Billy Blue College of Design
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Diploma of Design

Billy Blue College of Design

If you have a flair for creativity but can’t decide between graphic design, digital design, video production, interior design, or fashion, this higher- education diploma gives you the ability to choose your design career options and sample between 2-4 of the following specialist areas: Branded Fashion design, Communication Design, Digital Media Design, or Interior Design.

Developed by the brilliant minds at Billy Blue, this Diploma provides full credit as a pathway into the more advanced courses so you can use the diploma to finish your degree quickly.


  • Designer
  • Finished artist
  • Graphic designer
  • Interactive designer
  • Web designer
  • 2D / 3D Animator
  • Interior Designer


Qualification Title DIPLOMA OF DESIGN

Study Options – Domestic Australian students

Full-time Blended*

Part-time Blended*

*Blended (face to face on campus plus facilitated online)

Study options – Overseas students

This course is currently only offered to domestic students

Start Dates

See Key Dates below

Course Length

Full-time: 1 year (accelerated 7 months)

Part-time: 2 years maximum

Entry Requirements

Year 12 equivalent with ATAR 56.

Special Entry Requirements:

Demonstrated ability to undertake study at this level:

  • Work experience, and/or other formal, informal or non-formal study attempted and/or completed, OR

  • Design portfolio (6-10 pieces of original creative work)

Finance Options - Domestic Australian students


For full fee paying students, payment options are also available.

FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses. It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees.

Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold ($54,126 in 2015-16). Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.

Course study requirements

12 hours per week full-time or 6 hours per week part-time


Practical assignments, research projects, presentations


Sydney Campus

Brisbane Campus

Melbourne Campus

Delivered by

Torrens University Australia

Accrediting body

Torrens University Australia is registered as a self-accrediting Australian university by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

CRICOS Course Code

only available to domestic students

Key Dates

2016/17 course dates for all Billy Blue classes held at our Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane campuses.

Start Dates Census Dates Last Day Breaks
Mon 20 Feb 2017 10 Mar 14 May 15 May - 4 Jun
Mon 05 Jun 2017 23 Jun 27 Aug 28 Aug - 17 Sep
Mon 18 Sep 2017 6 Oct 10 Dec 11 Dec - 18 Feb

Billy Blue may offer mid-term intakes throughout the year which are subject to availability. For more information please speak with one of our course and career advisors on 1300 851 245

Course Subjects – Diploma of Design:

Students take 4 core subjects for the Diploma.

This subject introduces students to the fundamental concepts within visual language and the relevant software tools for the digital production of graphic messages. It explores methods for the digital production of visual messages and requires students to practically apply and theoretically understand the fundamental grammar that underpins any graphic language. The subject examines the impact of digital technology from practical, historical and theoretical perspectives.

Students will develop skills in expressing the grammar of visual language, working with design software and creating digital visual outcomes through a combination of theoretical studies, practical workshops, guided demonstrations and exercises. The language of design will be analysed through an examination of historical influences and technological developments. Students will create outcomes that are informed by the language of visual grammar and contextualised within contemporary digital technology.

This subject encourages students to observe, analyse and document the world around them in order to expand their visual design vocabulary. The playful exploration of a variety of fundamental research methods will expand students’ practical and critical skill sets, enabling them to transform their observations into potential design outcomes and evaluate their engagement with the design process.

Students will undertake a series of observational research experiments; recording and analysing each case through a range of media and materials including: drawing, photography, sound, static and time-based media as well as two & three dimensional forms. Students will also be challenged to critically reflect upon their interaction with and response to the cultural context of design.

This subject provides an introduction to the fundamental theory and practice of moving image and 3D design and production. Students will be familiarised with a basic set of tools and techniques for creating moving image sequences and 3D visualisations. Fundamental moving image, screen language and spatial design concepts are introduced, and students will use these concepts in conjunction with basic production techniques to communicate and convey narrative. The subject also introduces concept development techniques and materials specific to the development of motion and 3D design outcomes.

This subject requires students to develop and apply their knowledge of contemporary digital design frameworks to brand culture in design. Students will engage in the critical examination of how branding shapes the nature and role of design practice. Through the analysis of established design labels students will develop an understanding of how demographic factors such as age, gender & socio economics contribute to the formation of brand culture. Students analyse their own character and personality traits to develop a brand essence that reflects themselves. Using this as a starting point they develop brand collateral such as name, logo, swing tag and labels typical for design products to become familiar with the process of brand development through the application of digital design skills and page architecture.

Students can choose 4 elective subjects from the following available bank of electives.

Communication Design

This subject introduces an unfamiliar audience to the building blocks of typography. It develops students' experience and understanding of the issues involved with communicating through a typographic framework. The subject will look at the fundamental elements of typeface design and analysis, categorisation and usage, in conjunction with introductory design concepts such as balance, composition and hierarchy.

Working individually, students will be exposed, and will be required to respond to, a variety of typographic issues. Students will demonstrate their understanding of typographic application through typeface analysis and categorisation as well as appropriate usage for specific audiences. This subject requires students to design and construct a publishing outcome that displays their ability to structure visual content through consistent typographic settings and composition, working with short and long body text settings, grid structures and page architecture.

This subject introduces students to the theory and practice of Information Design. Students will visualise both quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of sources via linear and non-linear typography, signs, icons, pictograms and mapping techniques. They will explore theories and practical approaches that examine instructional systems, methods to convey instructions and complex information systems.

Working individually and as part of a small team, students are required to research a number of given topics. They will analyse and process this information within the context of the LATCH organisational system, demonstrating their knowledge via the design of a series of visual graphics that dramatise both the research they have conducted and the skills they have gained.

This subject serves as an introduction to communicating with imagery, from initial concepts and quick sketches through to more sophisticated visual responses, utilising a variety of media. With an emphasis on exploration within historical, practical, and technical parameters, 'Thinking Visually' aims to enable the student to effectively articulate ideas through both drawing and photography. Students will develop skills in observation, idea generation, and effective visual communication through a combination of theoretical studies, observational drawing and material experimentation.

This subject explores the ways that we view the world, our collective understanding and acceptance of visual iconography and how this perception influences our response to brands, advertising and visual communication. It examines the processes and behaviours that drive our interaction with others and how we interact with our world.

Students are challenged to re-examine their preconceptions and design thinking methods: to address what makes us communicators and what gives us the right to assume that role?

Students analyse and interpret a range of research topics through a combination of lectures, class exercises and field tasks then demonstrate their understanding through the development of a reflective portfolio and group campaign. Themes include essential perceptual theory; signs, symbols and meaning; lateral thinking and problem solving; advertising theory; tactics of manipulation, research and focus testing.

Interior Design

Systems and Documentation 1 introduces students to the different construction systems applicable to the design of nominated interiors, and how design solutions are communicated to stakeholders (contract managers, consultants and contractors) through contract documentation.

Students will develop a series of documentation drawings for a small scale nominated environment.

This subject provides students with an introduction to both the analogue and digital skills available to designers to communicate interior design proposals.

In an analogue format, the students are introduced to how plans, sections, elevations, freehand and constructed perspective drawing can contribute to the process of design visualisation and production of interior design solutions. In a digital format, students are introduced to industry standard computer hardware and software applications which will enable them to visualise and produce interior design solutions. Students will be given the opportunity to develop their computer aided drawing skills. Importantly, students will also develop strategies and techniques to foster their capacity to continue to develop their proficiency with digital communication systems, beyond the life of this subject.

This subject investigates the evolution of interior design, post 1800. It explores major art and architectural movements throughout history and the development of contemporary design and interior design by investigating significant turning points and milestones in interior design.

This subject will focus on developing the students’ understanding of the complexities of designing an area (e.g. bathing, sleeping, food preparation, reception desk, workspace etc.) within a spatial environment whilst identifying and incorporating sustainable design practice – not only in materials and technologies but also in the longevity and adaptability of the final design solution. Students will integrate their research and knowledge of environments, identifying design related and environmental imperatives in the realisation of design briefs.

Scheduling Interiors 1 introduces the student to the practical knowledge required to specify materials, colours and systems for interior design environments. It recognises the importance of developing appropriate aesthetics and the importance of nominating appropriate and sustainable finishes, furniture and fittings. This subject addresses the following elements of these spaces: types, styles and suitability of materiality, colours and finishes; application of lighting types and styles; issues connected with specifying fixtures and fittings; sustainability and the design/selection of joinery items. The role of quality assurance and its importance in realising an efficient interior design project is also introduced.

Branded Fashion/h4>

This subject is twofold e.g. hand drawing and computer drawing skills development. Students develop hand-drawing skills to depict, show their understanding as well as explore technical and construction details for apparel. In addition students demonstrate their understanding of clothing history and fashion by isolating key recognisable garment design elements and principles specific to the identified historical periods. In addition to a folio with hand drawings, students develop a digital folio with fully annotated and proportionally correct garment drawings. In order to transfer their hand skill drawings they are introduced to CAD drawing methods and folio layout specific for branded fashion. By analysing and evaluating their hand drawings they select and synthesis these into a computer generated document.

This subject allows students to apply integrated technical and theoretical concepts and knowledge about colour theory and technical fabric properties. Students will gain an understanding and appreciation of colour theories, harmonies and usage of certain types of colours and materials placed in context of specified historical periods. Students will develop their knowledge of materials, investigating properties and performance (fibres, yarn structures, fabric construction, methods of surface decoration and finishes). In addition students will learn to understand the legislation regarding labeling and fabric testing applied through exercises.

They will demonstrate their awareness of the appropriateness of materials used for different types of applications in design and be able to select the best fabric for specified usage and expected lifespan. Concurrent with this study will be an investigation of issues of sustainability and pollution in fabric manufacture, and the responsibility of the designer in their fabric, material and colour choice. Students will undertake exercises to develop their knowledge of industry terminology, manufacturing processes and material care.

In this subject, students will simultaneously study the human body and its ergonomics whilst developing the skill of visual representation and communication through the art of drawing. It acknowledges drawing as a fundamental skill of the designer, and its importance in communicating design ideas.

Students will cultivate an understanding of human movement, balance, proportion and shape by developing their observational and drawing skills. Students will also develop their ability to visually render various surfaces, fabrics and structures as they learn to understand the manner in which different materials and fabrics drape, shape, change and interact with and on the human body.

This subject underpins the development of fundamental principles of apparel design such as proportion, materiality and coordination, as well as the capacity of the student to visually communicate their designs.

This subject introduces the importance of clothing structure, shape, form, line and volume. A variety of cutting, sewing and finishing techniques and terminology are introduced through the examination of constructed garments and the execution of a variety of sewing samples.

Through the analysis of a manually deconstructed garment, students are able to familarise themselves with the various components that make up a garment and the interrelationships between those components. Using this knowledge, students execute and assemble a self-designed garment that addresses an understanding of the structural purpose and interrelationships of individual pattern pieces. Students will be required to make decisions about the most appropriate construction techniques to use based on the relevant market position. Throughout their time in the sewing workroom, students will learn the importance of Occupational Health and Safety and apply it to their sewing workroom practice.

Students have the option of participating in a Sewing Skills program – a series of additional sewing workshops that run concurrently with their formal study. These weekly two hour workshops provide students with an opportunity to further develop their garment construction skills, should they so choose.

In this subject students develop foundational design studio practice skills and knowledge in fashion creation. Students acquire specialist practical and theoretical skills and knowledge such as concept development, fabric manipulation and draping. Throughout the subject, students work to develop their conceptual ideas and translate them into a commercial garment design. At the same time students will broaden their understanding of a design studio environment and the interplay between individual and peer responsibilities in a studio context. In addition, students cultivate a broader comprehension of design studio practice through the exploration of 2D and 3D forms and objects. Students gain a deeper understanding of design elements and principles as key design concepts, by conceptualizing and producing 2D and 3D design outcomes. The concepts of thermo plasticity, resiliency, dimensional stability and drape are incorporated into this exploration.

Digital Media

Systems and Documentation 1 introduces students to the different construction systems applicable to the design of nominated interiors, and how design solutions are communicated to stakeholders (contract managers, consultants and contractors) through contract documentation.

Students will develop a series of documentation drawings for a small scale nominated environment.

This subject continues the exploration of the theory and practice of interaction design for digital media. The subject covers core research and concept development methods for interaction design. Students will focus on interpreting and structuring information content for interactive non‐linear presentation and delivery, and will also focus on visual aspects of interface design and the ways in which visual design affects end‐user experience.

This subject introduces the foundational theory and practice of motion graphic design and live action camera production. The unit introduces basic skills in concept development, asset creation, 2D animation and compositing suitable for motion graphic production. The process of developing a live action video piece is also introduced, from pre-production through to post-production, and including fundamental sound design principles. Students will gain basic skills in camera-based production including basics of lighting, sound recording and editing.

This subject develops foundational skills in 3D design and animation. Students will undertake character and set design and development exercises, and will generate animated 3D graphic elements. In this way students will develop foundational skills in the principles and techniques of modeling, texturing, lighting and animation required to produce digital 3D characters, environments and props. The subject also explores key concept development stages typical to common 3D design briefs and projects.


Billy Blue design courses are designed to give you flexibility. So if you wish to switch courses, exit early or study faster, we can help you out through our study pathway options. In the design world, change is our friend. Contact your Course and Career Adviser for more info.

Find out more about Course Upgrades and Pathways

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