Overview

Cut through the noise with a design portfolio that sets you apart from competitors. Make impactful visual statements through Swinburne’s Diploma of Graphic Design. Attend practical workshops and online activities to hone creative and conceptual skills. Respond to professional-style design briefs using tools such as Adobe Suite, After Effect and InDesign. Emerge ready for a career in film, TV, web design, advertising and more.

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

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training
There’s still time to start in Semester 1

Don’t wait another year to start your undergrad or TAFE study. Start your application now and be in class by the end of February.

Skills you’ll learn

  • Environmental design
  • Communication 
  • Problem solving
  • Technical skills
  • Adobe Suite

Your career opportunities

  • Graphic designer
  • Web designer
  • Publisher

Key codes

Hawthorn VTAC code
3400278114
International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Location options

Admissions

To enter this qualification, individuals must provide evidence of their technical skills and ability to:

  • produce multiple examples of graphic design work that meets different design requirements
  • produce typography that supports the overall design solution
  • use graphic design industry software (e.g. Adobe)

Applicants will be required to provide a folio of work.

Skills may have been acquired through personal or work experience, or through formal study.

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

Other requirements

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

Technical requirements

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

Online digital units require students to download and use the Swinburne supported software such as the Adobe Creative Suite.

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 Diploma of Graphic Design is a 1-year program delivered over three semesters. Classes are scheduled up to 25 hours per week including online units, additional study hours may also be required to prepare and complete tasks.

9
Core units
+
10
Elective units
=
Diploma
Indicative nominal course hours: 1165

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Refine drawing and other visual representation tools
Core unit, 80.0 credit points
CUAACD531
Develop and extend design skills and practice
Core unit
CUADES413
Research visual communication history and theory
Core unit
CUAGRD501
Produce graphic designs for 2-D and 3-D applications
Core unit
CUAGRD502
Produce typographic design solutions
Core unit
CUAGRD503
Create and manipulate graphics
Core unit
CUAGRD514
Design and manipulate complex layouts
Core unit
CUAGRD515
Develop graphic design practice to meet industry needs
Core unit
CUAGRD516
Present a body of own creative work
Core unit
CUAPPR513
Elective units
Work with photomedia in creative practice
Elective unit, 65.0 credit points
CUAACD522
Research and apply light and colour
Elective unit, 55.0 credit points
CUAACD534
Refine 2-D design ideas and processes
Elective unit
CUAACD536
Design specifications for animation and digital visual effects
Elective unit
CUAANM513
Create user interfaces
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
CUADIG413
Design digital applications
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
CUADIG512
Design interactions
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
CUADIG516
Develop graphic designs for the built environment
Elective unit, 55.0 credit points
CUAGRD615
Develop graphic designs for packaging
Elective unit, 65.0 credit points
CUAGRD616
Develop professional illustrations
Elective unit, 70.0 credit points
CUAILL511

2024 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)

$17,690

Skills first government-subsidised place* ($AUD)

$11,900

Yearly fee* ($AUD)

$0.00

2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)

$0.00

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

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)

$18,097

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)

$351.00

SSAF fee* ($AUD)

$351.00

Scholarships

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.

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
CUA50720
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.

Apply through VTAC

International students currently studying Year 12 in Australia must apply through VTAC. VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria. 

VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria.

Hawthorn VTAC code
3400278114
Apply through VTAC
Start dates
Location
Last date to apply
Start dates
July intake
Location
Hawthorn
Last date to apply
26-June-2024
Start dates
01-July-2024
Start dates
Location
Start dates
July intake
Location
Hawthorn
Start dates
01-July-2024
Upcoming events
Welcome Back Week
26-February-2024
Orientation: UniLink Courses
29-February-2024
Swinburne Innovation Challenge
26-June-2024
  • Georgia surrounded my illustrated green plants and a green monkey sitting on her shoulders

    I learned how to look at designs critically. My illustrations, and their composition, colour and technique, improved dramatically and I was a finalist in the Australian Good Design Award for student packaging. Now, I’m working as a freelance illustrator and designer in one of the illustration hubs of the world – the UK. 

    Georgia , Diploma of Graphic Design