Course Title: Communication Design Studies

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Communication Design Studies

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017


City Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Nicola St John

Course Coordinator Phone: Please email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Please email

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to communication design histories and theories and how these connect with intersectional themes and identities.

You will explore how communication design history has been informed by a variety of practices, movements, cultures, and social contexts. Through analysing dominant narratives of design history and uncovering marginalised voices, you will develop a critical awareness of how design movements were influences by and embodied their political, social, cultural, and economic contexts.

You will develop skills in descriptive and reflective writing, as well as investigation and analysis to understand how your own intersectional identities inform your practice as a communication designer and prepare you to challenge, question and justify your design decisions.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

You will be assessed on your development against the following Program Learning Outcomes: • Demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge of the place of Communication Design in society and the principles it operates within. • Apply a body of theoretical and practical knowledge and specific skills in your discipline in which to base your professional practice or future study. • Apply initiative and judgment in planning, problem solving and decision making in your practice or future study. 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe key movements and periods in the history of Communication Design.
  • Describe the roles that social movements and social contexts play in the development of Communication Design.
  • Identify key design movements and examine their influence on the practice of Communication Design.
  • Reflect on and discuss the place of design in society.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as studios, project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources that are relevant to the focus of your own learning.

There are services available to support your learning, including the University Library and Study Support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

Assessment 1 (20%): Positionality portrait Linked to course learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3
Assessment 2 (50%): Design Zine Linked to course learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3
Assessment 3 (30%): Reflective journal Linked to course learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions