Ready to make your creative portfolio pop? Sharpen your technical skills with our Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design. Work on client briefs across print, packaging, social media and UX design. Gain real industry experience, boosting your business and project management skills in the process. Graduate with the confidence to see your work come to life in industries including: film, television, advertising and digital communications.

This is a nationally approved vocational course that is recognised throughout Australia.

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training
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Discover the people and tech changing the world – and hear the stories behind it all. Meet them at Open Day on Sunday 28 July and see what’s possible at Swinburne.

Skills you’ll learn

  • Creative problem solving
  • Print production
  • Environmental design
  • Animation
  • Working in a team/individually
  • Concept development

Your career opportunities

  • Graphic designer
  • Web designer
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Digital content creator
  • Art director

Further education

Location options


To enter this qualification you must have:

  1. Completed a Diploma of Graphic Design.
  2. or a folio that demonstrates the ability to;
  • produce professional typography that demonstrates application of visual communication history and theory,
  • produce graphic designs for two-dimensional and three-dimensional applications,
  • create and manipulate graphics and design complex publication layouts.

Skills and knowledge may have been acquired through graphic design work experience or through formal study.

Successful completion of Australian Year 12, or equivalent overseas qualification.

Other requirements

Students will need access to a small practical workspace to continue working on projects remotely from time to time.

Technical requirements:

Students will also require technology and access to the internet to facilitate online classes including video and audio requirements.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Credit transfer

Credit transfer is the recognition of academic credits gained through formal study (i.e. units of competency) completed either at another institute or in another qualification. The total amount of credit will vary from individual to individual, based on the unit/s that have been successfully completed. 

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the process of transferring the skills and knowledge that you have acquired over your lifetime (irrespective of how they were obtained) against the requirements of the unit.  

RPL is an assessment process that requires you to provide evidence that demonstrates how you meet the requirements of the unit/s. The amount and types of evidence you will need to provide will depend on the unit requirements.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

Course structure

The Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design is a one-semester course. Classes schedule up to 18 hours per week including online units, additional hours are required to prepare and complete tasks. 

To obtain the Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design students must complete 15 units.

Core units
Elective units
Advanced Diploma
Course hours are estimated and may change based on study mode, unit choice, credits, or enrolment adjustments, total indicative nominal hours: 974

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief
Core unit, 65.0 credit points
Manage design realisation
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
Extend typographic design expertise
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
Engage in the business of graphic design
Core unit, 75.0 credit points
Originate graphic designs for complex briefs
Core unit, 75.0 credit points
Collaborate in professional creative projects
Core unit, 50.0 credit points
Elective units
Work with photomedia in creative practice
Elective unit, 65.0 credit points
Refine drawing and other visual representation tools
Elective unit, 80.0 credit points
Research and apply light and colour
Elective unit, 55.0 credit points
Create user interfaces
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
Design digital applications
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
Design interactions
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
Develop graphic designs for the built environment
Elective unit, 55.0 credit points
Develop graphic designs for packaging
Elective unit, 65.0 credit points
Develop professional illustrations
Elective unit, 70.0 credit points

2024 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)


Skills first government-subsidised place* ($AUD)


Yearly fee* ($AUD)


2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)


Fees are estimates only

Fees published on this page are estimates only and are subject to change depending on individual circumstances at the time of enrolment. The above fees apply for units studied in 2024 only and may change for units studied in future years. There may be additional costs related to learning material and equipment.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. International tuition fees are generally inclusive of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Skills first government-subsidised place

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. To qualify for a government-subsidised place, you must meet various eligibility criteria. The course you’ve applied for must also be offering government-subsidised places. Swinburne will determine your eligibility by conducting a full assessment of your eligibility during the course application process.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your Swinburne fees in person, via credit card, BPAY, or at Australia Post. Check to see if loans and employer sponsored training are also available.

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Financials
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.

Eligibility for VET student loans (VSL)

If you apply for a VET Student Loan, Swinburne must first verify your identity. If you are eligible, we will provide your enrolment information to the government so you can complete the application within their eCAF system.

The VET Student Loan amount for this course is capped. You must start repaying this loan once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold.

VET Student Loan amount* ($AUD)


Concessions rates for vocational students

Concession rates for Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs are also available if you self-identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and qualify for a government-subsidised training place under the Indigenous Completions Initiative.

The eligibility criteria are set by the Victorian Government and assessed by Swinburne in accordance with government directives, which are subject to change at any time.

Student services and amenities fee

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

From 1 January 2024, all Diploma level and above courses will contribute to the Student Services and Amenities fee. Below is the capped amount for 2023 as a guide ahead of fees for 2024 being announced.

Please refer to the Student Services Amenities Fee page for more information.

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

This amenities fee is included within your annual tuition fee listed above. The fee shown in the capped amount for 2024.

Please refer to the Student Services Amenities Fee page for more information.

SSAF fee* ($AUD)


SSAF fee* ($AUD)



Scholarship applications for 2024 are open. Scholarships at Swinburne are about providing opportunity, promoting equity and recognising excellence and achievement. We want you to reach your potential and achieve your life and career goals. 

Our handy guide will assist you to gather documents for your application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 30 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
Search for agents

Apply directly

Ready to take on a new challenge and reach your academic goals? If you already know which course you want to study and understand the entry requirements, what are you waiting for? Apply online! Remember, you cannot apply direct if you have an active VTAC application.

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Open Day 2024
  • Zhou fang a student with her arms crossed on a couch looking at the camera smiling

    I chose Swinburne because of its renowned graphic design course. Plus, the course structure is flexible enough to suit my busy life of study, work and family. My teachers are among the best I’ve had – they’re extremely dedicated and helpful. I’ve gained practical skills and I’m excited to start my placement in a design studio.

    Zhou Fang , Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design