Associate Degree in Graphic Design
DurationFull-time 2 years
Become a graphic designer with this Associate Degree.
Graphic designers are visual problem solvers with highly specialised technical, creative and conceptual skills and knowledge in visual communication. You may specialise in a number of fields including corporate identity, book and magazine layout, advertising, branding, packaging, web design, way-finding and exhibition design.
This degree combines communication, design, technology and business. It will provide you with strong skills in finished art and design concept development, as well as in-depth knowledge of the design process. The rigorous research and learning experiences will challenge you to develop a deeper level of critical thinking enabling you to create high level and innovative design solutions and concepts.
You’ll explore many forms of visual and graphic communication, including:
- computer aided design
- packaging design
- publicity material
- social media marketing
You will also become competent in industry standard software including InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.
The focus of the second year is to give you a professional level of technical expertise, project management and teamwork skills, along with a clear understanding of industry business practices.
You will be qualified to take responsibility for the work of others in terms of establishing and monitoring systems to ensure the effective production of work.
The learning and teaching approach of this program emulates how you would work in a commercial design studio.
Through lectures, workshops, presentation and group discussions, you will learn from experienced staff that will treat you as a junior designer. Teachers are globally connected and divide their time between teaching and working in industry.
You’ll interact with key people from Australian and international companies on commercially-related projects during the program, as well as undertaking work experience.
Full-time students are expected to attend 20 hours of classes over 4 days and undertake approximately 15 hours of extra study and research per week. Most classes are held in computer labs to simulate industry processes. There are often concentrated periods of out-of-class work when assessments are due.
It is recommended that you own a computer, preferably an Apple Mac, which is the industry standard. Please note that this is a recommendation but is not a requirement, as students have access to computer labs on campus. Being a student enables you access to program specific and industry-standard software at discounted rates.
You will be assessed throughout each semester via project briefs, essays, reports, verbal and visual presentations, group projects, research and practical assignments.
All programs are delivered in English. You will have access to online resources through the myRMIT student portal.
In the first year, you will connect with leading local and international design companies through excursions, talks and competitions such as the Tudor Book cover competition and the Department of Justice postcard and brochure brief.
In the second year you’ll be engaged in work placement and connect with major design companies on industry projects. Past projects have included:
- Smiggle illustration brief
- Fuji Xerox spot varnish project
- Océ paper sampler.
A graduate exhibition of portfolios is presented to industry at the end of the second year. Representatives review and provide you with individual feedback.
RMIT University is committed to providing you with an education that strongly links formal learning with professional or vocational practice.
The degree is currently exploring potential overseas study tours, providing you with the opportunity to meet industry figures and attend workshops and conferences.
RMIT’s Global Mobility supports students to undertake an exchange or short-term mobility activity with over 165 partner universities worldwide.
You will be introduced to creative and applied typography and finished art and explore:
- digital illustration
- digital design
- reprographics and prepress
- critical design thinking and problem solving
- copyright and ethical practice
- industry knowledge.
- extend your creative thinking and problem solving skills
- consolidate and extend your technical knowledge and skills
- develop your design language in graphics for the built environment, packaging and different communication devices
- produce a professional graphic portfolio to present to industry at the graduate exhibition.
This degree focuses on developing the ability to conceive, negotiate and realise design concepts for complex projects using sophisticated communication, organisational and project management skills.
You will engage in a number of individually directed projects and industry set briefs as well as work placement with design companies, agencies, print houses and studios. You will also have the opportunity to participate in an international study tour.
Choose a program structure
|Associate Degree in Graphic Design||Brunswick Campus||
2 years full-time - 4 semesters
2 years full-time
Choose a program structure
Program code: AD022
Graduates from this degree are highly sought after by agencies and design studios. You may also wish to undertake freelance or consultancy work or continue your studies in communication design.
You will graduate as a highly trained graphic designer, ready to start your own business or work for companies in Australia and overseas.
Graphic designers work in many different commercial and community contexts across both print and digital media.
Their work as professional designers may include or link to areas such as advertising and promotion, art direction, branding and corporate identity, instructional design, packaging, signage and web design.
As a graphic designer, daily activities may include:
- commercial area: create logos and artwork for products such as packaging or cafe menus
- electronics area: focus on graphics used for websites, commercials, TV and film
- advertising industry: create graphics for clients to sell a product or service through print or digital publications such as newspapers and magazines, or outdoor signage.
Graduates of this degree can continue on to become:
- desktop publishers and Mac operators
- graphic designers
- illustrators and finished artists
- graphic artists
- design/creative directors
- art directors
- design/project managers
- web designers.
This program is supported by a Program Advisory Committee that consists of industry representatives from a range of design areas who also offer support through industry placement and portfolio feedback.
You are able to join these organisation as a student member while studying,
- Australian Graphic Design Association AGDA
- Design Institute of Australia (DIA) (Please note: eligibility for full membership is based on a points system.)
Graduates can apply for associate membership and full membership once they have obtained their professional experience.
RMIT is committed to providing transparency to the admissions process. In line with this commitment, we provide you with information that will help in making informed choices about your undergraduate study options.
RMIT admits students from a range of educational pathways, including Year 12 results, previous higher education or vocational education study, work experience, and for some programs - interviews, auditions or portfolios.
Gain a better understanding of the Admission criteria for this program by viewing RMIT’s Admission information.
The highest level of education you have previously completed will determine which category applies to you.
Applicants with recent secondary education (current or within the past two years)
Successful completion of an Australian Year 12 senior secondary certificate of education or equivalent in 2016, 2017 or 2018. If applicable, this includes equity access schemes and any other adjustment factors.
School Network Access Program (SNAP)
The SNAP access scheme is designed to increase tertiary access and participation of eligible students from SNAP partner schools.
Applicants with Vocational Education and Training study
Satisfactory completion of an Australian Certificate IV or above (or equivalent).
Applicants with Higher Education study
Satisfactory completion of at least two courses (subjects) at an Australian undergraduate level (or overseas equivalent).
Applicants with Work and Life Experience
Successful completion of an Australian senior secondary certificate of education (Year 12) or overseas equivalent.
Prerequisites: VCE Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or at least 20 in English other than EAL (or equivalent) or achieve an overall score of at least 150 in the STAT multiple choice.
- complete and submit the Graphic Design pre-selection kit
- VTAC applicants must register and submit the selection kit
- All kits must be submitted by the dates noted below for each VTAC round:
- Early round (Non year 12 only): 27 September 2018
- Main round (All applicants): 2 November 2018
- All subsequent rounds (if places are available): 13 February 2019
- RMIT current or recent students please click the apply button to submit your direct application. The link to submit your pre-selection kit will appear on the applicant dashboard after you have submitted your application.
- All kits must be submitted by 13 February 2019*.
- *Kits will be assessed in the order they are received until this date unless places are filled prior.
- attend a folio presentation (some applicants).
- If further information is needed to make a selection decision you will be invited to present your folio.
- Folio presentations will be held in October (VTAC Early round) and November/December (VTAC main round). For all subsequent rounds and direct applicants, folio presentations will be arranged after you have submitted your application.
- Some applicants will be selected based on their pre-selection kit and will not be required to attend a folio presentation. These applicants will receive an advisory email by mid November.
- Advisory letters will be sent in late October (Early Round) and late December (Main round).
The selection kit requires:
- an applicant statement of no more than 250 words outlining why you would like to study Graphic Design
- a folio of 10-12 images of your work that demonstrates your interests and creative and conceptual thinking. It should also reflect your design, problem-solving and technical skills in:
- 2D and 3D design
- The use of typography
- The use of graphic design industry software
- Creative use of colour
Examples of work to consider including in your folio are: illustrations, technical drawings, paintings, graphic designs, photographs, models, sculpture, video, and/or 2D and 3D animation.
A variety of work that shows your potential 2D and 3D skills is preferred.
You should include evidence of how ideas were developed as well as a variety of finished works.
Provide a short statement for each piece of work describing the task and the outcome (maximum 50 words). Your folio of 10-12 images must be a single PDF (maximum 10MB), or a URL to a single webpage if online. Please provide their username and/or password to your online webpage if applicable.
Art and Design application tips
View the following videos for some practical application advice:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
The Indigenous Access Program will support your application into RMIT programs through an informal interview process with support from the Ngarara Willim Centre. Your relevant life, work, educational and training experience as preparation for study, in addition to any formal qualifications, are all considered.
Elite Athlete Program
The RMIT Elite Athlete Program (REAP) supports elite athlete and emerging athletes to achieve sporting and academic excellence.
You must have successfully completed an Australian Year 12 (or equivalent senior secondary school qualification) with a minimum 60% average (check calculator below).
You may also be considered if you have post-secondary work experience.
Equivalent qualifications may also include completion of the RMIT Foundation Studies program or a recognised post-secondary diploma in the relevant discipline with the required grades.
Meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee entry. Your application will still need to be assessed and accepted.
You are required to:
Submit a folio
Submit a folio of 10-12 images of your work that demonstrates your interests and creative and conceptual thinking. It should also reflect your design, problem-solving and technical skills in:
- 2D and 3D design
- the use of typography
- the use of graphic design industry software
- creative use of colour
Examples of work to consider including in your folio are: illustrations, technical drawings, paintings, graphic designs, photographs, models, sculpture, video, and/or 2D and 3D animation. A variety of work that shows your potential 2D and 3D skills is preferred. You should include evidence of how ideas were developed as well as a variety of finished works.
Provide a short statement for each piece of work describing the task and the outcome (maximum 50 words). Your folio of 10-12 images must be a single PDF (maximum 10MB), or a URL to a single webpage if online. Please provide the username and/or password to your online webpage if applicable.
Attend a folio presentation
You must present your folio at an assessment session. If you are living outside Melbourne, this can be conducted via email, phone or video call.
To study this program you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:
- IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.0 (with no individual band below 5.5)
- TOEFL (Paper Based Test): minimum score of 550 (TWE 4.0)
- TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 60 (with minimum of 10 in Reading, 9 in Listening, 16 in Speaking and 19 in Writing)
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 50 (with no communication band less than 42)
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 169 with no less than 162 in any component.
For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.
Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an Advanced Certificate at RMIT English Worldwide.
Eligible graduates of RMIT's Certificate IV in Design who achieve a minimum overall grade of Competency with Distinction (CDI) will be given automatic entry into first semester, first year only of the Associate degree program.
Graduates of the following program/s may be eligible to apply for exemptions:
If you successfully complete the Associate Degree in Graphic Design with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5, you will receive 4 semesters of advanced standing (equivalent to 192 credit points) in the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design). If you achieve below the minimum GPA, you may still apply and will need to submit a folio. Applicants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and credit is not guaranteed.
Alternatively, you may be eligible for entry into other RMIT undergraduate programs.
Entry for this program is through Commonwealth supported places (CSP).
2019 indicative fees
Commonwealth supported places (CSP) range from AU$6,566 to AU$10,958*.
* Amounts quoted are indicative fees per annum, and are based on a standard year of full-time study (96 credit points). A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load.
Student services and amenities fee (SSAF): AU$303 maximum fee for 2019.
Other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment.
Fees are adjusted on an annual basis and these fees should only be used as a guide.
Learn more about fees for undergraduate study.
Defer your payment
You may be eligible to apply for a HECS-HELP loan, which can be used to defer payment of up to the full amount of your student contribution fees. You may also be eligible to apply to defer payment of your SSAF through the SA-HELP loan scheme.
All undergraduate and honours degrees have Commonwealth supported places (CSP) available. In 2019, the annual student contribution amount (tuition fee) you will pay for a standard year of full-time study is between AU$6,566 to AU$10,958.
In a CSP, your tuition fees are subsidised by the Australian Government. Your share of the fee (student contribution) is set each year by the Australian Government and is determined by the discipline areas (bands) of the courses in which you enrol, not the overall program.
How much can I expect to pay for my Commonwealth supported place?
Courses (subjects) fall into one of three bands. The band determines the student contribution amount for the course.
Amounts listed in the table below are based on a standard, full-time study load (96 credit points per year) with all courses in the same band. A proportionate fee applies for more or less than the full-time study load or for enrolment in courses (subjects) from a combination of bands.
You can learn how to calculate your exact tuition fees for units from different bands at fees for Commonwealth supported students.
Maximum student contribution amount for Commonwealth supported places in 2019
Student contribution band by course (subject)
Maximum annual student contribution amount in 2019
Band 1: humanities, behavioural science, social studies, clinical psychology, foreign languages, visual and performing arts, education, nursing
$6,566 per standard year
Band 2: mathematics, statistics, computing, built environment, other health, allied health, science, engineering, surveying, agriculture
$9,359 per standard year
$10,958 per standard year
The Australian Government provides financial assistance via the HECS-HELP loan scheme, which allows eligible students (such as Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa) to defer payment of up to 100% of their student contribution.
How does a HELP loan work?
If your HECS-HELP and/or SA-HELP loan application is successful, the Australian Government will pay RMIT, on your behalf, up to 100% of your fees. This amount will become part of your accumulated HELP debt.
You will only start repaying your accumulated HELP debt to the Australian Government once you earn above the minimum income threshold for repayment, which is set each year by the Australian Government (this also applies if you are still studying).
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate your compulsory repayment for the year and include this on your income tax notice.
In addition to tuition fees, you will be charged an annual student services and amenities fee (SSAF), which is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.
The SSAF is calculated based on your enrolment load and the maximum fee for 2019 is $303.
For more information about calculating your actual SSAF see Paying SSAF.
You may also be required to purchase other items related to your program, including field trips, textbooks and equipment. These additional fees and expenses vary from program to program.
In addition to tuition fees you also need to pay for:
- Student services and amenities fee (SSAF) in each calendar year.
- Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) - Student visa holders must have cover for the total duration of their visa.
- Some programs incur additional expenses.
You also need to account for your living expenses. Estimate the cost of living in Melbourne.