Think critically and innovatively to develop public relations and advertising strategies and design and media practice. With the eruption of digital and social media, there’s never been a more exciting time to work in the rapidly growing field of strategic communication.

 

Faculty
Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture
Delivery Mode
On Campus
Award
Master of Design, Master of Public Relations and Advertising
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 2, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
3 Year(s)

Overview

The UNSW Master of Public Relations & Advertising/Master of Design combines two postgraduate degrees over two or three years full-time. You’ll gain a unique combination of strategic communication skills and design practice, as well as a deep conceptual knowledge of media theory and design research.

The Master of Public Relations and Advertising/Design dual award is ideal for industry professionals from advertising or design seeking to advance their career, as well as career-changers wanting to enter vibrant and rapidly evolving industries. Graduates of this program are well-rounded communication professionals known for creativity, design thinking and entrepreneurship.  

Key features

Use the latest media and design technology

You’ll prepare to lead design innovation and creative approaches in the industry. Our digital facilities contain the most current technologies, including media production equipment and advanced design software, through which you can hone your design practice and strategic communication skills.  

Specialised design studio practice

The Master of Design allows you to focus your studio-based courses on a specific area of design and digital media or to put together a suite of courses. Areas of practice include Graphic Communication, Spatial Experiences, Interaction Design and User Experience (UX) Design, Visualisation and Visual Effects and Future Making: Materials and Objects.

Build the right networks  

Our strong industry connections can help you undertake real-world learning through placements and establish networks to boost your career. UNSW’s focus on entrepreneurship provides programs and facilities to nurture start-up aspirations alongside our strong ties to larger media organisations. 

Deep critical thinking 

Our programs are led by academics with extensive years of industry experience. They’ll guide you to think critically about methodologies and contemporary theories, including design thinking, advertising strategies and strategic communication.  Your conceptual understanding will mean you understand the forces shaping the industry and build a career that moves with this exciting sector.  

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • Be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive Arts, Design & Architecture community
  • Learn through research-informed teaching
  • Prioritise career success – UNSW won the Australian Financial Review’s Most Employable Students Award in 2020.
  • Study on our dedicated Art & Design Paddington campus with cutting-edge facilities
  • Join a world-renowned creative community
  • Benefit from strong industry links and partnerships
  • Access world-class alumni connections
  • Join a global top 50 university (QS World University Rankings, 2021)
  • Join a community that’s part of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
Program Code
8234
CRICOS Code
094951G
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
144
Indicative Enrolments
29

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Entry requirements

You must satisfy the entry requirements for the Master of Design and Master of Public Relations & Advertising single award programs to enter the double award.

Depending on the level and nature of your prior qualifications and work experience, there are two streams in the Master of Public Relations & Advertising/Design with different entry requirements:

Applicants for the two-year stream (A) are required to have:

  • Honours Bachelor degree or Graduate Diploma in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%.
  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%, plus one year relevant professional experience.

Applicants for the three-year stream (B) are required to have:

  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%.
  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%, plus one year relevant professional experience.
  • Honours degree or Graduate Diploma in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%.

Relevant disciplines include: Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Media, Communications, Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing, Design, Creative Arts.

Depending on the level and related nature of your prior qualifications and experience, you may be required to submit a design portfolio. Portfolio submissions must include the following:

  • A 10 page A4 digital portfolio of original design work undertaken by the applicant including a critically reflective text.
  • A cover letter that explains your interest in studying at UNSW Art & Design, and your interest in the degree. The letter should tell us about your interests, achievements and experience and be no more than 400 words.
  • Verified evidence of professional experience in a design or media-related field, in the form of a written statement of service from an employer, client or commissioning agent verifying the position, role, responsibilities, duration and/or project outcomes of employment, service contract or other professional design engagement.
  • A two page CV that details your experience in, or related to design including contact details for two referees.

Alternative entry pathways

Alternative Entry

Our suite of programs is designed to build a pathway that increases your capabilities and expands upon your hard-earned experience. We offer the following options to optimise your time while undertaking postgraduate study and provide alternative entry into further qualifications:

  • Entry into the Graduate Certificate in Design with a bachelor’s degree in any field. Applicants without a bachelor's degree but with a portfolio of work and professional experience may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Entry into the Graduate Diploma in Design with a bachelor's degree in any field or a Graduate Certificate in Design with at least a credit average grade.

You can articulate into the Master of Design after completing the Graduate Certificate in Design with at least a credit average grade.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Depending on the level and nature of your prior qualifications, there are two streams in the Master of Public Relations & Advertising/Design with different entry requirements: 

Applicants for the two-year stream (A) are required to have:

  • Honours Bachelor degree or Graduate Diploma in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%^.
  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%^, plus one year relevant professional experience.

Applicants for the three-year stream (B) are required to have:

  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%^.
  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%^, plus one year relevant professional experience.

^Students from a non-211 university in China are now required to have a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW distinction average (75%).

Relevant disciplines include: Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Media, Communications, Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing, Design, Creative Arts.

Entry score calculator

If you’re uncertain whether you have the equivalent to a UNSW credit average, you can use the UNSW postgraduate entry score calculator to convert and scale other types of grading schemes into a percentage relatable to UNSW entry requirements.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Program structure

This program is structured to acknowledge and recognise the skills that individuals bring to their postgraduate education. More experienced students can undertake a streamlined degree, while students with less professional experience will study for the full three years.

Depending on the length of your program, you’ll complete the following courses:

Two-year program (96 UOC)

  • 3 PR & Advertising advanced disciplinary courses
  • 5 PR & Advertising prescribed electives
  • 6 Design core courses
  • 2 Design Studio Area of Practice courses

Three-year program (144 UOC)

  • 4 PR & Advertising core courses
  • 3 PR & Advertising advanced disciplinary courses
  • 5 PR & Advertising prescribed electives
  • 8 Design core courses
  • 4 Design Studio Area of Practice courses

Full program structure

Each university year at UNSW has three terms and an optional summer study period.

Some courses need to be studied in your first and second year, so you’re prepared for courses that can only be studied in later years. You can study full-time or part-time. Depending on how you plan your study load, you can fit two or three courses into a term and one course in a summer term.

Master of Design - Areas of Practice

You’ll choose from the following studio-based courses to either focus on a specific area of design and digital media practice or to put together a suite of courses:

  • Graphic Communication
    Addresses graphic design for paper and print, the screen and broadcast, encompassing contemporary typography, graphic design and cross-cultural communication strategies in designing for different audiences.
  • Spatial Experiences
    Engages with the design of processes, services, events and environments, focusing on the quality of the user experience.
  • Interaction and User Experience (UX) Design 
    Covers visual communication and user experience across graphics, media and emergent interactives.
  • Visualisation and Visual Effects 
    Focuses on the practices of designing for animation, 3D, sound, film, video, illustration and computing.
  • Future Making: Materials and Objects
    Focuses on the making of objects with new materials, digital technologies and craftsmanship. It addresses the integration of technical knowledge and skills with material and contextual understanding. Future making works with ceramics, jewellery, metal, textiles, furniture and lighting.

Below is an example of what you could study in the full three-year double degree:

First year

  • 4 PR & Advertising core courses
  • 1 PR & Advertising advanced disciplinary courses
  • 2 PR & Advertising prescribed electives

Second year

  • 2 PR & Advertising advanced disciplinary courses
  • 3 PR & Advertising prescribed electives
  • 3 Design core courses
  • 1 Design Studio Area of Practice courses

Third year

  • 5 Design core courses
  • 3 Design Studio Area of Practice courses

Future careers

The Master of Public Relations and Advertising and Master of Design at UNSW will equip you with the confidence and capabilities to move into creative leadership roles. Your unique skillset as both a design and communication professional will open up diverse career opportunities.

Potential careers

  • Graphics, media and digital design
  • UX and responsive design
  • Communications, branding and advertising
  • Marketing communication
  • Design management and strategy
  • Social innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Corporate communication
  • Art Director
  • App development
  • Creative consultancies, design and media studios, design-led businesses

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to apply?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to apply?

Fees & Scholarships

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$28,920*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$87,840*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data.

You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

 

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$37,050*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$116,250*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

 

Scholarships

Our scholarships can help you achieve your potential and enhance the university experience. Scholarships reward academic achievements and encourage international mobility, diversity and equity.