Bachelor of Design and Communication

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Bachelor of Design and Communication


Program summary

Combine visual design skills with communication.

Turn your passion into a fulfilling career with a Bachelor of Design and Communication. Gain hands-on experience to specialise in graphic design, e-Media and 3D design. Balance this with communication studies in editing, news, television and radio journalism, creative advertising and creative writing.

Our program offers guest lectures, workshops and connections with industry bodies including AGDA and Analogue Digital. You will develop the practical skills you need to design for web, print and emerging media, and learn how to communicate effectively using the language of design. Throughout your course you will produce work for real clients, develop a professional portfolio and exhibit in the USC Art Gallery giving you exposure to industry and potential employers to help you land your dream job.

You'll gain experience in areas such as advertising, journalism, television, creative writing, web design, animation, illustration, packaging, photography, typography, drawing, branding, digital design, communications and graphic design. Combined together, these elements give you the knowledge to become a highly creative visual communicator.

This degree prepares you to work in a range of creative industries, such as advertising, television, branding, merchandising, E-Media, graphic design and communication.


Communication majors: 3D design; e-media design; graphic design.

Career opportunities

Depending on courses selected, graphic design, editing, advertising, marketing, interpretive design, animation, photography, packaging, public relations, publishing, web design.

Admission requirements

Please refer to the English language entry requirements.

Application and admission advice

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What will I study

Select your location, starting year and starting semester below to display your Recommended Study Sequence.

Program structure

Introductory courses (7)

CMN102 Creativity and Communication
COR109 Communication and Thought
DES101 The Language of Design
DES105 Introduction to Design and Concept

PLUS select 1 course from:

CMN116 Playing with Words : an Introduction to Creative Writing Craft
CMN120 Public Relations: Contemporary Perspectives
CMN130 Introduction to Journalism
CMN140 Introduction to Creative Advertising

PLUS select 2 courses from:

DES102 Visual Storytelling
DES103 Fundamentals of Photographic Practice
DES104 Art, Design and Visual Culture
DES106 Typography

Advanced courses (12)

CMN213 Editing for the Communications Professional

PLUS select 5 courses from:

CMN216 Risk, Crisis and Issues Management
CMN222 Multimedia Advertising
CMN224 Advertising Campaigns
CMN226 Advertising: Copy and Image
CMN228 Media Publishing: Law & Ethics
CMN231 Communication Campaign Planning
CMN235 News Writing and Reporting
CMN237 Online Journalism
CMN240 Feature Writing
CMN248 Creative Advertising
CMN249 Television & Video Journalism
CMN302 Investigative and Data Journalism
CMN305 News Rounds

PLUS select 6 courses from your chosen major study area:

Graphic Design major

DES211 Visual Identity
DES212 Visual Communication & Meaning
DES213 Graphic Design C
DES214 Graphic Design D
DES215 Graphic Design E - Internship/Professional Project
DES216 Graphic Design F - Professional Portfolio

e-Media Design major

DES221 Introduction to Interaction & UX Design
DES222 Responsive Website Design
DES223 e-Media C
DES224 e-Media D
DES225 e-media E - Internship/Professional Project
DES226 e-Media F - Professional Portfolio

3D Design major

DES231 Animation and Visualisation Design
DES232 3D Animation and Visualisation Design
DES233 3D Design C
DES234 3D Design D
DES235 3D Design E - Internship/Professional Project
DES236 3D Design F - Professional Portfolio

Please note: Students must commence the advanced design courses in Semester 1 following the successful completion of DES105.

Elective courses (5)

Select 5 elective courses from either faculty (Arts, Business and Law or Science, Health, Education and Engineering). 2 electives must be advanced level (200 / 300 coded) courses.

Note: Program structures are subject to change. Not all USC courses are available on every USC campus.

Total units: 288

Recommended study sequence

Students who commenced prior to the current semester must complete the courses from their original program structure unless otherwise advised. For courses no longer included in the current sequence, use the course links in your structure for details of requisites and scheduling. This is a recommended study sequence to complete your program within the specified full-time duration.

Program requirements

In order to graduate you must:

  • Successfully complete 288 units as outlined in the Program Structure
  • You must select and register your compulsory major(s)/minor(s) as soon as possible
Program notes
  • The 6 advanced courses from one of the design streams, plus DES101 and DES105, will constitute a major in that stream
  • Students must commence the advanced design courses in Semester 1, following the successful completion of DES105
  • Completing this program within the specified (full-time) duration is based on studying 48 unit points per semester (normally 4 courses)
  • Courses within this program are assessed using a variety of assessment methods which may include essays, seminar presentations, reports, in-class tests and examinations
  • As part of your USC program, you may apply to Study Overseas to undertake courses with an overseas higher education provider
  • Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa
  • Refer to the Planning your study page to manage your progression
  • You may wish to use electives to complete an additional major or minor
  • Register your selected major(s) and/or minor(s)

How to apply

Am I eligible to apply?
Domestic students 

Apply via Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) — Use the relevant QTAC code specified on Why study this program?


The below applicants can apply online directly to USC:

  • USC Tertiary Preparation Pathways (TPP) students who are currently enrolled in, or have had an enrolment in the previous two years; or
  • USC / TAFE Articulation program students; or
  • USC students who have completed an undergraduate program within the last two years, or are due to complete their program prior to their proposed semester of commencement;
  • USC students who are currently enrolled in one program and want to study another program concurrently.
International students

Apply direct to USC International

More information

International students should contact USC International

How to enrol

Refer to the Academic Calendar for key semester/session/trimester enrolment dates.

Current students

Refer to the Academic Calendar for key semester/session/trimester dates.

Enrolling is a 2 step process:

Step 1 - Enrol in your courses

You can enrol in courses for Study period 2 now. This gives you the opportunity to plan your study well in advance.

Note: If you enrol in a course but don't select a class time (step 2), you'll be charged the fee for the course at census date. You can swap, drop or add courses up until the end of week 2, and remove courses from your enrolment up until census date. View key dates in the academic calendars.

View the instructions to complete Step 1 in the video below or the Enrol in your courses PDF guide.

Step 2 - Select your class times 

Check the Academic calendar for the timetable release date for each study period. When the timetable has been released you can use the Timetable Planner* to plan your class times.

All students (excluding Headstart, Cross institutional and Visiting students)

Once Class selection opens*, select your class times in USC Central by following the instructions in the video below or the Select your class times PDF guide.

Tip: Select your classes as soon as Class selection opens as classes can fill quickly.

* We will be in contact with you to let you know when the Timetable Planner is available and Class selection opens.

How to enrol once class selection has opened

If class selection is open and you are yet to enrol in your courses, you can enrol in your courses and select your class times in one step.

Check the Academic Calendar for Class selection open date to confirm.

View the instructions in the video below or the How to enrol when class selection has opened PDF Guide (565KB).

Headstart, Cross-institutional and Visiting students

Complete and submit a Class preference form to select your class times.

New students 

Domestic students: Once you have applied and received your offer of a place from USC, follow the steps for Getting Started at USC to respond to your offer, plan your study and enrol in your courses.

International students should view the Getting Started Guide for International students for enrolment steps.

Plan your study

Before you re-enrol it's important to plan your study to make sure you study the right courses at the right time so you can finish your degree when you plan to.

Follow the Planning your study instructions to plan your courses for the upcoming semesters/trimesters/sessions. You can vary your study load between full-time (3-4 courses) or part-time (1-2 courses) in each study period. If you need some assistance, contact Student Central.

Confirm your enrolment

View your class timetable in USC Central to confirm you are enrolled in the courses you selected. Close to the beginning of the semester/trimester/session, your course details can be found in My Courses in Blackboard.

To prove your enrolment to Centrelink, print an unofficial transcript from USC Central. Refer to the steps at View your Unofficial Transcript in the USC Central Guide.

Once you are enrolled, learn how to manage your enrolment.

More information

Search for answers and ask questions via askUSC, or contact Student Central.

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