Course Description

Imagine, Invent, Deliver

The design world is constantly shifting and changing as new technologies emerge, specialist programs evolve and skill-sets combine.

The Australian government’s Job Outlook website prospects that this profession will add between 25 001 and 50 000 jobs within the next 3 years. Do you have the set of skills you need?

Imagine, Invent, Deliver has been custom-created by the Faculty of Creative Industry in collaboration with current leading design professionals to provide students with a unique glimpse into the many skills and talents they will need to be successful in the digital world.

The CUV40311 Certificate IV in Design (specialising in Digital Design) is a pathway to an entry-level career in the visual communication industry, or to working as a sole practitioner or freelancer. Communication design is a profession that blends principles and elements of visual communication with individual creativity and problem-solving skills.

Graphic design and web design – merging in the commercial world

This comprehensive certificate addresses the convergence of graphic and web design disciplines within industry today. Communication designers must have a deep understanding of how visual language affects an audience. 

They use symbols, text and pictures to convey messages, and in some contexts also employ animation, video and sound. Communication designers need to produce creative messages for a range of print and digital media.

This certificate is also a pathway towards study for a higher qualification.  It will ensure some direct credits to the Open Colleges CUV50311 Diploma of Graphic Design, as well as pathways to external diploma or degree courses in visual communication, communication design, and digital interactive media.

Potential career outcomes

  • Freelance Graphic Designer
  • Freelance Web Designer
  • Junior Digital Content Artist
  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • Junior Web Designer
Course number F001V
Qualification name CUV40311 Certificate IV in Design
Course duration Maximum 24 months
Delivery Method Online
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Multiple choice questions, Portfolio, Short-answer questions, Written reports
Awarded by
  • Open Colleges (Provider number: 90796)
Training package update CUV40311 Certificate IV in Design has been superseded by CUA40715 Certificate IV in Design on the 14th of January, 2016. Open Colleges will transition to the new qualification in the near future.


There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification, however due to the nature of the course we require students to have completed

  • A certificate III in any discipline OR
  • CUV30311 Certificate III in Design Fundamentals OR
  • Fundamentals of Design course from Open Colleges

If you don’t possess these minimum requirements, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate that you have some creative and digital media skills, such as storyboarding, illustration, photography, image manipulation etc.

You can demonstrate these skills through:

  • Completion of a relevant subject at High School (such as Art, Design, Digital Media, Animation or Communication)
  • Other qualifications in a related creative field
  • Other relevant work experience where you use your creative and design skills

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


This course involves reading learning content and undertaking a range of written assessments and engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 12 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 12 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate III level or higher; or
  • 3 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


Due to the inclusion of Adobe Creative Cloud in this course, minimum computer specifications are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2007 or equivalent
  • Broadband Internet Connection
  • 4GB of Ram – 8GB is Recommended
  • 10.5GB available hard disc space for installation; additional free space is required during installation.
  • DVD – Rom Drive – compatible with dual layer DVD’s
  • 1280 x 800 display (1280 x 1024 recommended) with 16 – bit colour and 512 MB of V RAM

Mac OS:

  • Mac OS X v 10.6.8 or v 10.7
  • Multicore Intel® processor with 64-bit support


  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Intel Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor
  • Open GL 2.0 – Capable system
  • Java Runtime Environment 1.6
  • QuickTime 7.6.6 software required for HTML 5 media playback and multimedia features
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 software required to export SWF file
  • You will also need access to Zip software.


You’ll need access to a digital camera and related software for taking photos for illustration purposes, taking photos to document the progress of a particular design process, and to photograph completed design artefacts.

To complete this course you will also need:

  • Access to a high resolution colour printer and scanner (you could access these through a local copy shop)
  • A visual diary and sketching paper for preliminary sketches of designs


You will need to have proficient computing skills to undertake this course. This includes:

  • Familiarity with Internet searches
  • Experience with social media platforms
  • Using a digital camera and media storage
  • Basic computing skills with software programs such as Microsoft Office
  • Experience with or an aptitude to learn Adobe Creative Suite software


To complete this course you will also need:

  • Access to a high resolution colour printer and scanner (you could access these through a local copy shop)
  • A visual diary and sketching paper for preliminary sketches of designs 

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Module 1: Design fundamentals

  • Source information on 2-dimensional design
  • Explore the creative design process for 2-dimensional forms
  • Communicate concepts or ideas through application of design processes to 2-dimensional forms
  • Prepare to undertake typographic work
  • Test and explore a range of typographical techniques
  • Complete typographic work
  • Ensure quality of typographic output
  • Define the design challenge
  • Undertake research to inform the design solution
  • Communicate and collaborate with others
  • Generate ideas and responses to the design challenge
  • Select a design solution
  • Interpret graphic design briefs
  • Organise resources
  • Test graphic design approaches
  • Produce graphic design work

Module 2: History and theory of design

  • Collect information on history and theory of design
  • Apply information to own area of work
  • Update and maintain knowledge of design trends

Module 3: Designer's Toolkit

  • Research information on colour theory and design processes
  • Communicate ideas through the application of colour and design theory
  • Evaluate design work
  • Explore the potential of photomedia in own work
  • Experiment with photomedia
  • Create and present finished photomedia work
  • Evaluate work
  • Develop a questioning mindset
  • Generate ideas and responses
  • Challenge, test and re-invent ideas
  • Enhance creative thinking skills

Module 4: Visual Communication for Digital Environments

  • Plan use of authoring tool
  • Prepare to use authoring tool
  • Produce interactive sequences
  • Check functionality of interactive sequence
  • Identify main layout sections from design specification
  • Lay out web page to match design specification
  • Test and validate layout
  • Format, style and lay out the elements on a web page
  • Test and validate web pages

Module 5: Professional Practice

  • Work safely
  • Implement workplace safety requirements
  • Participate in OHS consultative processes
  • Follow safety procedures
  • Identify extent of copyright protection for original works
  • Ensure that copyright protection is effective when using original works
  • Monitor policies and procedures for use of own copyright materials by other parties
  • Monitor policies and procedures for legitimate use of others' copyright material

Module 6: Design Challenge

  • Interpret design brief
  • Explore and develop design concept
  • Liaise with client
  • Plan production of work
  • Develop ideas for project work
  • Organise the creative project
  • Create finished work
  • Evaluate own work

Start learning for less. Our payment options could help you make considerable savings on the cost of this course. 

Find out more

Danielle Regent

Danielle has over 20 years experience in the design and teaching industries. She holds a university degree in design and has spent a large portion of her career in both the advertising and music industries.

Danielle has also spent over a decade passing on her design knowledge and experience as a trainer and assessor, and enjoys bringing her passion for all things creative into the role.

Driven to help her students to succeed with confidence, Danielle enjoys watching students grow and nurturing individual creative skills and styles. 

As a mark of her dedication, Danielle was a nominee for the TAFE SWSI teacher of the year, which recognises the excellence of teachers by their students.

Justine Ryan

Justine is a graphic designer and illustrator with 17 years’ experience. She holds a Diploma of Arts (Illustration), as well as a Diploma of Arts (Graphic Art) and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Passionate about education, Justine enjoys working in the industry and welcomes the opportunity to assist students to find their educational pathways and succeed in their elected vocation.

Karl O'Keeffe

As a creative arts all-rounder, Karl has over 10 years of experience as a designer, educator, illustrator and artist. He has specialised in printmaking, with a particular focus on screen-printing. Karl is an advocate of accessible education, and is involved in the promotion of education as means to enrich the lifestyle of individuals, and of the wider community.

Prior to joining Open Colleges, Karl taught creative arts at Box Hill Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Multimedia Design, and is known to never turn down a printmaking workshop.

Susanna Fedele

Susanna holds a Bachelor of Arts (Design) and has a strong love of the creative. With over 18 years of experience, Susanna has worked in publishing, web and studio environments. She has had the good fortune to work with a number of Australian music professionals, developing artwork for their album releases. Her skills and knowledge span corporate and retail design, to packaging, and publications for a range of industries. These include music, movies and entertainment, as well as the corporate and private sectors. In addition to her graphic design qualifications, Susanna holds a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and looks forward to working with her students to help develop their skills and encourage them on their path to creativity.

Wendy Campbell

Wendy has worked in tertiary education in the VET sector for over 14 years teaching web design, animation and design. In between teaching she works on a freelance basis.

She is currently studying a Masters in Digital Media and has also studied web technologies, e-Learning, psychology and registered nursing.

Wendy enjoys working with people and is passionate about teaching (and learning).

Included with this course is the Graphic Design textbook

  • Landa. Essential Graphic Design Solutions, 5th edition, 2014 

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