Application Process


Admissions Process

To apply for the Bachelor of Design Arts, you must apply directly to the Academy of Design Australia. There are two entry routes to the Academy: either Academic Entry or Creative Entry. International students must also meet the English language requirements detailed below.

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

An Academy Admissions Advisor is responsible for initially assessing the eligibility of applications via Academic Entry and Creative Entry. 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.

Applicants who wish to apply to the Academy through Creative entry must submit a portfolio and attend an interview. Applicants who meet the criteria for Academic Entry do not need to submit a portfolio or attend an interview. 

Entry Routes

1.  Academic Entry

  • Year 12 Australian Secondary Education qualification with an ATAR of 60 or equivalent (domestic or international students). Australian Year 12 students may apply to the Academy with their predicted ATAR to receive a conditional offer; or also submit a portfolio and attend an interview to guarantee entry regardless of the final ATAR result;


  • 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

How to Apply

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

Creative Entry - Additional Requirements

All applicants for Creative Entry to the Academy of Design Australia are required to submit the Direct Applicant form, and then 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 major(s) in which the candidate is interested.

Interview Process and Portfolio Presentation

The selection interview at the Academy of Design Australia is 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.

The interview panel seeks to identify potential students who are self-motivated, demonstrate initiative, and show the ability to develop knowledge and skills in one of the major disciplines offered at the Academy.

If a prospective international student applies from overseas via Creative Entry, the interview may be conducted by telephone or Skype, with an electronic or mailed submission of their portfolio supported by a letter of verification from teachers/lecturers.

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, the panel will be assessing your potential to develop the following attributes:

Discipline Attributes

  1. Awareness of the design profession.
  2. 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;
    • digital literacy skills.
  3. Familiarity with the visual language including:
    • the imaginative manipulation of design elements; and
    • the sensitive use of visual elements in communication.
  4. Skills in presentation of the applicant’s work, both visually and verbally. 

Personal Attributes

  1. Individuality in creative expression. 
  2. Awareness of social and environmental issues.
  3. Preparedness to work collaboratively with other students and staff in a creative community.
  4. Preparedness to accept criticism and advice.
  5. Appreciation of the arts generally.
  6. Self confidence and motivation to succeed in the design profession.

Entry requirements for the Bachelor of Design Arts are set by the Academic Board. The Academy’s selection process is designed to be: fair; equitable; flexible; transparent; and guided by quality control. The Academy encourages applications from students of diverse backgrounds, and particularly welcomes Indigenous students. 

What is a Portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of your art, design, media or written work. The portfolio should demonstrate a range of creative and technical skills relevant to the major(s) in which you are interested. The portfolio must include:

  • A cover letter that explains your interest in studying at the Academy of Design Australia, and your interest in a particular major/s or sub-major/s. The letter should outline your interests, passions and achievements and be no more than 400 words.
  • Names of two referees, including their job titles, email addresses and phone numbers. Referees could include: teachers, a principal, a work experience supervisor or employer. We may contact them to tell us about you. Please notify them that they have been listed as referees for your Academy of Design Australia application.
  • Written or visual material showing samples of your creative work, relevant to the major/s and/or sub-major/s in which you are interested.

How do I create a Portfolio?

To assist applicants to present their work in the best way possible the Academy offers an annual Portfolio Review workshop. We recommend this session for Grade 10, 11 and 12 students, as well as mature-aged students. Please visit Events for upcoming dates.

Download a copy of the Interview & Portfolio Guide: