Diploma of Design
Student Domestic International
Study mode On campus Blended
Campus locations Sydney Melbourne  Brisbane
Duration1 year full -time, 2 years part time, 6 months accelerated
Start date

13 Sep 2021

01 Nov 2021

Billy Blue College of Design Logo | Torrens University

Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia Ltd, ABN 99 154 937, RTO 41343, CRICOS 03389E.

Code DIPDES15 | CRICOS 094008C

What is a Diploma of Design?

A Diploma of Design lets you a sample a range of specialist areas within design, such as graphic design, digital design, video production, interior design and fashion. It builds a foundation in the design industry, typically over one year of full-time study with guidance from industry professionals and collaboration with other students. A Diploma of Design provides accreditation for either further study or a career in the design field.
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Gain course credit
Take your credits with you into a bachelor’s course.
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Gain insights from creative experts
Our academics are leaders in the creative and design world. With their help, see where the industry is heading.

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Top animation school
We are ranked in the Top 10 Animation Schools in Australasia by Career Animation. 

Subjects and units

Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study. 
  • Core
  • Electives
4 core subjects
  • Design Context | DCX101
    This introductory subject places design process and practice within the context of a chronological survey of major historical eras of influence. Students are encouraged to engage with the historical socio-political movements influencing design trends of each era through research and reflection. Academic skills (research, referencing, essay writing, and sentence structure) and design software skills are taught in weekly lessons. Students use the academic and software skills to document historical research and generate creative responses to the themes of historical eras.
  • Design Studio 1 | DSO102
    The subject introduces the student to various aspects of the elements of design, e.g. materiality, form and shape, colour, positive and negative space etc. utilised in creative problem solving. Initially students are introduced to a design development process, from the tangible to the digital; through paper model making with its inherent skills development and risk taking, then on to further digital development using newly introduced software. Concurrent, weekly, individual homework tasks focus on understanding and appreciation of materials, their many varied uses, properties and the manufacturing processes related to them. Students will make incremental progress towards choosing a material in which their individual design can be realised. The submission will include a material and colour folio. The final submission will be a model executed in an appropriate material with its function/usage contextualised with all relevant information gleaned throughout the trimester.
  • Design Studio 2 | DSO103
    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.
  • Work Integrated Learning | WIL101
    Students will be offered the opportunity to work within a professional design studio experience 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 be matched to an appropriate mentor at the placement site and monitored by an academic in the discipline of study.
4 core subjects
  • Typographic Fundamentals | CDC101A
    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.
  • Ways of Seeing | CDC102A
    This subject explores the ways that we view the world, our collective understanding and acceptance of visual iconography and how this perception influences our response to brands, advertising and visual communication. It examines the processes and behaviours that drive our interaction with others and how we interact with our world. Students are challenged to re-examine their preconceptions and design thinking methods: to address what makes us communicators and what gives us the right to assume that role? Students analyse and interpret a range of research topics through a combination of lectures, class exercises and field tasks then demonstrate their understanding through the development of a reflective portfolio and group campaign. Themes include essential perceptual theory; signs, symbols and meaning; lateral thinking and problem solving; advertising theory; tactics of manipulation, research and focus testing.
  • Thinking Visually | CDC100A
    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.
  • Developing Visual Vocabulary | CIM100A
    This subject seeks to develop conceptual and practical frameworks for the generation of visual images, enabling students to create innovative visual responses in their work. It will encourage students to expand their frame of visual understanding and explore idea generation as well as historical approaches to visual representation, resulting in developing skills in the practical interpretation of ideas. This is achieved through sketching, photography, and experimenting with analogue and digital materials.
  • Data Visualisation | CIN100A

    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.

  • Typography 2 | CDT101A
    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.
  • Ideas and Innovation in Design | BID102A
    This subject examines the way design ideas are generated. Students will explore concepts of assimilation, synthesis and transformation and will develop an understanding of reflective design practice.
    A foundation language of experimentation, risk-taking and problem solving is introduced, combined with theories of ideas generation and their transformation into a design outcome.
    In addition, students will investigate a variety of methods and techniques to understand design innovation through individual and group exploration and analysis.
  • Interior Design Practice | BID104A
    This subject examines perspectives on models of practice relevant to Interior Design. It examines design practice in response to changing needs and requirements of clients and design briefs. It also explores the strategies used for expressing ideas, and the design skills required to communicate them. The purpose of the subject is for students to gain knowledge in foundation level design practice relevant to Interior Design. The design process workflow from original idea to review of work in progress, revision, presentation and reflection is explored.
  • 3D Modelling for Spatial Projects | MSP102
    The purpose of this subject is to introduce the fundamental theories, practices, and methods for developing three-dimensional design. The subject covers 3D concepts and techniques, as well as practice in contemporary industry software. The subject investigates the integration of modelling, texture and light in three-dimensional space. Concept development is practiced in a range of spatial activities, investigating the relationship of spatial projects to a target audience. Development in professional work disciplines for design practice is key to the delivery of this subject.
  • Systems and Documentation 1 | BID108A
    Systems and Documentation 1 introduces students to the different construction systems applicable to the design of nominated interiors, and how design solutions are communicated to stakeholders (contract managers, consultants and contractors) through contract documentation. Students will develop a series of documentation drawings for a small scale nominated environment.
  • Spatial Environment Design | SED101
    This subject investigates the evolution of built environment design. It explores major art and architectural movements throughout history and the development of contemporary design by investigating significant turning points and historic milestones. This subject will focus on developing the students’ understanding of the complexities of designing an area within a spatial environment whilst identifying and activating an urban site, with consideration of the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution. Students will integrate their research and knowledge of environments, identifying design related and environmental imperatives in the realisation of design briefs
  • Environment Design 2 (Residential) | IDR202A

    The theoretical base of this subject will focus on developing the students’ understanding of the complexities of designing interiors for both single and double storey residential environments whilst appreciating the growing demand for the application of sustainable design practices- not only in materials and technologies but also in the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution.

    Students will integrate their research and knowledge of residential environments, and environmental imperatives into the creative realisation of project briefs.

  • Fashion Illustration | FA101A
    In this subject, students will simultaneously study the human body and its ergonomics whilst developing the skill of visual representation and communication through the art of drawing. It acknowledges drawing as a fundamental skill of the designer, and its importance in communicating design ideas. Students will cultivate an understanding of human movement, balance, proportion and shape by developing their observational and drawing skills. Students will also develop their ability to visually render various surfaces, fabrics and structures as they learn to understand the manner in which different materials and fabrics drape, shape, change and interact with and on the human body. This subject underpins the development of fundamental principles of apparel design such as proportion, materiality and coordination, as well as the capacity of the student to visually communicate their designs.
  • Introduction to Branded Fashion Technical Drawing | FA104A
    This subject is twofold e.g. hand drawing and computer drawing skills development. Students develop hand-drawing skills to depict, show their understanding as well as explore technical and construction details for apparel. In addition students demonstrate their understanding of clothing history and fashion by isolating key recognisable garment design elements and principles specific to the identified historical periods. In addition to a folio with hand drawings, students develop a digital folio with fully annotated and proportionally correct garment drawings. In order to transfer their hand skill drawings they are introduced to CAD drawing methods and folio layout specific for branded fashion. By analysing and evaluating their hand drawings they select and synthesis these into a computer generated document.
  • Fashion vs Clothing | FA106A
    This subject provides the opportunity for discourse on the “meaning” of fashion, branded fashion and clothing. The students will study various texts and historical periods to develop their sensitivities and understanding of the “fashion phenomenon” and clothing behaviour. Examination of several case studies of fashion occurrences will inform the student of the issues, attitudes and foundations that may lead up to the formation of a fashion, the role of the designer in that process and its effect on general dress behaviour as a result. Students research a variety of historical periods and develop a digital design folio depicting clothing of the studied periods in addition to an essay on a chosen historical period. To compliment this study, students will gain digital design foundation skills and techniques used to present their work.
  • Introduction to Shape and Form (Co-requisite FA108A) | FA107A
    This subject introduces the importance of clothing structure, shape, form, line and volume. A variety of cutting, sewing and finishing techniques and terminology are introduced through the examination of constructed garments and the execution of a variety of sewing samples. Through the analysis of a manually deconstructed garment, students are able to familiarise themselves with the various components that make up a garment and the interrelationships between those components. Using this knowledge, students execute and assemble a self-designed garment that addresses an understanding of the structural purpose and interrelationships of individual pattern pieces. Students will be required to make decisions about the most appropriate construction techniques to use based on the relevant market position. Students have the option of participating in a Sewing Skills program – a series of additional sewing workshops that run concurrently with their formal study. These weekly two hour workshops provide students with an opportunity to further develop their garment construction skills, should they so choose.
  • Fashion Studio Practice (Pre-requisite FA107A) | FA108A
    In this subject students develop foundational design studio practice skills and knowledge in fashion creation. Students acquire specialist practical and theoretical skills and knowledge such as concept development, fabric manipulation and draping. Throughout the subject, students work to develop their conceptual ideas and translate them into a commercial garment design. At the same time students will broaden their understanding of a design studio environment and the interplay between individual and peer responsibilities in a studio context. In addition, students cultivate a broader comprehension of design studio practice through the exploration of 2D and 3D forms and objects. Students gain a deeper understanding of design elements and principles as key design concepts, by conceptualising and producing 2D and 3D design outcomes. The concepts of thermoplasticity, resiliency, dimensional stability and drape are incorporated into this exploration.
  • Experience, Interface, Interaction | DIG100A
    This subject provides an introduction to the fundamental theory and practice of interaction design. Key concepts including experience, interface and interaction are explored, along with fundamental technologies, services and platforms pertinent to the design and production of interactive digital media. Students will also investigate the social, cultural and technological frameworks that inform interaction design and identify the relationships between each.
  • Time, Space, Motion | DIG101A
    This subject provides an introduction to the fundamental theory and practice of moving image and 3D design and production. Students will be familiarised with a basic set of tools and techniques for creating moving image sequences and 3D visualisations. Fundamental moving image, screen language and spatial design concepts are introduced, and students will use these concepts in conjunction with basic production techniques to communicate and convey narrative. The subject also introduces concept development techniques and materials specific to the development of motion and 3D design outcomes.
  • Drawing for Concept Development | DIG102A
    This subject develops foundational skills in drawing, visual perception and exploration. Students engage with the practice and theory of various drawing modes, including life and environmental drawing, in order to enrich the concept development process. In addition to developing general visualisation skills students will also work in concept development forms specific to specialist areas of digital media practice.
  • Interaction Design | DIG103A
    This subject explores the groundwork theory and practice of user experience (UX), user interface (UI) and interaction design for digital media. The subject covers the core research phases of UX before enabling students to create UI and web-based solutions to identified problems. Students will focus on interpreting and structuring information architecture and focus on the visual aspects of UI design – how visual design affects end-user experience.
  • Motion Design | DIG104A
    This subject introduces the foundational theory and practice of motion graphic design and live action camera production. Students will explore basic skills in concept development, asset creation, 2D animation and compositing suitable for motion graphic production. Additionally, the process of developing a live action video piece is introduced, from pre-production through to post-production, including fundamental sound design principles. Students will gain basic skills in camera-based production including basics of lighting, sound recording and editing.
  • 3D Design and Animation | DIG105A
    This subject develops foundational skills in 3D design and animation. Students will undertake character and set design and development exercises, and will generate animated 3D graphic elements. In this way students will develop foundational skills in the principles and techniques of modelling, texturing, lighting and animation required to produce digital 3D characters, environments and props. The subject also explores key concept development stages typical to common 3D design briefs and projects.
  • 2D Asset Creation | ACR101
    2D Visual Asset Generation utilises traditional art foundation theories and contextualises these practices for the digital domain. Students will create artefacts in digital formats for a variety of uses including concept art, pixel art, in-game assets, colour keys, user interface flow diagrams and more. Practical applications of art specifically for games will also be covered such as the basics of 2D digital animation. Students will receive critique from lecturers and learn to evaluate their own artwork with a critical eye.
  • Game Design Principles | GDP102
    Game Design Principles introduces students to game design foundations, techniques and paradigms through a series of lecture-led and student-led activities. Students will explore game design principles through the analysis of existing game artefacts, applying those findings to the development of their own games. Students are introduced to a variety of analysis, development and presentation techniques encouraging discussion, creation and dissemination of their design choices through prototyping and documentation.

Industry partners and work placements

The big difference at Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia is that you’ll start working in the design industry from day one – gaining valuable experience, learning from industry professionals and making industry connections.
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Gain professional experience
Work on an industry brief in conjunction with an industry client or immerse yourself in an industry internship as part of your course.
Charlotte Davey - Diploma of Design student testimonial
Charlotte Davey
Graduate, Diploma of Design
I really enjoyed my time interning at Billy Blue Creative. It was an immensely valuable experience and was the perfect way to end my degree.

Learning outcomes

  • Build a foundation of general knowledge that will serve you across all disciplines
  • Work with an array of media and tools, in a range of styles
  • Experiment to discover your own personal design aesthetic
  • Discover the specific areas of design you wish to pursue further in your study

Why study with us?

With dynamic, cutting-edge courses, Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia fosters the next generation of innovative, independent thinkers. Our passionate experts equip you with the tools to thrive and prepare you for the creative industry. Thanks to our partnerships, you will collaborate with some of the most influential brands in the world, building a portfolio that will help you secure your dream career.

Connected to industry

Industry professionals and entrepreneurs founded Billy Blue, and today it remains an active creative hub where friendly lecturers teach and mentor students. Our strong relationships with the design industry means you will work on live projects with real industry clients.

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Future-proof your career
Whichever course you take at Billy Blue College of Design at Torrens University Australia, you’ll be prepared for rapid change by having next-generation technology at your disposal.

Student showcase

Students and graduates are strongly recognised and constantly sought out by the design and creative tech industries. Work-ready, incredibly talented and always prepared to push the boundaries, they are creative problem-solvers.

Nyasha Chakaingesu - Bachelor of 3d Design and Animation student testimonial
Nyasha Chakaingesu
Bachelor of 3D Design and Animation
Billy Blue really pushed my thinking process. I’m willing to take more risks, be disruptive, flip the script and think how to better design by knowing the people you are designing for.

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Choose your student type for entry requirements, fees and scholarships


  • Domestic
  • International

Admissions criteria and pathways: Domestic students

Before you begin your course application, check that you meet the requirements listed below.
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Year 12 (Australian secondary school certificate) or equivalent.
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OR successful completion of a Vocational qualification (AQF Level 4), or above OR Successful completion of a Higher Education qualification.
OR work life experience demonstrating the ability to undertake study at the required level. 

Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior Learning

If you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning.

Fees: Domestic students

Domestic fees
Check the Domestic Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course.
FEE-HELP
Eligible Australian students may choose to defer some, or all, of their tuition fees through FEE-HELP, a loan scheme repaid through the tax system based on income.
  • Domestic fees

    Check the Domestic Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course.

    View our fees

  • FEE-HELP
    Eligible Australian students may choose to defer some, or all, of their tuition fees through FEE-HELP, a loan scheme repaid through the tax system based on income.

    View our fees

Scholarships: Domestic students

We're serious about supporting your studies from start to success, which is why we offer the opportunity to earn a reduction in your course fees, so you can focus on getting into a career you'll love. The scholarships below span all our courses in Design and Creative Technology and are your chance to work into your chosen field as well as become one of our networked ambassadors.

How to apply: Domestic students

Get started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.
Apply
It’s easy! Apply online below or contact us and we can help on 1300 575 803.
Offer
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.

Admissions criteria and pathways: International students

Before you begin your course application, check you meet all the requirements listed below

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Australian Year 12 or equivalent; and
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Academic IELTS 5.5 (no band less than 5.0) or equivalent.

OR alternative entry requirement may be available. Contact the International Admissions team for more information.

Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior Learning

If you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning. Learn more about study pathways.

Fees: International students

International fees
Check the International Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course. Onshore international students requiring a student visa should choose campus-based / blended options.
Fee payment
Course fees can be paid in 3 instalments, each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.
  • International fees

    Check the International Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course. Onshore international students requiring a student visa should choose campus-based / blended options.

    View our fees

  • Fee payment

    Course fees can be paid in 3 instalments, each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.

    View our fees

Scholarships: International students

We want you to have the best possible chance to succeed, which is why we offer a range of financial scholarships to support our international students during their study journey.

How to Apply: International students

Get Started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.
Apply
It’s easy! You can apply online below or contact our International team on 1300 575 803.
Offer
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.

Key intake dates

31 May 2021 | 13 September 2021 | 14 February 2022

Frequently asked questions

  • Are Billy Blue students sought after in the industry?

    Billy Blue students are highly sought after in the design industry.

    While you study, you’ll have your own Success Coach who will make sure you get the most out of your course, build on your strengths and help you meet your career goals. You’ll be taught by lecturers who are working in the industry and have the opportunity to complete internships and/or industry live briefs. This makes you a powerhouse, ready to start working from the moment you graduate.

  • Is FEE-HELP available for Billy Blue courses?
    If you are an eligible Australian student, FEE-HELP is available for all degrees, meaning you can defer your fees and pay later. International students need to pay each trimester in full before it starts.
  • Who is Billy Blue?
    Billy Blue, the man, allegedly stole a little raw sugar in the 1800s which sent him to the shores of Sydney as a convict. He made the most of it and kick-started Sydney’s first ferry service. Years later, the founders of Billy Blue magazine kept his rebellious spirit alive. Thirty years on, what started as a magazine blossomed into a design agency, then a school and now a university, created by designers for designers. To find out more, visit Billy Blue College of Design.
  • Will Torrens University Australia help me find work after I graduate?

    Yes. While you are studying, you’ll have a dedicated Success Coach and the chance to gain real work experience. You will graduate with a professional portfolio, prepared for the workforce.

    We also have a graduate exhibition that is well attended by top professionals in the design and creative industries. In fact, students have been known to get a call from a prospective employer within weeks of the exhibition.

  • What is Artificial Intelligence?

    Artificial Intelligence is a branch of computer science that refers to intelligence demonstrated by machines. It's a rapidly growing field of technology that is being implemented in many sectors. These are the courses we offer to explain how Artificial Intelligence works, why design principles are essential, and how you can get started in this seriously exciting career:

    • Bachelor of Software Engineering (Artificial Intelligence)
    • Master of Software Engineering (Artificial Intelligence)
    • Master of Software Engineering, Advanced (Artificial Intelligence)
  • What is Cloud Computing?

    Cloud Computing is a branch of computer science. It’s the always-on approach to technology services and resources that is being implemented by more and more companies. These are the courses we offer in Cloud Computing:

    • Graduate Certificate of Software Engineering
    • Master of Software Engineering (Cloud Computing)
    • Master of Software Engineering, Advanced (Cloud Computing)
  • What is Creative Technology?

    Creative Technology focuses on applying design thinking concepts to the technology development process, in order to create something with the end-user needs in mind.  View our Creative Technology courses that we offer: 

    • Diploma of Game Design & Development
    • Diploma of Software Engineering
    • Bachelor of Game Design & Development
    • Bachelor of Software Engineering (Game Programming)
    • Bachelor of Software Engineering (Artificial Intelligence)
    • Graduate Certificate of Software Engineering
    • Graduate Certificate of Digital Transformation and Creative Intelligence
    • Master of Software Engineering (Cloud Computing)
    • Master of Software Engineering, Advanced (Cloud Computing)
    • Master of Software Engineering (Artificial Intelligence)
    • Master of Software Engineering, Advanced (Artificial Intelligence)

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Learn from industry-connected experts

Our academics are leaders in their field. With their help, you can navigate the world of creative technology and design with confidence.
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