Course Description

Bring your creativity to life with this nationally accredited course.

The CUA40715 Certificate IV in Design (Digital Design) is a pathway to an entry level career in the visual communication industry working in-house, within an agency, or as a freelancer. Learn to blend principles of visual communication with your individual creativity and exceptional problem-solving skills to create digital design that’s engaging, functional and effective.

This nationally accredited course has been designed in collaboration leading design professionals to give you the skills and confidence you’ll need to be successful in the digital world.

Why study this course?

During the CUA40715 Certificate IV in Design (Digital Design) you will:

  • gain an understanding of the design process and develop skills in critical and creative thinking.
  • familiarise yourself with design fundamentals including typography, colour theory and image editing.
  • learn how to design for the web.
  • prepare to start your career by learning how to interpret and respond to design briefs and collaborate with clients.

Potential career outcomes

  • Junior Digital Content Artist
  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • Junior Web Designer
Course number E1208
Qualification name CUA40715 Certificate IV in Design
Course duration Maximum 24 months
Delivery Method Online
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Knowledge tests, Portfolio, Reports
Awarded by
  • Open Colleges (Provider number: 90796)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


This course involves reading learning content and undertaking a range of written assessments and engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 12 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 12 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate III level or higher; or
  • 3 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


Due to the inclusion of Adobe Creative Cloud in this course, minimum computer specifications are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2007 or equivalent
  • Broadband Internet Connection
  • 4GB of Ram – 8GB is Recommended
  • 10.5GB available hard disc space for installation; additional free space is required during installation.
  • DVD – Rom Drive – compatible with dual layer DVD’s
  • 1280 x 800 display (1280 x 1024 recommended) with 16 – bit colour and 512 MB of V RAM

Mac OS:

  • Mac OS X v 10.6.8 or v 10.7
  • Multicore Intel® processor with 64-bit support


  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Intel Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor
  • Open GL 2.0 – Capable system
  • Java Runtime Environment 1.6
  • QuickTime 7.6.6 software required for HTML 5 media playback and multimedia features
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 software required to export SWF file
  • You will also need access to Zip software.


You’ll need access to a digital camera and related software for taking photos for illustration purposes, taking photos to document the progress of a particular design process, and to photograph completed design artefacts.

To complete this course you will also need:

  • Access to a high resolution colour printer and scanner (you could access these through a local copy shop)
  • A visual diary and sketching paper for preliminary sketches of designs


You will need to have proficient computing skills to undertake this course. This includes:

  • Familiarity with Internet searches
  • Experience with social media platforms
  • Using a digital camera and media storage
  • Basic computing skills with software programs such as Microsoft Office
  • Experience with or an aptitude to learn Adobe Creative Suite software


This course requires the use of design industry software. You will need access to the Adobe Creative Suite, which can be purchased on subscription through the Adobe Creative Cloud (ACC). The ACC subscription is not included in the course fee. Student subscriptions are available at a reduced price. Refer to the Adobe website

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Design fundamentals

  • Source information on 2-dimensional design
  • Explore the creative design process for 2-dimensional forms
  • Communicate concepts or ideas through application of design processes to 2-dimensional forms
  • Prepare to undertake typographic work
  • Test and explore a range of typographical techniques
  • Complete typographic work
  • Ensure quality of typographic output
  • Define the design challenge
  • Undertake research to inform the design solution
  • Communicate and collaborate with others
  • Generate ideas and responses to the design challenge
  • Select a design solution
  • Interpret graphic design briefs
  • Organise resources
  • Test graphic design approaches
  • Produce graphic design work

History and theory of design

  • Collect information on design history and theory
  • Apply information to own area of work
  • Update and maintain knowledge of design trends

Integrate colour theory and design processes

  • Research information on colour theory and design processes
  • Communicate ideas through the application of colour and design theory
  • Evaluate design work

Develop and extend critical and creative thinking skills

  • Develop a questioning mindset
  • Generate ideas and responses
  • Challenge, test and re invent ideas
  • Enhance creative thinking skills

Work with photomedia in creative practice

  • Explore the potential of photomedia in own work
  • Experiment with photomedia
  • Create and present finished photomedia work
  • Evaluate work

Author interactive sequences

  • Plan use of authoring tool
  • Prepare to author sequence
  • Produce interactive sequences
  • Check functionality of interactive sequence

Design simple web page layouts

  • Identify main layout sections from design specification
  • Layout the web page to match design specification
  • Test and validate the layout

Develop cascading style sheets

  • Format, style and lay out the elements on a web page
  • Test and validate the web pages

Contribute to health and safety of self and others

  • Work safely
  • Implement work safety requirements
  • Participate in WHS consultative processes

Use and respect copyright

  • Identify extent of copyright protection for original works
  • Ensure that copyright protection is effective when using original works
  • Monitor policies and procedures for use of own copyright materials by other parties
  • Monitor policies and procedures for legitimate use of others’ copyright materials

Interpret and respond to a design brief

  • Interpret design brief
  • Explore and develop design concept
  • Liaise with client
  • Plan production of work
  • Complete production of work

Realise a creative project

  • Develop ideas for creative project
  • Plan the creative project
  • Create finished work
  • Evaluate own work



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

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Weekly and fortnightly payment plans are also available when you pay online.

Click Enrol Now and choose a payment plan or call an Education Advisor on 1300 161 345 for more details.