Design

Diploma of Design

CRICOS 094008C
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Diploma of Design

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.
While building valuable design experience and technical know-how, you will also collaborate in dynamic learning environments and design studios, exploring such topics as client needs, problem solving and the nature of trends. The Diploma of Design has been developed to provide a broad sample of different design specialities for people with or without a background in design. Our extensive selection of elective courses give you an introduction to topic areas such as Branded Fashion Design, Communication Design, Digital Media Design, Interior Design, and Game Design and Development. This design diploma provides full credit as a pathway into the more advanced courses, so you can specialise and choose your direction after sampling everything the Diploma of Design has to offer.

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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.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud Pro licence

You'll receive a free Adobe Creative Cloud Pro licence for the entire time you're studying Design with us.

Study mode
On campus, Online, Blended
Campus locations*
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
Student
Domestic
International
Course duration
1 year full -time, 2 years part time, 6 months accelerated
Start date
12 Sep 2022
31 Oct 2022
20 Feb 2023
05 Jun 2023
18 Sep 2023
Fees

This is an AQF Level 5 course delivered by Torrens University Australia Ltd T/A Billy Blue College of Design.

*For more details on international student study options.

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Designed to fit in with you
With a range of electives on offer, you can tailor your course to work towards your career goals.

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Gain insights from creative experts
Our academics are leaders in the creative and design worlds. With their help, see where the industry is heading.

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Upskill and specialise
Learn with the most up-to-date web-design technologies and from academics and industry-leading experts.

Career opportunities

This foundational introduction to the profession allows you to choose a direction for further study and for your future career in design across a variety of industries.

Career paths

  • Designer
  • Finished Artist
  • Interactive Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Interior Stylist
  • Career paths
    • Designer
    • Finished Artist
    • Interactive Designer
    • Graphic Designer 
    • Interior Stylist

Subjects and units

Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study. 

International students must not enrol in more than one-third (33%) of online subjects over their course, and must study at least one face-to-face subject each study period. Please note that due to COVID-19, authorities have provided exceptions to the usual face-to-face learning requirements. For more information, visit Study in Australia.

International students on a student visa are required to study full time (i.e. must complete a minimum of 1.0 EFTSL of study per year). For the latest information on study locations, please check the entry requirements flyer.

  • Core
  • Electives
4 core subjects
  • Design Context | DCX101
    Design Context 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.
  • Design Studio 1 | DSO102
    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.
  • 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 will equip students with the knowledge and insight with which to build their own branding expertise.
  • 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.

Electives available to students may be chosen from the elective bank below. Choose 1 elective:

  • 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
    Fashion Illustration introduces students to 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 balance, proportion, and shape through observational drawing skills. Through visual rendering techniques of various surfaces, fabrics and structures, students gain insight into the manner in which different materials and fabrics drape, shape and change on the human body. This subject underpins the development of fundamental principles of fashion design as well as the capacity of the student to visually communicate their designs.
  • Introduction to Branded Fashion Technical Drawing | FA104A
    Fashion Technical Drawing and CAD provides a solid foundation for students to develop the hand drawing and computer drawing skills which will be used throughout their course and their career. Students establish hand-drawing skills to depict and explore technical and construction details for garments. Building upon these hand drawing skills, students are introduced to Computer Aided Design (CAD) methods and folio layouts specific for branded fashion. Students produce a series of digital folios that demonstrate their understanding of garment construction through both hand and digital drawing techniques.
  • Fashion vs Clothing | FA106A
    In this subject, students are introduced to various social, political and design influences that have defined historical fashion periods. Examination of several case studies of fashion occurrences will inform students 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 will analyse and apply knowledge of the history of fashion to reflect on the fashion design process and the development of their own design handwriting whilst extending technical drawing and illustration skills. Students continue to develop their technical proficiency and ability to accurately communicate their design outcomes as they are introduced to specialist software applications and techniques.
  • Introduction to Shape and Form (Co-requisite FA108A) | FA107A
    Through the exploration of a variety of cutting, sewing and finishing techniques, students are introduced to the importance of shape, form, line, and volume in garment construction. Industry terminology is defined through the execution of a variety of sewing samples and methods. Students familiarise themselves with the various components that make up a garment and the interrelationships between those components. Applying this knowledge, students execute and assemble a self-designed garment and will make decisions about the most appropriate construction techniques for that garment. Throughout their time in the sewing workroom, students will apply Work Health and Safety (WHS) practices in their workroom practice. Students participate in a Sewing Skills program – a series of additional sewing workshops that run concurrently with their formal study. These two-hour workshops provide students with an opportunity to further develop their garment construction skills.
  • Fashion Studio Practice (Pre-requisite FA107A) | FA108A
    In Fashion Studio 2, students develop foundational design studio practice skills and knowledge. Through idea generation, fabric manipulation and draping students’ progress their ideas and translate these into a commercial garment design. Students gain a deeper understanding of design elements and principles as key design concepts by conceptualising and producing 2D and 3D design outcomes. These design outcomes inform the student’s final garment production in Fashion Studio 1: Sewing and Construction.
  • 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
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.
Charlotte Davey
Graduate, Diploma of Design

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
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.
Nyasha Chakaingesu
Bachelor of 3D Design and Animation
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Are you a Domestic or International student?

Choose your student type for fees, scholarships & entry requirements

  • Domestic
  • International

Fees: Domestic students

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.

    Download domestic fees PDF

  • 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 more info on 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.

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 an equivalent overseas higher education qualification or equivalent.

OR work life experience demonstrating the ability to undertake study at the required level. 
Students who do not meet the above criteria are required to:
Undertake Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) testing from an Australian Government approved provider and demonstrate competency at exit level three (3) in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) in both reading and numeracy.

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.
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Get started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.

Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

Apply
It’s easy! Apply online below or contact us and we can help on 1300 575 803.

Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

Offer
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.

Fees: International students

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 across three study periods. 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.

    Download international fees PDF

  • Fee payment

    Course fees can be paid across three study periods. Each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.

    Fee payment

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.

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 6.0 (no band less than 5.5) 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.

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.
Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

Get started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.

Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

Apply
It’s easy! You can apply online below or contact our International team on 1300 575 803.

Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

Offer
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.

Frequently asked questions

  • What does admissions criteria mean?

    Admissions criteria is a set of criteria that must be met to be eligible to apply for a chosen course.

    To gain entry to an accredited undergraduate course at Torrens University Australia, applicants must both satisfy general admissions criteria and meet any additional course requirements where specified.

    All admissions criteria and course-specific requirements apply consistently across campus locations and study modes. To find out more, visit admissions criteria.

  • What if I don’t meet the entry criteria for a degree?

    Torrens University Australia has recognised pathways to help you gain entry into our bachelor degrees based on different criteria.

    To find out more, visit Study pathways or contact one of our knowledgeable Course and Careers Advisors.

  • Can I get course credit for previous experience?

    Yes, course credit is available upon application and academic approval.

    If you have already completed a qualification or have relevant work experience, you may be able to receive credits towards your degree. This credit can take the form of credit transfer, block credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

    Our Program Directors will carefully review the learning gained from your previous qualification and/or experience to ensure we provide you with credit towards our degrees whenever appropriate. Review our course credits page or chat to one of Course and Careers Advisors.

  • What are course credits?

    Course credits are credits that can be applied to your course based on your prior experience or qualifications. To find out more, visit course credits

    .

  • What are Torrens University Australia’s courses’ ATAR requirements?
    Torrens University Australia no longer considers ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) as our primary entry requirement. We have removed ATAR as the key admissions criteria for applicants aiming to study at Torrens University Australia. We strongly believed an alternative to the ATAR system should be found, which more broadly assesses students, especially when soft skills are emerging as important employability attributes. So, students with a recent secondary school education are now considered for admission if they have a Year 12 (Australian secondary school) certificate.
  • Am I a domestic or an international student?

    Domestic students are Australian and Permanent Residents. International students are those who hold citizenship or Permanent Resident status of all other countries.

    International students from countries whose first official language is one other than English need to provide evidence of English Language Proficiency.

  • How do Torrens University Australia fees charge?

    Torrens University Australia is a full-fee paying institution. To find out more, visit Tuition Fees.

    Domestic students may be eligible for FEE-HELP. For more information on FEE-HELP, please visit: https://www.studyassist.gov.au/.

    Please note we do not currently offer any full fee waivers for international students. We do not offer stipends or living allowances.

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