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 Graphic Design, Fashion and Photography are just some of the ways to enter a professional career in the creative industries. Each sector has it’s own needs for its workforce - and we are placed in a unique position to provide training to meet that need.

We know you have many questions about our courses. These are our most frequently asked questions.

Certificate III (graphic design & fashion)

A certificate III level course is designed to introduce you to basic skills and concepts in design and fashion studies. The course is great for under 18 year olds who haven’t completed the HSC, or those who may have a study impairment and find higher levels too difficult, or even for mature learners who wish to re-engage with study after a long break.

This level is the easiest to complete, but is in no sense an easy course. There will still be many projects, assessments and outcomes which need to be completed. Further studies are recommended for industry employment.

Certificate IV (graphic design)

This is the level we recommend for those who have completed the HSC and are focused on becoming a graphic designer. It is what we refer to as our foundation level, suitable to progress onto Diploma and further. The outcomes cover all the underpinning skills and knowledge at a level which gives a great understanding of what it takes to become a designer. The course is designed at a national level with units of study and learning outcomes. Expect to put in effort, but be rewarded with a great pathway into our Diploma.

Diploma of Graphic Design

This is where all the heavy lifting occurs. You will be building upon the 6 months of training in the Cert IV which underpins this course. The learning curve will increase and you will learn to become more creative, expressive and have greater control over technical problems. You will learn how the industry works, become familiar with discussing and presenting your ideas, and have a broad knowledge of print and colour processes. In the 12 months to complete this course, you will have progressed from a novice designer to someone who can conceptualise, produce and problem solve ideas. You will exit with a professional portfolio both in print and digital form.

Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging

This course has a pre-requisite of a Cert IV in photography (or a photographic portfolio). Being that is is a Diploma level - the underlying assumption is prior knowledge and skills in handling a manual SLR camera. If you have a passion for photography and have been taking your own photographs, we will be interested in discussing if you are suitable for entry. We can provide workshops to help you achieve an entry portfolio if needed.

The course will advance any budding photographer to a high level of competence in industry and artistic endeavours. We will provide excellent guidance in product photography, portraiture, wedding, landscapes, studio lighting techniques and creative composition. You will have comprehensive instruction in post-production and computer enhancement. You will exit with a fantastic portfolio both in print and digital forms.

How long are the courses?

Certificate III - 6months (18 hours p/week)

Certificate IV - 6months (18 hours p/week)

Diploma - 12 months (18 hours p/week)

What equipment and materials do I need?

For our entry level courses (Cert III and Cert IV), you will need basic drawing materials, most of which can be purchased at art supplies:









For the Diploma of Photography - you will be required to have your own camera. However you can borrow TAFE equipment until you can get your own gear.

Do I pre-qualify for the course I am interested in?

As a guide:

Cert III - no entry requirements

Cert IV - HSC highly recommended

Diploma of Graphic Design - Cert IV (in design), or industry experience which is equivalent

Diploma of Photography - Cert IV (photography), or a portfolio of photographic examples.

Will there be classroom lessons or is it online?

Starting from Semester 2 (3rd August), we will be resuming face-to-face classes. The size of the group will be 10 or less and spaced out in the room with 1.5 mtrs gap between students. Some classes which have a research component or self-directed studies could still be delivered using video link ups. We have been successfully doing online classes recently, but we all believe students achieve their best under direct supervision and guidance.

Can I get credits for previous studies?

We certainly can look into this. It is something which the head teacher will need to decide upon and apply to your course.

How much is the course?

Each course has its own fee structure - and depending on whether it is your first qualification or not, it may make a difference. Additionally, you may be eligible for government fee exemptions. All courses for Australian residents are heavily subsidised, the fee you pay is a fraction of the actual cost.

What are the campus facilities like?

Hornsby campus has a relaxed atmosphere. It is well positioned close to public transport and has student parking. There is a canteen and generous sized library. Other facilities include Learning support, counselling and student services. The design section is well equiped with Macintosh computers, art room studios and 2 large photographic studios. Its a great place to learn.

How much is the software for my course?

Great news - its free. TAFE NSW and Adobe have provided you with the complete Adobe Suite for your studies. You can either use a Mac or PC, and you can bring your laptop into classes if you wish. The software is available on campus or at home.

Can I enrol straight into a Diploma?

Due to the nature of the diploma being at an advanced level - we don’t allow direct enrolment. You need to have a pre-qualifying course or experience mentioned above. If you feel you have sufficient experience - and have a portfolio of work, please book an interview with the head teacher.

What is my timetable?

Each of our course is over 3 days. The timetable is built around student enrolment numbers, so the final days won’t be settled until closer to the next semester. If you enrol or enquire on the web site, we can keep you informed of your actual timetable once we know which course you are in.

The current semester timetable is on this web site (check menu above) - this is indicative of what is will look like.

Where are you located?

Where do I go from here?

Go to the TAFE NSW web site and do a search for the course of your choice.

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