SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Diploma in Graphic Design 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
48438  Diploma in Graphic Design 
ORIGINATOR
Inscape Education Group 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Diploma  Field 02 - Culture and Arts  Design Studies 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  390  Level 5  NQF Level 06  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 10105/14  2015-07-01  2018-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2019-06-30   2023-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
The purpose of the qualification is to provide qualifying learners with the necessary graphic design knowledge,
understanding and skills to secure employment in the graphic design industry immediately after qualifying. Employers` requirements of a designer at entry level into industry are:
  • Qualifying learners must be knowledgeable, thinking designers who are able to work productively and responsibly to produce effective visual communication;
  • Qualifying learners must be able to take a brief, define the problem to be solved and do relevant research - all in the context of the client`s needs;
  • Qualifying learners must be able to conceptualise design within the context of each brief (client`s needs, target audience etc.) - a high standard of creativity and problem solving is expected;
  • Qualifying learners must be able to effectively use and manage relevant graphic design technology:
    - Use computer software applications to execute design and prepare design for reproduction;
    - Manage reproduction processes - specifications, costing and quality control;
  • Qualifying learners must be able to collaborate with other designers and professionals relevant to the graphic design industry, work effectively in creative teams and be able to communicate effectively using design language; and
  • Qualifying learners must be able to present design solutions confidently.


    Rationale

    There is a constant demand for trained graphic designers in the graphic design industry. The graphic design industry
    plays an important part in the development of the economy of South Africa and neighbouring countries. Strong design industries enable South Africa to become more competitive in international markets. This in turn, contributes to solving social problems such as poverty and the need for employment opportunities.

    A wide range of occupations and job opportunities are available to holders of the qualification:
  • Graphic designer at advertising agencies, design consultancies, design studios, commercial printers, repro.houses and in-house design studios;
  • Freelance graphic designer; and
  • Own design business.

    South Africa needs problem solvers - thinking designers who are able to meet national and regional challenges by identifying, defining and solving problems by means of innovative design. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Artistic drawing competence (fine art drawing skill) equivalent to the exit levels of Grade 12 (NQF 4 level);
  • Knowledge and understanding of the history of Art equivalent to the exit levels of Grade 12 (NQF 4 level);
  • English language competence - speaking, reading, writing and comprehension - equivalent to the exit levels of Grade 12 (NQF 4 level);
  • General problem solving skills.


    Recognition of Prior Learning
  • This will be undertaken as soon as regulations have been gazetted.
  • If a candidate has not achieved a Grade 12 qualification, equivalent prior learning is recognised. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    N/A 

    EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    In addition to Knowledge, Skills, Values outcomes learning is also defined and assessed according to an outcome called Creativity. This outcome makes it possible to distinguish between skills related to creative problem
    solving and technical skills.

    Creativity outcomes include:
  • Identifying, defining and solving problems,
  • Creative thinking,
  • Conceptualisation, and
  • Efective practical application of theoretical knowledge to solve problems and produce effective visual communication.


    The exit level outcomes are grouped into five components which together reflect the work of a graphic designer active in the graphic design or related industries. The critical crossfield outcomes are integrated into the exit level outcomes. Exit level outcomes are hierarchical and cumulative over the years of the programme. Increased competence in each of these components is expected at the end of each year of learning.

    Component 1: Producing effective and creative graphic design

    This component refers to thinking and working effectively, intuitively and independently as a graphic designer subject to typical industry conditions - competence in conceptualising and producing graphic design
    that meets the needs of the client.

    Exit level outcome 1.1
  • Work intuitively and independently according to the design process as well as understand all the contextual aspects of any specific `job`. (Outcomes relating to specific stages of the design process follow in exit level outcomes 1.2 to 1.5)

    Exit level outcome 1.2
  • Take and interpret a client`s brief and preparing a problem definition.

    Exit level outcome 1.3
  • Conduct relevant and effective research within the context of the problem definition.

    Exit level outcome 1.4
  • Solve problems creatively - demonstrating competence in conceptualising (creative idea finding) and development of concepts - all within the context of the client`s needs (brief and problem definition).

    Exit level outcome 1.5
  • Design responsibly by considering social impact issues as well as enviroinmental implications into their designs.

    Exit level outcome 1.6
  • Integrate image and text in effective layouts to communicate the intended message - maintaining conceptual and visual continuity over a number of applications or large campaigns.


    Component 2: Visual and design literacy

    This component refers to knowledge and understanding of various aspects of graphic design, which contribute to working within the design process addressed in component 1.

    Exit level outcome 2.1
  • Demonstrate an industry level knowledge and understanding of effective visual communication and the communication process in general with particular and in-depth reference to effective graphic design.

    Exit level outcome 2.2
  • Demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding of marketing and how graphic design is related to the marketing process (economic and social relatedness).

    Exit level outcome 2.3
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of trends, philosophy and critical social and cultural issues that impact on graphic design.

    Exit level outcome 2.4
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the History of Graphic Design and visual communication in general.

    Exit level outcome 2.5
  • Demonstrate competence in evaluating graphic design and visual communication in general.


    Component 3: Technical skill

    This component refers to the technical skill necessary for the execution of design (artwork) and the reproduction of design.

    Exit level outcome 3.1
  • Efficiently use industry standard computer software to execute print design. This includes integrating software applications to maximise efficiency.

    Exit level outcome 3.2
  • Accurately prepare design (artwork) for repro.(making artwork repro-ready) in all relevant software applications. This includes integrating software applications to maximise efficiency.

    Exit level outcome 3.3
  • Efficiently use industry standard computer software to execute digital design.

    Exit level outcome 3.4
  • Produce industry standard finish of artwork by hand (using analogue technology).

    Exit level outcome 3.5
  • Demonstrate basic illustration and rendering skills - at least sufficient to present ideas visually.

    Exit level outcome 3.6
  • Demonstrate basic verbal and written presentation skills and general communication skills.


    Component 4: Knowledge of the graphic design industry

    This component refers to knowledge and understanding of the graphic design industry that is necessary for newly qualified designers to function in the industry immediately and productively without having to adapt much to
    the new environment they will encounter.

    Exit level outcome 4.1
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of how the graphic design industry is structured - types of graphic design businesses.

    Exit level outcome 4.2
  • Possess a thorough knowledge and understanding of the typical structures of graphic design businesses and how graphic designers fit into the industry, including employment opportunities and career possibilities.

    Exit level outcome 4.3
  • Possess a basic knowledge of business management


    Component 5: Time management and collaboration with other designers

    This component refers to meeting deadlines, collaborating with other designers and working in creative teams.

    Exit level outcome 5.1
  • Meet deadlines while working effectively under typical industry conditions.

    Exit level outcome 5.2
  • Collaborate with other designers and work in creative teams by communicating effectively, acknowledging the contribution of other designers to all aspects of the design process and by make valuable contributions of their own. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Learning takes the form of a process of completing a series of integrated projects. During this process knowledge, skills and values are accumulated. This is a process in which each new project builds on the foundation laid by earlier learning. Assessment of the Specific Outcomes - Knowledge, Skills, Values - automatically follows this pattern
    of integration. During this process earlier subject matter is revisited and learning is re-assessed to ensure that the foundation is sound and sufficient. This process allows learners to learn at their own pace.


    Component 1: Producing effective and creative graphic design

    Assessment for this component of exit level outcomes is done predominantly by means of assessing learner`s competence in completing practical applied design projects.

    Competence is evident when learners are able to:
  • Independently answer a brief successfully, following the design process from start to finish and fully understand all the contextual aspects of the job - at the level of competence expected of an industry entry level graphic designer;
  • Produce adequate and relevant research and process information;
  • Conceptualise innovative and fresh design at industry level of sophistication;
  • Carry the concept effectively in the integration of image, text, typography and layout to communicate the intended message and thus meet the marketing and communication needs of the client;
  • Use technical skill, including digital technology, effectively to produce the artwork (detailed outcomes of technical skill are addressed in component 4 below);
  • Present the design, clearly indicating comprehension of the design process and intended result (produce a design rationale);
  • Display a level of maturity in their work that is consistent with work in industry; and
  • Solve visual communication problems with the same level of sophistication as is expected in industry - at least at entry level in industry.


    Component 2: Visual and design literacy

    Assessment of a learner`s competence in this component of exit level outcomes is done predominantly by means of analytical essays, written and verbal research presentations and practical application projects.

    Competence is evident when learners are able to:
  • Demonstrate a professional (industry) level of knowledge about graphic design in general, specific projects and designs, design trends, the history of graphic design and the economic and social context of graphic design through a verbal presentation;
  • Use design language fluently;
  • Critique graphic design on a professional (industry) level;
  • Distinguish between good and poor design;
  • Conceptualise and produce design that displays the learner`s understanding of design trends, styles, the history of graphic design and the economic and social context of graphic design;
  • Apply thorough knowledge and understanding of the aspects of marketing and advertising that are directly related to graphic design in applied design projects;
  • Understand and discuss ethical practice in an informed manner; and
  • Apply thorough knowledge of the history of graphic design in applied design projects and understand its relevance to the current practice of graphic design.


    Component 3: Technical skill

    Learners` competence in this component of exit level outcomes is assessed by means of practical exercises and projects, many of which are extensions of applied design projects. Interactive tests are also done.

    Competence is evident when learners are able to:
  • Execute design (artwork) digitally at graphic design industry level of complexity and sophistication, using all the relevant industry standard software applications;
  • Make design repro-ready at graphic design industry level complexity and accuracy, using all the relevant industry standard software applications and produce relevant materials such as proofs;
  • Provide accurate specifications, costing and quality control of repro.jobs;
  • Apply general graphic techniques encountered in industry to execute and present design and achieve industry level finish;
  • Display typographic skill at industry level of sophistication;
  • Present ideas in the form of layout drawing and rendering; and
  • Brief illustrators and photographers and other professionals in industries related to graphic design.


    Component 4: Knowledge of the graphic design industry

    Assessment of a learner`s competence in this component of exit level outcomes is done predominantly by means of written and verbal research presentations.

    Competence is evident when learners are able to:
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the structure of the graphic design industry understand the structure, activities and functions of the various typical types of design business;
  • Display industry level knowledge of he activities and responsibilities they will have as designers in industry - including business management; and
  • Form an opinion about where they see themselves working in industry.


    Component 5: Time management and collaboration with other designers

    Assessment of a learner`s competence in this component of exit level outcomes is done by means of practical applied design projects - including group projects - and written as well as verbal research presentations.

    Competence is evident when learners are able to:
  • Consistently meet deadlines and understand the importance of meeting deadlines,
  • Display the necessary confidence to communicate with designers in industry as well as in class and contribute to work done in groups,
  • Use design language effectively when communicating with other designers,
  • Acknowledge contributions made by other designers and are able to incorporate these contributions in their own work within the team, and
  • Work according to sound project management principles.


    Integrated assessment is also done by assessing the Critical Crossfield and Developmental Outcomes. Projects are designed in such a way that these outcomes are achieved automatically when learners complete a project successfully.

    Learning is assessed by means of the following strategies:
  • Continuous project based assessment;
  • Assessment is outcomes based - outcomes are defined for each exercise and project and learners` work (learning) is assessed against these outcomes;
  • Continuous evaluation of learners` progress during interactive group critique of learners` work;
  • Peer assessment during interactive group critique of learners` work;
  • Self assessment - learners critique their own work; and
  • Internal and external moderation.

    Continuous assessment during projects allows learners to improve and remedy insufficient learning during the completion of a project. This also allows learners to learn at their own pace. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This qualification is comparable with qualifications of the same name registered on the New Zealand, Australian and Scottish Qualifications Frameworks. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    The Diploma in Graphic Design is comparable with that offered at technikons and horizontal and vertical articulation with those institutions is therefore possible. This qualification does not share a significant component with other design qualifications and articulation with other design qualifications is therefore not possible. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Internal moderation takes place on a regular basis throughout the course of learning. Primary external moderation takes place at the conclusion of the programme. External moderators are chosen to represent the academic and industry
    fraternity. In-service Training is also considered a form of external moderation. Although internship is assessed internally, part of this assessment is based on the report received from the learners` employers. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2006; 2009; 2012; 2015. 

    NOTES 
    Component 1: Producing effective and creative graphic design
    Component 2: Visual and design literacy
    Component 3: Technical skill
    Component 4: Knowledge of the graphic design industry
    Component 5: Time management and collaboration with other designers 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Inscape Education Group - Cape Town 
    2. Inscape Education Group - Durban 
    3. Inscape Education Group - Midrand (formerly Johannesburg) 
    4. Inscape Education Group - Pretoria 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.