Diploma of Building Design

CRICOS Code: 078979G
National Code: CPP50911


This qualification applies to building designers who undertake building design projects covered by the Building Code of Australia (BCA), except Construction Type A buildings. Building designers may specialise in residential projects including new buildings, heritage restorations and additions or renovations; or they may also undertake commercial and industrial projects such as factories, motels, offices, restaurants, retail or service outlets and warehouses. This course is in transition. New students will commence in Certificate IV in Building Design Drafting and then transition to the new Diploma qualification. NB the Certificate IV in Building Design Drafting is a prerequisite to study the new Diploma.

Duration (incl. holidays)
Teaching Duration
Example Career Profile
Print Course Page
104 weeks
80 weeks
Building Designer
Campus / Location
Study Mode
Contact Hours
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements
(for International Applications)

Course Notes

  • The Building Design Drafting courses have been superseded and in 2022 and 2023 are transitioning to new versions. As a consequence the following changes to the package of the Certificate IV and Diploma of Building Design are expected (subject to approval):
    1. In 2022, the offer and enrolment for the Certificate IV in Building Design Drafting will be superseded and become the new Certificate IV in Residential Drafting once final approvals have been obtained
    2. You will be expected to successfully complete the Certificate IV in Residential Drafting prior to commencement of the Diploma of Building
    3. The duration of the new Diploma of Building Design will likely be 3 semesters (1.5 years). Total duration for the CIV in Residential Drafting and the new Diploma of Building Design will likely be 5 semesters (2.5 years). The duration will be confirmed as soon as possible.
    4. The fee, per semester, for each qualification may increase to $7200. The fee will be confirmed as soon as possible.


These course fees are for international students only.

Average cost per semester (6 months)
AUD $6875
Total course cost ( 104 weeks)
AUD $27500
Incidental Fees*
AUD $0*
Total Fees
AUD $27500

Note: TAFE SA course fees are subject to regular increases and are reviewed annually. As such, the course fees for 2022 have increased and are published on this site. TAFE SA accepts applications for courses commencing beyond the year advertised and tuition fees for these years will be higher. TAFE SA and their agents reserve the right to make any changes necessary.

Overseas Students Health Cover

All overseas students are required to have Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) insurance for the entire duration of the course. The health cover rate will vary depending on the personal circumstances and duration of stay in Australia. Read more about Overseas Students Health Cover.

  • Employment Outcomes

    Numerous career paths exist for building designers, including working for building design or architectural firms, consultancies, government departments, residential and commercial developers or self-employment.

    Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

    Qualifications & Skills Covered

    Diploma of Building Design (CPP50911)
    This course covers safety, materials, compliance, sustainability, design concepts, working and design drawings. To complete the qualification you are required to complete all 7 core units and 10 elective units.

    of TAFE SA graduates find jobs or continue studying.
    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.

    * 2020 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Below is a list of all units that TAFE SA can offer in this qualification. The selection of elective units you will be enrolled into depends on the campus you attend, and the qualification packaging rules described on

    Not all elective units listed below must necessarily be completed to achieve your qualification.


    Name Nominal Hours
    Apply OHS Requirements, Policies and Procedures in the Construction Industry 20
    Develop concepts for small-scale building design projects and finalise solutions with clients 180
    Produce compliant client-approved designs for small-scale building design projects 190
    Produce compliant client-approved working drawings for small-scale residential buildings 220
    Recommend sustainability solutions for small-scale building design projects 90
    Research construction materials and methods for small-scale residential building design projects 65


    Name Nominal Hours
    Apply principles of energy efficient design to buildings 36
    Assess timber-framed designs for one and two storey buildings 36
    Consult with clients to produce approved small-scale building project design briefs 50
    Generate design solutions 60
    Produce 2-D drawings for building design projects using CAD software 40
    Produce and present 3-D models of small-scale building designs 60
    Produce and present rendered animations of 3-D models of small-scale building designs 50
    Research compliance requirements for small-scale non-residential building design projects 50
    Research compliance requirements for small-scale residential building design projects 40
    Research construction materials and methods for small-scale non-residential building design projects 65
    Use CAD applications to complete models and documentation for interior design projects 80
  • Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest pathways towards a University Degree. Credit Transfer is the formal recognition that parts of a TAFE SA course are equivalent in content and level to parts of some University courses. Below are the Credit Transfer details for this course. View all TAFE SA Credit Transfer Agreements

    University University Course Details
    Associate Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering (Site Management)
    Associate Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering (Design Drafting)
    Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Architectural and Structural)
    Bachelor of Architectural Design
  • The city created for students

    You will never find another city like Adelaide. With welcoming locals, it is the perfect place for you to study, live and enjoy.

    Affordable living
    A student city

    A student city

    Adelaide is home to over 30,000 international students and has a strong and growing reputation as an education city. In addition to TAFE SA, Adelaide is home to six world-leading universities: The University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University, Torrens University Australia and CQ University Australia.


    Adelaide’s crime rates are the lowest in the country and for that reason, Adelaide has previously been named the safest city in Australia.

    Beach Culture

    Beach Culture

    Adelaide’s pristine sandy beaches are just a 20 minute tram ride from the city centre. On hot summer days, you can study in the day and take the tram to have dinner at the beach and watch the sunset with friends.

    Live centrally

    Accommodation is more affordable in Adelaide than in other cities in Australia making it often possible for students to live in the heart of the city or just outside. This means more time is spent studying and less time travelling.

    Live centrally


    Adelaide is known for its cafe culture, with more cafes and restaurants by population than any other city in Australia. In recent years, Adelaide has also developed a vibrant and varied bar scene. The city is big enough that you will struggle to visit all of the places you would like to drink and eat in during in your first year of study. Our mix of cultures means there’s likely to be a supermarket that sells food from your home country too.

    Easy to get around

    Adelaide is a flat city so it is ideal for walking or cycling. Its grid layout makes it almost impossible to get lost! There are free trams and buses around the city centre. International students can show their ID to get cheaper tickets.

    Easy to get around


    Adelaide is known for its festivals, which are famous around the world. WOMADelaide, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Fringe Festival and Cabaret Festival are just some of the international arts and music festivals that keep the city buzzing

    Everyone agrees – Adelaide is a great place to live and study

    Adelaide is recognised as one of the world’s most liveable cities. In 2014, Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel book ranked Adelaide in the global top ten. For the last four years Adelaide has been ranked one of the most liveable cities in the world by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

    Everyone agrees – Adelaide is a great place to live and study
    Beautiful weather

    Beautiful weather

    Adelaide has four distinct seasons, with moderate winters and warm to hot summers. In winter you will need woolly jumpers and jackets and in summer, shorts and t-shirts. The heat in South Australia is dry, rather than humid.

Back to Top