Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

Approved Abbreviation: BDes(VisComm)

Western Sydney University Course Code: 1571.3

CRICOS Code: 044773B

Students should follow the course structure for the course version relevant to the year they commenced. This version applies to students whose commencement year for this course is 2005 to 2007.

Commencement Year 2004 - 1571.2 Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

Commencement Year 2002 and 2003 - 1571.1 Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

The designer is an essential player in the creating and shaping of society's messages. Design is a broad discipline, with functions in the communication, media, architecture, fashion, industrial and engineering sectors.

The rapidly changing world of information and media technology is particularly affecting visual communication design, raising challenges and opportunities for those prepared to play a creative role in that aspect of design. This course aims to provide you with a set of foundations for thinking about design, and specialist subject pathways for your professional practice of design.

As a student in this course, you can select complementary design studies in animation, illustration, interactive design and photomedia, as well as areas such as advertising, public relations, creative writing, media production and journalism. The format of study includes individual and team-based project work, concept development, studio practice, extensive use of advanced computer technologies and opportunities to engage with real community and industry projects as a component of the study program.

Students may exit with 1624.1 Bachelor of Design Studies after successful completion of the first three years of the course sequence.

Study Mode
Four years full-time.

Graduates are eligible for membership of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) and the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA).


Applicants who have completed Year 12 in Australia the year prior to admission in the course will be selected on the basis of their UAI. If you are not an Australian Year 12 student the year prior to admission in the course you will be selected on an interview with portfolio presentation. After you have applied to UAC, you are required to make an appointment for an interview via the University website. If you have difficulty in accessing the web, call 1300 897 669. Interviews will be held in early November. If you submit a UAC application or change your preferences after November, placement for an interview cannot be guaranteed.

Course Structure

Qualification for this award requires the successful completion of 320 credit points including the units listed in the recommended sequence below.

Recommended Sequence


Year 1

Autumn session

101040Approaches to Communication
101026Visual Analysis
100945Image Design: Photomedia
101025Australian Design

*Note: From 2007 students should undertake 101393 Image Photomedia instead of 100945 Image Design: Photomedia.

Spring session

100947Design Thinking
101019Digital Design Production
100943Image Design: Illustration
10102220th Century Design Histories

Year 2

Autumn session

101015Information Design
101180Web and Time Based Design

One unit from the following Practice Unit Pairings

101017Illustrating Narrative
100789Interactive Design I

One elective unit

Spring session

101080Design Issues
100796Typography for Print and Screen

One unit from the following Practice Unit Pairings

101063Illustration: Advertising and Editorial
100949Interactive Design II
100941Photomedia: Fashion and Identity

One elective unit

Year 3

Autumn session

100950Professional Practice: Design Management

One elective unit

Spring session

101020Design Research Training
101090Design Project

One elective unit

Professional Strand

Year 4

Autumn session

101064Reading the Contemporary

One elective unit

Spring session

101172Communication and Design Reflective Exegesis

1H session

100602Communication Design Major Project
101024Communication Design Professional Brief

One elective unit

2H session

100602Communication Design Major Project
101024Communication Design Professional Brief

One elective unit

Embedded Honours

An Honours stream is offered - see the Honours in Bachelors Awards Policy and associated College Guidelines for the admission criteria:

Policies Website

Embedded Honours Program Course Advisor - Ronaldo Morelos

A fourth year Embedded Honours program is available to undertake a substantial design thesis.

Embedded Honours Program - alternate to fourth year coursework program

Year 4

Autumn session

101064Reading the Contemporary
100938Communication and Creative Industries
101169Honours Thesis Proposal

Spring session

101170Honours Thesis

Practice Unit Pairings

M1571INTVMInteractive Media

Sub-major elective spaces

Elective units may be used toward obtaining an additional approved sub-major (40 credit points). Western Sydney University offers sub-majors in a range of areas including Sustainability and Indigenous Studies.

Indigenous Australian Studies Sub-major

Indigenous Australian Creative Expressions Sub-major

Indigenous Economics Sub-major

Business Sustainability Sub-major

Refer to the Unit Set Index.

Handbook Unit Set Index

Students can apply for an elective major or sub-major via MySR in the Unit Sets section under Enrolment.

MyStudentRecords (MySR)

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