CUA40720 Certificate IV in Design

CRICOS Course Code: 105798F

Graphic design is an ever expanding industry. In the Certificate IV in Design, you will acquire the skills to create logos, magazine layout, brand identity, digital illustration, manipulate graphics and concept design. The skills gained in this qualification will prepare you for further study into a Diploma of Graphic Design, expanding your skills and capabilities as a qualified Graphic Designer.

Start Dates



40 Weeks

Study: 31 weeks // Supervised Study: 3 weeks // Holidays: 6 weeks

Delivery Mode


15 hrs / week


5 hrs / week

Potential Career Outcomes

Junior Designer // Illustrator // Freelance Designer


Gold Coast

Entry Requirements

Academic Entry Requirement:

Students must provide evidence of successful completion of:

  • Certificate IV or Diploma requires a minimum of Year 12 OR a minimum of a Certificate III level qualification or higher.
  • If there is no evidence of the above, the student must sit the Entrepreneur Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Test and achieve a satisfactory result


Please note: home country evidence is accepted and must be translated


English Entry Requirement:

Students must pass a minimum of one of the following English Requirements:

  • Upper Intermediate Certificate or higher
  • Certificate IV level or higher qualification in Australia
  • IELTS 5.5-6, FCE Grade B or C, CAE 160-179, TOEFL 72-94, TOEIC 400-485 (listening), 385-450 (reading)
  • Entrepreneur Education English Test, achieving at least Upper Intermediate level


Please Note: To ensure that the English test score is current, the English test must have been taken either within two years before the application is made or within two years before the grant of the visa.


Course Resource Requirements:

The following resources are required to complete this course:

  • Computer Requirements: Students will require continual access to their own laptop computer during class and outside of class to meet distance education requirements
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Suite: must have a subscription to the current version.
  • Computer System Requirements:



Please note: students are required to purchase these items at their own expense


You may be eligible for Credit Transfers if you hold the same unit(s) from another provider. To be eligible; you must present your certified qualification at enrolment stage, together with the completed ‘Course Credit Form’. Once assessed, you will be notified of the outcome. Should your achieved units be equivalent, your CoE/course duration will be reduced according to the amount of time needed to complete the outstanding units.

Course Subjects

01. Designing with colour

CUADES301 Explore the use of colour

CUAACD411 Integrate colour theory and design processes

During the ‘Designing with Colour’ unit, students will demonstrate the ability to investigate and combine colour theory into a realistic practical project. Colour theory will be demonstrated in both theoretical and practical components of this assessment across a 3-week period.

02. Typography
CUADES411 Generate design solutions
CUAGRD312 Use typography techniques
ICPPRP2210 Select and apply type

In this ‘Typography’ unit, students will learn about the history of typography, type styles and categories. This knowledge will be applied to a client project where students will demonstrate typesetting and layout skills. Students will also learn of finished art and print media and applying typography to a commercial project.

03. Principles of Design
CUADES305 Source and apply information on the history and theory of design
CUAGRD411 Research and apply graphic design techniques

This unit focuses on Graphic Design principles and the application of this knowledge to a commercial advertisement, a Billboard. Students will learn about the evolution of design, current graphic design trends, extend design industry vocabulary and gain knowledge of design principles founded by Gutenberg. The theory of design assists in conceptual underpinning for design work and rationales when pitching to clients.

04. Image editing (Photoshop)
CUADES412 Interpret and respond to a design brief
CUAPHI403 Enhance, manipulate and output photo images

Throughout the course of the next 3 weeks, students will learn the art of image editing in Adobe Photoshop. The assessment task is to work with existing images for a client and create 3 manipulated images ready for advertisements and online materials. Students will use industry software to learn techniques like removing blemishes, changing colour (hue and saturation), etching out people and placing them on a new background in a professional manner.

05. WHS

CUAWHS312 Apply work health and safety practices

Every industry have their own set of safety practices. This unit you will learn how to apply work health and safety (WHS) requirements, including implementing safe work practices, participating in risk assessment and control, and following emergency procedures in the creative industries.

06. Layout design (Indesign)

ICPPRP224 Produce pages using a page layout application

During this unit, students will demonstrate the ability to design complex layouts for a specified client. Use of the Adobe Programs such as Illustrator Indesign and Photoshop will be used in a collaborative way to design a 4 page and 8-page brochure that will be imposition printed as saddle stitch document. In this unit students will also learn print and pre-press terminology to work better with printers and work with finished art methodology.

07. Let's get creative

CUAPPR411 Realise a creative project

You will learn the skills and knowledge required to experiment with ideas and techniques to find an individual style or voice throughout a creative project that results in a completed work. This unit will prepare you for the industry considerations, preparation and research techniques required to complete the major project successfully.

08. Digital drawing
CUAACD311 Produce drawings to communicate ideas
CUAILL401 Develop and refine illustrative work

This unit covers a range of digital drawing technologies, tools, programs and techniques that a designer can apply to commercial projects. Over the course of 4 weeks you will learn how to digital draw and colour in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. The main project will be focused on designing textile designs and patterns using these newly formed digital drawing skills.

09. Think hard

BSBCRT411 Apply critical thinking to work practices

Everyone thinks. It is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or downright prejudiced. Learn how to use advanced-level critical thinking skills in a workplace context. This includes using methods of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

10. A Splash of Colour
CUAACD411 Integrate colour theory and design processes
CUADES301 Explore the use of colour

During this unit, students will demonstrate the ability to investigate and combine colour theory into a realistic practical project. Colour theory will be demonstrated in both theoretical and practical components of this assessment across a 3-week period.

Timetable Information


Please note; timetables are subject to change.

Course Terminology

Workshop (Design Foundations)

During this time your mentor will deliver planned training sessions which are aimed to give you introductory graphic design skills. Activities may include presentations and planned activities to learn how to use graphic design tools and software.


Workshop (Creative Project Foundations)

Upon completion of the introductory workshops, you will be equipped to commence management real and simulated projects. This scheduled time will focus on individual components of your assigned projects.


Collaborate (team meeting)

In collaboration with students studying Project Management, you will complete a series of projects. You will be designing real life artwork and will have access to a project manager to help meet your targets. In this allocated time slot, you will have weekly project meetings with your team to evaluate your project.


Collaborate (facilitated learning & project work)

During this facilitated time, you will work collaboratively with your project team, or complete independent research tasks that have been delivered in the workshop sessions. You will practice skills that you have been taught by your mentor.

Distance Education

Canvas (Learner Management System)
Canvas is your online learning portal. Within this platform, you will be able to access your course learning materials, assessment requirements, and marked submissions. You will also be able to communicate with your Mentor within this platform, outside of timetabled hours. The system is user friendly and will help keep you on track throughout your studies.

Academic Calendars