Advanced Diploma in Visual Communication (Graphic Design)
Intakes: January, April, July, October

Go beyond the limitations of design by knowing how to integrate your skills and concepts into real-world scenarios through design studio management!

Level - Fundamentals

Ideal for those looking for a qualification to develop their skills and become capable of managing the design and business aspect of a design studio!

Programme Outcome

Undergo 3 months of professional practice to simulate working in a real design studio environment. You will be given live studio projects covering corporate identity, advertising campaign, editorial design, web design, interactive design and packaging design projects as part of your assignment.

Studio Management

About the Programme

Creativity - Your Punch to Innovation!

Set your mind free and allow yourself to expand your creative boundaries. In this programme, you can achieve both design and business competency.

At the end of this programme, you will have significant experience to create graphic design collaterals and manage how to conduct and market your designs from a design studio’s point of view. 


Fundamentals of Design

Understand the key elements and principles of design


Creative Software Knowledge

Create graphics using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign


Design Studio Management Fundamentals

Understand the reporting structure and information flow of a design studio

What will you learn? 

Design Fundamentals
Principles of Design and Idea Generation

To introduce Students to the creative process and the processes and techniques involved in idea generation such as brainstorming and mind mapping. Students will also be exposed to issues relating to copyright and intellectual property. They will also learn to interpret and write design briefs, taught design principles in the context of graphic design.

Learning Objectives:

  • Produce sound ideas using the creative process and idea generation techniques
  • Write his/ her own design briefs and also interpret design briefs given to them
  • Produce works to demonstrate a good understanding of design principles and intellectual property rights
Creative Communication

This unit is about developing an appreciation for art and type in visual communication. Students will explore the interplay of art and type in producing a variety of outcomes. They will also experiment with art and type by manipulating or juxtaposing images and words to communicate messages effectively

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify art and type in visual communication
  • Examine and analyse the interplay of art and type in various graphic design works
  • Produce works that demonstrate effective experimentation and manipulation of art and type in communicating messages effectively
Digital Graphic Design

This unit is about developing and providing Students with the relevant knowledge and skills in interpreting their creative ideas digitally in two-dimensional form, with the help of graphic design software(s). Students will learn colour correction and manipulation to achieve desired results, and will also be requires to use what they have learnt in colour theory and colour psychology to digitally produce graphic design works that meet specific objectives.

Learning Objectives:

  • Apply relevant tools and functions of the software(s) to achieve desired results
  • Produce two dimensional graphic design pieces to demonstrate understanding of the graphic design software(s) taught
  • Construct graphic illustrations/ drawings/ typography/ etc in basic two-dimensional form
Design Studies
Art Direction

To help Students develop strategies for interpretation and analysis, as well as helping them explore new trends for the analysis of images, learning how to identify relationship between culture and image and, as a consequence, come to understand the complex activities of constructing and interpreting culturally relevant images.

Learning Objectives:

  • Be able to analyse images and relate them to historical, cultural and commercial programmes
  • Work with images to evoke emotion and deepen conceptual understanding
  • Work effectively in a group to exchange ideas and create and describe collections of visual images
Mixed Media Drawing and Rendering

To expose Students to various drawing and rendering techniques using mixed media. Students will learn colour theory and experiment with various media to communicate ideas and/or messages effectively. They will hone their observation skills through a series of activities and projects.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop observational skills that will help communicate ideas and/or messages effectively
  • Produce a series of work that demonstrate clear understanding of colour schemes
  • Produce a series of work that demonstrate drawing and rendering skills in different media forms
  • Show experimentation of various drawing and rendering styles their development of various ideas
Design Theory

This unit providesStudents with the knowledge of history of art and introduce them to various art movements that influenced design over centuries. Students will develop and understanding and appreciation of social and cultural influences that affect design. They will also examine major events, trends, new technologies and globalisation that impact design.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and describe key art movements and relate them to contemporary design
  • Discuss critical historical, social, cultural events, trends and new technologies that influenced the way design are presented
  • Write a paper to investigate, analyse and discuss significant incidents that influenced the development in design
Principles of Design
Principles of Layout

To develop an understanding and appreciation for basic principles of layout such as balance, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion, etc. Students will be able to effectively use these principles in any aspect of graphic design.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and explain various principles of layout
  • Examine and critique the effectiveness of layout principles in various types of graphic design and advertising works
  • Create and design various graphic design work to demonstrate clear understanding of layout principles
Typography for Design

To introduce Students to various elements of typographic design and appreciate the use of typography in design. Students will explore the application of two-dimensional and three-dimensional type designs and the influence of colour on typography design. Students will also be taught factors that affect readability and visual appeal.

Learning Objectives:

  • Appreciate the use of old-English calligraphy in typographic design
  • Appreciate other styles of calligraphy in typographic design
  • Produce original typographic designs and render using appropriate applications
Web Design

To introduce Students to basic skills and techniques in designing a website. Students will be taught how to analyse a websites’ content and style, and identify elements of a good website design. They will learn basic coding language and styles that will enable them to produce a simple, visually appealing and functional website.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify elements of a good website design
  • Analyse a website’s content and style
  • Use a simple coding language and styles to create a website
  • Produce a website that is functional and usable
Design Specialisation
Publication Design and Production

To introduce Students to the history of publishing, and the influence of new technologies on publication designs such as newsletters, magazines, annual reports, newspapers etc. Students will be taught various elements of publication design and be able to apply principles of design and layout in their publication assignment(s). Students will gain an understanding of the publishing business, as well as be exposed to the pre-press, offset printing and post-press processes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify various design elements in publication design
  • Explain the development of publishing
  • Identify and describe the roles and responsibilities of a typical publishing team
  • Produce a publication to demonstrate clear understanding of the subject
Flash Animation

To expose Students to Flash-enabled animation and designs and produce one of their own. Students will be taught usability, interactivity and download time in Flash animation. They will also be requires to exercise their critical thinking skills to review existing Flash animations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the concept of usability, interactivity and download time in Flash-enabled animations
  • Review and critique a few Flash animations to demonstrate their critical thinking skills
  • Create and produce a Flash-enabled animation using Macromedia Flash
Brand Design

To introduce Students to basic principles in branding and the way brand messages are delivered to consumers. Students will be exposed to case studies of brands. They will examine the messages behind these brands and how they are communicated through design.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and explain branding principles
  • Discuss and compare the success and pitfalls of brands by examining their respective brand messages
  • Present the above through an individual viva session with the lecturer(s).
Design Appreciation
Packaging Design

To introduce Students to the techniques and processes involved in designing and constructing storage articles used for holding various types of objects. Students will be exposed to the production processes involved in packaging design and also appreciate the influence of culture and climate on materials. They will also learn to integrate visual appeal with functionality int their designs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand materials vis-à-vis culture and climate in designing a package
  • Experiment with materials, structure and composition in creating a packaging design
  • Design a visually appealing and functional packaging for a given product
  • Construct and build a mock up of the packaging design
Design Techniques

To expose Students to skills required in producing graphic imagery. Students will develop a clear understanding of the role graphic media play in producing a variety of graphic design outcomes. They will also explore, experiment and implement reproduction techniques for creating graphic imagery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the skills required in producing graphic imagery
  • Describe the role graphic media play in producing different graphic design outcomes
  • Create a graphic imagery through exploration, experimentation and implementation of suitable reproduction techniques
Experimental Design

To stretch Students’ creative potential in their designs through experimenting with different materials and/or media. Students will be required to closely examine various media and materials to produce unique and eye-catching designs. They will also have to research on the characteristics of various materials and media in order to select suitable ones to express ideas appropriately.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and describe the characteristics of a common set of materials
  • Experiment and explore the use of media/ materials to appropriately express ideas
  • Produce a piece of work that demonstrates clever and effective play of media and/or materials to express and idea
Design Management
Design Management Fundamentals

This unit will expose Students to the design processes and the various procedures required in creating a communication strategy. It aims to instil a keener senses through the study of the various roles and responsibilities between the client and the agency.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the culture of the modern design industry
  • Comprehend each and every individual role in the creative agency
  • Explore the roles that make up a creative/ design agency
  • Understand the reporting structure and information flow of a typical design agency
Integrated Marketing Communications I

This unit explores the importance of integrated marketing communications in today’s advertising, design and promotion culture. Students will see how marketing and design merge as one to form a powerful communication and promotion tool and drive society’s sales and economy.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the different aspects of design integration
  • Comprehend how design, advertising and marketing merge to form a powerful promotional and branding tool
  • Understand consumer behaviour and new tactics for communications
  • Explore the marketing mix, effective media buying and the evolution of integrated marketing communications
Integrated Marketing Communications 2

This unit exposes Students to the fundamentals of corporate and retail branding and its impact in today’s commerce. Students will learn to differentiate the various branding concepts between corporation and product.

Learning Objectives:

  • Differentiate between corporate and retail branding concepts and techniques
  • Differentiate and identify the different types of branding promotion techniques
  • Evaluate the effective use of the promotional mechanics used in corporate and product communication
Design Major
Major Project

To provide Students with the opportunity to integrate the lessons taught in this course by producing a set of designs for an advertising campaign. Students will be required to identify a real and local company and propose a design and promotional campaign to promote the company’s product and brand image.

Learning Objectives:

  • Conduct research on the chosen company’s background, brand, product, competition, target audience, current advertising and branding efforts, etc.
  • Identify key elements from the research and propose an appropriate campaign theme
  • Identify and propose a series of 10 design item for the campaign
Professional Practice/ Live Project
Professional Studio Practice/ Live Project

Students undergoing this 3 months professional practice will be attached to design studios for live simulation working in a real design studio environment. They will be given live studio projects covering corporate identity, advertising campaign, editorial design, web design, interactive design and packaging design projects as part of their assignment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the workflow of a typical design team in a design firm
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of key personnel in the firm
  • Execute assigned projects/ tasks a given by the project supervisor

Programme Fees

SGD $20,000 (before GST)


January, April, July, October

Programme Duration

Full Time: 24 months, 5 days a week

Part Time: 24 months, 3 days a week

Intakes Yearly

Teacher to Student Ratio

Career Opportunities

  • Graphic Designer / Freelance Graphic Designer
  • Art Director / Creative Director
  • Web Designer / Packaging Designer
  • Designpreneur

Entry Requirements

Advanced Diploma Level

Direct Entry
Applicants will be enrolled directly into Advanced Diploma programmes if they meet the following criteria:

  • Singaporean and Singapore PR applicants: Completed a Diploma in any discipline OR
  • 2 GCE A Level subjects including General Paper with a D grade for each subject, or equivalent OR
  • Completion of an FMDS Diploma with a minimum Credit grade
  • 18 years old and above
  • Foreign applicants: Completed a Diploma taught in English or completion of Diploma not taught in English with minimum IELTS score of 5 or minimum TOEFL score of 55, or equivalent


Conditional Entry
Applicants will be given conditional entry into Advanced Diploma programmes based on the following criteria:

  • Submission of a design portfolio subjected to assessment by FMDS Academic Team AND
  • Submission of resume and Letter(s) of Identity from employer(s) for matured candidates of minimum 25 years of age with a minimum of 2 years of working experience in a related field AND
  • Completion of an FMDS Diploma with a minimum Credit grade

Useful Information

Graduation Requirements 

For the successful graduation from any FMDS qualification, students are required to pass all modules. For Specialist Diploma, Diploma and Advanced Diploma students, they are additionally required to successfully complete their Final Major Projects as well.

Assessment and Examination Methods

Assessments for each of the modules under each qualification is based on a student project to be completed by the student. It will be conducted by a qualified examiner to be appointed by the school. Students will be given ample time to prepare their deliverables for assessment and the assessment date will be informed in advance. The appointed examiner will grade student assessments based on a standardised gradesheet given by the school. Students are also entitled to appeal the grades they receive should they feel that there was either a procedural error, evidence of a failure of supervision or other extenuating circumstances.

Requirements of Industry Attachments

 Students which sign up for the Advanced Diplomas will be required to undergo an industrial attachment programme at the tail end of their studies. Students will be matched up with a participating partner to undergo this industrial attachment where they will receive on-the-job training in the following: design and management, human relations, computer applications, cost implications, safety measures, quality control, productivity and marketing.

Financing Info

  • Installment and financing plans available. 
  • Do reach out to our admissions team to find out more about financing your education!
  • Course fees are subjected to 7% GST.
  • First Media reserves the right to change, modify course fees without prior notice.