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Graphic Design Pathway Program

  • Qualification:


  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    Payment plan
    Upfront payment

  • Duration:

    Self-paced; up to 27 months

  • Start date:

    Any time – start today!

  • Awarded by:

    TAFE NSW North Coast (RTO 90010)

  • Course fees:

    Price may vary

  • Career Outcomes:

    Junior Graphic Designer | Assistant Web Designer | Assistant Digital Designer | Graphic Operator | View all

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This course meets the Nationally Recognised Training standards. It is listed on the Australian government's National Register for Vocational Education and Training (VET). Studying this course leads to a qualification that's recognised throughout Australia, and lets employers know that you have the right skills for the job.

Course Rundown

About this course

Gain foundational skills as well as advanced technical and conceptual knowledge in this Graphic Design Pathway Program (CUA50715), built to equip you with the fundamentals for a successful career in graphic design.

Delivered online by TAFE NSW North Coast through Open Colleges, this graphic design program kicks off with the Graphic Design Essentials Course to teach you how to use the full Adobe Creative Suite, utilised by graphic designers across the world.

Upon completion, you will move into the Diploma of Graphic Design course, where you will learn how to develop more advanced design ideas in line with diverse client briefs. In this online program, you will also cover how to manipulate graphics, use typography, integrate colour theory, develop brand and identity, use 2D and 3D applications, and design print media advertisements and digital art.

You will also look at graphic design from a professional standpoint: from providing freelance services, to presenting a body of creative work and meeting industry needs.


To be eligible for entry into this course, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age; AND
  • Have completed Year 10, or equivalent; OR
  • Have a qualification at certificate II level or higher; OR
  • Have two years' industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Students must also have access to Adobe Creative Suite software and a digital camera or mobile phone with camera.

Areas of study

In this graphic design course, the units of competency you may study include:

Graphic Design Essentials:

  • Elements and principles of design
  • Colour theory
  • Typography
  • The design process
  • The design brief
  • Digital Design - Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign

Diploma of Graphic Design (CUA50715):

  • CUAGRD503 - Produce typographic design solutions
  • CUAGRD504 - Create and manipulate graphics
  • CUAACD401 - Integrate colour theory and design processes
  • CUAGRD501 - Research visual communication history and theory
  • CUAACD501 - Refine drawing and other visual representation tools
  • CUAILL401 - Develop and refine illustrative work
  • CUAGRD607 - Develop graphic designs for branding and identity
  • CUAGRD505 - Design and manipulate complex layouts
  • CUAGRD502 - Produce graphic designs for 2-D and 3-D applications
  • CUAPHI514 - Prepare digital images for pre-press processing
  • BSBDES502 - Establish, negotiate and refine a design brief
  • BSBADV509 - Create mass print media advertisements
  • CUAACD512 - Work with photomedia in creative practice
  • CUADIG509 - Investigate technologies for the creation of digital art
  • CUADIG506 - Design interaction
  • BSBDES403 - Develop and extend design skills and practice
  • CUAGRD506 - Develop graphic design practice to meet industry needs
  • CUAIND402 - Provide freelance services
  • CUAPPR503 - Present a body of own creative work
Open Colleges Open Colleges is one of the largest private education providers in Australia. It offers a wide variety of courses, from leisure courses to vocational and higher education courses, many of which are government-accredited and employer-recognised. Most courses are delivered online or via blended learning, allowing you to work at your own pace and around your own schedule. Studying with Open Colleges is perfect for people with busy lifestyles, and those wishing to work and learn for themselves.
As a student of Open Colleges, you will have access to a range of student and administrative support options. Your course trainers are available via email, messaging and through your online course forums in OpenSpace. You will also have access to help with study skills such as time management, essay writing and referencing.

Where Will It Lead Me?

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a nationally recognised, accredited Diploma of Graphic Design (CUA50715) from TAFE NSW North Coast.

Once you have completed the Graphic Design Essentials Course and transferred into the diploma program, you will be entitled to membership with the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) - the peak professional body for graphic design professionals in Australia.

This course will prepare you for a number of design fields, including brand and identity strategy, digital and web-based design, television, film and computer graphics, corporate design, book and magazine design, and advertising and illustration.

How Much Will It Cost?

Finance options

Open Colleges offers two flexible payment models to help make studying more affordable:

Payment Option 1: Pay in weekly instalments

  • $94.46 per week (64 weekly repayments)
  • $100 deposit

Payment Option 2: Pay in full when you enrol and save up to 20% on your course fees

  • $7,032 upfront payment

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