Duration
2 Years (6 trimesters)
Locations
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
Fees
Intake Dates

February, June, September

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International

CRICOS 085009K

JMC welcomes students from all over the world.
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Technology is moving fast and society is changing with it. If you’re passionate about all things visual and the impact design has on people and culture, this course is for you.

The Bachelor degree allows you to immerse yourself in the design world, develop strong visual communication skills and understand the tools you need to make it in the industry. It will give you the opportunity to build a professional portfolio of your own work, while investigating a process-based design approach and engaging with mentors from the industry on real world projects.

Learning takes place in a studio environment where small classes encourage students to come together to collaborate on projects. From initial concept through to design and delivery, you will explore different design tools and methods to graduate fully equipped to enter the industry.

Why Study Design at JMC?

Intern and work on brand projects at leading design agencies including Protein, Tobias and Sha8peshifters
Be futureproof, with our hands-on and adaptable learning approach and flexible studio-based learning style
Cover everything from creativity and innovation to artistic development, software and technical skills for optimal employability

Technology & Facilities

We take design seriously at JMC. Our classes are full of the best tech in the trade, constantly updated with industry-standard tech and the latest software out there. From day one, you’ll attend classes set up in studio-like environments and have access to a range of equipment including Wacom graphics tablets, HTC Vive VR tech, 3D printers and DSLR cameras that will allow you to experiment and design to your heart’s desire. You’ll also receive a complimentary Adobe Creative Cloud license for your personal computer, giving you access to all of Adobe’s apps and software including Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects.

Duration

In only 2 years you can graduate with a Bachelor degree thanks to our accelerated full-time course. Part-time study is also available to domestic students. International students may choose to complete the course in 3 years rather than the accelerated 2 year option.

The Dutch Exchange

Take your passion to Europe and spend an entire trimester at Fontys Academy for Creative Industries in the Netherlands. Collaborate with creative students from all over the world and build your international contacts along the way.

Japan Study Tour

Spend 12 days immersed in anime and manga creation classes at the Tokyo Design Technology Center and Osaka Animation College, and explore the pop culture of Japan. This selective unit includes visits to the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum and the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

*Study Abroad programs will resume once international travel restrictions ease

Course Structure

CURRICULUM

Click here to view the course structure →

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Foundations of Design (Trimesters 1 & 2)

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 1

Students will have the opportunity to investigate widely used design processes, including the UK Design Council’s “Double Diamond” and human-centred design practices. This unit explores foundational theory related to universal design (‘design for all’) and assistive technology (‘design for need’) principles. The unit investigates the relational aspects of inclusive design with a view to addressing human needs and desires, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities, the aged, children/youth, and people with disability sectors. This is the first of two units that take students through the full life span of a creative project, from brief to implementation.

This unit addresses the principles and practices of the ‘first diamond’, from challenging the brief and discovery, to conducting research, and developing insights – right through to identifying opportunity areas. Students will be required to apply the methodology learned to a design project, focussing on challenging their position (beliefs, values) in relation to the process and the brief.  

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 2

Creative industry sub-sectors like design, UX, experience design, games, film, animation, sequential arts, illustration, use storytelling frameworks and methods to create collaborative, emotionally resonant visual communication outputs and interactive media. This storytelling unit aims to introduce students to narrative art to ignite imagination and explore universal cultural truths and aspirations. Students will employ collaborative methods and techniques for authorship that builds familiarity and trust, encourages storytelling of our own experiences, and affirms teamwork.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 1

This unit explores the foundations of good visual design. Students will learn the different elements and principles of visual communication including Gestalt, colour theory, layout and typography. They will explore how to bring these components together to create strong visual messages.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 2

This is a second of two units that delve into the design process. Students continue on to the “second diamond” and learn to test their prototypes, iterate and implement solutions. This builds on the knowledge and skills they acquired in

Design Processes 1. Through effective iterative design methods like Design Studio, Agile, Lean and Google Design Sprints, students will enhance their practice of design which readies them for all practical applications of design, while giving them the tools to develop rich hypotheses and test their assumptions.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 1

In this unit, students will be required to reflect upon the fundamental rules of typographic design so they can meaningfully experiment with making and breaking the grid. They will be given the opportunity to develop their understanding of the role of text in visual communication and critically analyse its use in design. They will investigate layout and composition and will explore how to arrange design elements across different media, both digital and print, while acquiring the skills to use the appropriate software to help them bring their designs to life.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 2

Interface design facilitates the interaction between people and software or machines, by focusing on the look and style of interfaces. In this unit, students will learn the concepts and processes behind creating intuitive and friendly user interfaces (UI). They will also learn the tools they need for wireframing and prototyping these interfaces.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 1

This unit explores the foundations of visual thinking, building on and enhancing the student’s ability to observe and interpret ideas using effective visualisation techniques. The unit is divided into two parts. Part 1 focuses on the development of visual thinking throughout human history. Part 2 looks more deeply at enhancing practical skills as the student explores different exercises and assignments that build on their theoretical understanding. Over the twelve weeks, students will learn about the origins of visual thinking, it’s effect on cognition, and the vast array of signs and symbols humans use to communicate with one another. These will be framed and reinforced with practical exercises that help to link theory to practice.

The delivery of the lessons is divided into small bits of theory and practice, where the lecturer presents ideas and topics for short periods of time throughout the 3-hour lesson. Dispersed in between these short presentations are activities and exercises that are designed to allow students to directly put into practice and explore what they are learning. This allows for increased engagement throughout the class and for students to see how the value and practicality of the theory they are learning. There are also a few excursions scheduled; these aim to broaden the students’ perspective and put what they are learning into a real-world context.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 2

This unit allows students to understand the design process in context with Branding and identity. They will study the reasons behind certain brands' success in comparison to others that struggle. Students will explore how to bring together visual communication principles and the design process – skills learned in previous units – to create strong brand strategies and messaging.

Polish and Build (Trimesters 3 & 4)

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 3

Using design principles and visual hierarchy, students will engage in the creation of compelling stories that use the visual medium to convey effective messages and build emotional connection. This unit combines and builds on knowledge acquired in previous trimesters, specifically from Design Fundamentals and Storytelling Fundamentals. Students will explore the role of visual storytelling at different stages of the design process and its application in current fields like user experience and interactive media, as well as in classic mediums like paintings, films and posters.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 4

This unit gives students the opportunity to learn about multidisciplinary design practices by exploring exhibition design, its components and communicated information. Exhibition design offers an integrated way of communicating narratives that have an emotional and educative impact on the viewer. It involves collaborations between a range of practitioners in the design industry. Special focus is placed on experience design that provides new ways for audiences to interact with content formed from convergent design and technology skills.

The unit is designed as a series of lectures, discussions and activities including guest speakers from diverse areas of the design industry. It aims to present students with current trends, relevant opportunities and the various specialisations available to them at present and in the future

The main project in this unit requires students to work in teams, reflecting the collaborative nature of exhibition design. Each team undertakes a design project in response to a brief that employs many of the ideas and techniques covered in the unit topics. Industry practitioners may be appointed as mentors to guide the students through the assessment.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 3

This unit is delivered as a series of lectures and workshops that cover a range of topics that are essential to shaping a designer's mindset and approach and informing their work. It includes topic areas covering ethics, wicked problems, philosophy, behavioural psychology, histories, emerging technologies and futurology.

This unit aims to foster curiosity & lifelong learning by expanding students' knowledge about history, local and global design culture & society and environment issues in contexts aligned with visual communication models and strategy. The purpose of this unit is to engage students in a critical review, discussion and analysis of a range of topics especially in relation to their practice and to visual communication practices and principles more generally.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 4

This unit takes on a real-world approach to design projects, using relevant project management tools and the design process to answer an industry-standard brief. Students will have the chance to apply the skills and tools they have learned to define, develop and resolve a design problem as they would in a professional studio setting and when available, responding to a real client. Students will be required to collaborate in the application of relevant design methodologies to develop and produce strong and meaningful visual outcomes in response to the brief. At the conclusion of the unit, students will be expected to deliver an MVP that addresses the brief, incorporating feedback received during the design and development phases.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 3

This unit explores the foundations of human centred interaction design. Students will learn the different elements and principles of interaction design, including user centred design, usability heuristics, concept development, information architecture, usability testing, designing for accessibility, and dark patterns. Students will explore and uncover the dialogue between a person and the products they use, whether they be digital or non-digital forms. Students will have the opportunity to understand user needs, the context, and the limitations between humans and products. Students will explore how to bring these components together to create usable and useful interactions in a practical project.

Design Showcase and Project (Trimesters 5 & 6)

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 5

Tech lab is a space for students to push the limits of current media and experiment with emerging tech and innovation. This unit also gives them the opportunity to collaborate with students from other disciplines like Animation, Games and Film, on a creative project.

Credit Points: 6
Trimester 6

This unit is designed to help students prepare for a career in design and visual communication. Students have opportunities to develop their knowledge of key business skills, compile and organise their portfolios, develop their visual identity, understand industry standards and expectations, and identify and respond to employment opportunities. Key to this unit is working with students to develop their identity as professional visual communicators and maintaining their creative practice over the longer term. 

Credit Points: 12
Trimester 5

This unit represents the first stage of students' major work. In effect it is a capstone unit that provides students with the opportunity to focus their attention on a design project that reflects their career aspirations, reflects their beliefs, and speaks to their strengths as problem solvers and visual communicators. It is an open, self-initiated brief, with team or individual options. It gives students the opportunity to delve deeper into a specific area of design that they want to learn more about, and to work on a project that aligns with their own interests and vision.

Supported by their lecturer as mentor, students will develop and refine a brief for their project. They will be required to follow a recognised design methodology in a process that encompasses research, ideation, and concept definition. It is expected that the project will address a contemporary issue where the student—as designer—can make a significant contribution to the discussion. Importantly, students will be expected to set and meet deadlines, and work autonomously to lead their project to a state of readiness for realisation in DES413 Major Project 2.

Specialist design facilities are provided to students to enable their completion of this unit. These include a physical collaboration and ideation space with an ideation wall, markers, post-it notes, butcher’s paper and printing facilities, as well as access to computers and digital software (for example: Adobe Creative Cloud). To encourage innovation and creative experimentation in their unit of study, students also have access to 3D printing facilities as well as virtual and augmented reality technology.

Credit Points: 12
Trimester 6

This unit is the second part of the students' major work. Building on the concept they pitched in the first part, they will design, prototype, test and deliver a fully completed project or a working minimum viable product (MVP.) Through this process, students will combine their learnings from their whole course of study and demonstrate their ability to develop and deliver a design project from idea to implementation according to industry standards. This project aims to become their main portfolio piece that they can use as evidence to their capabilities as designers and to facilitate their entry into employment in the industry upon graduation.

Electives

* indicates elective stream unit (Visual Design Stream)

Credit Points: 6

In this unit, students will delve deeper into the application of visual communication, specifically in the graphical representation of information and data. Students will look at different tools used to visualise information, including charts, graphs, and maps, etc...

* indicates elective stream unit (Visual Design Stream)

Credit Points: 6

This unit introduces students to the creative processes, technical tools, animation principles and visual storytelling techniques used by designers working in the motion graphics domain. They will learn how to translate their existing visual design skills to include the 4th dimension – motion over time. The applications of these techniques include work such as title design, infographic animations, explainer videos, motion posters, and motion graphic visual effects elements for interactive media.

This unit will give students practical experience in the standard creative development processes unique to creating moving image work, and a literacy in current real-world practices that is directly applicable to the creative marketplace. In addition to this, it will give students the opportunity to develop a final motion graphics work using industry standard digital tools.

* indicates elective stream unit (Visual Design Stream)

Credit Points: 6

Designing for the third dimension offers greater opportunities to build on knowledge and skill constructed through a classic two-dimensional design practice. Designing for the third dimension augments the designer’s toolkit allowing for entry into creative industries such as special effects, information and data visualisation, game design, object, product or interior design and 3D printing.

Motion Design 2 is a subject that focuses on the creative potential of the third dimension for design students that are used to working in classic 2D design areas. The 3D space in this subject is utilised to create and visualise ideas and concepts and produce final 3D artwork for visual communication, branding and identity, objects, character, animations, visual effects and more. This is an introductory unit, expanding 2D motion graphic techniques before investigating the concept of 2.5D and the basics of navigating and creating (modelling and sculpting) real 3D objects.

Motion Design 2 provides students with practical experience in the standard creative development processes unique to creating moving image work and visual messaging. The unit expands design literacy in current real-world practices that is directly applicable to the creative marketplace. In addition to this, it will give students the opportunity to develop a final motion graphics work using industry standard digital tools.

* indicates elective stream unit (Digital Design Stream)

Credit Points: 6

Designers work closely with developers to create functional digital, online and mobile interactions. This unit introduces students to coding and equips them with an understanding of the tools that developers use and the scope of feasibility of a digital interactive product when it reaches the implementation stage. They will get the opportunity to practice coding and develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between design and development.

* indicates elective stream unit (Digital Design Stream)

Credit Points: 6

In the context of Human Centred Design, User Research is a methodical study of the impact design can have on the target user, in terms of human behaviour and quality of life. Experience designers work across products, journeys, services, events, and environments to deliver seamless user experiences. In this unit, students will deploy various methods and principles to expose problems and find design opportunities that can be used as crucial information and insights in their design process. Students are required to develop a research plan to converge their scope, and apply their understanding of different data collection strategies and methodologies.

Correspondingly, students will review and analyse concepts related to user experience, including time, context, triggers, and touch points. Students will explore user experiences from a visual communication perspective; employing data collection methods to create visual artefacts such as empathy maps, user stories and journey maps.

* indicates elective stream unit (Digital Design Stream)

Credit Points: 6

This unit builds the essential knowledge for development of mobile apps. Student will explore the pipeline and frameworks relevant to app prototyping by engaging in practical exercises. By engaging in guided and self-directed exercises, students

will develop a familiarity with the latest tools, and strengthen their relationship between design and practical development.

Credit Points: 6

This is a work-integrated learning subject where students participate in a work placement relevant to their design field for a specified amount of time. Within the experience, students work on industry projects from brief to implementation and get the chance to interact with clients and develop interpersonal and communication skills needed in this industry. The internship relies on the application of knowledge and skills you have gained throughout your Bachelor Course in a ‘real-world’ situation. When you are enrolled in the subject, you will meet with your project supervisor regularly while working in industry. Upon completion of the subject, it is expected that you will have enhanced your skills in pitching, project management and dealing with clients, as part of your individual professional development.

Our Lecturers

Tim McEwen

Animation, Game + Design Lecturer

Tim McEwen draws on his broad experience in feature film storyboards and concept art (Happy Feet Two, Blinky Bill, Wolf Creek 2), as well as comic books, illustration, and cartooning. He's been published professionally since he was 17, has featured in 22 exhibitions domestically and internationally, and has been nominated and shortlisted many times for numerous awards, including three times for Best Comic Book Artist in the Australian Cartoonists’ Association's prestigious Stanley Awards. In 2018 he received the Platinum Ledger Award for contributions to the Australian comics scene.

He's been the director of the Comics Art Awards of Australia, a committee member for the Australian Cartoonists' Association, founding art director of Supanova Pop Culture Expo, as well as being a featured guest at numerous conventions, and an expert speaker at numerous events. He's also an art director and graphic designer with 30+ years of experience.

Tim has lectured at JMC in Sydney for nine years, and has previously lectured at the University of Western Sydney. He continues to work in his chosen professions, illustrating books, providing storyboards, and working on his internationally distributed, award-winning comic series ‘Greener Pastures’.

Tim McEwen

Animation, Game + Design Lecturer

Tim McEwen draws on his broad experience in feature film storyboards and concept art (Happy Feet Two, Blinky Bill, Wolf Creek 2), as well as comic books, illustration, and cartooning. He's been published professionally since he was 17, has featured in 22 exhibitions domestically and internationally, and has been nominated and shortlisted many times for numerous awards, including three times for Best Comic Book Artist in the Australian Cartoonists’ Association's prestigious Stanley Awards. In 2018 he received the Platinum Ledger Award for contributions to the Australian comics scene.

He's been the director of the Comics Art Awards of Australia, a committee member for the Australian Cartoonists' Association, founding art director of Supanova Pop Culture Expo, as well as being a featured guest at numerous conventions, and an expert speaker at numerous events. He's also an art director and graphic designer with 30+ years of experience.

Tim has lectured at JMC in Sydney for nine years, and has previously lectured at the University of Western Sydney. He continues to work in his chosen professions, illustrating books, providing storyboards, and working on his internationally distributed, award-winning comic series ‘Greener Pastures’.

Dr Melissa Silk

National Head of Design

With over thirty years of creative practice, Melissa collaborates with many thinkers and makers to design experiences that embed the Arts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM). Melissa is co-director of STEAMpop.zone while also engaged in research contributing to learning ecologies spanning creative intelligence and innovation, transdisciplinary education, and designing for preferred futures. Melissa enjoys being part of a bold community of multipotentialities intent on developing and sharing unique learning experiences for everybody.

 

Awards: Beth Southwell Award for Education Research 

Dr Melissa Silk

National Head of Design

With over thirty years of creative practice, Melissa collaborates with many thinkers and makers to design experiences that embed the Arts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEAM). Melissa is co-director of STEAMpop.zone while also engaged in research contributing to learning ecologies spanning creative intelligence and innovation, transdisciplinary education, and designing for preferred futures. Melissa enjoys being part of a bold community of multipotentialities intent on developing and sharing unique learning experiences for everybody.

 

Awards: Beth Southwell Award for Education Research 

Andrew Barnum

Design Lecturer

Andrew Barnum is a Designer, Educator and Artist and continues to work on projects and in contexts that synthesise his experience and inspiration as a creative practitioner. In Design he is the chief creative officer of Social Design Action consultancy Peopleness, which is human-centered design focused. In education he is a PhD candidate at UTS researching the potential dislocation between Australian song, cultural identity and place in the digital age, and is course author and lecturer in the Bachelor of Design (Digital Design) at JMC Academy in Sydney.

As an artist his passion is songwriting and painting with independent releases on iTunes and Spotify as Andrew Barnum and Vitabeats, with a new project under the moniker of Memory Collective. His most recent paintings are a series of colour field investigations in Australian ‘colours in common.’

Andrew Barnum

Design Lecturer

Andrew Barnum is a Designer, Educator and Artist and continues to work on projects and in contexts that synthesise his experience and inspiration as a creative practitioner. In Design he is the chief creative officer of Social Design Action consultancy Peopleness, which is human-centered design focused. In education he is a PhD candidate at UTS researching the potential dislocation between Australian song, cultural identity and place in the digital age, and is course author and lecturer in the Bachelor of Design (Digital Design) at JMC Academy in Sydney.

As an artist his passion is songwriting and painting with independent releases on iTunes and Spotify as Andrew Barnum and Vitabeats, with a new project under the moniker of Memory Collective. His most recent paintings are a series of colour field investigations in Australian ‘colours in common.’

I love the fact that we were not constrained and can show what we are really capable of. It made me want to push my own boundaries to learn new styles and techniques to incorporate into my work.
Anthony Abade - Graphic Designer, Accent Group Ltd.
Design Alumni
You end up becoming quite close with your lecturer because you work with them all the time as opposed to a distant authoritative figure. There’s still authority, but they are like your friend as well.
Darren Ho - Strategic Designer, Tobias Australia
Design Alumni
JMC provided me the chance to explore my inner creativity and develop problem-solving skills through ‘real world’ situations, leaving me well prepared to enter the industry.
Cody Waters - Digital Designer, Elastic Studios
Design Alumni

Are you ready to take the next step toward your career in Design?

FAQs

You will need to bring the following to your course:

  • Laptop: Macbook Pro or similarly powered or Windows laptop, running latest OS
  • Device: Smartphone or Tablet
  • Journal: A5 size Blank pages
  • Pen: Felt-tip 0.3-0.5
  • Pencils: HB-2B, rulers and eraser

JMC will supply you with your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

At application, we are most keen to learn about your passion and reasons for wanting to study design. In addition to that, we ask that you answer the following two questions prior to coming in for the interview:

1. Show us your best piece of work

What’s something you’ve created that you’re really proud of? It can be any of the following:

  • An image (a photography piece, an illustration or a painting)
  • A project (an idea, a story, a film critique, a blog, etc…)
  • A product (a website, an animation, a poster, presentation, etc…)

Write a small paragraph explaining your choices and rationale behind it. Show us your rigor and initiative. Give us an insight into your creative approach, your creativity and the resulting output.

2. Tell us your thoughts

  • Choose a brand that you like and think is successful; write a short paragraph reflecting on why you like it and the reasons behind its success.
  • Choose a brand that you dislike or has not been doing well; write a short paragraph reflecting on what the issues are and how they might improve.

Show us the way you see the world around you, your standard of what makes a design good or bad and insight into your thought process.

No. We equip you with digital tools that allow you to create high-functioning prototypes without coding. 

This course is very hands on and you will tackle real world creative projects. However, having a foundational understanding of design theory is still vitally important. There is approximately a 25% (theory) to 75% (practice) balance.

No. We assess your work as would happen in the workplace via proposal documents and reports, presentations and demonstrations.

As with any design you will need to communicate ideas via drawing and sketching. We believe anyone can learn how to think visually, and we teach sketching techniques right from the beginning. So, if you are open to making marks and learning how to do it well, that’s all you need to start!

We are committed to strengthening our Design Industry connections by fostering both internships and industry based projects. You will also be mentored by industry practitioners on some of the projects throughout your course of study. In addition, we have industry guests come and talk on a range of topics in each trimester, so you get to build your network even before you graduate.

Yes. The JMC Academy is registered and regulated by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) which is Australia’s independent national regulator of the higher education sector, both public and private.

No, our courses are hands on and practical. Students are required to attend classes to receive ongoing mentorship, learn new skills and work with the equipment provided. We do encourage our students to use online study resources, however our courses would not be as immersive as they are without the practical component.