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Major: Digital Design

Digital Design


Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

200 level

Cybercultures (3)
Interactive Web Design (3)
Arts and Entertainment Industries (3)
Photo Media (3)

300 level

Media Ethics (3)
Media Internship (3)
Advanced Interactivity (3)
Modelling and Animation (3)
Sound, Image and Interactive Media (3)
Critical Games Studies (3)


This major cannot be doubled with Interactivity and Games.
Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program The major in Digital Design introduces students to digital and web-based media. Students will develop an array of skills including web site design and production, 3D modelling and animation for asset design, analysis and critique of visual media, design and development of interactive media projects.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. Analyse, evaluate and design contemporary online media platforms, environments and service.
2. Apply a critical knowledge of the practices, theories and technologies of contemporary Web, digital, and visual design.
3. Distinguish between and evaluate critically theoretical positions on design practices and texts (from animation, web, photography to images and visual culture more generally).
4. Analyse and evaluate the structure and dynamics of contemporary digital design, arts and entertainment industries.
5. Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling (e.g. through web-design, the photo essay, animation).
6. Develop information and technological literacy, and demonstrate the implementation of various media and digital forms.
Learning and Teaching Methods The major in Digital Design introduces students to digital and web-based media. Students will develop skills an array of skills including web site design and production, 3D modelling and animation for asset design, analysis and critique of visual media, design and development of interactive media projects.

The major in Digital Design uses a range of learning and teaching methods to enable students to achieve the program level outcomes. Unit learning outcomes are constructively aligned with the program level outcomes and graduate capabilities. The range of learning and teaching methods used across units in the major include:

• Lectures: While some lectures are delivered in traditional face-to-face format, others utilise the Echo 360 lecture recording system and pre-recorded video lectures. The array of formats in which lectures are available ensures that students have access to the lecture materials at any point during the semester.

• Tutorials: Tutorials provide an opportunity for students to critically engage with the selected topic(s). Tutorials provide three key markers: First, they provide forums for resolving uncertainties within and questions about the set materials and topics. Second, tutorial participation generates knowledge. Through tutor-led and peer-assisted direction, students generate knowledge of the subject. Third, tutorials enable students to put generated knowledge into practice through activities such as discussion, debate, group tasks and presentations. Additionally, the knowledge generated in tutorials underpins assessment structures and tasks.

• Workshops: Production units utilise workshops in which students develop production skills such as coding for web sites, design and creation of 3D assets, programming MAX/MSP to create innovative interactive media. Directed workshops enable students to generate knowledge and apply it to projects. Student learning is supported by academic and technical staff with industry-grade knowledge and skills.

• Teaching materials: A range of teaching materials are used to support and direct student learning:
a. lectures (face-to-face and recorded)
b. traditional paper-based and electronic readings
c. text books
d. audiovisual material
e. task handouts/worksheets
f. online workshop manuals

• Program structure: The major in Digital Design consists of eight units across 200 and 300 level. At 200 level students develop foundational and intermediate production skills combined with research and analytical skills. Students will be required to have completed a full year of study prior to enrolling in these 200 level units, ensuring the prior development of a range of academic literacies and skills. The 300 level units offers students a great deal of opportunity to explore their own creativity through more advanced project requirements fuelled by the development of advanced production capabilities. For their capstone, students have the option of MAS316 Media Futures or MAS350 Media Internship (students pursuing a double major will complete both). MAS316 encourage students to be reflective and prepared for employment through offering a range of invited industry speakers, many of whom are leaders in their field. MAS350 (also a PACE unit) allows students to complete an internship relevant to their studies and fosters reflection on the alignment between their studies and the workplace.
Assessment The major in Digital Design blends critical theory and media production resulting in a diverse assessment schema:

o Essays: Essays range from 500 to 2500 words and are used to assess a range of outcomes from demonstrating comprehension of a particular issue to synthesizing multiple sources to evaluate a case study. Essays are frequently used in production units which require students to critically articulate applied theory, for example, a user experience critique of a web site.

o Projects: Students create numerous projects including:
a. web sites
b. interactive digital stories
c. interactive media
e. 3D models and visual assets
f. photo essays

o Quizzes: Used to periodically assess understanding and comprehension, quizzes also motivate students to participate in a culture of learning by engaging with teaching materials. Quizzes may be in-class or take-home and paper-based or conducted electronically via the learning management system.

o Presentations: students develop the ability to articulate information in a number of forms. In addition to the above, presentations assess students' abilities to meaningfully articulate information. In addition to their peers, students may deliver presentations to staff (in simulated client scenarios) or industry guests.

o Participation: Students are assessed on their meaningful contributions to a culture of learning. Participation is assessed through engagement with discussions, debates, tasks through learning teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops and online tasks. Through participation students engage with a commitment to learning and develop reflective practices.

o Other: Other assessments include blogs, reflective journals, production diaries and minutes of group meetings. Learning and teaching innovation is a strong feature of the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies and alternative assessment methods are frequently trialed.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Graduates with a major in Digital Design typically find employment as web designers, web developers and UX designers. As more content and activities move online, the greater the call for those competent in creating online content for a range of audiences. This major ensures that its graduates possess high level production skills that are aligned with current industry practices.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148