Plan your studiesStudy Design in Australia: Best Universities, Benefits, and More

Study Design in Australia: Best Universities, Benefits, and More

In an era of ever-increasing automation in many industries, creativity and innovation are always in demand. As a design student of any discipline, you will be able to hone your creative skills by utilising advanced technologies and learning new techniques. 

Australian universities offer some of the best curricula and facilities to support this learning journey, so if you’re considering studying here, it is an investment that is worth making. 

Below, we will share everything you need to know about studying design in Australia, including the benefits of studying here, entry requirements, costs, and the best universities in this field.

Benefits of Studying Design in Australia

The advantages of studying design in Australia are numerous; the country is, after all, one of the top global destinations for international students

  • Modern, high-ranking universities. Australian universities are modern and rank among some of the best in the world for design, with universities such as RMIT University and the University of Technology Sydney ranking among the top 30 universities globally. 
  • Innovative programs. Carefully designed curricula, advanced facilities, a hands-on approach to teaching, and excellent student-teacher ratios are just a few of the reasons why studying design in Australia is a good decision. 
  • Excellent job prospects and job growth. If you enjoy life in Australia and want to work here after graduation, a design degree is a pathway to some excellent job prospects in the country. A variety of design jobs are in-demand and expect to grow in the following years.
    • According to Labour Market Insights, the occupation category of Fashion, Industrial and Jewellery Designers is expected to grow very strongly, with a 28.4% projected growth during the 2021-2026 period. 
    • The occupation category of Graphic and Web Designers, and Illustrators has a projected growth rate of 21.7% for this period, and that of Interior Designers has a 19.1% growth rate. 

Careers with a Design Degree

Depending on the design discipline you choose to study, there is a variety of industries where the skills this degree teaches you are applicable. For example, product designers can work in science, technology, manufacturing, companies producing consumer goods, and much more. Through a degree in design, you can tailor your studies according to your interests and specialise in a field that leads to roles such as:

  • Animator
  • Art Director
  • Digital Marketer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Industrial Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Product Designer
  • User Experience (UX) Designer

Entry Requirements for Design Degrees in Australia

To be eligible for admission to design degree programs in Australia, you must meet a set of minimum requirements and prerequisites that are set by the university you are applying to. Criteria can vary from program to program; therefore, we advise you to inquire more about the program of your choice through information provided on the university’s website or by contacting a representative of the university.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

The general requirements of undergraduate design degree programs in Australian universities typically involve proof of successful completion of Australian Year 12 or an equivalent secondary school qualification. 

A good level of English proficiency is also required, which you can prove through recognised English language test results such as IELTS Academic (a 6.5 to 7.0 overall score is typically required by most universities). 

Some universities can additionally ask you to submit a selection task or provide samples of your work/projects.

Postgraduate Degree Requirements

To qualify for admission to a design postgraduate degree, most universities in Australia require you to have successfully completed a recognised bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit average ranging from 60% to 70%. 

Some universities have different durations of postgraduate design degree programs such as two, one-and-a-half, and one-year programs. You can typically qualify for accelerated programs if you have completed an Honours degree in a related field of study or you submit proof of professional work experience in your chosen field of study.

Cost of Design Degrees in Australian Universities

As an important factor when choosing a university, we are sure you want to know how much a design degree will cost in Australia. Since fees are individually set by universities, these can vary from one institution to another, as well as depending on the type of degree, number of credits, design discipline, etc. 

In general, undergraduate design degrees at the best universities in Australia for design range from AUD 33,000 per year to AUD 48,760 per year. The cost of postgraduate design degrees at these universities can range from AUD 31,200 to AUD 48,576 per year. 

Here is the full list of the 2023 undergraduate design degree costs at the best Australian universities for design:

RMIT UniversityBachelor of Design (Communication Design)AUD 41,280 per year
University of Technology SydneyBachelor of Design in Visual CommunicationAUD 42,816 per year
Monash UniversityBachelor of DesignAUD 37,200 per year
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)AUD 33,000 per year
Swinburne University of TechnologyBachelor of DesignAUD 38,160 per year
The University of MelbourneBachelor of DesignAround AUD 37,032-48,760 per year
The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)Bachelor of DesignAUD 40,025 per year

These are the postgraduate design degree costs in 2023 at the top Australian universities in the field of design: 

RMIT UniversityMaster of Communication DesignAUD 38,400 per year
University of Technology SydneyMaster of DesignAUD 48,576 per year
Monash UniversityMaster of DesignAUD 40,000 per year
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)Master of Digital CommunicationAUD 31,200 per year
Swinburne University of TechnologyMaster of DesignAUD 35,520 per year
The University of MelbourneMaster of Production DesignAUD 36,128 per year
The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)Master of DesignAUD 37,420 per year
* All fees presented above are indicative and apply only to international students.

Design Degree Program Structures

Australian design degree length and program structures depend on the degree level and the university. Most bachelor’s degree programs are three to four years long full-time, whereas the duration of design master’s degree is typically one to two years full-time. 

Design program structures will typically involve design studio courses, design theory courses, and elective courses that allow you to learn new skills across different disciplines. Studio courses will focus on teaching you project-based skills and allowing you to test new approaches to design. 

Theoretical components will teach you fundamental design knowledge and components. Some universities also include a professional practice component to help you prepare for your future career.

Best Universities to Study Design in Australia

As a global leader in education, Australia is home to high-quality educational institutions; however, these universities made the list of the best universities to study design in Australia:

RMIT University

Ranked first in Australia and 15th globally in the field of art and design, RMIT University offers numerous undergraduate and postgraduate programs in various disciplines of design. Here are some of the design programs you may be interested in:

  • Bachelor of Design (Animation and Interactive Media)
  • Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)
  • Bachelor of Design (Digital Media)
  • Bachelor of Design (Games)
  • Bachelor of Fashion (Enterprise)
  • Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Interior Design (Honours)
  • Graduate Certificate in Animation, Games and Interactivity
  • Graduate Certificate of Design Innovation and Technology
  • Master of Animation, Games and Interactivity
  • Master of Communication Design
  • Master of Design Futures
  • Master of Design Innovation and Technology
  • Master of Interior Design
  • Master of Design (Research)
  • PhD (Design)

University of Technology Sydney

The University of Technology Syndey is another Australian university that ranked in the top 100 global universities for art and design. You can find a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in design including:

  • Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication
  • Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles
  • Bachelor of Design in Product Design
  • Graduate Certificate in Social and Service Design
  • Graduate Diploma in Design
  • Graduate Certificate in Design
  • Graduate Certificate in Social and Service Design
  • Master of Design
  • Master of Interaction Design
  • Master of Design (Research)
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Monash University

With more than 440,000 alumni and 86,000 current students, Monash is one of the largest Australian universities, with a history of academic excellence dating back to 1958. This university offers a variety of design programs, such as:

  • Bachelor of Design (Collaborative Design, Communication Design, Industrial Design, and Spatial Design specialisations)
  • Bachelor of Design (Honours)
  • Master of Design (Advanced Studies in Design, Collaborative Design, Interaction Design, and Multimedia Design specialisations)
  • Master of Design (by Research)
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Known for its strategy as ‘the university for the real world’, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) offers insightful and hands-on programs in the field of design. Here are some of the undergraduate and graduate design programs offered:

  • Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)
  • Bachelor of Design (Fashion)
  • Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design)
  • Bachelor of Design (Interaction Design)
  • Bachelor of Creative Industries
  • Master of Digital Communication
  • Master of Philosophy in Design

Swinburne University of Technology

The Swinburne University of Technology was founded more than 110 years ago, and has since then gained an international reputation for teaching and research excellence. This university offers a wide range of design programs:

  • Bachelor of Design (Branded Environments, Communication Design, Motion Design, Photomedia, UX Interaction Design majors)
  • Bachelor of Design (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Design (Interior Architecture) (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Games and Interactivity
  • Bachelor of Animation
  • Graduate Certificate of Design
  • Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design
  • Master of Design
  • Master of Research in Design
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Design

The University of Melbourne

Ranked as the best Australian university overall, the University of Melbourne is an elite educational institution with innovative design programs, among other fields of study. These are some of the undergraduate and graduate programs in design offered here:

  • Bachelor of Design (Graphic Design, Performance Design, User Experience Design majors)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (Production)
  • Bachelor of Design (Honours)
  • Graduate Certificate in Design for Health and Wellbeing
  • Graduate Certificate in Environmental Design
  • Master of Production Design

The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney)

With world-class facilities and resources, the School of Art & Design at the University of New South Wales is a great choice for future design students. Some of the undergraduate and graduate art programs at UNSW Sydney include:

  • Bachelor of Design (Integrated design, Industrial design, and Computational design specialisations)
  • Bachelor of Interior Architecture (Honours)
  • Graduate Certificate in Design
  • Graduate Certificate in Simulation & Immersive Technologies
  • Graduate Diploma in Design
  • Master of Design
  • Master of Simulation & Immersive Design

You will learn design principles, technical skills, and software as part of a high-quality educational program provided by Australian universities, but you will also have the chance to make lifelong friends. You will have the opportunity to learn among peers from various cultural backgrounds, experience life in a highly-develop country, and live in some of the most student-friendly cities in the world.

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