Diploma of Graphic Design
Student Domestic International
Study mode Online On campus Blended
Campus locations Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Online
Duration18months full-time, up-to 3 years part-time, 12 months accelerated
Start date

31 May 2021

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 DGD20 | CRICOS 102489K

What is a Diploma of Graphic Design?

A Diploma of Graphic Design provides a broad base of general and specialist knowledge, with a focus on design awareness, problem-solving and technical skills. It builds a foundation in graphic design, typically over 15 months of full-time study, combining theory with hands-on experience. Under guidance from industry professionals, this diploma prepares you for the diverse needs of a fast-paced, visually literate society. This diploma provides accreditation for a career in the field or second-year entry into the Bachelor of Communication Design.
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Gain course credit
Take your relevant credits with you into a bachelor course.

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Work-integrated learning
Gain practical experience working with industry on briefs as part of your course.

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DIA-recognised course
Course recognised by the Design Institute Australia.

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. Most face-to-face courses are also available online. Please note that due to COVID-19 pandemic, authorities have provided exceptions to the usual face-to-face learning requirements.

  • Core

  • Electives

11 Core subjects

  • Digital Design Foundations | DGDDD100

    This subject introduces a core set of industry-standard specialist design software tools. The emphasis of this subject is on building a comprehensive familiarity with these tools and features so that their application becomes second nature and can be treated as part of the overall creative tool kit.

    Students will work through a range of small exercises to cement their learning and to build their working knowledge by experimenting with the different tools and techniques. Students will then combine these tools and techniques to explore print and screen-based projects and in doing so, become aware of how to create flexible visual outcomes not wedded to single-use mediums

  • Visual Language of Design | DGDVL100

    In this subject students will study the history and evolution of art and design acknowledging the major influences and commentators of the industry.

    The introduction of essential fundamental design principles and elements build to a comprehensive understanding, enabling students to start seeing and thinking like a designer.

    Students will be challenged to develop visual solutions to design problems and acquire the knowledge, skills and perspective necessary to identify and articulate techniques and concepts exhibited in design work.

    This is followed by an in-depth look at the design process from receiving the brief up to the client presentation and reflection on success of project.

  • Typography | DGDTY100

    This subject explores the history and origins of typographic communication, from Cuneiform through to contemporary digital type. It introduces the fundamental principles and terminology relating to typography, including letterform structure, classifications of faces and styles, typesetting.

    Students will work with specialist software to create and manipulate type, and will start to formulate their own set of strategies for effective use of typography as an element of graphic design.

  • Finished Art (pre-requisite DGDDD100 Digital Design Foundations) | DGDFA100

    This subject develops effective print and digital finished art techniques, including pre-production, output and file management. Students will develop an awareness of paper stocks and finishes, digital delivery formats and an understanding of the specific requirements for working with different materials and processes.

    They will be required to conceptually develop and design a professional piece, taking into account how it will be produced, select the best production process and utilise specific materials and techniques. This subject also looks at establishing best-practice protocols and conventions when creating artwork files with multiple end-users.

  • Symbols and Branding | DGDSB100
    This subject introduces semiotics and identity design. Students explore the history of symbols and ways of categorising them. They are then introduced to logos, exploring elements and categories of logo design including word-marks, symbols and monograms. Students work through the process of developing an identity, with attention to simplification, process and documentation. Throughout, students will be required to focus on audience interpretation and seeing how the customer sees.
  • 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.
  • Publishing and Media | DGDPM100
    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, workflow and content editing across print and digital platforms.
  • Form and Insight | DGDFI200

    Form and Insight is a theoretical and practice-based subject that encourages consideration to audience, purpose and context. It introduces students to traditional and non-traditional, digital, 2D and 3D design with a strong emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility.

    Students will use persona and narrative creation to inform practical outcomes that fuse commercial reality with design thinking tools to deliver an empathic, holistic solution from point of sale through to consumer use, and finally, disposal.

  • 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.
  • Work Integrated Learning | WIL100

    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. Within the framework of an industry brief in conjunction with an industry client, students will learn how to unpack a defined challenge into achievable outcomes and use this framework to guide the creative process and final deliverable.

    Students will develop presentation techniques and objectively respond to constructive criticism and feedback. This experience will enhance work-ready skills and allow students to see first-hand how their learning translates into practice.

  • Portfolio and Professional Practice | DGDPP100

    This subject challenges students to consider their professional identity before developing strategies and portfolio tools to promote themselves to clients and the wider design industry.

    Portfolio and Practice also explores the structure of studios and agencies within the design industry. Students develop an understanding of how the industry works; from day to day running of a studio to the many other professions they will need to work with. They will build an awareness of graphic design career paths and salaries, and develop the skills required to operate a freelance graphic design business.

    Students also investigate trends and emerging technologies that could affect or create opportunities building entrepreneurial attitudes to assist career sustainability.

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

  • 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.

  • Camera and Capture | ICC100
    This subject aims to introduce students to the foundations of photo imaging and to develop comprehensive technical skills of operating a digital camera and build experience in taking pictures under a range of conditions. A percentage of time is devoted to students receiving feedback on their recently taken images and learning to give constructive criticism to their peers, enabling them to start seeing and thinking like a photographer. Students are also introduced to primary principles of moving image/video creation.
  • Illustration | DGDIL100
    This subject explores the history, techniques, styles, elements and principles of different mediums within illustration. Students will apply visual problem solving, exploration and conceptual skills to develop their own sense of style while creating illustrations that can be used in a commercial context for print, web and animated content.

Industry partners

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. We have a strong network of partners and are always welcoming opportunities to build new relationships in the design world.
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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.
Daniel Coman - Diploma of Graphic Design student testimonial
Dan Coman
Graduate, Diploma of Graphic Design
Even in the early stages of my masters course I could see my approach to design changing. It elevated my design thinking and I started to base my decisions on research rather than opinion or trend.

Learning outcomes

  • Grow your skills and knowledge from a technical and theoretical base
  • Discover the powerful uses of typography and design principles in creating meaning across communication
  • Manipulate photography and illustration to create original works
  • Master industry-standard software and related tools in a technical environment
  • Learn the language of graphic design so you graduate job-ready

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.

Imogen Frost - Diploma of Graphic Design student testimonial
Imogen Frost
Graduate, Diploma of Graphic Design
Studying at Billy Blue was a true turning point in my career, as I was surrounded by lecturers and classmates who I believe truly wanted me to succeed.

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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

  • What are the admissions requirements for international students?
    Overseas Year 12 equivalent applicants who have completed a secondary school qualification from an overseas institution, will have their application assessed by the International Admissions team to determine equivalency with the Australian secondary school certificate.  International students will also have to satisfy minimum English language proficiency requirements. To find out more, visit Admissions Criteria.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

  • I don’t have a portfolio and I want to study a degree. What can I do?

    If you have met the entry requirement for the course, you do not need to submit a design portfolio.

    If you can’t meet the entry requirement and don’t have a portfolio, you will need to show evidence of prior industry/work experience OR have completed or partially completed study from an accredited institution to gain entry into the course.

    If you would like to talk through the entry requirements, please contact one of our Course and Careers Advisors.

  • I have a portfolio but haven’t completed a Higher School Certificate or equivalent. How can I gain entry into a degree?

    We offer several pathway options for students who have not completed a Higher School Certificate or equivalent.

    For some courses, entry can be achieved by undertaking a diploma course first (pathway criteria applies), and on successful completion of the diploma you can credit this study towards completion of a degree. Mature-aged students (21 and over) are also welcome to apply directly based on work experience and/or an existing portfolio. To find out more about Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or applying directly, please contact a Course and Careers Advisor.

  • What makes a good portfolio?

    A good portfolio should include 6-10 pieces of original creative work and provide evidence of both your creativity and skill.

    To find out more, visit portfolio and interviews for guidance on what to include in your application portfolio or speak to a Course and Careers Advisor.

  • 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.

  • How much are Torrens University Australia courses?

    For a full list of tuition fees, visit Tuition Fees.

    Remember, if you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident, your fees can be covered by FEE-HELP. You can find out more information on FEE-HELP on the StudyAssist website at https://www.studyassist.gov.au/fee-help or contact us and we can guide you through the process.

  • Am I eligible for FEE-HELP?

    To get a FEE-HELP loan, you must:

    • be an Australian citizen and study at least part of your course in Australia, or
    • be a New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holder or permanent humanitarian visa holder and meet the residency requirements.
    • be enrolled in a fee-paying place at a provider that offers FEE-HELP loans
    • be enrolled in an eligible course at your provider by the census date (your provider can tell you if your course is eligible)
    • submit the Request for FEE-HELP form to your provider by the census date
    • not have already borrowed up to your HELP loan limit.

    Permanent residents can only get FEE-HELP for approved bridging studies.

    If you are studying at a non-university, you will also need to meet the ‘pass rate’ requirements.

    You can find out more information on the StudyAssist website at https://www.studyassist.gov.au/fee-help or speak to a Course and Careers Advisor and we can guide you through the process.

  • Can I apply for FEE-HELP?

    To be eligible for FEE-HELP you need to be an Australian citizen , and have a tax file number. You must also be studying at an approved higher education provider, such as Torrens University Australia.

    You can find out more information on the StudyAssist website at https://www.studyassist.gov.au/fee-help or contact us and we can guide you through the process.

  • How do I apply for FEE-HELP?

    If you receive an offer from Torrens University Australia, and you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be eligible for FEE-HELP. You will need to complete a Commonwealth Assistance Form if you want to defer payment of some, or all, of your tuition fees. You will need to quote your tax file number or provide a Certificate of Application for a Tax File Number. The form must be completed before the due date.

    You can find out more information on the StudyAssist website at https://www.studyassist.gov.au/fee-help or speak to our Course and Careers Advisors and we can guide you through the process.

  • Is there a FEE-HELP limit?

    For 2020, the HELP loan limit is $106,319 for most students. The Australian Government publishes the HELP Loan limit on their website.

    FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible fee-paying students to pay their tuition costs. Eligible students can borrow up to the FEE-HELP limit to pay their tuition fees. Note: Any loan fees that were applied to study prior to January 1, 2019 will not count towards your FEE-HELP limit.

    Students repay the loan to the Australian Government through the tax system once a student reaches the minimum income threshold level for repayment, which for 2019-20 is $45,881.

    You can find out more information on the StudyAssist website at https://www.studyassist.gov.au/fee-help or Contact Us and we can guide you through the process.

  • What courses are available for FEE-HELP?
    To find out more, visit How to Apply.
  • What is FEE-HELP?

    FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible full-fee-paying students pay their tuition costs.

    You must be studying at an approved FEE-HELP provider in order to access a FEE-HELP loan, such as Torrens University Australia.

    A FEE-HELP loan does not cover costs like accommodation, laptops or textbooks, and must be repaid once you start earning above a certain income threshold.

    To find out more, visit the Study Assist website: https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/fee-help.

  • How do I apply?

    Applying is easy and can be done online by filling out the apply form. If you have any difficulty, please contact a Course and Careers Advisor, who can talk you through the process.

    ALL SA/SACE and Victorian high school students must apply through SATAC and/or VTAC. Search for Torrens University Australia, Billy Blue College of Design or Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School. International applicants may also need to demonstrate compliance with relevant legislative requirements, for example, requirements for student visas (this does not apply for online study outside of Australia).

  • How will I know if my application has been processed?
    Our Course and Careers Advisors will help you through every step of the application process and provide you with updates. If your application is successful, you will receive an offer letter via email.
  • I am having trouble with my application. Who can help?
    Our friendly Course and Careers Advisors are available to answer all your questions and guide you through the application process. Fill out the contact us form and one of them will reach out to you.
  • How can I contact Torrens University Australia?
    The best way to get in contact with Torrens University Australia is to fill out the Contact us form or call 1300 575 803.
  • How do I apply for a scholarship?

    To find out how to apply for scholarships in Australia, visit Scholarships.

    All faculties of Torrens University Australia offer scholarships for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Depending on the scholarship type, we don’t just look at your academic record, we want to know what makes you unique in terms of things such as activities, leadership skills and hobbies. When you speak to one of our Course and Career Advisors, let them know you wish to be considered for a scholarship in your application form. They will show you how to apply for a scholarship.

  • What type of scholarships do you offer?

    We offer scholarships in different areas. These include Alumni, Industry, Indigenous, International, Business, Hospitality, Hotel Management, Nursing, Health, and Design, and Creative Technology.

    To find out more, visit Scholarships or let one of our Course and Career Advisors know you wish to be considered for a scholarship in your application.

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