Duration
8 Months (2 trimesters)
Locations
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
Fees
Intake Dates

February, June, September

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International

CRICOS 085007A

JMC welcomes 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.

At the Diploma level, explore the fundamentals of graphic design and the technical skills required to create aesthetically appealing messaging. Then delve into the design process, from research, ideation, sketching and prototyping, to implementation and watch your work come to life.

Removed from traditional classroom learning, you’ll enjoy working within a design-studio environment. Tackle creative briefs, sketch ideas on paper and create quick prototypes for testing with a realized digital outcome. Learn the processes involved with creating compelling user experiences, and utilize different tools and tech to help you make it.

Why Study Design at JMC?

Go beyond graphic design into the world of digital and user experience
Be futureproof, with our hands-on and adaptable learning approach
Delve into the design process and become a creative digital ninja

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

When undertaken full-time, the Diploma of Design (Visual Communication) can be completed in 8 months (2 trimesters).

Upon successful completion of the Diploma qualification, students are eligible to continue their studies into the Bachelor Degree with advanced standing of two trimesters.

Course Structure

CURRICULUM

Click here to view the course structure →

Connect with us

Foundations of Design

Credit Points: 6

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Credit Points: 6

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

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.

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.