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Study design

Prepare yourself for a future-focused career

Learn how to tackle complex problems through design thinking, develop strategies for innovation and be on the forefront of emergent technologies for creative applications.

What is design?

Design is not limited to aesthetic concerns. As a way of thinking, design provides a framework for coming up with new ideas, products, services, and systems. Design links creativity and innovation through human-centred design thinking – for either envisioning the digital interactions between people and driverless cars or using virtual reality (VR) to encourage healthier ways of living.

Applying design methods helps to ensure that new solutions address human concerns and balance cultural, environmental and economic requirements. From interaction design and design thinking to innovation design and strategic design, our programs enable you to design for the future, using the emergent technologies of today.

Our design programs provide new skills for the industry leaders of tomorrow. When you study with us, you will gain a toolbox of skills ranging from digital media production and user experience (UX) design through to visual design, effective communication and critical thinking. We offer a range of programs, from undergraduate to specialist postgraduate qualifications. Each one supports a variety of career pathways and personal ambitions.

Our programs also provide you with many opportunities to connect with professional designers and future work opportunities through invited guest lectures, dedicated careers nights, access to an exclusive design jobs mailing list and our annual graduate exhibition.

Our degrees are aimed at talented individuals who are seeking a career in user-experience design or interaction design, to use technology creatively for design and commercial purposes, or to apply design for achieving a strategic advantage across a range of industries.

As a graduate, your skills in design thinking coupled with technical skills could make you highly sought after by a range of employers, from digital startups to major multinational corporations.

Career pathways include:

  • interaction designer
  • user-experience designer
  • service designer
  • data visualisation specialist
  • creative technologist
  • front-end developer
  • digital producer
  • strategic adviser
  • head, customer experience
  • design director
  • strategic designer.

Undergraduate degrees

Design Computing

By taking the Bachelor of Design Computing, you will learn how to create human-centred products and services. You will gain and apply skills through studio projects in visual design, digital media production, coding, prototyping and UX design.

Design Computing/Advanced Studies

The Bachelor of Design Computing/Bachelor of Advanced Studies is the only undergraduate degree in Australia that will provide you with specialised training for a career in interaction design and creative technologies while enabling you to dive deeper into a second area of specialisation. It will build your skills in entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation; broaden your opportunities; and prepare you for a successful future career.

Design Major

The Major in Design will provide you with design thinking skills that can be applied across a wide range of disciplines. As the world becomes more complex, there is increasing demand for graduates who are able to apply design as a way to solve problems, develop alternative points of view, and disrupt existing models.

Postgraduate courses

Interaction Design and Electronic Arts

The Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts postgraduate program infuses technological innovation with human-centred design thinking. You will develop an understanding of ways to design interactive products and systems with lasting cultural and commercial value.

Related courses
At the master’s level, our Interaction Design and Electronic Arts degree will take 1.5 years full time to complete (72 credit points). The program can also be taken at the level of:

Diversify your course
You can add a specialisation in Audio and Acoustics or Illumination Design. This will differentiate your skillset and enable you to work in the emerging area of interactive sound and lighting in entertainment, buildings and public spaces.

Master of Design

The Master of Design will provide you with specialist postgraduate training in the emerging fields of design innovation and strategic design that can be applied across a wide range of disciplines. This degree will introduce you to the principles and methods for using design to achieve innovation and strategic outcomes, and how to apply them in real-world design projects.

At the master’s level, this degree can be taken over 1.5 or 2 years respectively. You can elect to specialise in either:

The program can also be taken at the level of:

Our inspiring students

Sophie Gardner

Bachelor of Design Computing, 2017

“My Design Studio tutor works for Google and encouraged me to apply for an internship. I’m now a user experience designer on the Android Google Maps team. We work with researchers and engineers to design new products and features. It’s heaps of fun!

“Working here is very similar to what I do in my degree. At university we have to collaborate with other designers and work to a brief while still being creative and willing to try new things. We are always asking each other questions or helping each other out. It’s very similar to how things work at Google, where everyone is encouraged to collaborate and bounce ideas off each other.

“The internship has countless benefits. It’s helped me to understand the kind of job I want. Being able to apply what I’ve learned in my degree has been very rewarding and I’m learning new things every day.”

Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Art student

Louis Chew

Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Arts

"This course imparted a wide range of technical skills and design principles that developed me into a holistic designer. From conceptualisation to prototyping, my proficiency in the various software and hardware required to design and program digital solutions was increased tremendously through constant practice in the studio-based learning environment. Surrounded by an amazing batch of highly driven students and academics, I was challenged to always push my limits and found great joy in developing my own design style. From both theoretical and practical perspectives, I am now more prepared and confident to take on future career progression."

Sarah Yap 

Bachelor of Design Computing, current student

“After arriving in Sydney, the realisation of being alone, away from my family set it. But as the semester progressed I felt more settled as I got into a work flow and received help from the new friends I made. I find my course challenging yet really rewarding, as it pushes me to use design thinking and also require me to implement code. I would strongly encourage those who have a desire to learn and work at the intercept of design and technology to come to the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning!”

Michael Ford

Michael Ford started out building laser-cut prototypes in the Design, Modelling and Fabrication (DMaF) Lab at the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning. He is now the Product Director at 3rdSense.

Inspiring alumni

Emila Yang

Steven Bai, 2015 Founder and Designer, Simple Collective
University Medal 2014, Co-founder Edisse

"Since graduating with the University Medal, I’ve worked on many interesting projects as an Experience Designer at Massive Interactive – including the Emirates in-flight entertainment system and the interface for Foxtel’s set-top box."

See our alumni

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