Graphic Design Pathway Program CUA50720


Study Online7 Day Free Trial

Get full course guide


Our nationally accredited Graphic Design Pathway Program allows you to step straight into the professional design industry. Learn how to combine technical, creative and conceptual skills to create designs that meet client requirements and solve a range of visual communication challenges. Launch a career as a Graphic Designer today.

Course Breakdown


CUA50720 Graphic Design Pathway Program

Course duration: Self-paced - maximum of 27 months

Recommended hours per week: 15h

Delivery method: Online

Qualification level: Diploma

Awarded by: Open Colleges Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90796)


Industry Overview

Design is a rapidly changing market and Designers must learn quickly to adapt to new trends in technology. There is expected to be very strong growth in the 5 years to November 2026, with around 14,000 (or 22% growth) new roles expected to be required. 

Source: Australian Government Job Outlook

Is this course for you?

This Graphic Design Pathway program is perfect for people who are passionate about design but  have no experience in the industry or have not studied in a while.  

Combining the Graphic Design Essentials with the CUA50720 Diploma of Graphic Design means that you have a single progressive path to a graphic design career. 

If you are an existing worker or have experience in the related industry, please inform our enrolment consultants during your enrolment conversation. You may be eligible to enrol as an existing worker and complete your studies faster. Please note - limitations do apply.

If you are an existing worker or have experience in the related industry, please inform our enrolment consultants during your enrolment conversation. You may be eligible to enrol as an existing worker and complete your studies faster. Please note - limitations do apply.

What you will learn

During your studies, you will learn: 

  • Design fundamentals, such as, typography, colour, visual communication and manipulation of graphics and layouts 
  • How to master drawing and illustration, as well as print and packaging 
  • How to understand and interpret branding and identity 
  • How to understand and work with a client design brief 
  • How to work in digital design 
  • Creation of multiplatform assessments 
  • Key skills around developing your own professional design practice, setting you up to work effectively as a freelancer, or in an agency environment 

Practitioners may work in many different commercial and community contexts across both print and digital media. The job roles that relate to this qualification may include Graphic Designer, and related roles such as Studio Manager. It may also provide pathways to other related roles in graphic design and associated industries.  

Learning Material

Your learning materials are access through our online platform OpenSpace. These learning materials include 

  • Learning content 
  • Media 
  • Additional resources 
  • Learning activities 
  • Self-checks 

Your trainer

MD Faridul Islam
MD Faridul Islam is the trainer and assessor of Digital Design and Graphic Design. He has been teaching at Open Colleges since April 2018. MD has more than 10 years’ experience in the design industry, including seven years of teaching design in VET.

Academic Information

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.

Graphic Design Pathway Program

Graphic Design Essentials

You will complete the Graphic Design Essentials short course first, and then progress to the Diploma of Graphic Design.  You will not get access to the CUA50720 Diploma of Graphic Design until you have completed Graphic Design Essentials. See below:

  • Elements and principles of design 
  • Colour theory 
  • Typography 
  • The design process 
  • The design brief 
  • Digital Design - Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign 

NB: The Graphic Design Essentials section of the Graphic Design Pathway Program is non-accredited training.

Produce typographic design solutions
  • Research type as visual communication
  • Analyse design needs
  • Develop ideas for typographic solutions
  • Manipulate and integrate type
  • Integrate type within the overall design
  • Evaluate typographic design solutions
Create and manipulate graphics
  • Analyse design needs 
  • Develop and refine ideas for graphics 
  • Create graphic objects 
  • Finalise technical aspects of graphics work 
  • Evaluate graphics work 
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
Research visual communication history and theory
  • Select focus for research
  • Conduct critical analysis
  • Present ideas about visual communication history and theory
  • Develop own practice from research
5/ modules
View All

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

We understand that you may already have many skills and areas of expertise that you have obtained in different ways and these are recognised through our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

Our Credit Transfer & Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, available in the Key Student Information section of our website, provides more information about our RPL process. Alternatively, you can contact an Enrolment Consultant to discuss your RPL options.

Course Duration

The duration for the course is self paced - maximum of 27 months. As a self-paced online course, the time it will take you to complete is flexible and dependent on ability and time available.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

Mandatory Local Entry Requirements 

Students need to be able to demonstrate and/or provide evidence of their graphic design skills and ability. Students need to be able to: 

  • Produce multiple examples of graphic design work that respond effectively to different design challenges 
  • Produce typography that supports the overall design solution 
  • Use graphic design software 

Successful completion of D0121 Graphic Design Essentials will provide you with the knowledge and skills to meet this entry requirement. 

If you already have knowledge and skills (from working or prior education) then you may be eligible to enrol directly in CUA50720 Diploma of Graphic Design and you should speak with an Enrolment Consultant about the direct entry requirements.  

Recommended Local Entry Requirements 

  • Are 18 years old (students under 18 will need permission from a parent or guardian to enrol) 
  • Have language, literacy and numeracy skills that ensure the ability to read and comprehend technical terms design terms, learn complex design task in an online self-paced environment, and communicate effectively through email. These skills are equivalent to those that would be required to successfully complete a qualification at Certificate IV level or higher 
  • Access to a modern computer with high-speed internet 
  • Access to Microsoft Office or equivalent 

To successfully complete this course, students will require the following basic computing skills on enrolment. This includes: 

  • Basic skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign 
  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents 
  • Accessing and searching the internet 
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites 
  • Uploading documents through websites/Cloud computing 
  • Understanding of participating in online discussions 
  • Attach and use peripheral devices such as scanners, digital cameras, media storage (e.g., flash drive for design storage). 
  • Saving a compressed file (.zip) 
  • Saving a PDF File and multipage PDF’s 
  • Connecting digital cameras and downloading and storing images 
  • Connecting digital video devices and downloading and storing videos 
  • Compressing image audio and video files 

It is also highly desirable that entrants have: 

  • Familiarity with Internet searches 
  • Experience with social media platforms 
  • Basic experience with Adobe Creative Cloud software 

It is recommended that a student achieves the following ACSF levels to successfully complete this course and be able to learn effectively in a self-paced online environment:  

  • Learning,– Level 4 
  • Reading, writing, oral communication & numeracy – Level 3 

If the student is still concerned about whether they have the skills to complete the course, they will be referred to Admissions as part of the enrolment process to complete a formal LLN assessment through BKSB. If the student does not achieve the recommended ACSF levels, their application will be sent to the Education Manager to determine if Open Colleges has the required level of support services available to support the needs of the student. In some cases, the student may be referred to an external provider such as their local TAFE to complete additional foundation skills training before being enrolled into the course. 

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.

Equipment and tools

This course requires you to have access to a specific tools, equipment, and resources.   

Software Requirement (This is Mandatory Material) 

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 for current pricing.  

IT Requirements 

It is recommended that students have the following hardware and additional software:

Operating System 

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 10 recommended) 
  • Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) or higher

Note: (Microsoft Office 365 can only guarantee support on the current release of Mac OS, plus two previous versions. Older versions may work but may have issues) 

Processor: 2 GHz or faster, 2-core 

Memory: 8GB of RAM or higher z916GB recommended) 

Hard Drive Space: 2 GB free disk space 

Browser: Chrome is the preferred browser for students 


  • Acrobat Reader 
  • Microsoft Office 2017 or later (including MS Office 365).  Note: if using an equivalent office software (such as Open Office or Apple Pages etc), ensure that documents can be formatted correctly and exported to common file formats 
  • Audio recording Software (Voice recorder app, Garageband, or Audacity) 
  • Video editing software (iMovie, Video Editor app) 
  • File compression software 

Internet Connection 

DSL, Cable, or Satellite with at least 2mbps upload speed 

Note: it is strongly recommended that you have access to the Internet from home. Expecting to access your course from your work internet or a public network like a library or coffee shop may be impractical due to your average weekly study hours. 

Printer/Scanner: Access to printing/scanning devices or facilities may be required for certain course activities 


  • 1280 x 800 display (1280 x 1024 recommended) with 16-bit colour and 512 MB of V RAM 
  • Speakers or headset for audio playback 
  • Microphone for audio recording 
  • Webcam or equivalent (such as a smartphone with video recording capability) 
  • External hard drive for back up of 1T or above 

E-Mail Capability 

Access to e-mail through an e-mail program or web-based e-mail system (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail, Mail for Android or Mail for iOS apps) 

Access to others 

Students will need to work with one or two other people to participate in video or audio roleplays. It is the responsibility of the student to find their own suitable role-play participants. 


Study and pay, your way

Payment Options

Pay Upfront
Save 35%
$8,989.50 Save $4,840.50
was $13,830.00
Week to week
Pay as you go
Save 11%
Pay in 110 instalments over the length of your course.
$109.36 Weekly
Total course cost: $12,230.00
was $13,830.00
Full course breakdown

Studying online with Open Colleges

Flexibility - study at your own pace

When you study online with Open Colleges you’re in control.

You can choose to complete your course quickly, or keep to a steady pace. Learning is fully flexible so you can fit your everyday commitments around your studies.

Everything you need to study is online so you can study wherever you like – but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own.

OpenSpace is our online learning platform. It’s where you’ll go to access your learning materials, contact your expert trainers and assessors and upload your assessments.

What is OpenSpace?

It’s important to us that we deliver a superior, online learning platform that meets our students’ needs. That’s why we have upgraded to our brand new, custom-designed learning platform, OpenSpace.

OpenSpace provides you with a user-friendly interface, that is mobile responsive. This means that you can complete your coursework using your laptop, iPad, or mobile device. All coursework is automatically saved, providing you with the flexibility you need to complete your studies anywhere, anytime.

How to get support?

Learning Support

The learning support team will be with you every step of the way, from enrolment to graduation. They’re here to help you get the most out of your online course. They can assist by providing non-academic support - like helping you craft an achievable study plan so that you can graduate in a realistic timeframe. If you’re finding it tough to stay motivated throughout your course, they’ll be there to help keep you on track.

Student support

The Student Support team is your one-stop service centre for all student administrative issues – including enrolment, change of contact details, OpenSpace support, assessment results and certification.

You can access the Student Support team by email or phone

Graphic Design Pathway Program

Select Payment Option

Pay in weekly instalments

Pay as you go

Save 11%

Pay in 110 instalments over the length of your course.



Total course cost: $12,230.00

Save $1,600.00

was $13,830.00

Pay Upfront

Save 35%


Save $4,840.50

was $13,830.00


MD Faridul Islam

Design & Technology
MD Faridul Islam is the trainer and assessor of Digital Design and Graphic Design. He has been teaching at Open Colleges since April 2018. MD has more than 10 years’ experience in the design industry, including seven years of teaching design in VET.
MD Faridul Islam is the trainer and assessor of Digital Design and Graphic Design. He has been teaching at Open Colleges since April 2018. MD has more than 10 years’ experience in the design industry, including seven years of teaching design in VET. MD has obtained several qualifications from a range of design courses, including; Masters in Digital Design, Graduate Certificate in Design, CIV in Graphic Design, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Diploma of Screen, and Media and Diploma of Multimedia.

MD has solid industry experience in graphic and digital technology-based designs. His areas of expertise are – logo design, illustration, web design, 3D design, UI/UX, branding and identity, digital design including game development. As a designer, MD believes there is no end of learning. Design is his passion. As a trainer, he learns every day and loves to share his skills among keen design cohorts