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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Want to maximise your VTAC offers? Discover how to get more for your ATAR with Change of Preference tips and tools.

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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.

One of the following:

  • successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, such as an interstate or international Year 12 qualification
  • completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including certificates IV (completed), diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees and degrees).

You’ll be guaranteed a place in this course if you meet or exceed the ATAR Guaranteed Entry Score, provided you meet the course prerequisites.

If your ATAR is below the guaranteed entry score, you can still be offered a place as your ATAR may be adjusted based on subject bonuses, equity schemes or other factors. Use the above ATAR as a guide on your eligibility, and see the course handbook page for more information on entry requirements. 

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

Assess your eligibility for entry to Swinburne

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.

Book your Pearson Test of English

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about credit

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about RPL

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
Indicative nominal course 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 2023 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. All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Skills first government-subsidised place

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.

Learn more about Skills first government subsidies

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.

Find out more about fees

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.
Learn more about paying your fees

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)


Learn more about VET student loans

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.

Learn more about concession rates

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)


Learn more about SSAF


Scholarship applications for 2023 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.

Learn more about scholarships

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.

Learn more about scholarships

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
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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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  • 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