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Diploma of Communication

  • Direct entry to the 2nd year of the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Communication (majors in Advertising, Digital Media, Journalism, Public Relations)
  • Supportive learning environment provides the best possible preparation for Deakin University
  • Study on a Deakin University campus with full access to accommodation, support services

Key Information


8 or 12 months


  • March
  • June
  • October


Melbourne Burwood


This diploma offers a wide range of unit choices leading to the second year of the relevant Deakin University degree. Areas of study include advertising, communications, journalism, digital media and public relations.

Employment and career options upon completing your Bachelor degree:

  • Advertising agency roles
  • Account management
  • Media planning
  • Journalist
  • Copywriting and art direction
  • Media policy and management
  • Politics
  • Research
  • Media business-oriented consulting
  • ‘In house’ brand communications

Course Structure

Complete and pass 8 units.

2 Core Units

ACC100 Communication in Everyday Life

This unit explores communication theory through practice, using dynamic and creative participatory learning activities to discover how communication theory ‘plays’ out in everyday life.Students examine the motivation for and consequences of communication in their daily life, exploring how we communicate changing social norms and use agency to reproduce and redefine things like ‘friends’, ‘work’ and what are ‘acceptable’ modern communication practices. The unit brings communication theory to life by drawing on a range of learning materials –reading text, newspapers, television, web-based resources and film in order to examine how individuals participate in social construction, the process of meaning making and the building of social capital. A key element of this unit is the use of the students’ own imagination to drive participatory learning; teaching materials are responsive and interactive, students will be encouraged to interact with the weekly topic and ‘learn by doing’.

Assessment: 30% interpretation of online digital objects; 30% interactive presentation; 40% digital workbook

ACG103 Design Skills

This unit introduces students to the digital tools necessary for visual communication design. Students will be introduced to the Adobe imaging suite. Consideration will be given to the theoretical concepts and implications of digital technology as they relate to other art and design processes. Techniques including digital mark making, graphic illustration, design elements and principles, creative thinking and layout explored through practical projects. This unit is a combination of practical skills and theory exploring the design elements and principals.

Assessment: 30% design project; 30% research project; 40% design project

Plus 3 Streams (6 Units in Total)

Advertising stream:

ALA101 Advertising Principles and Practices

This unit will introduce students to the theory and practice of contemporary advertising by exploring the industry’s history and rapidly changing nature in the digital era. The social, ethical and regulatory contexts of advertising are established to encourage students to become reflective future producers or consumersof advertising messages. The strategic imperatives of advertising and notions of effectiveness are examined to build students’ abilities to solve communication problems that are commonly faced by private, public and non-for-profit sector clients.

Assessment: 30% Quizzes (individual); 30% Group Presentation; 40% Research and Planning Report (individual)

ALA102 Creative Brand Communication

Students will explore the nexus of creativity and strategy that is fundamental to successful brand communication. They will examine the nature of creativity in the communication industry and practitioner approaches to the creative process. The advertising messages produced by international brands will be analysed to help students prepare for global mobility as future practitioners. Students will be introduced to the key creative roles within communication companies and build the research, planning and ideation skills required of contemporary practitioners.

Assessment: 20% Advertising Challenge Tasks; 40% Essay; 40% Written Project

Public Relations stream:

ALR103 Introduction to Public Relations

The unit provides an introduction to the field of public relations. Students learn about what public relations people do, and how they do it. Topics include planning, media relations, employee relations, community relations, international public relations, ethics and public relations law.

Assessment: 20% Quizzes; 30% Essay; 50% Planning Project

ALR104 Strategic Communication and Writing

This unit sits at the nexus of theory and practice to help you understand the role of strategic communication in organisational contexts. Put simply, strategic communication refers to the ability to develop and disseminate messages that achieve specific and measurable objectives. Whether that objective is to inform, change opinion or adapt behaviour, successful strategic communication revolves around people.

Assessment: 20% online quizzes; 40% group planning and writing project; 40% portfolio

Journalism stream:

ALJ111 News Reporting 1

This unit is an introduction to the practice and theory of multimedia journalism. It sets the social, professional and legal context for journalism practice, and introduces students to the convention of news writing and reporting stories. Students will also focus on combining text with photos and audio clips to produce news stories; critically examining their own production processes, and learn to report multimedia news stories to a deadline.

Assessment: 20% research file; 40% news story for print media; 40% multimedia news story

ALJ112 News Reporting 2

This unit in the practice and theory of multimedia journalism focuses on news reporting processes. It outlines professional, social and legal factors that impact on reporting of local, regional an national news. The unit introduces students to key news beats, including reporting stories about politics, business, sport and local newsworthy events and issues. Students will build contacts in their preferred news beat/s and engage with social media tools to report and produce their news stories. They will also gain skills in reporting a news story (to a deadline) for broadcast and online media platforms.

Assessment: 20% social media for reporting; 40% photojournalism assignment; 40% video based assignment

Digital Media stream:

ALM101 Making Social Media

This unit enables students to explore and experience present day digital media culture in critical and creative ways. The unit is built onmulti-platformed content, delivery and assessment, providing a user-friendly engagement with social media that facilitates practical, hands-on work in micro-blogging, blogging and podcasting. Creating and sharing different forms of media content, students learn how to communicate across different online platforms as part of a highly interactive community. Highlighting the benefits ofmedia-making for personal and professional use, the unit allows students to develop their portfolios and discover how to use social media to strategically build a dynamic online identity.

Assessment: 20% Portfolio Exercise; 40% Portfolio Output 1; 40% % Portfolio Output 2

ALM102 Making Video

This unit enables students to critically and creatively engage with present day digital media culture, with a particular emphasis on making videos. Highlighting the crucial importance of creating audio-visual content for different purposes and audiences, the unit guides students through various video-making practices and strategies. Emphasising the benefits of making videos in a wide range of industry settings, the unit allows students to develop their portfolios and learn how to use video to strategically build a dynamic online identity.

Assessment: 20% Video Exercise 1; 30% Video Exercise 2; 50% % Video Project with Critical Reflection


Online and on-campus classes run between 11am and 9pm on weekdays (Melbourne time). Most units run as 2 x 2-hour classes each week. We recommend 4-6 hours of private study per unit, per week.

View a mock timetable

Second Year Entry to Deakin University*

Australian and international students
(Note: Cloud option is not available to international students)

T1 (Trimester 1 entry); T2 (Trimester 2 entry); T3 (Trimester 3 entry)
* See Diploma to Degree transfer criteria (Domestic students / International students).
+ Choice of additional units is based on the Deakin University degree you wish to enter. Full details are listed on the Deakin College website.
Choice of majors limited and not available on all campuses.
++ Offered Burwood (Melbourne) and Cloud (Online) only.

Academic Entry Requirements

More Information

For further details about units and availability, trimester structures and more, please download the course outline below.

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