Design is always changing how we experience our world. Take what you learn and create with confidence, designing a future that celebrates your passion and purpose.
Faculty
Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Bachelor of Design
Commencing Terms
Term 1, 2 & 3
Duration (Full Time)
3 Year(s)

Overview

The UNSW Bachelor of Design is a three-year degree when studied full time. Discover how to transform creative thinking into design action to make your mark on the world.

Whether your interest is in graphics, textiles, visualisation or object design, creating spaces or user experiences, rethinking everyday products and services, or writing code to develop future focused design ideas – you'll see how design can influence the future.

Find out how historical, social, cultural and technological values apply to design no matter which specialisation you choose as your focus. Challenge conventional methods and find innovative solutions to complex problems. You'll combine creativity and independent thinking with practical and technical skills, unlocking a lifelong career that provides genuine and meaningful impact.

Key features

Three specialisations
Build a unique combination of skills from three distinct specialisations. Most of the courses will focus on your choice of Integrated, Industrial or Computational design – but there's flexibility to explore each. Or, you might prefer a secondary focus such as graphic design or robotic fabrication. See 'What will I study' for further information.

Real work experience
What happens when you combine professional development, specialist facilities and industry-standard technologies with experienced, well-connected design educators? Your career begins before you even graduate. This degree includes industry experiences such as internships, work placements, studio projects and industry networking opportunities.

World-class technologies
Bring your ideas to life in state-of-the-art facilities with support from our technicians. Discover the Design Futures Lab, The Making Centre, fully equipped creative workshops, and digital studios across our Kensington and Paddington campuses. You’ll also have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription throughout your studies.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • Flexibility to design your own degree
  • State-of-the-art design production facilities
  • Adobe Creative Cloud included while studying
  • A supportive, diverse, and inclusive community
  • Connect with a global alumni network
Program Code
4825
CRICOS Code
110651E
UAC Code
421050
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
144

Want to see more from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture?

Entry requirements

2023 Lowest Selection Rank

80

2023 A Levels

13

2023 IB Diploma

29

2023 Lowest ATAR

65.8*

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Domestic students are eligible to apply for the following volume of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) credits towards their UNSW degree that belong in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture:

  • 1-year Diploma: 48 UoC (equivalent to first year)
  • 1.5-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 72 UoC (equivalent to first year and a half)
  • 2-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 96 UoC (equivalent to two years)

Considering your previous qualifications and their relevance to the chosen program at UNSW, the type and amount of credit you can apply for, as well as the duration of your remaining program, will then be determined. 

Assessment by the Program Director is required for RPL applications toward Professional Accredited programs. Please note that eligibility for the full volume of RPL may be subject to accreditation requirements.

    1. The 2023 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023.
    2. The 2023 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.
    3. The 2023 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. The 2023 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.
  • At UNSW, we are committed to ensuring prospective students have all the information they need in order to make informed decisions about their study options.

    To assist you in gaining a better understanding of how Admissions works at UNSW, we have provided you with a summary of ATAR offers and the student profile.

    We hope this information will help you identify the degree that is right for you.

Portfolio Entry 

At UNSW ADA, you will find the freedom and support to design the future you want. An ADA Portfolio Entry submission will demonstrate your passions alongside your best work, to boost your chances of admission to a bachelor’s degree of your choice. For more information and to see specific guidelines for portfolio submissions visit UNSW Portfolio Entry.

Assumed knowledge

None

Prerequisites

You don’t need to have completed prerequisite courses, but we do assume you have a Year 12 (or equivalent) level of knowledge.

Adjustment Factors


We offer a range of adjustment factor schemes that reward students for academic performance and extra-curricular achievements. These schemes also take into account a range of personal and educational disadvantages that may have affected your studies. 

HSC Plus 
This scheme rewards students who perform well in Year 12 subjects that are relevant to their preferred UNSW degree. You may be awarded up to five points. 

Elite Athletes, Performers and Leaders (EAPL) 
This program recognises achievements in the areas of sport, academia, leadership and music at an elite level. You may be eligible for up to five points.

Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
Factors such as illness, financial hardship, language difficulties or attending a particular school can mean you don't always get the best possible marks in Years 11 and 12. If one of these situations applies to you, submit an application for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) via UAC. Eligible students can receive between 1 and 10 points towards their chosen UNSW degree.

Admission pathways


Your ATAR is not the only measure of your potential to succeed, which is why we offer a range of pathways into university. Explore your options below and get in touch with our future student advisors to discuss your path to UNSW. 

Gateway Admission Pathway
This scheme is open to students in Years 11 and 12 who attend Gateway schools. It significantly adjusts the ATAR requirements for your preferred UNSW degree and provides you with an early conditional offer to UNSW. 

Entry programs for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
We offer entry programs for Indigenous Australians, including the Indigenous Preparatory Programs and the Indigenous Admission Scheme (IAS). The entry pathway program you apply for will depend on the degree you want to study. 

TAFE Admission Pathways
If you’ve studied a relevant diploma under a TAFE Training Package, you can receive credit transfer for up to 60 units of credit (UOC) into the Bachelor of Design. Please see here for the Bachelor of Design TAFE Pathway Study Plan.  

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:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

International direct entry

We do not accept secondary qualifications from this country. We may accept tertiary study results, please contact us for more information.

Please contact us for direct entry requirements.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Typically, international students are eligible to apply for the following volume of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) credits towards their UNSW degree that belong in the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture:

  • 1-year Diploma: Up to 48 UoC
  • 1.5-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 72 UoC
  • 2-year Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree: Up to 96 UoC

Generally, International students must ensure that their prior qualifications are assessed and deemed relevant to the program they intend to pursue. Additionally, they are required to maintain a full-time study load as part of the conditions for their Confirmation of Enrolment.

Prerequisites

You don’t need to have completed prerequisite courses, but we do assume you have a Year 12 (or equivalent) level of knowledge.

Admission pathways


If you do not meet the requirements for direct entry into your chosen degree, you may be eligible for a pathway program with UNSW College. UNSW College provides alternative entry options using university-approved content so that you can start your UNSW journey with confidence. 

TAFE Pathways

TAFE pathways are another means to gain access to this degree. You can find out more about Tafe Pathways and also view a sample study plan.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. 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:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

Study areas

Pursue your passions while kickstarting your design career. This flexible degree can be tailored to your interests, while providing in-demand creative production skills. Focus on one specialisation with the freedom to explore other study areas. Learn how to help your community and the world with critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills in design.

 

  • Integrated designers place people at the heart of their work. Drawing from diverse design skills and methods, integrated designers engage with a range of materials, encounters, and forms of visual communication in their everyday lives. Integrated designers create insightful solutions using critical thinking, research, making skills and an awareness of industry needs.

    • The integrated design specialisation strongly focuses on solutions that respect human diversity and environmental sustainability while building skills in multiple areas of design. You'll choose at least two of these areas from graphic design, object design, textiles, experiences, interaction (UX), and 3D visualisation.

      We'll introduce you to this range of design disciplines, starting with the fundamentals. Working in state-of-the-art studios, you'll build core skills grounded in deep reflection on diverse historical, social, cultural and technological values. 

      Develop knowledge and skills while discovering how design can change society through professional practice. Take advantage of our strong industry connections to grow your professional network and employability with internship opportunities here and overseas.

      The combination of skills and theory with real-world projects and industry experiences will prepare you for a career beyond your first job.

      Start by choosing two design study areas outlined below, then decide which program structure suits your goals. (See 'Program structure' for more information.)

    • Graphic design uses the skills of typography, image making, colour and design systems to develop effective and inspiring visual communications. Apply creative thinking to brand identities, innovative packaging, visually striking publications, and graphic design in 3D spaces. You’ll develop strong portfolio projects that demonstrate your voice as an emerging designer. 

      See examples of graduate graphic design works in the A&D Annual.

    • Object design works with different materials to create tangible and meaningful items – including but not limited to jewellery, furniture and ceramic design.

      Fundamental hands-on classes explore materials before moving on to digital prototypes with 3D printing and cast designs. You’ll also understand different contexts and discover how object design gives people opportunities for social and meaningful interactions.

    • Textiles tell stories and solve problems, whether applied to fashion, interior, exterior or product contexts. In this highly experimental program, you'll explore creative approaches to making meaningful materials. Journey through hands-on textile making traditions and contemporary technologies to develop your own innovative practice. You will gain knowledge in sustainability and social engagement to analyse contemporary issues, and learn how to respond to professional design briefs responsibly, ethically and with cultural acknowledgement.

    • Experience designers transform spaces for people. They design memorable and meaningful environments with the intention of creating connection. Be it social connection or the connection of audiences to content, experience designers draw on human centred design principles to develop unique spatial outcomes, understand and integrate digital technologies and craft atmospheres that move people. With application across a wide range of industries, the design of activations, exhibitions and events relies on critical engagement with cultural contexts, neuroscience, materials and modelling, with a sprinkling of spectacle.

      In this program, you'll experiment with a diverse range of design methods that contribute to a practice that ideates and creates evocative environments that surprise, delight and, ultimately, engage participants.

    • Explore fascinating emerging smart technologies – think voice assistants, robots, and mixed reality (for example, animated Instagram or Snapchat filters). Using these emerging technologies, you'll create a project demonstrating your understanding of human capabilities and user needs. But not before learning User Experience (UX) fundamentals in web and mobile.

      Gain industry standard skills to meet people's needs with designing apps, software, products, websites, environments, and services. You'll develop practical and professional design processes through case studies and projects from concept to testing. 

    • Discover the world of 3D technologies including real-time (or gaming) systems and virtual environments. Understand how to create objects and environments before creating a sophisticated and explorable 3D world. Learn through live, hands-on experiences of key technologies and understand how to conceptualise through design thinking. Build the theoretical knowledge for high-level art direction while developing professional skills in 3D modelling, CGI lighting and rendering.

    • In fashion design you will experiment with creative ideas to develop innovative garments. Throughout the program you will gain theoretical and practical skills in the fashion creation process from design to finished prototype.

      You'll be encouraged to challenge fashion’s aesthetics, materials, and production processes to develop novel solutions for specific fashion markets. As you gain an understanding of sustainability and the circular economy, you will be supported to develop a strong responsible and ethical voice in your fashion practice.

  • Influence lifestyles by designing the daily products, systems, and services people use. Prepare for an industrial design career with experience and confidence. You'll be able to turn innovative thinking into strategic solutions that are functional, fulfill a genuine market demand or societal need, and are emotionally engaging and desirable.

    Experience practical studio classes and theoretical courses in manufacturing, materials, sustainability, user empathy, and design research. You'll learn how to enhance human and environmental wellbeing and generate insightful, life-centered product ideas.

    Through our strong industry links, you'll explore and test real-world scenarios and develop meaningful partnerships with leaders in the field. Become a competitive, versatile, and job-ready industrial designer with a clear ability to see complex problems as opportunities for impressive designs.

    Learn more about Industrial design at the IDES Graduate Exhibition website

  • This specialisation takes a different approach – resolving design challenges with cutting-edge technologies. Using various computer languages, you’ll encode decisions and test ideas spanning architecture, design, computer science and engineering.

    Learning in studio-based classes, you’ll develop unique and in-demand skills, including 3D modelling, digital geometry, parametric design, responsive environments, and form-making. Become familiar with robotic and digital fabrication using 3D printers and laser cutters or Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR) headsets to design for the metaverse.

    Bring your designs to life through problem-solving, theoretical knowledge and practical techniques combined with creative and critical thinking. While you tackle challenges with design thinking and innovative technologies, you’ll be preparing for a career designing future solutions in the built environment.

    Explore diverse aspects of computational design alongside creative and built environment students, staff and industry professionals. You’ll work to solve real-world problems, graduating with a professional portfolio and industry connections to launch your career.

    Learn more about Computational design at the Code Conference website.

Program structure

The Bachelor of Design is available in two structures: one offers a specialisation alongside free electives, and the other offers a specialisation plus a minor in another study area. Regardless of the structure you choose, there are 24 courses in a degree. You’ll typically study eight courses a year if you study full-time. You can study part-time, and also take advantage of a flexible study load.

    • This program structure offers a specialisation, which is 16 courses in one study area. With the remaining eight courses, you’ll choose from elective and general education courses. Electives are courses in any approved study area, and general education courses elevate your study skills to a tertiary competency.

    • This program structure combines a specialisation (16 courses) with a minor (six courses) in industrial design or computational design. You’ll also choose two general education courses on any topic that suits your goals and interests.

    • With this degree, you'll choose and develop specialist skills and knowledge in one comprehensive area of study. You'll have the freedom and flexibility to complement your specialisation with a minor or elective courses from other approved study areas.

    • Whether you want to study more or fewer courses in any term, the choice is yours. Our flexible academic calendar means you can graduate faster or take your time to study abroad, complete an additional internship, or fit your study around other commitments.

    • Broaden your horizons and study overseas for a term. Choose an international exchange at one of our 300 partner universities in more than 30 countries. UNSW encourages a global mindset, which means overseas study can count toward your degree with us, and you may also be eligible for financial support to help cover the costs of studying internationally.

    • UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture students and academics are supportive, diverse, and inclusive – it's easy to ask for advice. Whether you have a learning difficulty or could benefit from extra guidance, you'll find free UNSW academic skills support such as toolkits, tutors, and workshops.

When you complete a bachelor’s degree, you will be eligible for further study at a postgraduate level. If you’d like further information about this degree and its learning outcomes have a look at our student handbook.

Future careers

More than just a foot in the door or a pathway towards landing your first job, this degree will set you up with the professional and creative skills you’ll need to thrive throughout your career. Take your learnings and turn them into a career that celebrates your passion and purpose. Create with confidence and design the future you want.

    • Ceramics designer
    • Digital fabrication designer
    • Design instructor or design strategist
    • Digital media producer 
    • Design theorist, design critic or design historian
    • Design writer or curator
    • Exhibition, experience and event designer
    • Furniture or lighting designer
    • Graphic designer, visual communicator, or illustrator 
    • Interaction and user experience (UX) designer
    • Jewellery and object designer
    • Packaging designer
    • Publication designer
    • Service designer 
    • Textile designer
    • Virtual reality 3D visualiser
    • Wearable technology designer
    • Web or app designer
    • 3D CAD (three-dimensional computer-aided design) specialist
    • Automotive designer or stylist
    • Colours, materials, and finishes (CMF) designer
    • Commercial furniture designer
    • Consumer electronics designer
    • Consumer product designer
    • Design director
    • Design engineer
    • Design strategist
    • Design thinking and innovation lead
    • Electrical appliance designer
    • Human factors and ergonomics consultant
    • Humanitarian engineering designer
    • Industrial design consultant
    • Mechanical design draftsperson
    • Medical device designer
    • Point-of-purchase display designer
    • Product branding and marketing specialist
    • Product design research coordinator
    • Services and systems designer
    • Speculative product designer
    • Structural packaging designer
    • Wayfinding solutions designer 
    • Architectural and urban design specialist
    • Building information model implementer
    • Gaming environment developer
    • Design technology manager
    • Digital fabrication and smart-manufacturing specialist
    • Software solutions developer
    • Smart cities consultant
    • Urban data analyst

Explore your career options

Many career options lie ahead in your future. If you don’t know what you want to do yet, it’s ok. University is the time to test your ideas, discover potential career paths, or develop the knowledge to create a job that doesn’t even exist yet.

Along with flexible course options, degrees from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture include opportunities to experiment with professional roles in internships and work placements. You’ll build a network of contacts among your classmates and lecturers, and you’ll be able to reach out to a global network of UNSW graduates.

Our alumni

Double degrees

Combine talents and passions to open future opportunities suited to your unique strengths. Despite the name, double degrees are not double the workload! You'll study core courses in two areas of expertise, graduating with two qualifications in less time than it takes to complete two consecutive degrees. 

Double your knowledge, skills, and career options with the Bachelor of Design and:

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January. Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.

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

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$9,000*

Commonwealth Supported Place: Student Contribution Band 2

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the university and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at 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.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
$44,000*
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$141,500*

*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 here.

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


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.