Associate Degree in Applied Design


Two years full-time or part-time equivalent


Online and face-to-face (workshops, tutorials)




Term 1 (February 2020) and Term 3 (July 2020)


The Associate Degree in Applied Design (Z2E) has been developed exclusively in partnership with Foundry, giving students an industry-tailored creative education, right here in Tasmania.  Learning up-to-date, industry-relevant content, students are immersed in real-world style  experiences from day one, studying in studio environments and learning from local, national  and international industry experts.

Through application of the four core areas of theory, practice, application and context,  students quickly gain abilities to sort through real-world problems with a design mindset,  enabling them to approach any problem, with a clear process to achieve the desired  outcome.

Throughout the program, subjects are matched with key skill workshops that give students  hands-on experience with the latest industry practices and software. 
For graduates new to design, this qualification could assist you to gain roles or freelance  work in areas such as graphic design, user experience, film & photography and various  marketing roles. For those already working in the industry, this course could help you to  progress or diversify your career.

Students have the option to specialise in Digital Media & UX, Graphic Design or Film & Photography.

Work-integrated learning and portfolio development is a key component of the Associate  Degree in Applied Design. The Practice and Portfolio (P&P) subjects introduce the concept  of learning through practice, by exposing students to authentic and engaged learning  experiences designed to develop their understanding of work and the workplace. Students  are introduced to (i) different methods of and approaches to practice, (ii) how issues such as  values, ethics, empathy and leadership are reflected in the workplace and (iii) the role of  reflection and deliberative thinking in developing workplace-based knowledge, skills,  attitudes and aspirations. Students will develop personal responsibility for and autonomy in  developing their portfolio of practice. This will be reflected in educational plans developed  in consultation with their P&P tutor.

Examples of some approaches to practice that a student may undertake as part of the P&P component of the associate degree are:

Program structure

The Associate Degree in Applied Design is perfect for students wanting a broad  understanding of design thinking, and foundational skills. 
Students who are interested in a specific creative field area will be able to explore and  apply this interest through specialised assessments and workshops, allowing them to build  a comprehensive portfolio in their chosen field. Areas Include:

On completion of the Associate Degree in Applied Design, graduates will be able to:

  1. Apply and communicate practical skills and theoretical knowledge of applied design  within the contemporary workplace.
  2. Demonstrate adaptability, innovation and appreciation of design in built environments,  cultural artefacts and emerging digital landscapes through cognitive, technical and creative  ideation techniques.
  3. Illustrate design thinking skills, exploration and expression of human centred design in a  wide range of disciplines.
  4. Model the principles of creative design that encourages sustainability and resource  management through ethical and professional conduct within a collaborative framework.
  5. Identify, analyse, and evaluate personal goals and pathways for practice, employment  and further learning.
  6. Articulate evidence and value of learned academic and practice knowledge and skill to a  range of audiences

The Associate Degree in Applied Design (Z2E) is structured over two years full-time (or equivalent part-time), based on four teaching terms of 10 weeks. These teaching terms align with the Tasmanian school terms.

Each of the discipline subjects has an accompanying Practice and Portfolio subject. These subjects introduce the concept of learning through practice, and will expose you to authentic and engaging learning experiences designed to develop your understanding of work and the workplace.

Students that apply for this course will be enrolled in the following first year discipline subjects*:

Full Time Students:

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

Extend your study into a Bachelor degree

By completing the Associate Degree in Applied Design (Z2E) you may receive some credit towards a bachelor degree at the University of Tasmania.  The amount of credit received will be subject to the University’s discretion.

Career Options

2020 indicative costs

As a domestic student, you are eligible to receive a Commonwealth supported place at University and thus your course costs can be fully deferred (no payment required up front). See this website for details.

Need help applying?

If you would like one-on-one assistance with your University College application, please phone 1800 788 244 during business hours.

We also have more information on our Need help applying page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an Associate Degree shorter than a Bachelor degree?

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.

What makes University College Associate Degrees different to traditional university courses?

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.

Rather than studying during traditional university semester teaching periods, our Associate Degrees are studied over 40 weeks per year (10 weeks per term), aligning with the Tasmanian school terms.

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.

Who is likely to study an Associate Degree?

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.
Where do Associate Degree students study?

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.

Do I need to sit exams?

Not in the first year, as our assessments are built into the course content throughout the term. If you choose to undertake the articulation into a bachelor pathway in year 2 of you Associate Degree, you may be required to sit some exams, dependant on the units you are studying. Students who do not undertake this pathway will not sit exams.

What if I don’t want to continue studying after the first year?

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.

What kind of hands-on learning experience will I have?

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.

Will I receive credit towards a Bachelor degree?

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.


"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."


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