1 year full time
Delivery mode:
Face to Face
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Build the foundation for a career in the graphic design industry with a Diploma of Graphic Design at Victoria University Polytechnic.

This course will give you the technical skills and knowledge to produce artwork for commercial purposes using both traditional and electronic methods. You’ll develop a sound understanding of the design process and be ready to solve a range of visual communication problems.

During your studies, you’ll learn to create design concepts from a brief both efficiently and economically. You’ll build your personal portfolio while developing specialist skills for advertising and multimedia in:

  • digital design
  • illustration
  • calligraphy
  • layout
  • typography
  • context.

You’ll also become proficient in the use of industry-standard software including Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

Everything you learn at Victoria University Polytechnic has direct links to the real world. You’ll develop practical skills through hands-on learning. This course is taught at the Footscray Nicholson Campus which is emerging as a creative industries hub.

You’ll have access to the latest industry-standard equipment and software.

Studying at Victoria University Polytechnic means you’ll have unique opportunities to engage with the creative arts community and industry.  You’ll benefit from VU’s links to the creative community through a calendar of events and functions that run year round. For example, Diploma of Graphic Design students recently showcased their work in the States of Blue West Projections Festival (as part of Footscray University Town and the VU Centenary celebrations).

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, including Footscray Nicholson.

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.


Gain the technical skills to produce artwork for commercial purposes using traditional and electronic methods.

Careers in graphic design

Graphic designers work within the commercial, government and non-profit sectors, working across both print and digital media. You could find employment working for a design agency, running your own business, or as an in-house designer for an organisation, company or institution.

Employment for graphic designers is expected to grow strongly over the next five years(JobOutlook).

Potential job titles include:

  • graphic designer
  • illustrator
  • web designer
  • multimedia designer.

You may find employment in areas such as:

  • advertising and promotion
  • art direction
  • branding
  • corporate identity
  • instructional design
  • packaging
  • publishing
  • signage
  • web design.

Course structure

To be awarded CUA50715 Diploma of Graphic Design, a student must successfully complete a total of nineteen (19) units of competency, comprising of:

  • nine (9) core units, and;

  • ten (10) elective units, of which:

  • six (6) units must be selected from the electives listed within the CUA50715 Diploma of Graphic Design qualification;

  • four (4) units may be selected from the remaining listed electives or any currently endorsed training package qualification or accredited course at Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma level.

Elective units must be relevant to the work environment and the qualification, maintain the integrity of the AQF alignment and contribute to a valid vocational outcome.

This qualification reflects the role of individuals who combine technical, creative and conceptual skills to create designs that meet client requirements and solve a range of visual communication challenges. Practice at this level is underpinned by application of design theory and practice and the ability to analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources to generate design solutions.

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 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 must provide evidence of their ability to:
- produce multiple examples of graphic design work that respond effectively to different design challenges;
- produce typography that supports the overall design solution, and;
- use graphic design industry software.
Skills may have been acquired through personal or work experience, or through formal study such as the completion of VCE Visual Communication Design, the Certificate IV in Screen and Media or the Certificate IV in Design.
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.

Applications for this course are not being taken at this time.

Browse our other Graphic design courses or send us an enquiry to be notified of updates relating to this course.

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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.