Skip to content

Associate Degree in Applied Design

Kick-start your creative career.

Why study applied design?

If you’ve got a creative heart and are looking to build an exciting career, the Associate Degree in Applied Design is for you. Kick-start your career in graphic design, digital media or user experience, content writing, photography or film with this course. You’ll be immersed in real-world style experiences from day one, learning directly from industry experts and studying content developed and reviewed by leading creatives from around the globe.

Learn key business skills necessary for a successful creative career while covering the fundamentals of good design including design thinking, user experience design, creative ethics and how to code. In this two year, full-time course, you’ll learn transferable skills in order to create a diverse and inspired career.

In this course you'll have the opportunity to choose one of the following streams:

  • Communication
  • Business
  • Digital

The Associate Degree in Applied Design has been developed with the industry, giving you the opportunity to find freelance work as soon as you graduate. During this course, you’ll learn through practical experience, building a portfolio as a key component of the degree. This will be a great tool to launch your career. Throughout the program, you’ll learn through key skill workshops, giving you hands-on experience in the latest industry practices and software.


Two years full-time or part-time equivalent


On campus


Hobart, Launceston


Semester 1, 2021 and Semester 2, 2021


"I never thought studying would be this practical. The Associate Degree has allowed me to literally put what I’ve been studying into practice.
There has been so much help and assistance from lecturers and support services, and we’ve had invaluable access to industry professionals who had held lectures and hosted workshops. I’ve really enjoyed learning again. It is an amazing experience."

Career Options

  • Graphic designer
  • UX designer
  • Copywriter/journalist
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Photography
  • Film/digital video production
  • Interior designer

Program structure

The Associate Degree in Applied Design involves 16 units over 2 years of full-time study or 4 years of part-time study. The February 2021 intake will be delivered on campus in Launceston and Hobart, with the opportunity to specialise in a specific creative field. You’ll be able to explore and apply this interest through specialised assessments and workshops, allowing you to build a comprehensive portfolio in your chosen field. Areas Include graphic design, digital media and UX, film and photography, interior design and content writing.

Topics include:

  • Design thinking
  • Design aesthetics
  • User experience (UX) design
  • Creative experience
  • Digital design
  • Coding for web
  • Design investigators
  • Circular design

For more detailed information, please visit the Course and Unit Handbook.

Extend your study into a bachelor’s degree

Students completing the Associate Degree in Applied Design will be able to articulate into the Bachelor of Design with full credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Bachelor degrees traditionally have a duration of three of more years, while an Associate Degree can take as little as two years when studied full time.

Our University College Associate Degrees have been uniquely designed to place equal emphasis on theory and practice. This is done by offering both discipline specific subjects and hands-on learning subjects (Practice and Portfolio) throughout your Associate Degree. By doing so, you graduate job ready with a firm understanding of how to apply the theory you have learnt.

The Associate Degrees are studied during the traditional university Semester study periods.

The new Associate Degrees are a formal qualification in their own right, offering pathways to new career opportunities or upskilling in a current career. These Associate Degrees also offer formal articulation pathways into specified bachelor degrees should you wish to continue studying.

Our Associate Degrees are likely to appeal to a wide range of people, including:

  • School leavers who achieve a TCE (or ATAR) but who are not eligible/prepared/interested in studying a bachelor degree;
  • students who want to gain skills and knowledge to start a career;
  • students interested in learning about innovation and future jobs;
  • students with industry/professional experience who would like to gain some academic credentials; and
  • non-school leaver and mature-age students seeking academic credentials and career advancement.

Our Associate Degrees are offered via a combination of face-to-face (workshops, tutorials etc.) and online study. The online component of our Associate Degrees are offered on each of the University of Tasmania campuses at Newnham, Sandy Bay and Cradle Coast.

No. For all University College units, assessments are built into the course content throughout the semester. If you undertake units from other parts of the University, you may be required to sit some exams. For more detailed information, please visit the Course and Unit Search.

If you successfully complete the first year of your Associate Degree and decide you no longer wish to study, you can graduate out of the course with a Diploma qualification.

Throughout your Associate Degree you will be exposed to a range of hands-on learning experiences such as live case studies, real-world business examples, industry speakers, job-focused programs, industry workshops, projects and internships.

By successfully completing one of our Associate Degree courses, you may be eligible to receive credit towards a relevant Bachelor degree offered by the University of Tasmania. Some of our Associate Degrees have specific credit pathways into a Bachelor degree, where you can receive up to 2 years full credit towards a specified Bachelor degree. For those Associate Degrees that do not have a specified credit pathway, or if you are wanting to receive credit into a different Bachelor degree than the one specified, you may receive some credit, subject to the College’s discretion.