2 years full time
Delivery mode:
Face to Face with eLearning
Start date:
1 February 2021
Application due dates:
Applications for this course are currently being accepted.


Open the door for a creative and rewarding career designing buildings with an Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) at Victoria University 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 will 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 will 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 University 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 Design Matters National (the peak body for the building design profession) 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 University Polytechnic course advisers to get your questions answered.

Request a call back

Build a rewarding career in building design and architecture with Victoria University 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 pathway to other qualifications in fields such as architecture, building surveying, engineering, project management, town planning, or interior design.

Course structure

To be awarded the 22477VIC Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural), a student must successfully complete a total of twenty (20) core units of competency.


Recognition of Prior Learning and/or Credit Transfers

Previous completion of units at the Polytechnic or any other Registered Training Organisation and/or previous attainment of skills and knowledge may be credited towards this course. Units must satisfy the completion rules of the qualification and be assessed as appropriate by the Polytechnic.

The 22477VIC Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) provides an accredited training program and vocational outcomes for a person to be employed as a building designer or draftsperson. 

On completion of the 22477VIC Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) participants will have the skills and knowledge to design and develop architectural working drawings for the construction of residential, commercial and industrial buildings, thereby enabling them to: 

  • interpret client needs through sketch and design;
  • interpret building legislation;
  • utilise technology to develop plans and documentation for construction methods and specifications;
  • liaise with building surveyors and builders;
  • negotiate with local council; 
  • understand probable cost comparisons, and; 
  • process contract administration.

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 for this course: VET

Fee type definitions

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

Students who enrol in a:

  • Government subsidised place pay a VET tuition fee and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee and course materials contribution. This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding.
  • Full-fee paying place 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.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Applicants are best placed to successfully undertake this qualification if they have a demonstrated capacity in learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy that 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.

On completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry into the following degree 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 120 credit points of study.

Find out more about our study pathways to VU

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.

Find out more about applying for our courses.

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.

Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

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

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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.