Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2013 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

print version

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2013 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

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

Telephone +61 3 9903 1517, email or visit

Course coordinator

Mr Gene Bawden


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • This course is only available to specific cohorts of students - contact the faculty for eligibility details.
  • 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.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 7, the Bologna Cycle 1 and Monash Graduate Attributes. For more information refer to

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that graduates will be able to:

  • situate and differentiate the role of the discipline of design (visual communication), the ethical responsibilities of its practice and the professional requirements for sustained independent practice in that field
  • independently develop design strategies, form concepts, refine, detail and communicate design proposals
  • interpret, represent and respond to the socio-economic and cultural contexts of design (visual communication) and the ethical responsibilities of the professional designer
  • demonstrate an understanding of the aesthetic aspects of design and visual communication design and a capability at aesthetic resolutions
  • engage collaboratively with other professionals, recognise and contribute to project and business management practices relevant to design (visual communication)
  • critically assess contemporary discourse, speculative design theory and research both locally and internationally


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

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

(e.) Drawing

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.


All units are 6 points unless otherwise indicated.

First year (48 points)

Semester one

  • DGN1001 Design studio 1
  • DIS1103 Digital processes for art and design 1
  • DWG1201 Drawing 1
  • OHS1000 Introduction to art and design health and safety (0 points)
  • TAD1101 Introduction to visual culture in art design and architecture

Semester two

Second year (48 points)

Semester one

Semester two

Third year (48 points)

Semester one

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

Semester two

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


Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)