Graphic Design online short course

Course starts 9 November 2020

Course information

Registration Closes:
3 November 2020
Course Starts:
9 November 2020
10 weeks, excluding orientation
7–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online
ZAR R13,900
Payment Options
University of Cape Town (UCT)


Most organisations will, at some point, require the skills of a graphic designer. Professionals in this field play an integral role in enhancing a brand’s visual presence, and are highly valued for their ability to convey meaning through visual elements.

This Graphic Design online short course from the University of Cape Town (UCT) will provide you with the technical skills and creative knowledge needed to make a start in this profession. Learn how to use Adobe Illustrator,* work with digital images, and choose effective typefaces to create compelling content for both print and web platforms.

Alongside gaining design knowledge and proficiency in the relevant software, you’ll also learn more about the business of graphic design and how to create a professional portfolio.

*GetSmarter won’t provide the software needed for this course; you will be responsible for ensuring you have access to it.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • An understanding of visual communication and aesthetic principles, including theories about layout and composition
  • The skills to use Adobe Illustrator to execute design projects
  • The knowledge to produce designs for both print and digital mediums
  • Practical business skills that can be applied in a design-oriented career

Is this course for you?

This course is aimed at anyone considering graphic design as a new career opportunity. The content offers an introduction to the subject matter, and aims to equip students with a strong foundation in visual communications. Those looking to refresh existing graphic design knowledge may also find this course beneficial. There are no formal prerequisites for registration.

Course curriculum

Learn how to design for print and web as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

  • Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 What is Graphic Design?
  • Module 2 Introduction to Adobe Illustrator
  • Module 3 Understanding digital images
  • Module 4 Visual communication
  • Module 5 Layout and composition
  • Module 6 Idea generation and research
  • Module 7 Working with text (typography)
  • Module 8 Designing for print
  • Module 9 Creating designs for the web
  • Module 10 The business of Graphic Design


This University of Cape Town (UCT) online short course is delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter. Learn from industry thought leaders as you become versed in visual communication, layout, typography, designing for web and print, and the business of design.


At GetSmarter, our mission is to improve lives through better education. One of the ways we achieve this is by working with university faculty and industry professionals to provide a practical, industry lens on a variety of university subjects.

Martha Evans

Martha Evans

Senior Lecturer in Media Studies and Media Production, UCT

Dr Evans has an MA in creative writing and a PhD in media studies from the University of Cape Town, where she now teaches journalism and media studies courses. She has worked as a writer, editor, copywriter, and mass communication strategist and has edited the work of a number of top South African writers. Evans has written for Getaway, the Mail & Guardian and the Cape Argus and was the winner of the Sunday Independent travel writing competition in 2008.

In addition to teaching theory courses, Evans is also the production convenor at the University of Cape Town and teaches multimedia journalism courses that cover the following topics: writing, copy editing, proofreading, introduction to InDesign, infographic design, and designing for print.

Earn a certificate from Africa’s leading University

Develop graphic design skills and earn an official certificate of completion from the University of Cape Town.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 9 November 2020.

Get More Information

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.