Information on this page is for Australian residents

2 years full time or longer for part time
Delivery mode: 
Face to Face

Applications for next intake due 31 December 2018


Open the door for a creative and rewarding career designing buildings with an Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) at Victoria Polytechnic.

You’ll become proficient in the design, presentation and documentation process for residential, industrial and commercial buildings. With this qualification and the required industry experience, you’ll be eligible to register as a drafting practitioner through the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

This course combines hands-on learning, industry projects and theoretical training. You’ll develop specialist skills and knowledge in:

  • construction technology
  • design solutions and producing working drawings
  • building codes and compliance
  • computer-aided drafting (CAD)
  • designing safe and sustainable buildings
  • complex project management
  • small business planning.

Everything you learn at Victoria Polytechnic has direct links to the real world. You’ll learn practical skills through a mix of sketching and design work and training in the latest computer-aided drafting (CAD) software. Classes are held at our new state-of-the-art trades hub at our Sunshine Campus, a sustainable training facility with modern high-tech labs. Learning with us means you’ll get the hands-on learning to be job-ready when you graduate.

You’ll learn from teachers who have valuable industry contacts and the latest industry-standard skills.  You’ll also develop links with industry and professional experience through:

  • industry projects
  • site visits
  • industry simulation activities.

This course is recognised by the Building Designers Association of Victoria and by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). It is the prerequisite qualification for application to become a registered building practitioner (draftsperson) in Victoria. To be registered with the VBA, you must also have one year of practical industry experience.

VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.

Our students can attend Learning Hubs at one of five VU campuses. We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Our programs include:

  • workshops
  • drop-in sessions
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available for all students.

Need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our experienced Victoria Polytechnic course advisers to get your questions answered.

Request a call back

Already a VU student?

To transfer into this course from another apply online at our Admissions centre.

Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

Build a rewarding career in building design and architecture with Victoria Polytechnic.

Careers in building design

This course will prepare you to work as a building designer or draftsperson in residential, industrial and commercial areas. After one year of industry experience, you will be eligible to apply for registration as a sole practitioner in Victoria, in Building Design (Architectural) and Building Design (Interior).

Career opportunities for building design professionals are varied. Upon graduation, you’ll be ready for entry-level design positions in the building and architecture industry, and even in engineering.

Graduates of this course find employment in a range of settings, including working for:

  • registered building practitioners
  • architects
  • builders and building designers
  • surveying bodies
  • greening bodies
  • other design professionals.

Example job titles include:

  • building design draftsperson
  • architectural technician/drafter/designer
  • building contractor
  • architect’s assistant
  • project administrator
  • commercial/residential building designer.

Job prospects are good, with employment for architectural technicians and draftspeople expected to grow strongly over the next five years (JobOutlook).

The course is also an excellent stepping stone to other qualifications in fields such as architecture, building surveying, engineering, project management, town planning, or interior design.

On completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry into the following degrees and in some cases receive credit for your study:

You will be credited for up to 144 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

Find out more about our study pathways to VU

Course structure

To be awarded the 22268VIC Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural), participants are required to successfully complete all 21 core units.

Participants who do not complete the full course will be issued with a Statement of Attainment for the unit(s) successfully completed.

The proposed target group for this course includes students who have completed the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (VCE in Victoria) and mature age students seeking employment in building design, both in small and large building design and architect businesses covering domestic and commercial developments. It also includes qualified tradespeople from allied trades in the building and construction industry and existing workers in building design who wish to upgrade their current qualifications or apply for registration to become a registered building practitioner.

This program is a state accredited and nationally recognised qualification that enables graduates to work for registered building practitioners, architects and other design professionals in related industries. Graduates seeking to register as a building practitioner and practice as a sole practitioner must satisfy the requirements set out by the Building Regulations 2006 for the category of Building Design DP-AD (Architectural). These requirements currently mandate the prescribed qualification for registration as the 22268VIC Advanced Diploma in Building Design (Architectural) plus 12 months practical experience to the satisfaction of the BPB. The 22268VIC Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) has replaced the previous qualifications for the purposes of registration to practice as a building designer in the State of Victoria.

Currently, the Building Practitioners Board (BPB) of the Victorian Building Authority requires an Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) as the minimum educational requirement for registration as part of the Building Regulations (2006) of Victoria. From 2013, the 22268VIC Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) will be the only Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) that is available in Australia. Building designers design buildings and develop working drawings and documentation for all components in the construction of residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Career opportunities for graduates include working for building design organisations, architects and building contractors in both small and large commercial enterprises or government departments. Niche areas of employment associated with building design include restoration of old buildings, commercial kitchen design and as documentation technicians for specialists, manufacturers and suppliers. At this time this curriculum was developed, a person wishing to register with the Building Practitioners Board as a practitioner in the category of draftsperson (architectural) must demonstrate an appropriate level of building industry experience and have attained the Advanced Diploma in Building Design (Architectural).

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take, and optional \'elective\' units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type: VET

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full-fee paying place.

If you enrol in a:

  • Government subsidised place, you’ll pay a VET tuition fee and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee and course materials contribution.
  • full-fee paying place, you’ll pay the full-fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).

Calculate your course fees.

Find out:

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.

Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Applicants must align to Level 3 of the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.

Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.

How to apply

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

Before you apply

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

  • Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
  • Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.

Apply direct to VU

Apply direct to VU using our admission centre submit applications for one or more courses, track and save your progress and upload additional information.

Direct applications are due on 31 December 2018

Apply direct to VU

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (remember to check your Spam folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

Enquire now

Please fill out the form below, and we'll get back to you shortly.

Information marked with an asterisk * is required.

Please note that if changes to this course occur, VU will notify students as soon as possible.

At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.