What is the Certificate IV in Design?

You know you want to take the steps toward a creative career. Our new online learning platform makes it even easier to fit study around your busy lifestyle.

Just like our on-campus studies, 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 is our most popular course as it gives you the correct skills, knowledge and qualification needed to break into the design industry or go onto further study.

Online Study Details

  • Simple interface with lots of visuals and videos.
  • Great online community with lively, inspiring, discussion boards with educators + peers
  • Academic calendar + simple assessment submission keeps all your information in one place to easily track your progress.
  • Quick turnaround on assessment marking + regular contact with your educator.
  • Pop up campuses throughout the year for you to connect to our community. Meet peers, educators + have one-on-one sessions.
  • 6+ hours / week and up to 12 months to complete (but you can go faster)

“Certificate IV has been a great foundation course – I have thoroughly enjoyed experimenting, painting learning in a nurturing environment and getting my hands dirty. I look forward to undertaking the Surface Design Diploma and am very excited about continuing my creative development and discovering my own style.” Rachel Grimes – Carmichael.

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

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 in your chosen design specialisation.

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

  • Learn the process to generate conceptual ideas
  • An extensive knowledge of colour theory and application
  • Sound understanding of the elements and principles of design and composition techniques.
  • Learn the processes to generate conceptual ideas
  • Examine 2 and 3 dimensional design through applying colour, hand drawing techniques and creating a prototype
  • Identify design movements and historical influences and apply design industry knowledge to various design disciplines and products
  • Know how to document design development and produce drawings by hand to represent and communicate concepts
  • How to research and apply techniques for graphic design and typography
  • How to professionally present a project in spatial design and product design
  • Know how to interpret and respond to a commercial brief
  • Build presentation and communication skills to present design ideas
  • 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)

First Wednesday of every month

Course Length: 
Approx. 6+ hours per week | 1 year

Certificate IV in Design – Nationally Accredited.


    Designer Rugs, Papier D’Amour, Hardie Grant Publishers, Eckersleys Art & craft, The Heartful Travellers


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

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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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