1. About the Master of Design (Advanced)

This course is for those who want to dig deep into the rich soil of design – experienced creatives as well as professionals from across various other industries. Get your hands dirty; learn which rules apply and which ones don’t. Graduate with an impressive portfolio that’s sure to lead to work at the highest levels. This accelerated postgraduate program offers an exciting opportunity for advanced study in design and is built to engage designers, developers, technologists, programmers, artists and teachers to explore the convergent space between design, project management and business disciplines while creatively shaping technologies, systems and applications. If you want to progress to senior roles within the design industry worldwide and become an advanced entrepreneur and flexible creative thinker, who can lead a team to bring a variety of design and system solutions to problems, this program is for you. This course allows you to enter or exit with a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma of Design.

Master of Design (Advanced) is developed specifically for international students and those who wish to complete a 2-year course studied full-time. The Master of Design (Advanced) is an elongated course that provides you with an advanced body of knowledge to successfully implement design practice and principles to various societal needs.

Graduate employment opportunities

Graduates may find a range of career pathways and employment opportunities including:

  • Managerial roles in Design agencies/ other organisations
  • Creative business founder / owner
  • Creative leader
  • University lecturer

Course Overview

Course Title Master of Design (Advanced)
Study Options – Domestic Australian students Face to Face delivery

Online 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: 2 years

Part-time: 4 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 10 hours of study per subject per week: 3 hrs facilitated + 7 hrs self-directed. Capstone project: 6 hrs facilitated study and 14 hrs self-directed study per week. Major project (Advanced): 12 hrs facilitated study and 28 hrs self-directed study per week. Assessment  Practical assignments, research projects, presentations, and written documentation.
Locations Sydney Campus


Delivered by 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 088476C
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
Course Fees For details, refer to the website. Any other fees For details, refer to the website.
  1. 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.

  1. Admission Criteria
Title of course of study Master of Design (Advanced)
Applicants with higher education study ·         Completion of a Bachelor level degree or Postgraduate study at an Australian university or equivalent from an overseas higher education provider; AND

·         A written proposal AND

·         A portfolio of relevant work from area(s) of expertise AND

·         3 letters of recommendation from relevant persons AND

·         A selection interview.

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study N/A
Applicants with work and life experience Students without an Undergraduate degree may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate as a pathway with:

·         A minimum of 6 years relevant professional experience AND

·         A written proposal AND

·         A portfolio of relevant work from area(s) of expertise AND

·         A resume AND

·         3 Letters of Recommendation from relevant persons AND

·         A selection interview.

English Language Proficiency

(applicable to international students, and in addition to academic or special entry requirements noted above)

Equivalent IELTS 6.5 (Academic) with no skills band less than 6
Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years) with ATAR or equivalent*

(for applicants who will be selected wholly or partly on the basis of ATAR)


Other admission options

 (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.
  1. How to apply

Via direct application to the institution

  1. Advanced standing/academic credit/recognition of prior learning (RPL)

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.

  1. Where to get further information
  1. Additional Information

Course Structure

The Course Structure comprises 12 subjects that are required to complete: 8 core subjects and 4 elective subjects as follows:

  • Level 400: 3 core subjects + 3 elective subjects
  • Level 600: 5 core subjects + 1 elective subject

* 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).

Course Rules

The Master of Design (Advanced) requires all core and 4 elective subjects – a combined total of 160 credit points to be completed which includes a Major Project.


Level 400
DSGN6026 Design Identity

This subject introduces students to philosophical and theoretical lenses for interpreting the various contexts of reception within which their designs will be encountered, engaged with, experienced or consumed. Design Identity, focuses specifically on ‘the connections of text as a stimulus to design approaches and understanding but more importantly on new ways of seeing. In this subject students engage with texts that are, or have been, influential in shaping ways in which designers and design theory engages the worlds that designed things enter into and subsequently re-define. A range of differing texts, including theoretical, literary and designed texts, and texts utilizing different media, are introduced and explored.

DSGN6027 Design Content

This subject provides a suite of cross disciplinary, practice based topics for designers in the areas of, time, space, motion and interaction. Designers will explore conceptual challenges and questions of visual expression in the quest to develop useful, usable and resonant designs for good. This will include understanding and articulating ‘user experience’, the role of design in humanizing information, the aesthetic and conceptual dynamics of effective communication, branding and communication within the international industry landscape.

DSGN6028 Design Futures

This subject introduces designers to research methodologies as a basis for identifying problems which can be the catalyst to bring about change. Students gain skills in the analysis of research data using grounded theory and phenomenography, in addition to visual research methods used as a foundation for creative and design solutions inherent in cross-disciplinary creative practice.

By means of reflection, analysis and contextualising an identified culture—their own or others— and by drawing on its philosophies, typical behaviours and patterns, designers explore, elicit and assess problems to instigate creative group projects. The design practices foster understanding of, and connection with, the contexts that designed things participate in, enrich and often transform. The additional emphasis is on problem identification that informs and leads to enhanced futures based on successful creative outcomes.

Level 600
DSGN6031 Social Enterprise

The theoretical base of this subject focuses on developing the students’ understanding of the fundamental contemporary theories of social entrepreneurship and a variety of applicable business models. The course will explore cross discipline material encompassing design, business and technology and how to acquire and combine knowledge and skills in all 3 areas to amplify the potential for success in 21st century society. At the core of this subject will be a focus on customer experience design, both theory and skill, and why user centric principles are increasingly used in business today. Students will explore the application of entrepreneurship business strategies and apply this knowledge in a philanthropic context and come up with solution to a real world problem they can execute to the pitch ready stage for investment. The project will entail some type of ‘design for good’ aspect in either a profit or non-for-profit business model. Students will be expected to think critically as they evaluate complex ideas and learn the patterns, frameworks and mechanics or storytelling, behavior design, game design and platform design.

DSGN6029 Research and Innovation

This subject culminates in a synthesised project proposal as foundation for the Cap-stone Project. Consideration of ethics and approaches to potentially sensitive research are identified before approval of the research approach by the University Ethics Committee. During this subject designers develop and consolidate their understanding of research practices as well as findings in order to thoroughly analyse and review collected information gathered without any demographic constraints. The proposal stipulates the problem and the solution as it appears, the research focus group (if any) as well as the type of research to be conducted. Creative and societal innovation founded on research but also reflexive practice is to be considered in the proposal for the Capstone Project. At the end of this subject designers will have proposed the foundations of a self-initiated project that exhibits a sophisticated understanding of contemporary design practice based on triple line philosophy: 1) environmental sustainability; 2) social, ethics and creative responsibility combined with; 3) financial responsibility

DSGN6030 Design and Economies

The practice of design has always been profoundly shaped by the particular economies in which it has been embedded. The demands placed on both human and non-human ecologies by 20th century growth-based economies, are evidently unsustainable. Increasing acknowledgment of ecological stress upon the planet, in tandem with the economic instability of the first decades of the 21st century, have given impetus to a rethinking of our assumptions about the economy. Over the past decades a number of critical thinkers have proposed new approaches to the economy. What are the implications of these potential economies for design? How might more sustainable approaches to the economy open up new possibilities for design? What might be the role of design in the transition to a different economy?

DSGN6032 Capstone project

The final subject requires students to execute, finalise and present their self- initiated project exhibiting a sophisticated understanding of contemporary design practice, whilst addressing the university ethos. Central to the project will be evidence of critical analysis and reflexive and reflective practice, social engagement, in addition to the use of refined visual language in its execution with particular industry relevancy for which their project is intended. Students must draw on the philosophical, practical, methodological, theoretical and technical tools they have gathered over the duration of the degree to complete a successful project. Students are individually mentored through this project by a supervisor with complementary practice-based research expertise. Projects can be static or interactive, print or digital, objects or installations, and could incorporate sound or moving image, but could also be a systems design of a problem. Students must complete all other required subjects before undertaking the Capstone project.

DSGN6033 Major project (Advanced)

The Major Project builds upon the Capstone project enabling students to develop and apply strategic processes, creative tools and research for innovation in design and to independently apply highly specialised knowledge of professional managerial or project management practice creating a truly interdisciplinary perspective while engaging with the industry.


The Master of Design (Advanced) can be studied fully online or at the below Torrens University Campuses:

  • Sydney: Level 1, 46-52 Mountain Street, Ultimo NSW Australia 2007

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:

Austudy and Abstudy

Students enrolled in this course may be eligible for government assistance, such as Austudy or Abstudy.