National code: CUA50720

Diploma of Graphic Design (Illustration)

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Overview About this course

Strengthen your creative and technical design skills and gain experience in producing digital or hand-drawn illustration. Advance your career and become an illustrator, senior graphic designer or digital designer.

Outcomes What you'll gain

Learning outcomes

Through a mixture of theory and practical course work, learn to:

  • Develop hand drawing and illustration skills

  • Work through the design process from initial design to final product

  • Plan and present client presentations

  • Work within client briefs to meet expectations

  • Produce digital illustrations using software

Course outcomes

Gain practical experience and develop specialist skills that give you an advantage in the job market.

  • Realise creative projects from initial design conception to the final product, working with production processes and industry standard software

  • Liaise with clients to meet briefs, receiving feedback and rectifying designs to meet final product expectations

  • Collaborate with peers and establish a network of professional contacts

  • A strong pathway to continue your study and enhance your career opportunities

Suitability Is this course right for you?

Entry requirements

This course requires evidence of previous experience or study before you can enrol

  • Successful completion of the Certificate IV in Design (Graphic) or its equivalent as evidenced by a copy of your transcript or

  • Relevant skills or work experience as evidenced by a portfolio which includes multiple examples of your graphic design work. The portfolio must meet different design requirements, demonstrate typographical skills and use graphic design industry software. A head teacher may contact you to discuss your portfolio prior to enrolment in the course.

Entry recommendations

To be prepared for this course, we recommend that you have:

  • A flair for creativity

  • Good visual communication skills with an enthusiasm to produce graphics for 2D and 3D objects and designs

  • A strong interest in advertising, visual communication and visual story telling

  • A passion for publishing

TAFE NSW is committed to meeting the learning needs of every community. Meeting these needs can mean there are additional entry requirements at different campus locations. Check your preferred location for further requirements. If you need help preparing for study, contact us to find out how we can support you.

Pathways Future career and study options

Career pathways

Our graduates go onto roles like:

Graphic Pre-Press Trades Worker

Graphic Pre-Press Trades Workers manipulate, set and compose text and graphics into a format suitable for printing and other visual media.

  • Full-time share Full-time workers usually work 35 hours or more a week (in all their jobs combined).


  • Employment size Employment size is the number of workers who do this as their main job.

    400 workers

  • Average age This is the average age of all workers in this job.

    44 years

  • Weekly pay Median earnings are shown for full-time, non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate, before tax or any amounts that are salary sacrificed. These figures are a guide to earnings only and should not be used to determine a wage rate.


  • Average full-time The average full-time hours that people in this role work each week.

    41 hours

  • Skill level rating Skill level ratings are based on the range and complexity of job roles. In general, the higher the skill level, the more formal education and training, previous experience or on-the-job training needed to be good at the job.


  • Gender share

    31% female

  • Future growth The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business estimates the likely change in number of workers in this role, or industry, over the next 5 years. Future growth is the likely percentage change compared to all other job roles.


Other jobs include: illustrator, senior graphic designer, visual designer and digital designer.

Study pathways

Take your study further with other courses offered at TAFE NSW:

Previous study 2 Courses

Begin here to gain experience and confidence in this study area.

Further study 2 Courses

Advance your skills to take your career to the next level

Related study 0 Courses

Strengthen your expertise and gain specialist skills to expand your employability.

The Diploma of Graphic Design (Illustration) does not have any related courses.

Your experience counts

At TAFE NSW, we recognise your previous study and work experience. You can apply for recognition of prior learning or a credit transfer with any of our courses. If you're successful you'll get your qualification faster.

Units Units taught in this course

Courses are made up of a combination of both core and specialty units. In the Diploma of Graphic Design (Illustration) qualification, you’ll need to successfully complete 19 units of competency, including 9 core and 10 speciality units.

Core units are central to the job outcomes of a particular industry or occupation. These are the units industry has agreed are essential to be capable and qualified at a particular study level.

  • Refine drawing and other visual representation tools CUAACD531

  • Develop and extend design skills and practice CUADES413

  • Research visual communication history and theory CUAGRD501

  • Design and manipulate complex layouts CUAGRD515

TAFE NSW services Facilities and support

TAFE NSW provides support services across all campus locations and online. Whatever your needs or circumstances, we have the people, resources, counselling and facilities to support you in focusing on your studies.

  • TAFE NSW Disability Support Service

  • TAFE NSW Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) support

  • TAFE NSW Aboriginal Support; Learner support (ABE)

  • TAFE NSW Careers, Counselling and Pathways Service

  • TAFE NSW Libraries

  • Scholarship programs – be supported as you explore your talents and fulfil your potential

  • Smarthinking - online access to a tutor

  • LinkedIn Learning – an online resource which offers innovative courses and tutorials to improve your personal and professional skills

  • Student associations – get social with our student community

Delivery options Find a location to enrol

On campus, online and blended study environments; at TAFE NSW your learning works with your lifestyle. Heart your favourites, compare courses and discover what works for you.