course study requirements||Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study.||Assessment||Practical assignments, research projects, presentations and reports|
|Delivered by||Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia|
|Provider||Torrens University Australia Ltd is registered as a self-accrediting Australian university by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).||CRICOS Course Code||090295A|
|Provider obligations||Torrens University is responsible for all aspects of the student experience, including the quality of course delivery, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards 2015||Accrediting body||Torrens University Australia Ltd|
|Course Fees||For details, refer to the website.||Any other fees||For details, refer to the website.|
- Essential requirements for admission
The general admission criteria that apply to Torrens University Australia courses can be located by visiting the Torrens University Australia website – /general-admission-information-for-torrens-university-australia-ltd.
- Student Profile
The table below gives an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students in this course. It provides data on students who commenced in this course in the most relevant recent intake period, including those admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.
|Applicant background||Trimester one / Full year intake |
|Number of students||Percentage of all students|
|(A) Higher education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
|(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study||14||15%|
|(C) Work and life experience
(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
|(D) Recent secondary education:
· Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR
|· Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered
(e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
|· Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor
(e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)
Notes: “<5” – the number of students is less than 5.
N/A – Students not accepted in this category.
N/P – Not published: the number is hidden to prevent calculation of numbers in cells with less than 5 students.
- Admission Criteria
(For applicants who will be selected on a basis other than ATAR)
|Special Entry||Applicants in any category whose study, work or life experiences have been impacted by disability, illness or family disruption will be given special consideration for admission. Each application will be considered on its merit, based on the evidence supplied by the applicant attesting to the circumstances of the applicant. Applicants for special entry may need to complete written or numerical tasks to assist with assessing eligibility for admission.|
Via direct application to the institution
You may be entitled to credit for prior learning, whether formal or informal. Formal learning can include previous study in higher education, vocational education, or adult and community education. Informal learning can include on the job learning or various kinds of work and life experience. Credit can reduce the amount of study needed to complete a degree.
Applicants admitted based on prior higher education study may be eligible for Advanced Standing in the form of credit and/or recognition of prior learning (RPL) under the Torrens University Australia Credit Policy – (/policies-and-forms).
- Students with completed subjects may be eligible for specified credit and/or elective exemptions
- Students who have completed a qualification at AQF level 5 (diploma) or above may be eligible for block credit (where a block credit agreement exists)
- Students with a mix of formal study and informal and/or non-formal learning may be eligible for recognition of prior learning in addition to any credit approved.
Credit will not be applied automatically. Applicants must apply for credit and/or RPL as early as possible prior to each study period, with applications not accepted after week 2.
For further information about credit and recognition of prior learning please see /apply-online/course-credits.
- Where to get further information
- Torrens University Australia (TUA) Website
- Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) Website
- Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) Website
- Additional Information
The Course Structure comprises 8 common core subjects, 11 specialised and 5 elective subjects over Levels 100, 200, and 300, as follows:
- Level 100: 3 common core subjects + 4 specialised subjects + 1 elective subject.
- Level 200: 3 common core subjects + 2 specialised subjects + 3 elective subjects
- Level 300: 2 common core subjects + 5 specialised subjects + 1 elective subject.
2 electives must be at level 200, 1 elective subject can be either at level 100 or 200.
*Electives available to students may be chosen from the elective bank (please refer to the Course Structure on the Student HUB) or can be taken from any Torrens University course at the appropriate level with approval from the Program Director (or delegate).
To be awarded the Bachelor of Communication Design, students will need to complete 240 credit points over 24 subjects as outlined in the Course Structure. Each subject has a value of 10 credit points.
|SUBJECT TITLE, DESCRIPTOR|
|DCX101 Design Context
Design Contexts is a foundational subject that introduces students to the designed world and their place within it. Students are encouraged to explore the interconnected nature of design and its capacity to inspire change, drive progress and navigate complex challenges. Through observation, research and iterative approach students will develop a series of creative responses that demonstrate an awareness of the value of design and its ability to create meaningful interactions for people, communities and their environments.
|CDC101A Typographic Fundamentals
This subject introduces students to the building blocks of typography. It develops students’ experience and understanding of the issues involved with communicating through a typographic framework. The subject will look at the fundamental elements of typeface design and analysis, categorisation and usage, in conjunction with introductory design concepts such as balance, composition and hierarchy.
Working individually, students will be exposed, and will be required to respond to, a variety of typographic issues. Students will demonstrate their understanding of typographic application through typeface analysis and categorisation as well as appropriate usage for specific audiences.
This subject requires students to design and construct a publishing outcome that displays their ability to structure visual content through consistent typographic settings and composition, working with short and long body text settings, grid structures and page architecture.
|CDC100A Thinking Visually
This subject serves as an introduction to communicating with imagery, from initial concepts and quick sketches through to more sophisticated visual responses, utilising a variety of media. With an emphasis on exploration within historical, practical, and technical parameters, ‘Thinking Visually’ aims to enable the student to effectively articulate ideas through both drawing and photography. Students will develop skills in observation, idea generation, and effective visual communication through a combination of theoretical studies, observational drawing and material experimentation.
|DSO102 Design Studio 1
This subject explores the relationship between materials and storytelling. It introduces students to the attributes of materiality and encourages them to re-imagine the possibilities of creating through making. Students will explore the art of paper folding, developing skills and taking creative risks. These results will be captured digitally and altered using the appropriate software.
Individual tasks allow students to develop an understanding and appreciation of materials, their many varied uses, properties, and the sustainable manufacturing processes related to them. Students will progress towards determining suitable materials in which to construct their final model with its form and function contextualised and supported by a documented process journal.
Their final submission will be a model that reminds us that stories which fill our lives are not only spoken and written but sometimes are best told through craft.
|CIN100A Data Visualisation
This subject introduces students to the theory and practice of Information Design. Students will visualise both quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of sources via linear and non-linear typography, signs, icons, pictograms and mapping techniques. They will explore theories and practical approaches that examine instructional systems, methods to convey instructions and complex information systems.
Working individually students are required to research a number of given topics. They will analyse and process this information within the context of the LATCH organisational system, demonstrating their knowledge via the design of a series of visual graphics that dramatise both the research they have conducted and the skills they have gained.
|DSO103 Design Studio 2
Design Studio 2 offers an introduction to the building blocks of creating and developing brands and is designed to give students a broad understanding of the stages and methodologies adopted in the brand development process. The subject draws on the theory and practice that sits behind brand creation. It covers the broad spectrum of brand development, values, trends and branding techniques, as well as fundamentals such as brand positioning and brand architecture. The subject also explores the relationship between branding and audiences, cross-cultural influences and shifts in consumer behaviour. Students must first understand and apply the fundamentals of branding and then go on to use that knowledge as the basis for developing and progressing a brand. This theoretical and practical subject will equip students with the knowledge and insight with which to build their own branding expertise.
|CDT101A Typography 2
This subject develops students’ understanding of typographic convention in both traditional and contemporary applications. Students will use their understanding of basic typographic formatting, page composition and layout to explore advanced typographic setting, work flow and content editing across print and digital platforms.
Students will also explore the role of typographic narrative within the sequenced delivery of information across a variety of environments. They will be challenged to consider the ‘voice of type’ and develop a greater appreciation and understanding of how content is read and viewed in traditional and non-traditional mediums.
|DSO201 Design Studio 3
The subject introduces business practices such as costing, time management, value engineering and general models of monetising and valuing output typical of a variety of design industries. Case study analyses’ of a typical design industry business practices, domestic and international, acquaint students with the differences and similarities that exist. Students learn about contractual agreements, and where appropriate become familiar with international shipping and distribution terms as well as an introduction to design copyright laws. Initial overview of time allocation practices and the creation and understanding costing terms such as: Bill Of Material (BOM) /Scope of Work / Deliverables used in typical projects is followed by application. Students plan a project from start to finish through to the development of an appropriate project management plan for their particular industry such as time management charts with typical dependencies highlighted and costed.
|CDC200A Message, Meaning, Media
This subject expands the understanding of symbols, signs and semantic conventions within communication systems and media. Students are introduced to the history and application of semiotics and encouraged to review, relate and re-evaluate design and communication strategies within the context of de-constructing conventional thinking and design practices. There is particular reference to the cultural shift from words to pictures and the role of meaning in an evolving creative and technological environment. Students present individual and group solutions for the development of a system of symbols and information graphics.
|PBL202 Problem Based Learning Studio
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a pedagogical approach that enables students to learn while engaging actively with meaningful problems. Students are given the opportunities to problem-solve in a collaborative setting, create mental models for learning, and form self-directed learning habits through practice and reflection. The underpinning philosophy of PBL is that learning can be considered a “constructive, self-directed, collaborative and contextual” activity. The principle of construct positions students as active knowledge seekers and co-creators who organise new relevant experiences into personal mental representations with the help of prior knowledge. This is further reinforced by social theories of learning that advance the merits of social interaction in cognitive development.
The aim of this subject is to trigger student learning with a problem which needs resolution. Students make connections to the challenge by activating their individual and collective prior knowledge and finding resources to make sense of the phenomenon; they also engage in peer learning through small-group discussions and consolidate their learning through reflective writing. Beyond enabling students to make sense of the concepts and subject matter, this learning experience will also help students develop an understanding of themselves and their contexts, and the ways and situations in which they learn effectively.
|CTY201A Typographic Systems
This subject encourages students to analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of contemporary corporate identity and branding systems. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the elements that make a successful brand, challenging the misconception of identity marks as the sole component of a modern brand. Typography and its applications are central features within this subject, providing a level of consistency within a myriad of often, unrelated components. Through lectures, tutorials and practical workshops, students will explore alternative brand touch points and create unique visual expressions within a diverse framework. These strategies and developments will manifest themselves in a variety of environmental and communication pieces, including stationery, advertising communications, signage, way-finding and vehicle livery.
Students will work individually to investigate methods and techniques that can be used to establish a coherent visual language across a variety of mediums. Central to their experience will be the notion of what a brand is and how the designer can add value to business through visual and non-visual components. Students will embrace the function of typography as a vehicle to communicate in literal and abstract terms, developing their understanding of tone of voice, hierarchy structures, and material selection and specification.
|DDD203 Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver
The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully resolved from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovation comes from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realised as new offerings and capabilities.
This subject introduces Problem Based Learning (PBL), mapped out as the ‘Double Diamond’, the collaborative process by which the designer’s sensibilities and methods are employed to integrate the needs of people, the possibility of technology and the requirement for business success. In short, Double Diamond approach converts need into demand. It’s a human-centred approach to problem-solving that focuses thinking about meanings instead of features, searching for radical changes instead of improvements and proposing visions instead of satisfying existing needs.
Today, designers across many disciplines share some similar approaches to the creative process. Every design specialist has a different approach and way of working, but there are some commonalities in their creative process. Divided into four distinct phases – Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver – the Double Diamond is a simple visual map which illustrates the PBL approach.
In this subject, students examine a range of possible ideas – divergent thinking; before refining and narrowing down to the best idea – convergent thinking. To discover which ideas are best, the creative process is iterative. Ideas are developed, tested and refined many times, with weak ideas dropped in the process. This cycle is an essential part of a good design strategy.
Students are introduced to practical design methods – like user journeys, empathy mapping, character profiles – and how they can be used to move a project through the four phases of the Double Diamond.
Discover – The first quarter of the Double Diamond model covers the start of the project. Students look at the world from a fresh perspective; notice new things and gather insights.
Define – The second quarter represents the definition stage, in which students analyse and synthesise all of the possibilities identified in the Discover phase. Which matters most? Which should we act upon first? What is feasible? The goal here is to develop a clear creative brief that frames the fundamental design challenge.
Develop – The third quarter marks a period of development where solutions or concepts are created, prototyped, tested and iterated. This process of trial and error helps students to improve and refine their ideas.
Delivery – The final quarter of the Double Diamond model is the delivery stage, where the resulting project (a product, service or environment, for example) is finalised, produced and launched.
Thinking like a designer can transform the way you develop products, services, processes – and even strategy.
|CDC300A Culture of Change
This subject examines how new ideas and end-user experiences are translated into marketable products or services and how design driven innovation creates new meaning to deliver competitive advantage. It also looks at the seductive power of design thinking to match necessity to utility, constraint to possibility, and need to demand. Working in small collaborative teams students are required to embrace the multifaceted challenges we encounter every day in society, and describe and define an innovative and sustainable solution to a user experience problem.
Social Enterprise is an exciting theoretically-based subject that is driven by the desire to create positive change through entrepreneurial activities. These activities harness design thinking and problem-solving processes in the realization of pragmatic, viable project proposals from initiation to client presentation. By providing students with a framework to understand business model generation and the skills to source, evaluate, and measure opportunities through systematic research and competitor analysis, Social Enterprise empowers students to conceptualise, develop and propose new ventures and products that focus primarily upon social change for good. In addition, this subject will help students understand and address the practical challenges of working within this environment; to analyse different entrepreneurial business strategies, to explore diverse funding strategies, as well as incorporate theoretical discussions on major trends and issues in the social economy. Social Enterprise enables students to appreciate the power of creativity in problem-solving and the importance of the designer’s role in making a difference and precipitating change.
|CDM301A Major Project
This subject examines the effect design has on instigating social innovation and change. Students are introduced to the reality and constraints of working with a real-world client on a major live project. Students will utilise holistic, people-focused methodologies to investigate the social, ethical and human impact of design, whilst ensuring emphasis is placed on the positive effect and critical influence of design on society. By identifying an emotional and authentic core to the project they will be required to demonstrate a critical understanding of the design process so as to move beyond purely commercial and brand centered practices.
|CPK301A Packaging and Branding
This subject provides an in-depth understanding of packaging design. Students design and produce a holistic branding and packaging solution for an existing product that delivers a complete visual identity, in-store shelf presence, and user-friendly experience. Students address key sustainability issues whilst identifying contemporary trends and current industry directions, focusing on commercially viable materials, printing, and merchandising.
|CDC301A Business by Design
This subject focuses on defining the value of design in modern business. It embeds a systematic process for leveraging relationships between design and business processes and encourages students to think through design to exceed user’s needs. Students must understand and influence how people give meaning to things, by transforming ideas from conception to innovative business strategies. Students can generate unique user- centered offerings, build emotional brand engagements and gain insight into all aspects of establishing a unique and viable business. Students are required to conduct research, analyse and define an entrepreneurial and commercially viable opportunity.
|WIL302 Work Integrated Learning
This subject is designed to provide students with professional experience in an area related to their field of study or the career they are working towards. The aim of providing industry-specific opportunities is to enable students to develop skills that will enhance their prospects of gaining meaningful employment and building their career for the future.
Much of the benefit of work integrated learning comes from observation, practicing under supervision and reflection. Work Integrated Learning is an excellent way to broaden the students learning environment while they are studying. It allows them to see first-hand how what they are learning in their degree translates into practice, as well as how ‘real world’ practice relates to what they are learning at University.
This subject will develop work ready skills and boost students’ employability while they are studying.
There are two work integrated learning options available to students:
Option 1: Internship
Students are offered the opportunity to work within a professional design environment for an extended period of time. It encourages students to build long-term relationships with the design industry and exposes them to the rigour of applied design practice while building their confidence in adapting to new environments. It also provides a context in which to enhance their communication skills and work collaboratively in a professional arena. Students will undertake a series of research tasks, conducting interviews and gathering data in order to understand the key concepts in managing a professional design practice with emphasis placed on the operation of the professional design environment.
Option 2: Industry Live Brief
This subject requires students to respond to criteria set within the context of an Industry Live Project. An understanding of research methodologies appropriate to professional practice and the documentation of personal creative investigation will be explored. Students will also further investigate and examine entrepreneurial and commercial opportunities through collaborative work practice. The subject is delivered from a cross discipline perspective and draws on both discipline specific and common design practices.
Students are required to work both independently or as part of a collaborative team in order to conduct research, analyse and define project parameters and deliver innovative solutions that expand the notion of an industry live brief.
This subject focuses on developing a broader understanding of design portfolios and presentations within the context of current industry directions. Students will participate in self-directed research and evaluate contemporary styles and methods of presentation. Students examine target markets, identifying the specific needs and preferences of the design industry by analyzing self-promotional, print and digital portfolio materials. This subject provides a framework for students to create a dialogue between themselves and the design industry.
Working independently, students will explore their own design philosophy and use this to compose an effective self-promotional presentation targeting potential employers or clients. Additionally, students will create a design portfolio appropriate to their chosen field, demonstrating an understanding of effective self-branding, page-sequence and personal narrative.
The Bachelor of Communication Design can be studied at the below Torrens University Campuses:
- Sydney: Level 1, 46-52 Mountain Street, Ultimo NSW Australia 2007
- Melbourne: 196 Flinders Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
- Brisbane: 90 Bowen Terrace, Fortitude Valley, QLD, 4006
Campus Facilities and Services
All campuses are designed to provide students with professional spaces in which to learn and work. They have been planned with student study needs in mind with well-equipped accessible learning spaces as well as student breakout areas for group work and spending time with friends.
Facilities and Services include:
- The Customer Service Hub – our friendly and experienced staff can give help and advice about courses, your enrolment and campus life, including all services and activities on campus.
- Counsellors are available for students to consult with on a range of personal issues
- Student wireless access throughout the Campus
- Student break-out and relaxed study spaces for group work
- Student lounge areas – most with microwaves, kitchenette facilities and vending machines
- The Learning Hub, home to the Learning Support Team, encompasses Learning Skills Advisors, Learning
Technology Advisors, and Library & Learning Skills Officers. It provides an integrated, holistic support program for students throughout the study lifecycle within a library/collaborative study environment.
The service includes:
- Support and workshops with highly qualified staff in the areas of Academic skills, Library skills,
and Technology skills, both on campus and online.
- Physical and digital resources relevant to studies, such as books, journals, multimedia, databases
- Self-check kiosks for library loans and print and copy facilities
A positive student experience
Torrens University Australia values the importance of a positive student experience, and therefore has robust processes to resolve student complaints. The Student Complaints Policy, and associated procedures, can be accessed from the website (/policies-and-forms).
Paying for your qualification
We offer two payment options for this course:
- Upfront payment
If you want to complete your qualification debt-free you can choose to pay as you go. This means tuition fees will be invoiced each semester and payment is required on or before the due date using EFTPOS, credit card or direct transfer.
FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses. It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold ($45, 881 in 2019-20). Just like with any other debt,
a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.
Further information about FEE-HELP, including eligibility, is available at:
- FEE-HELP website:
- FEE-HELP booklets:
Austudy and Abstudy