Art & Design Diploma

Full Time

Build your visual identity and realise your creative potential!

UniCollege's dynamic programme is designed to introduce you to the revolutionised Graphic Design industry. You will learn skills in web, animation, drawing and graphic design, and will get hands-on experience using the various Adobe creative products to prepare you to write the external Adobe examinations.

Students acquire a solid base by exploring and developing their ideas using both traditional skills and the latest digital media technologies. You will gain practical skills and experience using Adobe Creative Suite which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, AfterEffects, PremierPro and Advanced Application.

Our amazing team of facilitators brings a wealth of industry expertise and knowledge to this unique offering.

Career Opportunities

This programme will prepare you for many career opportunities in the field of graphic design including:

  • Desktop publisher
  • Graphic designer
  • Web designer
  • Animator
  • Advertising art director
  • Illustrator
  • Production design
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Spatial designer
  • Exhibition designer
  • Photo editor
  • Entrepreneur – start your own design studio
Course Outline
  • YEAR 1

Graphic Design Introduction
Intro to the study of signs and symbols • Using Semiotics in communication • Using personality to streamline communication • Adobe Illustrator: Drawing complex objects using primitives • Adobe Photoshop: Shape objects from 2D drawings

Graphic Processes Introduction
Fundamental vs creative misunderstanding • Intro to M.A.R.V. (Memorable, Appropriate, Recognizable, Versatile) • Learning the difference between vectors and pixels

Drawing Introduction
Intro to different drawing tools and their outcomes • Practical drawing methods and different techniques and styles to enhance drawings • Different pencil holding techniques and their outcomes • Different mounting techniques for presentation and exhibition

Graphic Design N4
Typography as a tool • Implementing the 4 rules to design better logos • Constructing an effective visual language • Merging Adobe illustrator and Photoshop • Creating dye-lines and packaging

Graphic Processes N4
Understanding colour and effective usage • Understanding the Zen of design • Evolution of the design world: Constructivism, Bauhaus, Art Deco, Pop, Swiss

Drawing N4
Experimenting with different drawing tools • Experimenting with different techniques and styles to enhance drawings • Practicing with different pencil holding techniques and their outcomes • Drawing still life's, portraits, random objects and compositional drawings

Web Design I
Introduction to the world behind the web • Dots per inch vs pixels per inch • Web colour and hex codes • Adobe InDesign and grid layout • HTML and CSS as a practice • Intro to building the web for devices

  • YEAR 2

Graphic Design N5
Graphic Design Fundamentals: Typography, colour theory and psychology, the creative brief

Layout and Composition:
5 rules of design composition and layout, applying the golden ratio, logo design, magazine/editorial design, billboard design for print and digital, brochure design, packaging design, label design, corporate stationery design, social media design - static and animated

Corporate Identity Design:
Developing a brand story, designing a company logo, choosing a colour palette, using typography, choosing imagery • Assigning a Brand Tone and Voice

Graphic Processes N5
Basic Photoshop: Navigate the Photoshop interface, perform basic photo retouching tasks, working with layers, using effects and filters, combining two separate images into one, image resolution and file output for print and web graphics, image resolution and cropping, deep etching images, colour profiles, colour correction

Basic InDesign
: Setting up a document, basic principles of layout and design, creating a new publication; create, edit, and apply styles to format text, work with text and graphic frames, import and place external graphics, importing images, adding text, setting up multiple page documents, applying bleed, margins and crop marks, saving projects for digital and print applications

Basic Illustrator
: User interface, tools, panels, document setup, using Illustrator to design, type tool and text formatting, creating and editing shapes, logo design, recoloring artwork
Graphic Process Fundamentals: DPI vs PPI, resizing vs resampling, litho vs digital print, screen printing, finishing for print and digital, different file formats, RGB vs CMYK, colour correction vs colour grading, vector graphics vs pixel graphics

A brief look at old school printing techniques

Designing Packaging
: Creating a dieline, designing a packaging box, printing and mocking up the finished product

Basic Photography
: Exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, composition

Drawing N5

History of Art N5

Graphic Design N6
Above the Line / Below the Line / Through the Line advertising • Design Hierarchy • Multi Page Catalogue Design • Social Media Design (Video) • Large Campaign Designs • Point of Sale / Point of Purchase design • Portfolio Design

Graphic Processes N6
Advanced Photoshop: Photo retouching, composition layouts, applying cinematic colour grading, working with channels and masks

Advanced Illustrator
: Applying 3D effects, tracing raster images, colour management, working with multiple fills and strokes, working with multiple colours, creating patterns, creating custom brushes

Advanced InDesign
: Document setup, tint and gradient swatches, creating vector paths, typography, working with layer comps, transparency, tables, preflight panel, table of contents, multiple page documents

Basic Adobe Premier Pro
: Customise the workspace, create a project, import assets, organize media files, add clips to a sequence, edit footage, apply effects, add transitions, add text, create a composite, audio and audio effects, merged clips, movie files

Basic Adobe After Effects
: Importing footage using Adobe Bridge, creating the composition, working with imported Illustrator layers, applying effects to a layer, applying an animation preset, previewing the effects, adding transparency, rendering the composition

Drawing N6

History of Art N6

Web Design II
Build website for devices • Building sites with Bootstrap/Shoelace • Loading sites to the web • Wordpress and CMS systems • Intro to Javascript

Accreditation and Certification

National examinations are set and administered by the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET). Successful students are awarded the following certificates issued by the DHET:

  • National Certificate: N4 Art and Design (SAQA ID: 66831)
  • National Certificate: N5 Art and Design (SAQA ID: 66915)
  • National Certificate: N6 Art and Design (SAQA ID: 66994)

Once you have successfully achieved all three N4–N6 certificates and have worked for 18 months (minimum of 2000 hours) in a design environment, your logbook will be submitted to the DHET.

On receiving DHET approval, you are awarded the highly respected National N Diploma: Art and Design (SAQA ID: 67031).

Students also have the opportunity to write the following international Adobe examinations:

  • Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) Photoshop CC
  • ACA Illustrator CC
  • ACA InDesign CC
  • ACA Dreamweaver CC

The cost of writing these Adobe exams is additional and for your account.

Entrance Requirements
  • Grade 12 National Senior Certificate (NSC) or an appropriate National Certificate (N3) or equivalent
  • Computer skills
  • A good command of the English language
Course Factsheet