Bachelor of Design Computing

This undergraduate program is the only one in Australia that provides specialised training for a career in the emerging fields of interaction design and creative technologies.

From mobile apps to wearable technology and interactive environments, there is a high demand for human-centred design and experiences driven by technology.

In this program you learn how to create elegant, high‑caliber, commercially viable products and services. You will gain a toolbox of skills in visual design, digital media production, coding, prototyping and user experience design. Most importantly, you will be taught to recognise and use tools that address specific social and commercial challenges, to solve real-world problems.

The program includes four design studios, which focus on specific themes, such as mobile apps, data visualisation and interactive product design. Through these studios you will build your portfolio and be well prepared for a career in this exciting, high-growth and highly paid industry. You can also take electives from other faculties. For example, you are eligible to graduate from Design Computing with a minor in Information Technologies (IT). Our independent study options, as well as the optional honours year, allow you to further develop your skills in a specific area and work on your own project ideas.

Career outcomes

Graduates from the Bachelor of Design Computing typically find work in interaction design, user experience designer, creative technologist, front end designer/developer, digital producer and much more.

Through the Faculty’s strong links with the creative industries in Sydney, many of our students receive job offers during their final year. We host regular careers events to connect industry and our students.

Indicative Course

    First Year

    Semester One

  • This unit aims to teach students an understanding of the stages involved in the development of software for design; skills in the design and implementation of software for design tasks and in the development of software as design tools.

    On the successful completion of this unit of study, students will have demonstrated: skills in using software tools to build interactive, visual design applications through individual programming assignments; knowledge of object-oriented programming concepts through individual programming assignments;

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  • This unit of study provides an overview of a human (or user) centred approach to the design of interactive technologies.

    It introduces students to design thinking and how it can be productively applied to different design situations. The theoretical concepts, methods and tools for the key stages of interaction design are covered including user research, ideation, prototyping and user evaluation.

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  • The unit introduces students to the principles of digital media production for moving image. In studying this unit, students will develop an understanding of how to document design projects, concepts or processes through digital moving image and video production.

    On the successful completion of this unit of study, students will have demonstrated skills in digital media tools, such as Final Cut Pro, and in sourcing, developing, designing, and creating video content.

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  • This unit of study introduces students to the principles of visual design, including graphic design, colour theory and typography

    Students will develop an understanding of how to successfully combine visual elements to effectively communicate an idea, concept or to describe a product.

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    First Year

    Semester Two

  • This teaches students an understanding of the basic concepts of modelling and presentation.

    Students will develop skills in creating and using 3D models for various design tasks. The unit further introduces students to rapid prototyping fabrication techniques, such as 3D printing and laser cutting with the aim to understand how to prepare a digital representation for physical fabrication.

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  • This unit introduces students to the principles of product design and their application in interaction design projects.

    This includes using sound as a medium in product design, conceptualising computer-based implementations of product interfaces, and using hardware platforms, such as Arduinos or littleBits, for prototyping interfaces. It introduces the core concepts of audio programming, physical prototyping, basic electronic concepts, hardware programming, as well as aesthetic issues in product design, the creative use of sound as a medium for communication, and sound in interactive systems.

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  • This unit introduces students to modern web technologies.

    Students will develop technical as well as conceptual skills for designing and developing interactive web applications.

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  • The aims of this unit of study are to introduce the fundamental principles of animation and its role in interaction design.

    Students will develop and understanding of: the process involved in developing character, text and motion graphics based animation, and the integration between 2D artwork and 3D composition.

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  • The Safety Induction and Competency Unit aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills required for safe and effective working practices in the Architectural technical Services Centre (ATSC).

    Students are introduces to safe and appropriate ways of working with materials such as timber, metals and plastics in the wood Technology Studio, Metalistics Lab and Digital Fabrication Lab. Students will operate machinery, tools and equipment under supervision and will become familiar with relevant Work Health and Safety (WH&S) processes and requirements.

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    Second Year

    Semester One

  • This unit introduces students to principles and methods relevant to the user experience design of digital products and services.

    Students will devlop an understanding of the concept of 'user experience' and how it extends other design practices, such as user interface design and interaction design.

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  • The ubiquitous use of information technology leaves us facing a tsunami of data produced by users, IT systems and mobile devices.

    The proper management of data is hence essential for all applications and for effective decision making within organizations.

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  • TBA

    Second Year

    Semester Two

  • This unit introduces principles of interface and interaction design through design projects. Students will develop technical as well as methodological skills for designing and developing interactive products and services.

    Elements of interaction design including menus, screen design, motion, animation, graphics design, and sound integration will be addressed for various media and platforms, including the Internet and mobile devices.

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  • TBA

  • TBA

    Third Year

    Semester Two

  • This studio offers a context for students at the end of their Design Computing degree to apply design, technical and creative methods to the production of high-quality group work, with a strong focus on the development of high-impact portfolios.

    Students will cover the principles of user-centered design in the context of new product development, and will engage with new technologies for networked social interaction, data and digital media programming APIs, and mobile and physical computing.

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Student Profiles

    Mark Mitchell

    Bachelor of Design Computing

    My studies in Design Computing have equipped me with a diverse range of technical skills and design methodologies that can be readily applied to solve problems in an innovative way, as well as practical skills that allow these solutions to be rapidly implemented and evaluated.

    The studio work on large-scale projects created a stimulating environment for teamwork, critique, and innovation, and allowed me to explore my creative interest: intersecting design with technology and art.

    I hope to stay surrounded by design as theory, design as practice, and design as art: applying my knowledge to creative projects, or researching new innovations in the field of interaction design.

    Emila Yang

    Bachelor of Design Computing

    I studied a Bachelor of Design Computing (Hons) and graduated in 2014 with the University Medal. Since graduating, I’ve worked on many interesting projects as an Experience Designer at Massive Interactive –

    including the Emirates in-flight entertainment system and the interface for Foxtel’s set-top box. I’ve also been involved with start-ups, co-founded Edisse as the primary designer, and designed a mobile chat interface for OpenLearning as a front-end developer.

    Garry Taulu

    Bachelor of Design Computing

    I started working at Syple Technologies towards the end of my 2nd year of the Design Computing program. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to work on huge projects that span various industries which are being used by thousands of people everyday.

    Studying in the Design Lab of FADP was a great experience. The lecturers and tutors were very supportive and it was great to be surrounded by such a diverse range of peers, united by a love of design, technology and all things geeky!

    Studying the Design Computing program has given me the ability to be effective in my role of designing solutions for various clients. I learnt the very important skills of iterative design and ‘questioning everything’ along with enough technical knowledge to allow me to communicate with developers involved in projects.

    My advice to current and future students is to continually build, whenever you find a little annoyance in the world try and design a solution for it.

    Emma Chee

    Bachelor of Design Computing Hons

    You don't have to be a programming genius or technical whiz to do DesComp. You just need to be interested in design and be genuinely curious about how things work.

    The Design Computing studio environment and small lectures make for an excellent creative environment. In the final third year studio, I developed a jacket that would guide the wearer through the city without the need of a screen.

    At the time, I wanted to develop what I initially called the Urban NavJacket, but I knew the technology and my skills were lacking. So instead, I completed Honours, travelled, and then worked a full-time job for a year.

    Whilst in-between jobs I found a bit of time to work on my own projects. I started to reboot the old code, and at the same time I was fortunate enough to meet up with one of my Design Computing classmates who happened to work at a company eager to establish a 'wearables' division.

    They needed some ideas, so I was brought in as a researcher/consultant. From there, I began developing and they began marketing what is now called the Navigate Jacket. The jacket was most recently featured in Vogue and showcased at GroupM’s mLab, alongside the likes of Google Glass. I think a lot of it was luck, but also knowing which trend was on the rise.

    Natalie Schaffer

    Bachelor of Design Computing

    I was unsure what career I wanted, but I have always had a creative streak. When I attended the design computing seminar at the University of Sydney, I was captivated and knew this was the course I really wanted to do.

    This degree has helped me so much for my future after university. The degree coordinator often holds careers events at the University for all design computing students to attend. One of these events led me to apply for an internship with Razorfish, which I am super excited about commencing.

    With the help of the teaching staff and their broad range of expertise (art, technology, filmography, user experience, curation etc.), I was able to explore and develop my own ideas. The program’s flexibility allowed me to excel.

    Through my study exchange I was also shown the world of design abroad. I now have connections in the UK if I choose to work overseas.

    Andrea Lau

    Master of Interaction Design

    I graduated with first class honours from the University of Sydney in Design Computing in 2007 and was awarded the University Medal for my research on information aesthetic data visualisation.

    The studios in the Bachelor of Design Computing ensure that you consider the brief and understand users’ needs. That’s essentially the same as industry. The courses set you up to be a great project manager as well as technically skilled at design.

    Data visualisation is multidisciplinary. You need to understand the visuals and how to make your content engaging as well as understand the theoretical side that underpins the work you do. It’s hard to find people who tick all those boxes, so we’re pleased with the graduates of Design Computing that we’ve hired.

Meet Our
Program Director


Dr Martin Tomitsch

Research Interests

Interaction design in urban environments
Design research and methods
Mobile interaction design

His primary research interest is the application of user-centred interaction design methods and the study of user behaviours to inform the development of novel interfaces and interaction techniques for everyday life. In his research work he emphasises the design and evaluation of new approaches to human-computer interaction.

He is co-author of ‘New Media Facades’ published by av edition and over sixty articles published in journals and academic conferences. He holds a visiting lecturer appointment with the Research Group for Industrial Software (INSO) at the Vienna University of Technology, is a founding member of the Media Architecture Institute (MAI), NSW state co-chair for the Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (CHISIG) of the Human Factors &Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA), and committee member of several international workshops and conferences.

See Martin's Profile

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Bachelor of Design Computing