Course Description

The course features the latest design industry software. During the duration of your studies, you will access the Adobe Creative Cloud with your membership. Use all its functions and start to design your very own basic projects, then move onto more advanced skills in graphic design.

Graphic design is not just about creating art: you need to learn how to respond to a client’s brief and how to manage a broad range of skills across web, branding, print, social media and interactivity. You’ll be taught how to respond to feedback from clients and how to work to time constraints, both valuable assets in the design world.

Aspire Step Engage covers the basic design skills of type, image and colour; introducing you to the design process and its application in the development of design solutions. This course will give you an end-to-end picture of graphic design. You’ll be guided by trainers who are connected to the industry. They can inspire and guide you on your journey while you gain feedback on your work and projects, and connect with other students via OpenSpace.

When you have completed this course, you will have generated a portfolio of design solutions that demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of the design process and your ability to work within a design industry context. This portfolio is yours to keep, share and develop as you progress in your graphic design aspirations.


Course number D0116
Qualification name Fundamentals of Design
Course duration Maximum 6 months
Delivery Method Online
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Knowledge tests, Portfolio, Tasks, Written reports
Awarded by
  • Open Colleges (Provider number: 90796)


You will need to have completed year 10, or equivalent. Equivalency can be demonstrated by one of the following:

  • A qualification at Certificate II level or higher OR
  • 2 years of industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as 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 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 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.


Learners will need to have proficient computing skills to undertake this course. This includes the ability to:

  • Use the computer, mouse and keyboard with proficiency in skills required to integrate software packages, save files and search the internet
  • Use the computer and design software (Adobe Creative Suite) for creating designs
  • Attach and use peripheral devices such as a scanner, digital camera, media storage (e.g., flash drive for design storage)
  • Scan hand drawn conceptual images
  • Save a compressed file (.zip)
  • Save a PDF File
  • Learners that do not possess these skills will be directed to undertake a relevant Open Colleges Skill Builder course.

Minimum specifications for your computer are:

  • Microsoft Office 2007 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 4GB of RAM – 8GB is recommended
  • 15GB available hard disc space for installation; additional free space is required during installation.
  • 1280 x 800 display (1280 x 1024 recommended) with 16 – bit colour and 512 MB of V RAM

Mac OS users:

  • 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 files

Digital equipment

You will need access to:

  • A digital video recording device and/or a digital camera and associated software to save and upload video, image and audio files to OpenSpace. Many mobile phones and smart phones include this technology.
  • Software to view online videos and images. Software such as Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer etc. are available as a free download from the internet.


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

Additional equipment

To complete this course you will need:

  • Access to an A3 and A2 printer or photocopier
  • Access to a high resolution colour printer and scanner
  • Bic #2 retractable and refillable pencils
  • Eraser
  • Drawing paper (A3 and A4)

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.
  • 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 work
  • 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



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.

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