Associate Degree of Design & Visual CommunicationTHE PATH TO YOUR DREAM JOB IS LAID OUT RIGHT HERE.
Complete your course faster by studying the 11 units over 15 months. (4 trimesters)
Complete your course faster by studying the 11 units over 15 months. (4 trimesters)
Whilst still classified as a full time study load, you will complete the 11 units over two years. (6 trimesters)
If you want to take a little longer, that’s ok too. We’ll help you work out the best study load to suit your needs.
Note: Part-time is not available for international students.
YOUR CAREER IN DESIGN BEGINS NOW
Learn in a collaborative, studio-based environment where your teachers are also your mentors.
SAE has a range of approaches to learning and teaching to provide flexibility in the face of changing circumstances as required.
Learn advanced-level industry-standard software packages, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe XD and After Effects.
You'll learn the latest industry-standard software
Design & Visual Communication Skills
Course StructureThe Associate Degree consists of 4 of the 6 trimesters required in the Bachelor of Design and Visual Communication.
In this unit, you will learn about the ideas and concepts of design. You will discover the art of presenting and defending a point of view in a convincing and effective way by referring to valid and trustworthy sources of information. Thinking about and referencing the work of others helps you to develop critical thinking skills. By using tools on the internet and working with others you will expand what you alone can achieve. In your projects, you will delve into the history and language of the design industry in order to develop an understanding of your place and purpose within it.
In this unit you will learn about the principles of design through creating vector graphics in the form of motifs, pictorial marks and logos using Adobe Illustrator and other tools. Project briefs and activities in this unit introduce the principles of design; these are visual rules that can be applied in the creation of any image to enhance their impact, attractiveness and ability to communicate. The principles of design are useful and essential to your ongoing design practice
In this unit you will learn about illustration and the creative and technical production of digital images using photoshop and other tools. Working by hand and digitally you will explore a range of drawing techniques and tools including processes of iteration and refinement. You will investigate visual storytelling through the development of a series of images. Storytelling through your creative practice is essential to your ongoing design practice.
In this unit you will learn about designing page layouts for print through the combination of images and type. Your work will include the design of posters, brochures and flyers. You will investigate historical design styles; analysing, adapting and applying these styles in your work. You will explore the typographic art of arranging letters and words to make copy easy to read, visually appealing, and stylistically appropriate. Knowing how to use typography and layout effectively is essential to your ongoing design practice.
This unit aims to develop your understanding of the creative media industries by studying the evolution of the industries over time. Change, evolution and disruption within creative media industries occur regularly and change the way the industries operate by displacing an existing market, industry, technology, person or process and creating something new which is more valuable. Change, evolution and disruption are inevitable and both creative and destructive processes.
In order to develop a career within the creative media industries, you will need to prepare for this disruption and evolve your employability skills over time. The key to maintaining this career is developing hard and soft skills, refining current skills sets and anticipating future changes in required skill sets. You will need to understand how the audience informs and influences the production and distribution of creative media products and how this in turn affects the skills required to succeed within the creative media industries.
You will study these topics alongside your colleagues in other disciplines, to develop an understanding of the intersections between various creative media industries.
In this module you will learn to understand the user or target audience as part of your design process, through an exploration of UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) design. By applying the tools of UX design such as personas and user journeys and those of UI design such as prototyping, iterating and testing you will explore the creation of websites or apps that provide an ideal user experience.
This unit will simulate being in a real-world studio. Your designs will respond to larger project briefs with multiple deliverables, and you will engage in teamwork. This means time management, communication and scheduling will be crucial. You will learn to consider projects strategically in terms of your client’s brand or identity, and how these can be communicated visually and through associated text and structures. You are encouraged to explore and seek out new contemporary methods and tools for design and communication.
In this studio setting your facilitator will act as your project manager, producer, mentor and colleague.
This unit will be holistically assessed based on the criteria outlined in the unit guide. Teamwork, collaborative skills, and engagement with specific feedback processes are emphasised in this unit, as you further refine and reflect on a set of Transferable Skills.
In CIM210 you will be working on interdisciplinary projects that relate to some of the most important concepts in contemporary media production. You will learn practical and analytical skills in order to help you develop your creative powers and meet briefs that take you out of your comfort zone. You will need to bring all of the skills you have learned so far: technical skills, research skills, communication skills and a growth mindset, and be prepared to encounter new concepts and new ways of working.
Like in Studio 1, this unit will simulate being in a real-world studio. Your designs will respond to larger project briefs with multiple deliverables, and you will engage in teamwork. Your teams may also include students from other disciplines or campuses. This means consideration of your teammates' cultural and industry contexts as well as thoughtful and conscientious time management, communication and scheduling will be crucial. Problem framing will be a key consideration in order to provide clear goals that will allow effective teamwork. You will learn to consider projects strategically in terms of your client’s brand or identity, and how these can be communicated visually and through associated text and structures. You are encouraged to explore and seek out new contemporary methods and tools for design and communication, and to enhance your existing skills.
Media and culture are not simply entertainment, but something that affects the “real world”, our everyday lives, and our worldviews. As such, we will not ask whether media accurately reflect the real world but instead ask how media shape, reinforce, and challenge power structures that influence our understanding of the world and ourselves. This unit takes a ‘critical theory’ approach to analyze media and culture. In this unit, you will explore media texts, contexts and meaning, society and subjectivity, pop culture aesthetics, and critical cultural discourses that inform creative media practices.
Drawing on a range of creative content and analytical frameworks, you will be encouraged to develop ways of thinking about media and culture that demonstrate a broad awareness of aesthetic principles and stylistic trends; subjectivity, agency, ethics, and relations of power; contexts, disciplines and discursive formations. In support of this exploration, you will produce a range of media artifacts that explore and contextualize the relationship of media to culture through individual analysis, collaborative and interdisciplinary creative practice, and critical reflection.
Like in Studio 2, this unit will simulate being in a real-world studio. You will build on skills gained earlier in the course with various modes of design but with a stronger strategic focus and with a set of skills and mindset that seeks out and allows you to collaborate effectively.
You will actively explore the benefits of bringing creatives from other disciplines into your teams in terms of the value this brings to your campaigns. Your teams may include students from other disciplines or campuses and external clients. You will consider how your transferable skills enhance your own identity as an emerging professional. This means consideration of your teammates and clients’ cultural and industry contexts as well as thoughtful and conscientious time management, communication and scheduling.
Crafting compelling driving questions will allow you to attract interested, engaged and motivated creative teams. You will reflect on your scholarly practice looking for connections to your design practice.
You will learn to consider projects strategically in terms of your client’s identity, and also your own identity as a professional, by considering what you can personally provide to allow for successful and satisfying projects.
What jobs will this course lead me into?
- Graphic Designer
- Content Manager
- Print and Digital Designer
- Social Media Designer
- UX Designer
- UI Designer
Easy transition into the Bachelor of Design & Visual Communication
SAE Diploma, Associate and Bachelor Degrees are structured in an integrated course framework.
This means that when you complete an SAE Associate Degree of Design & Visual Communication you will be awarded the maximum credit points available, providing you with the opportunity to seamlessly transition into the higher-level Bachelor degree qualification if you choose to do so.
All SAE courses have a focus on practical, hands-on delivery. The amount of practical time you experience during your studies does vary, depending on your course. You will also have opportunities to access campus resources and facilities outside of class time, during campus opening hours.
You can apply for SAE courses quickly and easily online. Go to our Apply now page for further information.
FEE‑HELP is a ln Australian Governement loan scheme that assists eligible fee paying students pay all or part of their tuition fees. It cannot be used for additional study costs such as accommodation or text books. The total amount of FEE‑HELP a person can use is known as the ‘FEE‑HELP limit’.
Once a person begins using FEE‑HELP, the amount of FEE‑HELP they have left to use is known as their ‘FEE‑HELP balance’.
SAE may recognise your prior learning and may grant credit towards satisfying the requirements for a VET or a higher-level program. This is applied where previous learning is considered equivalent to the content and learning outcomes prescribed for units within the program.
For full details, please refer to SAE's policy on recognition of prior learning and credit transfers.