The Bachelor of Design at the University of Melbourne: Where multi-storey collides with storytelling

“Design offers innovative ways to harness knowledge and technology to create ideas and solutions for a better future.”

Architecture combines practical skills with academic study to not only present the science, but also the art, behind the structure of our buildings.

Through their mastery of the iterative, honing process; their grasp of structural engineering complexities; and their technical drawing finesse, these students develop and refine their minds in order to build the foundations that stand the test of time.

“The value that design and designers bring to contemporary society is very much about a solutions orientated approach,” says Professor Daryl Le Grew, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne.



“We’ve had the best part of half a century trying to understand what the problems are, and I think we do understand with the problems of climate change and social equity, the problems of urbanisation and the city, the problems of the developing world, and so on. What we don’t have at the present time is options for the future; solutions for the future.”

Melbourne’s School of Design has specially-designed a brand-new degree programme to meet the needs of a global, ever changing society.

At its state-of-the-art Parkville and Southbank campuses, the school now provides an innovative, three-year (full-time) degree programme called the Bachelor of Design.

“Design comes up in so many areas,” Professor Le Grew continues, “everything from architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning to property construction, and then out into the engineering field, out into the College of the Arts and the way in which the design world works for them. It’s the intersection between the disciplines; the collaboration among the disciplines, that’s what…[it’s] all about.”

Students of Melbourne’s Bachelor of Design will examine the application of design within a wide range of contexts, from the macro level of the metropolis, to the construction of buildings, bridges and landscapes, all the way through to the small-scale of systems and microstructures.



“The students in both their classes and within their studios will have very much a problem-oriented approach to learning,” adds Professor Le Grew.

“The studio component is very much the creative end of the spectrum – that’s where the students are expected to speculate about ideas, to have new ideas and to be able to communicate those ideas, whether it’s through the digital world – and indeed we have fantastic facilities for dealing with that – or it’s through the analogue world – literally making things.”

With cutting-edge, design-focused studios and workshops, paired with laboratory-based learning delivered by recognised industry professionals, the University is able to instil in students the skills needed to thrive in the intricate realm of design.

The program’s option to complete majors, minors, double-majors and specialisations provides unique flexibility, with students selecting their major and minor from 12 respected disciplines:

  • Architecture
  • Civil Systems
  • Computing
  • Construction
  • Digital Technologies
  • Graphic Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Performance Design
  • Property
  • Spatial Systems
  • Urban Planning

Upon completion of their undergraduate degree, students can opt to delve straight into the workforce, or add breadth and depth to their knowledge with a comprehensive postgraduate degree.



Melbourne’s graduate programmes allow students to gain an even higher qualification than a ‘double’ or ‘combined’ course of study, leaving them sought-after by employers. This, paired with Melbourne’s status as No 1 in Australia, No 33 in the World, and No 18 in the world for the quality of its Architecture and the Built Environment programmes, is bound to add a hefty boost to your starting salary.

“If we’re going to think about the future, we have to simulate the future, we have to make the future in large measure,” Professor Le Grew concludes. “We are very much looking to the graduates of the Bachelor of Design to be the spearhead of those solutions.”

And with Melbourne’s Design graduates forging successful careers as Junior Estimators, Building Analysts and Designers, Urban Data Analysts, Digital and Visual Designers, Exhibitions Officers, 3D Modellers, Surveyors, User-Experience Designers and beyond, it’s clear that Melbourne’s School of Design really does serve as the catalyst for a better future.

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All images courtesy of the University of Melbourne