AD007 - Associate Degree in Design (Furniture)

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Plan: AD007 - Associate Degree in Design (Furniture)
Campus: City Campus


Program details
Purpose of the Program
Articulation and pathways
Entrance requirements
External accreditation and industry links
Student expenses and charges in addition to fees
Library, IT and specialist resources

Program details

Award title: Associate Degree in Design (Furniture)
Award abbreviation: AssocDegDes(Furn)
Total credit points: 192
Career: UGRD
Duration: 2 years full-time - 4 semesters
Location: Onshore, City Campus
Owning school: Architecture & Urban Design (320T)
Owning school URL:
ASCED code: 100599
CRICOS code: 061154K

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Purpose of the Program

This program has been designed for you to develop broad theoretical knowledge and technical and practical skills in furniture design and making for an increasingly globalised and diverse industry.

You will explore the practice of furniture design and manufacturing, while developing a personal understanding of how you fit within the range of practice of industry. While acquiring practical skills, such as hand and machine techniques, in constructing furniture prototypes you will also learn to develop ideas through iterative design practice. Engaging concepts in aesthetics, sustainability, modern manufacturing methods, ergonomics, global society and user centered design. 

Projects you will undertake within the program will develop your ideas generation and problem solving skills. You will be encouraged to evaluate and reflect on outcomes of your work as opportunities to develop stronger knowledge of design and making furniture products. You will develop methods and techniques to communicate your ideas and technical information to various audiences such as clients, manufacturers, marketers, makers, suppliers and machines.

In your final semester, a capstone project, is developed in response to an industry proposition. In order to integrate your technical and theoretical knowledge, to connect with theory and practice and enable you to demonstrate the skills you have acquired through the program.

On completion of the program you be able to enter the industry as a practitioner with a broad knowledge of modern furniture manufacturing or pursue further study. You will be able to investigate issues, confidently communicate ideas to others and provide informed opinions on concepts and principles of sustainable furniture design and manufacture. You will be experienced in team-based production work and be able to develop individual furniture propositions and apply creative practice to varied problems and industry contexts.



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Articulation and pathways

Pathways refer to related programs for which you may be eligible once you have graduated from your current program.

In the BH104 Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours) you may be able to claim credit for courses you have already completed.

For the list of courses for which you may claim exemption and other details refer to the program guide for the Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours) in the RMIT Handbook (

You may be eligible for credit into other RMIT University programs for successfully completing this program upon application to other RMIT University programs. Please check with admissions officer of your program of choice.


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Entrance requirements

Academic entrance requirements: Successful completion of an Australian Year 12 or equivalent senior secondary school studies, or RMIT Foundation Studies program, or a recognised post secondary diploma or certificate in a relevant discipline. Applicants with post secondary work experience in this field will also be considered.

VCE prerequisites: Units 3 and 4 – a study score of at least 25 in English (ESL) or at least 20 in any other English.

International English language requirements:

A minimum IELTS (Academic module) overall score of 5.5, with no band less than 5.0, or equivalent.

For equivalents to English entry requirements, see the English equivalents web page.

Extra requirements
Applicants must present their folio to a selection panel. Where necessary, this may be conducted via email, phone or skype.

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External accreditation and industry links

There are no professional bodies that accredit programs in furniture design in Australia.

The Associate Degree in Design (Furniture) has strong industry links with a wide range of organisations and associations; including the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) , Melbourne Movement, Victoria Woodworkers Association (VWA) and the school is an associate member of the Furniture Industry Association of Australia (Vic/Tas).

On successful completion of this program, you will have the opportunity to join the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) as an associate member, enter industry competitions for emerging designers and apply for awards to travel to overseas industry shows.

Our teachers bring to the program extensive industry experience and contact networks, and many are current practising furniture designers. Their experience, when integrated into teaching and learning practice, enriches your learning environment. In addition we regularly engage outside industry experts as guest lecturers and mentors in 2nd year projects to ensure that you are exposed to current industry developments in furniture design and manufacture.

This program was developed with key members of the furniture industry (eg, Nicholas Dattner, Peter Schiavello and the Furniture Industry Association of Australia Vic/Tas) as well as graduates of RMIT furniture diplomas. The program regularly consults with a Program Advisory Committee (PAC) that consists of a range of industry representatives. The committee's brief is to ensure that the program remains current and relevant.


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Student expenses and charges in addition to fees

Once you are enrolled as a student in this program you will need to allow for expenses other than university tuition fees.  Additional expenses may relate to the purchase of lecture notes, textbooks, stationery, consumables such as printer paper, fees levied by commercial internet service providers for internet access outside of the university campus, and other relevant costs.

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Library, IT and specialist resources

As a student enrolled in a program at RMIT University you can access the extensive services, facilities and study space provided by the Library. You can access books, journals and other course related materials, such as DVDs, past exams, newspapers and e-books. Through our document delivery service you can also request items from any library in the world.

Computers for study are available at every Library site, where you can access the Internet, myRMIT ( or Library e-resources. If you have a laptop you can access the RMIT University wireless network in the Library. Library staff can show you how to find information for your assignments or you can work through web-based tutorials or use our online Ask a Librarian service. The Library is continually expanding our electronic collections to make it easier for you to get the information you need when you need it. All RMIT University students have unlimited access to quality electronic resources such as, e-books, e-journals and newspapers.

You can find more information on Library resources and services at:

Online learning tools and content
You can access online learning tools and content for your program and associated courses at myRMIT

Specialist resourses for this program
Computing facilities are available at Building 8 level 7 for computer aided drawing. The CNC facilities and software are located with the School of Design (TAFE) Building 55 workshop and CAD lab.

Services available to you as a student at RMIT University
RMIT University provides a wide range of resources and opportunities to assist your
learning and wellbeing so you can achieve your study and career goals.
Services are available face to face and online assisting with:

  • transition to tertiary study and learning
  • study skills, academic skills including literacy, mathematics and basic sciences
    if relevant
  • enabling assistance if you have a disability, long term medical condition or other form
    of disadvantage which may impact on your learning
  • career development and employment
  • living and wellbeing (including advice on health, housing and financial matters)
  • opportunities for scholarships, leadership and study abroad
  • opportunities for participating in arts, sport, recreation, fitness activities as well
    as student activism and university governance

We also offer a friendly and supportive environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander students.
You can find more information at

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