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Industrial Design

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Innovation Improving Peoples' Lives

The University of Canberra's Industrial Design program first started back in 1974. This well-established course provides students with the knowledge and skills to successfully enter the profession and offer a variety of design strategies to improve people's lives.

A major component of the course is industry-relevance. All projects progressively develop design communication skills (two-dimensional drawing and sketching, three-dimensional form studies and models) enhanced by advanced Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and prototyping.

Students enjoy a wide range of projects, including but not limited to:

  • Product design of hand-held devices, packages, furniture, lighting, sports equipment, electric and electronic appliances;
  • Future product concepts; and
  • The design of services.

Consideration is given to the physical and psychological interaction with the product, issues of manufacturing, social and environmental responsibility, design process and thinking, and a user-centered approach to provide innovative and creative design solutions.

Honours, Master's and PhD's offer additional higher levels of research expertise over a broad spectrum of topics and under the guidance of experienced supervisors, offering the opportunity for advanced studies and an intense and professional experience program.

Choose Another Campus

The Bachelor of Industrial Design is also offered at TAFE Queensland Brisbane, Southbank campus (2nd year entry only, with 1 year approved credit).

Course Information

Open Majors and/or Minors

The following Majors and/or Minors are open to all UC students:

Your Creativity: Your Degree

Students are able to apply for admission into this degree by way of portfolios and brief interviews with our friendly team of academics.

Why Portfolio Entry?

Because your ATAR score is not always a true reflection of your creative potential. This pathway offers you the opportunity to show off your passion for Design. School leavers will use this pathway to secure an offer in the Early Round of admissions. Mature Age Students will benefit from not worrying about their ATAR score (or equivalent) and focus on showcasing their personal talent and/or professional achievements in the Design field.

What Should I Include in my Industrial Design Portfolio?

The purpose of the portfolio is to help us determine whether you are passionate and knowledgeable in Design. You should aim to address the following:

  1. Education/experience background: Can you show us that you've done well in relevant subjects at school?  It is advised that you include any academic transcripts or certificates you have from your other studies.
  2. Interest in Industrial Design: Knowledge of the field, why are you interested in industrial design, what is some of your favourite work and why?
  3. Reasons for Applying: What inspired you to join the course and the profession?
  4. Your portfolio: The assessor will be looking at the originality of your work and the quality of your presentation. In general, applicants should submit 6-10 pieces of their best and most recent work. Your work might include:
  • Drawings, illustrations and visual art, 
  • Photography, Film or Animation
  • Design or Multimedia project work
  • Creative writing examples

More specifically, the Course Convenor has advised that he is interested in seeing sketches, drawing, photography, any work that shows some creativity and artistic talent. Preferably (but not necessarily), he would like to see 3D items (sculpture, product design from Design and technology courses, etc).

All applicants must attend an interview. The interview is a mix about the person, why they want to study (motivation), what they already know about design, and if they are willing to work long hours. They might also be asked about the justification and process of the piece from the portfolio, if necessary.

How do I Apply?

For application details and procedures, as well as information on upcoming Portfolio Workshops, please check our Arts and Design Portfolio Entry page. Or email your enquiry to portfolio@canberra.edu.au.

You can also watch the following video presentation with Erin Hinton, Lecturer in Design & Architecture.

Our Program

Industrial Design students participate in a rich and vibrant studio-based program where practical design experience is supported by advanced 2D and 3D design software and workstations, a fully equipped workshop with traditional model-making tools as well as computer aided manufacturing and rapid prototyping.

The program involves various forms of engagement with the community, including industry and other institutions (such as museums and cultural institutions, hospitals and government entities, etc) where design and design-research can be applied. Work-integrated learning is emphasized through industry-relevant projects and collaborations with external institutions. Applied postgraduate research is also available.

Students have the opportunity to study overseas for a semester through the University of Canberra Student Exchange Program and receive full credit towards their degree.

In addition, students may travel locally or abroad on study trips, visits to industries or manufacturers, museums, etc.

industrial design students on a site visit with industryImage - Industrial Design students on a site visit culminating from a collaborative project with Industry.

Students can also become members of the Industrial Design Student Club, which offers great opportunities for socializing, while promoting activities related to the profession of Industrial Design.

Career Options

Career possibilities for Industrial design graduates are diverse, with job-scopes not limited only to design and design-related fields. Graduates from nearly 4 decades ago now occupy senior, directive and executive roles in major Australian companies, as well as multinationals all around the world.

Graduates will usually join the manufacture and design industry, with employment opportunities in:

  • electronic and electrical products
  • furniture
  • sporting & camping goods
  • transportation
  • lighting
  • medical & orthopaedics
  • garden
  • exhibitions
  • shop fit-out & POP material
  • signage
  • toys
  • packaging
  • interfaces
  • user experiences
  • services
  • design management
  • marketing

The design process and design thinking will also equip graduates with project management, entrepreneurship, innovation and problem-solving skills applicable to many other professions within both public and private sectors.

Select from our staff below for their biographies, qualifications, publications, grants and awards.

Academic Staff