What is the Certificate IV in Design?

You study the Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715) to explore your natural style and learn the fundamental elements and principles of design.  The Certificate is a nationally recognised course providing the essential foundation studies for a career in the design industry.

Focusing on the foundation skills in design you will learn design techniques, colour application and the ability to create clever and inspiring designs by applying the creative process.

This nationally recognised qualification gives you the correct skills, knowledge and qualification needed to break into the design industry or go onto further study.

Why study Certificate IV in Design?

With this detailed and thorough foundation course in colour and design you’ll learn the elements and principles of design and their application in the contemporary design world. It is a hands-on and creative course.

Throughout your Certificate program you will work on real-world briefs from our design industry partners, including Designer Rugs who have partnered with us for over 15 years.

Our fundamentals course gives you extensive understanding of the creative process, elements and principles, & colour development. From here you can decide what your creative focus is and specialise accordingly.

Course Overview

Our Certificate IV in Design is iscd’s foundation course, which introduces you to the world of design.

You’ll graduate with a holistic understanding of the design industry and a skill set that can be applied to all areas of design.


What you’ll learn:

  • How to develop colour palettes and apply colour principles
  • How to develop your illustration/drawing techniques to represent concepts across all design disciplines
  • How to interpret and respond to industry design briefs
  • How to professionally present a major project in spatial and product design

Career Outcomes

After completing Certificate IV in Design, many graduates go on to secure industry positions in support roles such as a junior designer or assistant, in a range of design related businesses. You will graduate with a portfolio of work and the essential knowledge to continue your studies into one of our Industry Specialised Programs, Surface Design, Colour Design or Styling.

You can keep up to date with current job that are available now in the design industry on our job board

Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715)
Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715)
Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715)
  • Learn the processes to generate conceptual ideas
  • Explore colour theory in detail to understand colour application
  • Examine two and three dimensional design through applying colour, hand drawing techniques and creating a prototype
  • Identify design movements and historical influences, applying design industry knowledge
  • Know how to interpret and respond to a commercial brief
  • Research and apply techniques for graphic design and typography
  • Know how to document design development and produce hand drawn drawings to communicate concepts
  • Start and complete design processes
  • Build the communication and presentation skills necessary to execute design ideas
  • Learn how to present a product in spacial design and product design
  • Gain a sound understanding of the elements and principles of design and the various composition techniques
  • Introduction to the elements and principles of design
  • Abstract and semi abstract design
  • Conceptualisation and mind Mapping. Plus Elements and principles of design
  • Drawing Techniques
  • 3D lighting design
  • Colour effects, colour psychology and symbolism
  • Developing monochromatic colour schemes
  • Introduction to graphic design & typography


  • BSBCRT301Develop and extend critical and creative thinking skills
  • BSBDES305 – Source and apply information on the history and theory of design
  • BSBDES401Generate design solutions
  • BSBDES402 – Interpret and respond to a design brief
  • BSBWHS201 – Contribute to health and safety of self and others
  • CUAACD401 – Integrate colour theory and design processes
  • CUAPPR401 – Realise a creative project
  • CUAILL401 – Develop and refine illustrative work
  • BSBDES302 – Explore the creative design process to 2D forms
  • BSBDES301 – Explore the use of colour
  • CUADES402 – Research and apply techniques in product design
  • BSBDES303 – Explore and apply the creative design processes to 3D forms
  • CUAGRD302 – Use typography techniques
  • CUAGRD401 – Research and apply graphic design techniques
  • BSBDES304 – Source and apply design industry knowledge
  • Colour Wheel Tool
  • Conceptualisation and Mind Mapping
  • Abstract and Semi-Abstract Design: Applying Related & Contrasting Colour Schemes
  • Create a contemporary illustration
  • 3D Lighting and Spatial Design
  • Paint a cushion design ased on an historical style in range tertiary colour
  • Colour Inversion: Apply colour inversion to a design
  • Christmas Card
  • Colour Style Book

Completed Australian Year 10 schooling or Vocational Certificate III or higher (delivered in English)

  • Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715)

    With over 30 years of design industry experience and a forward-thinking focus and creative and supportive environment.

  • Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715)

    We cater for your needs and lifestyle with campuses located in Sydney and Melbourne.

  • Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715)

    Work with our industry partners on design briefs and graduate with real-world experience.

This course includes industry briefs and awards to provide you with strong foundations of working within the design industry.

Certificate IV in Design (CUA40715)

Study Options

Study from on campus or online to suit your lifestyle.


Contact us on 02 8355 3838 or 03 8372 0000 to chat with a specialist course advisor about your study options, or let us know a little bit about you and we can call you back.

Request a call Back

Campus Tours & Open Days

Join us at an up coming Open Day or book a Campus Tour with one of our student advisors and see how you can turn your passion for design into a career opportunity.

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iscd News

Want more about iscd? Read our blog posts to find out what is going on at our campuses and find out about study insights from our educators
and students.

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The school’s strong industry connections and flexible study options are integral to helping students achieve their goals. “Whether students attend our North Sydney or Melbourne CBD campus or study online, everyone receives the support they need to realise their potential.”

WENDY GREENHALF,General Manager iscd

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