Diploma in Communication Design (T59)

2019 Planned Intake: 125 JAE 2019 Last Aggregate Score: 14

New! For those keen to apply to Design courses, click here to download the new handy guide to preparing your portfolio.

The Communication Design course is home to curious and critical thinkers who thrive on deadlines and enjoy churning fresh and exciting ideas.  The work we do spans both the latest digital platforms and the elegant craft-based sensitivity of the old-school. This is a vibrant environment that constantly pushes the envelope, challenging students to reach higher crags in creative expression.

The first year gives a broad overview and builds your fundamentals in graphic design and the tools of visual communication. The second year offers you the choice to specialize in either Image Design or Branding, or Integrated Communication.

Industry will be looking for design practitioners like you – those with a broad plethora of knowledge and skills in graphic design, photography, digital expression and who understands the nuances of effective visual communication. To be tomorrow’s rock star in the creative world, start here today.


 Compared to creative work I have seen in comparable courses in Canada, Germany and many other countries, the overall performance is at least equal to, if not better than, other institutions I have observed in my 30-plus years of teaching.
— Hanno Ehses
Professor of Design
Director, Master of Design programme
School of Graduate Studies
NSCAD University, Canada
The course of study that focuses on the application of strategic, purposeful communication


What you will learn

  • First year - get the basics right

    First year – get the basics right!

    Dip your fingers and toes into the sea of images, text, fonts, styles, colour and be immersed in the foundations of graphic and digital design. An exciting and broad education in the fundamentals of visual expression awaits!
  • Specialise


    We not only give you breadth but depth too. Communication Design gives you a chance to choose a major. Image Design? Branding? Integrated Communication? Decisions, decisions...

  • Studio Projects

    Studio Projects

    Put all you’ve learnt together through a series of projects that will culminate in the final-year project. This is your chance to push the envelope, stretch yourself to showcase all the skills you’ve acquired.

Notable Features

  • Intern with reputable advertising agencies, design studios and communication firms and big multi-national  corporations both in Singapore and overseas.

  • Work in the coolest and most up-to-date facilities such as the interaction lab, Mac labs, the photo studio, dark room and tactile room.

  • Specialise in either Branding, Image Design, or Integrated Communication.

  • Be part of a long and illustrious history in graphic design dating back to 1969. The Communication Design course has its roots as Singapore’s first Visual Communication design diploma.

  • Count among your seniors, award-winning designers who have made a name for themselves globally – among them four President Design Award winners for Designer of the Year.

  • Shine in national and international competitions. Our students have won at regional and International awards like the Crowbars, International Design Awards, OneShow, Conqueror Awards, AsiaStar Packaging, D&AD Awards, Art Directors Club.

  • Travel with your classmates. Our students have gone on annual study trips to Taiwan, Japan, Korea, London and New York.

  • Win bursaries and scholarships. Our students have won scholarship awards from overseas universities in HK, Australia, UK as well as the prestigious DesignSingapore Council scholarship.

  • Enjoy advanced standing arrangements with some of the best design institutions in the world to receive exemptions and complete your degree in a shorter time and at a lower cost.

  • Be mentored by a team of highly committed, diverse and experienced lecturers and mentors from the industry.

Career Prospects

You will face an array of possible career opportunities in the buzzing, adrenalin-driven world of advertising, graphic design, branding, publishing, photography and multimedia agencies. And yes, many of our graduates have also successfully founded their own studios and agencies. How cool is that!

Further Education

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for consideration for admission, applicants must obtain 26 points or better for the net ELR2B2 aggregate score (i.e. English Language, 2 relevant subjects and best 2 other subjects, including CCA Bonus Points) and meet the minimum entry requirements of this course. CCA cannot be used to meet the minimum entry requirements.

Minimum Entry Requirements

English Language (EL1)* Grades 1-6
Mathematics (E or A) Grades 1-7
Any two other subjects, excluding CCA Grades 1-6

Applicants must also have sat for at least one of the following subjects: Additional Combined Science, Additional Science, Art / Art & Design, Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Combined Science, Computer Studies, Creative 3-D Animation, Design & Technology, Engineering Science, Food & Nutrition, Fundamentals of Electronics, General Science, Higher Art, Human & Social Biology, Integrated Science, Media Studies (English), Media Studies (Chinese), Physics, Physical Science, Science (Chemistry, Biology), Science (Physics, Biology), Science (Physics, Chemistry), Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology).

Note: Applicants who have partial or complete colour appreciation deficiency should not apply for this course.

See also the minimum entry requirements for:

Course Structure

TP Fundamentals (TPFun) Subjects

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

In this subject, you will learn how to conduct research for relevant information and validate information sources. You will also learn to recognise and avoid plagiarism, and follow standard citation and referencing guidelines when presenting information. In the course of learning, you will be required to plan, prepare and present information appropriately in written and oral form.


In this subject, you will be taught how to conduct effective meetings while applying team communication strategies and the skills for documenting meeting notes. You will be required to write clear emails, using the appropriate format, language, tone and style for an audience. You will also be taught to communicate appropriately in and for an organisation when using various platforms.


In this subject, you will be taught how to use persuasive language in written documents. You will be required to use information to your advantage to verbally communicate and convince an audience about your idea, product or service. Skills such as persuasive vocabulary, language features, graphical illustrations, tone and style would also be covered.


This subject presents you with a panoramic view of current local and global issues, which may have long term implications for Singapore. You will learn to apply critical thinking tools to examine current issues, support your views with relevant research and up-to-date data, articulate an informed opinion and mature as civicminded individuals.


This subject is designed for learners from all disciplines to embrace innovation in either their specialised field or beyond.  You will first be introduced to the Design Thinking framework and learn how to develop problem statements and ideate solutions.  Next, you will discover the tools for prototyping and innovation, such as 3D printing and laser cutting at TP’s Makerspace+ facility.  


LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies.  This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.


LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies.  This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.


LEAP 1, 2 and 3 are three fundamental subjects that seek to cultivate in you, the attitude, skills and knowledge for the development of your leadership competencies.  This character-based leadership programme enables you to develop your life-skills through establishing personal core values, which will become the foundation for your leadership credibility and influence.


This subject will help you develop both the physical and technical skills in your chosen sports or fitness activities. Through a structured curriculum that facilitates group participation, practice sessions and mini competitions, you will learn to build lifelong skills such as resilience, leadership, communication and teamwork. Physical activity sessions will be supplemented by health-related topics to provide you with a holistic approach to healthy living.


This Career Readiness programme comprises three core subjects – Personal Management, Career Preparation and Career Management. It seeks to help you understand your career interests, values, personality and skills for career success. It also equips you with the necessary skills for seeking and securing jobs, and to develop professional work ethics.


This Career Readiness programme comprises three core subjects – Personal Management, Career Preparation and Career Management. It seeks to help you understand your career interests, values, personality and skills for career success. It also equips you with the necessary skills for seeking and securing jobs, and to develop professional work ethics.


This Career Readiness programme comprises three core subjects – Personal Management, Career Preparation and Career Management.  It seeks to help you understand your career interests, values, personality and skills for career success.  It also equips you with the necessary skills for seeking and securing jobs, and to develop professional work ethics.


This subject provides essential skills and knowledge to prepare you for an overseas experience. You will examine the elements of culture and learn the key principles of cross-cultural communication. In addition, you will gain an appreciation and awareness of the political, economic, technological and social landscape to function effectively in a global environment.


You will examine your own identity, study different forms of diversity and apply strategies to inspire positive collaboration in a diverse workplace. Through a residential stay, you will have the opportunity to experience living and working with peers from different backgrounds.


This subject highlights the inter-connectedness of the world today, bringing about what it means to be a Global Citizen. You will gain an awareness of the impacts of globalisation and the concepts of social responsibility and sustainable community development. This subject also challenges you to be actively engaged in a social or environmental project.


Whether telling stories, building monuments or celebrating rites of passage, expressions of culture are at the core of cultural diversity. In this subject, everyday objects, artistic creations and popular culture are explored as ways of understanding the values and beliefs of a society. By taking this subject, you will benefit by acquiring a greater understanding and appreciation of the complexities surrounding our cultural assets.


This is a subject where you will be free to pursue an area of interest through a self-directed approach, guided by staff. You will be expected to demonstrate a sense of curiosity for learning, initiate an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills, and reflect on your learning journey throughout the subject.


This is a graded subject that prepares you for the world of work. The internship period is 12 weeks long. You will learn to identify prospective companies, prepare your portfolio, application letter and resume, and attend job interviews. You may have the opportunity to work with firms locally or overseas. The internship will expose you to actual design industrial or business environments, giving you a realistic perspective of working life. You will work with commercially “live” projects and demonstrate the ability to transit from student to employee. You will journal, record and evaluate your progress and learning with your supervisors and your lecturers.


Diploma Subjects - Core Subjects

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject introduces you to basic idea generation, analysis and synthesis techniques within a problemsolving framework. Through these techniques, you will explore and develop fluidity of thought as well as an analytical mind. It also introduces visual literacy through which you develop your personal visual language to communicate a great variety of concepts. You will also develop and demonstrate your aesthetic awareness and design sensibility in order to communicate successfully in our increasingly image-saturated culture.


The subject introduces you to art and design fundamentals, aesthetic awareness and cultural appreciation. It will develop an understanding for the art and design processes, and enable you to reflect and see the world from a designer’s perspective. Through this subject, you will discover how to express yourself visually and with confidence in areas of art and design.


The subject will cover the necessary ability to research, analyse and organise information relating to societal issues in a collaborative manner. It will introduce the various collaborative strategies, design frameworks and integrate critical thinking. It will also cover innovative and conceptual approaches in the context of design.


This subject introduces the principles of type and using type as an expressive communication tool. It allows you to explore issues concerning type, such as form and meaning, hierarchy of information, legibility and readability, structure and composition, and the design of type. You will learn to exploit type with colour, creative integration of type and images, and typographic layout in print communication.


Computer software knowledge is integral to the creative process in the design industry. This subject teaches you the fundamental knowledge and skills to carry out almost all forms of design solutions on the computer. From manipulating photos, illustrating your own graphics, to designing your very first layout — you will learn the digital tools that are essential in creating your own designs.


This subject teaches the fundamentals of using the camera and the principles of photography. It provides you with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills required for capturing and managing digital images using cameras with manual-mode capability. The topics covered will allow you to digitally capture images with purpose, control and creativity.


This subject gives an insight into the evolution of graphic design and its impact on society. It traces the rich heritage of man’s quest for ideas and forms in visual graphics by examining the developments in writing, printing, typography and design. It also follows the changes of graphic design from traditional to mechanical forms and finally examines its present state in the electronic age.


This subject teaches you to create stylised visual representations that can be frequently found in many forms of graphic design. Through the investigation of art and design styles and movements, you will begin to see the different style techniques that can be used to convey concepts and messages, and are the beginnings of creating graphics for communication.


This subject serves as an exploratory platform for collaborative engagement among students with varied interests to produce a project that integrates learning from earlier subjects. You will experience design and production processes that align with professional studio practice, with the option of working collaboratively in small teams or independently. Opportunities will be given for you to investigate and explore a wide range of media, materials, techniques and processes. You will learn to think creatively and apply yourself to a range of design scenarios using a variety of approaches.


The subject covers in-depth research and analysis of information in order to identify problems. Through ideation techniques and implementation of a creative process, solutions are then proposed to solve the identified problem. Technical and production skills in areas of specialisation taught in previous subjects are practiced in creating a well-integrated and aesthetic solution that is cross platform. It also provides the practical experience of managing a project such as time management, production and a presentation.


This is an advanced module that offers you the opportunity to conduct further investigation into your preferred areas of expertise to produce a highly developed project. You may decide to focus your studies in an area of specialisation or experiment with alternative design processes and methodologies to expand on your design vocabulary and personal repertoire. You are expected to align your learning closely with professional studio practices while working collaboratively in small teams or independently. You will demonstrate the ability to think creatively and apply yourself to a range of design scenarios using a variety of approaches to produce a comprehensive outcome that demonstrates a high level of design sensitivity, maturity and sophistication.


This subject introduces you to the basics of designing interactive media for the Web. You will learn the basics of Web authoring and other interactive application software. You will also learn how to prepare media for the web, such as graphics, audio, video and other media formats. You will be able to apply these elements together with suitable authoring techniques to enhance the interactivity of Web projects.


This subject introduces the principles of graphic user interface (GUI) and user experience design. It focuses on the basic rules of visual information organisation and hierarchy, and explores the process of navigation on screen. It also examines the choice of appropriate styles and graphic treatment for the intended audience, and the use of conceptual models for creating appropriate user experience.


This subject anticipates the challenges and influences posed by the mass media on society, and to impart the thinking, methods, skills and processes. It also extends skills and new insights beyond the influence of the interactive electronic age. A firm foundation is provided upon which a more advanced and progressive knowledge and skills in advertising can be built. It covers the importance of target marketing to ensure effective advertising for a consumer product or a service industry. Through a series of assignments, you will explore and discuss the appropriateness and effectiveness of visual images and messages in the creation of persuasive advertisements.


You will explore beyond common reproduction techniques when crafting your final design solution. New techniques may include silk-screen printing, lino/woodblock printing, etc. The tactility of materials chosen for print will also be explored and experimented to allow for more innovative usage of materials in design.


This subject emphasises on the relationship between design principles and animation fundamentals, as well as focusing on the systems, structure, and synthesis of text and image for time-based media.


This subject focuses on advanced page layout and design techniques in publications and its production requirements. You will learn to produce more complex publications using advanced page layout software skills, as well as advanced design techniques.


The subject connects current societal trends with strategy and innovation. Through in-depth research of current topics and the trends specific to design and its related fields, projects briefs are crafted. Once the brief is crafted, ideas and solutions are proposed with the aim to solve problems that are highlighted.


This subject is industry-driven and will equip you with skills and knowledge of working in small groups with the focus on collaborative practice-based scenarios. You will be exposed to 'live' industry projects in partnership with industry players and partners. While emphasis is placed on the acquisition of sound technical skills in the broadly-defined areas of creative communication. This comprehensive module will also arm you with strategic thinking and analytical skills to thrive in the communication design industry.


This subject begins with a self-initiated design project that focuses on a design discipline that is of personal interest or of academic capability. The subject will end with the production of a set of design solutions that is reflective of creative independence, critical conceptual thinking and industry-ready design execution skills. Time management skills, independent responses to critique, pursuit of high-level design competency will be expectations of this subject.


Diploma Option Subjects

Image Design Option (Year 2)

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

The subject is about creating visuals with a persuasive story and a point of view. It also covers techniques and knowledge required to create images suitable for narrative formats such as storyboards, campaigns, editorial content, manuals and picture books. Techniques of conceptualisation, ideation and graphic composition through the various image-making process will also be the mainstay for the subject.


The subject covers different techniques in image creation. It also covers multiple image-making mediums and techniques, including different media and styles in illustration and photography. The emphasis is to create an original and spontaneous composition, to adopt an exploratory approach to form and expression.


The subject covers an alternative understanding and interpretation through imagery derived as a result from using aids such as poems, stories, music, philosophies, paintings or any other initial form. It also covers exploration of non-conventional forms in visual design to produce images that are expressive and meditative.


Branding Option (Year 2)

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject introduces you to the understanding of a brand and the role it plays within a business and its influence on consumers. You will learn definitions and terminology to grasp meanings of a brand which then lead on to form a strategic platform to begin the visual expression and visual identity. This subject forms the deeper theoretical knowledge to enhance the designing of brand touch points.


This module introduces the fundamentals of a brand, a basic understanding of a brand strategy leading to a visual language and design devices that will overall express the brand’s vision, values and personality. You will learn to design a system of visual devices that can organically and flexibly be applied across various formats and mediums.


This subject focuses on corporate identity and its importance in today’s business. It provides you with the opportunity to learn the importance of maintaining corporate image and philosophy by creating effective corporate identity manuals and guidelines.


Integrated Option (Year 2)

Subject code Subject LevelCredit Units

This subject aims to develop critical and practical skills appropriate for expanding the understanding of the creative possibilities of advanced design and authoring for interactive websites for desktop or mobile devices with consideration to visual design, usability, audio and video integration, on-going site management, and web accessibility. The subject will cover rich media integration at an advanced level, and the development of rich Internet applications using appropriate development tools for different platforms. The aim of this subject is to explore and push the limits of digital interactivity in design.


This subject covers historical aspects of the advertising and graphic design fields, as well as addressing communication strategies including the effective use of metaphors, iconography, idioms, allegories, clichés and methodologies. Problem-solving and conceptual thinking are emphasised. The subject also provides an introduction to the craft of advertising copywriting and gives you a basic understanding of the copywriting process as it applies to advertising. Assignments given are to reinforce/ teach the importance of presenting information clearly, provocatively and memorably.


This subject prepares you for the ever-changing advertising landscape. You will explore the emergence of new technology used to engage consumers in a more interactive way. The impact of sociological and economic factors on advertising that cause shifts in consumer behaviour will also be investigated. This knowledge prepares you to strategically communicate a company’s product and service to a more discerning consumer.


Graduation Requirements

Cumulative Grade Point Average min 1.0
TP Fundamentals Subjects 36 credit units
Diploma Subjects
- Core subjects
- Option Subjects

78 credit units
9 credit units
Cross-Disciplinary Subjects min 9 credit units
Total Credit Units Completed 123 credit units

Blog Post

  • $1 then, $5 today….say whuttt!

    $1 then, $5 today….say whuttt!

    07 May 2014

    What does $1 get you these days? A cup of coffee? A loaf of bread? No way!

    I don’t know about you but I can barely think of anything that costs me $1 (or less) these days. Even my routine lunchtime (homemade) Ice Lemon Tea at the coffee shop costs me $1.40!

  • IMD-VSC Study Trip to Seoul

    IMD-VSC Study Trip to Seoul

    17 Jul 2012

    For the first time, students from the Diploma in Interactive Media Design and the Diploma in Visual Communications shared a study trip abroad.

  • TP bags a new design for NDP2012

    TP bags a new design for NDP2012

    28 Jun 2012

    Fuelled by endless cups of kopi and long, soul-searching chats late into the night, buzzed by WhatsApp in all hours of the day, nine student designers from the Diplomas in Product & Industrial Design and Visual Communication worked together to create this year’s Fun Pack for the National Day Parade 2012.

  • Pandora’s Pulau Ubin Photo Exhibition – a Gift from the Gifted

    05 Jun 2011

    She’s an unassuming young girl who just graduated from TP with a Diploma in Visual Communications (Photography Major). And before we talk about why we’re featuring her – yes, her name really is Pandora.

  • Julian Yeo – “Never Give Up”

    29 Apr 2011

    Graduation is soon upon us, and over the past few months we’ve actually been speaking with several graduating students to hear not just their thoughts on graduation, but also their story as a student of TP.


Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact:

School of Design

  (65) 6788 2000
  (65) 6789 8165