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Diploma of Design

Push the boundaries in creative arts. If you love visual creativity, the Diploma of Design is the perfect way to develop the skills you need to kickstart your career.

Get a head start!

A successful design student is someone who enjoys all things creative and who is prepared to explore and experiment, pushing boundaries.

Sue Stone,
Lecturer for Diploma of Design



2 trimesters (8 months)
3 trimesters (12 months)


Trimester 1, 2, 3


Mt Gravatt
Gold Coast

Design overview

If you love visual creativity, the Diploma of Design is the perfect way to develop the skills you need to kickstart your career.

Practical projects will help you fine-tune your artistic abilities and harness new technology. Theoretical studies in design thinking and problem solving will enable you to approach challenges with structure and confidence.

After learning the fundamentals of design across multiple disciplines, including graphic design, visualisation, studio art, 3D design and interior design, you will be able to progress to a more specific creative degree at Griffith’s Queensland College of Art.


Current Fees

I chose Griffith College because it offers a diploma program from which I can go straight into the second year of University.

Chelsea Uppman,
Diploma of Design

Where could this diploma take me?

With a Diploma in design from Griffith College you could start your journey towards one of the careers below:

  • Film and TV
  • Graphic design
  • Interior design
  • Product design
  • Design management
  • Digital design and media

Sample program structure

Students who enter with an IELTS (or equivalent) < 6.0 will be required to undertake the free Language Development Modules as part of their program.

First trimester

1201QBT - Academic & Professional Skills Development

The course offers students a broad introduction to the skills involved in acquiring information and in displaying knowledge to others. It includes the basic knowledge and skills required to successfully participate in an undergraduate degree program and to operate effectively in a professional context.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Self as Learner: SWOT and Reflection (25%)
  2. Individual Source Analysis and Paired Presentation (30%)
  3. Academic Essay Planner and Academic Essay (45%)
1513QCA - Computer Visualisation & Image Creation

This course introduces students to image creation, manipulation and composition software and how
to manage it, in both a practical and strategic sense. Students will develop and manipulate physical
and digital images in both vector and pixel-based formats and explore the responsibilities and
challenges of design practice through practical and reflective exercises.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Visual image critique (10%)
  2. InDesign & Studio Practice (30%)
  3. Illustrator & Studio Practice (30%)
  4. Folio and test (30%)
1523QCA - Drawing for Design

Drawing is a fundamental means of visual research, visual communication and explanation that has the ability to transcend barriers of language, time and culture. It has the immediate capacity to depict unseen thoughts and condense the power of a subject or idea into a tangible form that is easily communicated to others. This course aims to develop critical thinking, observation and visual communication skills through the acquisition of creative visual strategies, drawing techniques and a culture of drawing as visual research practice.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Interim Drawing Assessment (20%)
  2. Observational and Analytical Freehand Drawing: Portfolio 1 (30%)
  3. Design Research Paper (20%)
  4. Design Concept Project: Portfolio 2 (30%)
1506QCA - Modernity & Post-modernity

This course introduces students to the concepts of modernity and postmodernity. It examines ways in which these concepts have shaped the modern world and the role design has played in this process. The course helps students grasp the importance of understanding the complexity of the making of the modern world. It also introduces students to key ideas, academic researching techniques and writing skills essential for future study.

Assessment Plan:

  1. Individual Book Review (20%)
  2. Statement of Position (30%)
  3. Case Study: Projected Future (50%)

Second trimester

1510QCA - Digital Technologies

This course gives students a practical and theoretical understanding of the use of the computer as a tool for professional designers for problem solving and creating artwork. Students will be exposed to current industry standard software and technology. The software used during this course will be from the Adobe Creative Suite. The central purpose of this course is to provide students with a solid foundation in both theoretical knowledge and technical skills that are designed to reinforce studio practice and equip them for employment within the design industry.

Assessment plan:

  1. Vector/raster series of progressive creative works (20%)
  2. Online journal (mid-point) (20%)
  3. Research and design project (40%)
  4. Online Journal (Final) (20%)
1512QCA - Introduction to Design History

This course critically examines design history and theory. Design history, in its traditional form, focuses on design movements, designers and the materiality of the designed object and the ways in which it connects to production and consumption, integrated into circulated systems of meaning. The course distinguishes between the concepts and historical figures of the past to frame and inform the key themes influencing art and design theory, practice and culture today and in the future. The relation between design and its place in history, why the designer needs such knowledge, and how they need to employ it in future practice will be examined.

Assessment plan:

  1. Research Presentation (30%)
  2. Research Essay (40%)
  3. Visual Research Portfolio (30%)
1530QCA - Design Lab Process

This course explores some of the methods, principles, processes and theories that make design a unique form of human inquiry. From analysis to synthesis, students will apply their understanding of 2 and 3 dimensional space, shape and form through a series of linked, design research exercises, active visual experimentation and resolved production.

Assessment plan:

  1. Design-based research report with problem statement (20%)
  2. Design-based Strategy presentation using drawings and sketches (40%)
  3. Future Environment presentation bringing together: module 1 written research, module 2 visual research strategy (40%)
1502QCA - Design Lab Experience

The course is an introduction to students understanding contemporary design as an interdisciplinary and studio practice in a design lab environment. Students are encouraged to be entrepreneurial, practise self-direction and take personal responsibility when working individually and in collaborative teams. Students explore design making practices, design thinking, commentary and writing. There is a strong creative practical focus on conceptualisation and design construction: fabricating design prototypes in the workshop and studio, making artefacts, experiences, images, environments and ways of communicating and presenting design ideas. Students will also learn design evaluation, documentation and project sharing techniques.

Assessment plan:

  1. Design Proposals, midpoint presentation (20%)
  2. Workbook/Profile: Log of learning activities (40%)
  3. Design Proposals, final presentation (40%)

Find out more: Current program structure

Pathways to a Griffith University Design Degree

Domestic students
International students


2 trimesters (8 months)
3 trimesters (12 months)


Trimester 1, 2, 3


Mt Gravatt
Gold Coast
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