Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

Approved Abbreviation: BDes(VisComm)

Western Sydney University Course Code: 1571.6

AQF Level: 7

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 2012 or later.

Units may be revised or replaced to ensure students are provided with up to date curriculum throughout their studies, and this may result in a new course version. Refer to the Check My Course Progress page in MySR for the most up to date information for your course.

Commencement Year 2009 to 2011 - 1571.5 Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

Commencement Year 2008 - 1571.4 Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

Commencement Year 2005 to 2007 - 1571.3 - Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)

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 Bachelor of Design Studies after successful completion of the first three years of the course sequence.

The Honours Program will offer students an advanced-level involvement within their discipline. Students will get the opportunity to significantly focus and develop their practical and theoretical knowledge beyond the scope of their initial three years of undergraduate study. In-depth research on a specific topic proposed at the outset will be actively pursued within the Program to culminate in the production of a major project.

  • Director of Academic Program - Roman Goik

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).


Applications from Australian and New Zealand citizens and holders of permanent resident visas must be made via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Applicants who have undertaken studies overseas may have to provide proof of proficiency in English. Local and International applicants who are applying through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) will find details of minimum English proficiency requirements and acceptable proof on the UAC website. Local applicants applying directly to the University should also use the information provided on the UAC website.

International applicants must apply directly to the University via the International Office.

International students applying to The University through the International Office can find details of minimum English proficiency requirements and acceptable proof on their website.

International Office

Overseas qualifications must be deemed by the Australian Education International - National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) to be equivalent to Australian qualifications in order to be considered by UAC and Western Sydney University.

The applicants for the Honours Program must have completed the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) 3 year course, or an equivalent Program of undergraduate study. Applicants submit a project statement and proposal, with a select bibliography. Applications are scrutinised and assessed by the School Research Committee and College Executive. Applicants are generally expected to possess an undergraduate GPA of 5.0 (Credit) or higher. Applicants will be strongly encouraged to discuss their application with one or two potential supervisors within the School before submitting the application.

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
101540Introduction to Typography
101884Introduction to Photomedia
101025Australian Design

Spring session

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

Year 2

As part of the course requirements, students are required to complete one pair of the practice based pairings. If they choose to, they can complete further practice based units and can take them as elective choices.

Autumn session

101015Information Design
101180Web and Time Based Design

One unit from the following Practice Unit Pairings

101017Illustrating Narrative
100789Interactive Design I

And 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

And one elective unit

Year 3

Autumn session

101875Professional Practice: Design

And one elective unit

Spring session

101020Design Research Training
101090Design Project

And one elective unit

Professional Strand

Year 4

Autumn session

101885Design: Professional Engagement

And one elective unit

1H session

100602Communication Design Major Project
101883Professional Design Studio

Spring session

101876Reflective Design Practice

And one elective unit

2H session

100602Communication Design Major Project
101883Professional Design Studio

Embedded Honours - alternate to fourth year coursework program

H1000Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) Honours Pathway

Practice Unit Pairings

M1571INTVMInteractive Media

Sub-major elective spaces

Elective units may be used toward obtaining an additional approved sub-major (40 credit points).

Search for sub-majors

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

Students can apply for an elective major or sub-major via MySR.

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