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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Course

This course entry should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Art and Design

Managing facultyArt and Design
Abbreviated titleBDes(VisComm)
CRICOS code030599D
Total credit points required144
Standard duration of study (years)3 years FT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Caulfield)
Contact details

Telephone +61 3 9903 1517, email or visit

Course coordinator

Mr Gene Bawden


  • Full-time study only


This course offers a program of education in the discipline of graphic design. It is intended for students who may seek employment as a graphic designer in the areas of corporate identity, publishing, advertising, packaging, digital media, illustration, information design, television, animation and interactive media.

The course consists of core units covering graphic design, digital and photomedia, typography, popular culture and professional practice. It is supported by studies in contemporary discourse and cultural studies relevant to art and design. Electives provide further background in advertising, interactive media, photomedia, digital font design, computer print, online publishing, digital audio/video, 3D design animation, and illustration.

Upon completion, students may apply to undertake an additional one-year honours course which provides intensive study in the student's selected area of specialisation. This is supported by theory and elective studies.


Graduates of the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) will have:

  • knowledge and an understanding of visual communication design and the capability to practice as a designer in that field
  • developed significant skills in design strategy, concept forming, problem solving, design development and communication
  • gained an understanding of the socio-economic and cultural contexts of visual communication and the ethical responsibilities of the designer
  • gained an understanding of the aesthetic aspects of design and visual communication design and a capability at aesthetic resolutions
  • acquired skills in project and business management relevant to the practice of visual communication
  • the capability to critically assess and contribute to contemporary discourse on design.


This course consists of mandatory units together with a broad range of electives. The degree structure is formed out of a sequence of units which are closely linked - the core program of graphic design is supported by studio specialisations and theory units as well as ancillary units directed towards contemporary professional methods and skills. The course encompasses the following areas of study:

(a.) Graphic design studio (48 points)

This is the main study of the course. There are studios at each year level.

(b.) Studio specialisation (12 points)

Specialist areas of study are specifically related to visual communication and cover the study of typography and methods of production.

(c.) Theory of art and design (18 points)

Students study a minimum of one unit on the theory, context and cultural aspects of art and design at each level of the course.

(d.) Professional practice (6 points)

All students take one professional practice unit at third-year level.

(e.) Drawing (6 points)

Students take one compulsory 6-point drawing unit in the first year. These studies are concerned with perceptual and communication skills in the context of visual concepts and structures. It is anticipated that some students will take further studies in the drawing studio.

(f.) Digital imaging/photomedia (24 points)

Four units are compulsory for first and second-year levels of the course.

(g.) Electives (30 points)

A range of electives from across the disciplines are available to suit individual study programs. Units will generally be taken from those available within the Faculty of Art and Design, but units offered elsewhere in the University are also available.

(h.) Occupational Health and Safety (0 points)

A compulsory health and safety unit which deals with issues relevant to art and design.


First year (48 points)

First semester

  • DGN1001 Design studio 1 (6 points)
  • DIS1103 Digital processes for art and design 1 (6 points)
  • DWG1301 Drawing 1C (6 points)
  • OHS1000 Introduction to art and design health and safety (0 points)
  • TAD1203 Introduction to design history and theory (6 points)

Second semester

  • PHO1203 Photomedia imaging 1 (6 points)
  • VCO1104 Graphic design studio 2 (6 points)
  • VCO1302 Typography 1 (6 points)
  • elective (6 points)

Second year (48 points)

First semester

  • DIS2909 Electronic design (6 points)
  • VCO2003 Graphic design studio 3 (6 points)
  • VCO2409 Methods of production (6 points)
  • elective (6 points)

Second semester

  • DIS2105 Digital imaging (6 points)
  • TAD2214 Critical issues in design (6 points)
  • VCO2004 Graphic design studio 4 (6 points)
  • elective (6 points)

Third year (48 points)

First semester

  • PPR3103 Project planning and professional practice for design and multimedia (6 points)
  • VCO3005 Graphic design studio 5 (12 points)
  • elective (6 points)

Second semester

  • TAD3214 Contemporary discourse in design (6 points)
  • VCO3006 Graphic design studio 6 (12 points)
  • elective (6 points)


Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)