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Associate Degree of Design & Visual Communication

THE PATH TO YOUR DREAM JOB IS LAID OUT RIGHT HERE.
SAE Design class
Available at
Brisbane, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
Fees
FEE Help available
Associate Degree of Design & Visual Communication
Domestic Fees
Entire Course Fee
$41,428 AUD
FEE-HELP Available
Associate Degree of Design & Visual Communication
International Fees
Entire Course Fee
$49,700 AUD
Duration(s)
4 Trimesters Full Time (Fast Track)

Complete your course faster by studying the 11 units over 15 months. (4 trimesters)

Associate Degree of Design & Visual Communication
Course Durations
4 Trimesters Full Time (Fast Track)

Complete your course faster by studying the 11 units over 15 months. (4 trimesters)

6 Trimesters Full Time

Whilst still classified as a full time study load, you will complete the 11 units over two years. (6 trimesters)

Part-time

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.

We understand that things can change, so you'll have the flexibility to change your study load throughout your course if you need to.
Start Date(s)
2022 - Brisbane - Trimester 2
Associate Degree of Design & Visual Communication
Start Dates
Brisbane
  • May 2022

  • September 2022

  • February 2022

Byron Bay
  • February 2022

  • May 2022

  • September 2022

Melbourne
  • February 2022

  • May 2022

  • September 2022

Perth
  • February 2022

  • May 2022

  • September 2022

Sydney
  • February 2022

  • May 2022

  • September 2022

Entry Requirements
Associate Degree of Design & Visual Communication
Domestic Entry Requirements
Domestic students must meet one of the following criteria:
Completion of an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (your Year 12 certificate) or equivalent; OR
Completion of an Australian Diploma level qualification (for example a TAFE Diploma) or higher; OR
Experience-Based Entry – for applicants who do not meet the requirements of entry criteria 1 or 2 above.
More info
Associate Degree of Design & Visual Communication
International Entry Requirements
International Entry Requirements
Minimum age requirements
International students seeking admission to SAE must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application.
Academic requirements
Successful completion of an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or an equivalent overseas qualification. Minimum overall pass is required.
English language requirements
International English Language Testing System (IELTS): A band score of 6 or higher for an Associate Degree/Bachelor course and 5.5 or higher for a Diploma course (only the Academic Test is accepted), OR
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 73 or higher for an Associate Degree/Bachelor course or 63 (internet-based test) for a Diploma course, OR
Pearson Test of English (PTE): Academic score of 46 (or higher) for an Associate Degree/Bachelor, and an Academic score of 36 (or higher) for a vocational education course, OR
Completion of Year 12 English at an Australian secondary school or college or equivalent with a minimum result of “Satisfactory” or equivalent.
More info

YOUR CAREER IN DESIGN BEGINS NOW

Design student
Develop advanced skills in industry-standard software packages Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe XD and After Effects.
Practical, immersive training All work is project-based, with no exams. Graduate with a portfolio to share with an employer or first client.
Cross discipline collaboration Use your design skills to work across film, audio, music, gaming and animation projects at SAE.
Flexible course options Completing two of the three stages of the Bachelor of Design & Visual Communication, this course provides an excellent pathway into the degree.

You'll learn the latest industry-standard software

Design & Visual Communication Skills

Branding and identity design Online and print design Digital image-making User-centred design

Course Structure

The Associate Degree consists of 4 of the 6 trimesters required in the Bachelor of Design and Visual Communication.
Trimester 1
Credit Points: 10

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.
Credit Points: 10

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
Credit Points: 10

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.
Credit Points: 10

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.
Trimester 2
Develop the essential technical design skills and the knowledge required to collaborate with other creative media students and professionals.
Credit Points: 10

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.
Credit Points: 10

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.
Credit Points: 20

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.
Trimester 3
Broaden your scope to work on complex multidisciplinary projects in accordance with industry-standard practices.
Credit Points: 10

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.
Credit Points: 30

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.
Trimester 4
Credit Points: 10

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.

Credit Points: 30

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.
CRICOS Course Codes
103289K (4 TRIMESTERS) 080180F (6 TRIMESTERS)
Australian Qualifications Framework
AQF Level: 6 FULLY ACCREDITED BY TEQSA
We consult closely with industry professionals so you can expect a course that’s highly relevant and equips you with sought-after skills.
SAE Design class

Career Outcomes

What jobs will this course lead me into?

  • Graphic Designer
  • Content Manager
  • Print and Digital Designer
  • Social Media Designer
  • UX Designer
  • UI Designer
Design Courses Duration

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.

Student Spotlight

CARDIN FARNHAM
CARDIN FARNHAM
Find out why Cardin Farnham is hungry to learn about design
Read more
ROO GUTHRIE
ROO GUTHRIE
Discover Roo's passion for design
Read more

Course FAQs

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’.

View all FAQs
CREDIT AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING

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.
Design

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