Communication Design Major - Bachelor of Design

Communication design focuses on developing and visually communicating ideas and messages.

Study communication design at AUT and examine historical and modern concepts of visual design through projects in a number of industry-relevant areas. You work closely with lecturers and professional designers, and may work on real-life design projects as part of your study.

This is part of the Bachelor of Design.

Start date: 2019

You need to complete 120 points each year and 360 points for the entire degree. In each year you study core compulsory papers within your major and selected minor.

List of minors

Year 1

You study the following papers

You also study one paper from your chosen minor.

Year 2

You study the following papers

You also study two papers from your chosen minor.

Year 3

You study the following papers

You also study one paper from your chosen minor.

More details about papers in this programme

Detailed programme structure and paper outlines (Blackboard)

Search for a paper (Arion)


Enrolment in papers is subject to meeting all requirements and availability of papers.

In Year 2 you choose a specialised pathway. Each pathway has a limited number of places.

Depending on your pathway, you study either at the City or South Campus.

City Campus pathways


In this pathway you study idea generation, campaign design, social media marketing, identity design, design systems, and strategy. Possible careers include creative direction, marketing, account management, and design strategy in corporate or studio/agency environments.

Graphic Design

Graphic designers combine type and image to inform, persuade or instruct people. This pathway prepares you - through a range of briefs and live projects - for digital and traditional publishing, book and magazine design, visual identity, environmental graphic design, and typeface design.


Illustration focuses on visually communicating messages for specific contexts, using images and narratives. It provides a grounding in both drawing and traditional illustrative media, as well as digital painting and underlying communication theories. A range of briefs and live projects helps you develop a personal visual signature, which you can apply through working as an art director and designer.


This pathway explores the potential of photography and moving image in a digital environment, with a focus on idea generation, visual language, and creative workflow. Learning photography and moving image can lead to a career in visual content production and art direction for many areas.

User Experience/User Interface (UX/UI)

UX/UI covers the design of systems and interfaces to create useful, usable, and joyful experiences. It spans a range of media, from website design to app design and design for wayfinding. There’s growing demand for designers with these skills, and career pathways include digital product design, front end design, and app design.

South Campus pathway

Visual Communication

Visual communication design brings together technology, communication design and moving image. You use the latest technology, including augmented reality/virtual reality, smart phone devices and 360 degree photography, and work on print publications, e-publishing, visual identity development, information and environmental graphics, music videos, movie titles, social awareness campaigns, and digital animations.

  • Advertising creative
  • Communication or graphic designer
  • Magazine art director
  • Multimedia or web designer
  • Photographer

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Communication Design Careers

Key features
  • Covers a range of tools and materials for print and digital media
  • City Campus pathways: Advertising/Branding, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and User Experience/User Interface (UX/UI)
  • South Campus pathway: Visual Communication
See yourself as
  • A visualiser and brand aware
  • Interested in advertising and packaging
  • Having strong drawing skills and story-telling skills
Camilla Wyness
Finn Clark
Siobhon Joe
Jessica Kate Tweed

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.