Application Process


To apply for the Bachelor of Design Arts you must apply directly. There are two entry routes to ADA – via Academic Entry, OR Creative Entry. International students must also meet the English language requirements detailed below.

1.  Academic Entry

  • Year 12 Australian Secondary Education qualification with an ATAR of 60 or equivalent (domestic or international students);


  • A recognised Diploma, Associate Degree or Bachelor Degree qualification in a field related to the design arts (obtained in Australia or internationally).

2. Creative Entry

  • Having prior industry/work experience, and/or completed units of a degree, associate degree or diploma from an accredited institution, plus successful entrance interview and folio presentation;


  • Submission of a design portfolio (6-10 pieces of original creative work), plus successful entrance interview;


  • Participation in a pre-selection kit (when no design portfolio exists), plus a successful entrance interview.

Additionally for International Applicants

Equivalent IELTS 6.0 (Academic) with no skills band less than 5.5

You must fill out a Direct Applicant form (below) and send it to the Academy so we can arrange your interview and portfolio presentation.

If you are a domestic student aged under 18 you can enrol at the Academy, but you will need your parent or guardian’s consent. Unfortunately we are unable to enrol international students under the age of 18.

To begin your application

  • if you are a Domestic applicant, click here for the Direct Applicant form.
  • if you are an Overseas/International applicant, click here for the Direct Applicant form.

Selection Principles

The Academy has developed its entry requirements to ensure the admission criteria are:

  • fair
  • equitable
  • flexible
  • transparent
  • quality controllable.

The Academy seeks to enrol students with diverse backgrounds. The Academy admits to its courses applicants it believes could undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success, based on:

  • previous studies
  • previous attainment and/or experiences
  • commitment to a career as a creative professional and
  • motivation to succeed.

These factors are regarded as indicative of an applicant’s likelihood of success in the proposed course.

Selection Procedure

Entry requirements for each course are set by the Academy's Academic Board.

The Admissions Advisor is responsible for initially assessing the eligibility of applications submitted by prospective students. This may involve consulting relevant guidelines to help establish the equivalence of an inter-state or overseas qualification. The Academy considers completion of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program equivalent to senior secondary matriculation.

All applicants are assessed and selected via the creative entry or academic entry process. If a prospective student applies from overseas the interview may be conducted by telephone, with an electronic or mailed submission of their creative work supported by a letter of verification from teachers/lecturers.

Selection Interview / Portfolio Presentation

All applicants for Academy courses are required to attend an interview and present a folio of recent creative work. While not expected to be of professional quality, the folio should demonstrate a range of creative and technical skills relevant to the course(s) applied for. Interviews are an informal, friendly discussion about the applicant’s work, ambitions and interests. The interview panel consists of no more than two people who will ask questions relating to the Academy’s Selection Criteria (see below).

The interview panel seeks to identify potential students who are self-motivated and show initiative and the ability to successfully develop knowledge and skills in one of the disciplines offered at the Academy. As the leading USA designer Michael Woolf has stated: “No-one in their right mind hires your portfolio, they hire you. In any case what you did before doesn’t really show what you can do in the future.”

To assist applicants to present their work in the best way possible the Academy offers a Folio Presentation class.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used during the interview and folio presentation. While it is not expected that applicants will be expert and confident in these matters (after all, that is why you come to study at the Academy), the panel will be trying to assess your potential to develop in these areas:

  1. The level of awareness of the design profession and the extent of previous studies/experience in related areas;
  2. the level of familiarity with the design process including:
    • the degree of creativity exercised in problem solving;
    • the scope of development in producing design solutions;
    • the clarity of resolution of design problems.
  3. the level of familiarity with the visual language including:
    • the imaginative manipulation of design elements; and
    • the sensitive use of visual elements in communication.
  4. the level of skills in presentation of the applicant’s work, both visually and verbally;
  5. the level of individuality in expression and the level of awareness of social and environmental issues;
  6. the level of preparedness to work collaboratively with other students and staff in a creative community;
  7. the level of preparedness to accept criticism and advice;
  8. the level of appreciation of the arts generally;
  9. the level of self confidence and determination to succeed in the design profession.