Program Changes: Bachelor or Masters?

I’m currently doing a 4 year Bachelor of Industrial Design at UniSA in Australia.
Recently the Uni has decided to make some changes to our program and are implementing a new 3+2 system.
This involves a 3 year Bachelor of Product Innovation followed by a 2 year Masters specialising in Industrial Design, Sustainability or Entrepreneurship.
I am having trouble selecting which one to follow. I have the option to stick the current 4 year system or switch to this new 3+2 system and I am hoping to get some advice from designers both overseas and in Australia.

The positives I see with the current 4 year system:
-Its a current and proven system in Australia.
-I can graduate sooner with a Bachelor of ID and start getting work and experience.

The negatives I see with the current 4 year system:
-May be an unrecognised system in the next few years

The positives I see with the new 3+2 system:
-I could potentially graduate with a masters.
-Possibly better recognised overseas.
-Will be more recognised in coming years in Australia

The negatives I see with the new 3+2 system:
-New and developing program means we are the “test candidates” for the new program
-Not yet recognised or established in Industry
-Graduating with a Bachelor of Product Innovation wont leave many prospects for employment

I am currently thinking of completing the 4 year Bachelor of Industrial Design. When I graduate I can work for a few years and maybe find an area that interests me then return at a later date to complete a Masters if need be.
I would like to work overseas at some stage and maybe also do exchange while I’m studying…

What are your thoughts as professionals and/or students on these changes? Any advice?


I finished the 4 year degree at UniSA last year and had a full time ID job lined up before finishing Uni. I would do the 4 year again if I had the chance. 4th year is awesome.

However, if you have good skills and a good portfolio, the 3 year degree might be better because it reduces your hecs debt. On the other hand, you would probably want to do the 5 years if you don’t do the 4 to increase your employment prospects.

I’m in the same boat. I think I’ll stay with the four years (I’ve completed a mixture if 3rd and 2nd year subjects) but I don’t know how the subjects will pan out. I’m afraid I’ll be the only student in a class, so I’ll get put in a similar class where everyone has slightly different deliverables to me. The 4th year graduation show will be brief.

On the letter I got from the uni, the ‘masters’ is one year if you have the four year degree, but the attraction to get out sooner with a 3 year degree is great. Don’t lets HECS influence your decision- it’s funny money anyway- you don’t notice it being taken out of your salary, you just get a smaller tax refund (says he who took 12 years to pay of his first degree)

I met with one of the program organisers last week and had a good discussion about the changes, I now have a better understanding of the changes and think I will do the Masters. They explained that if I do the old or the new program all the courses will still be the same the only difference in continuing doing 4 years is that the last year will essentially be courses from the final masters year so I would miss the content from the 1st year of masters which includes work experience which I think would be very benificial.
Also doing the masters I have slightly more flexibility for arranging exchange which Im pretty keen for.

  • Hey Jaime I’m Paris, I had studio 4 with you this year, I really like the originality and process of your work! I heard Peter recommended most “mature age” students do the 4 years though I’m not sure what the reasons are. HECS isn’t a real concern of mine anyway, it seems most people live their lives in some form of debt anyway…

Hi Paris,
Thanks for the feedback. I had to run from last weeks ‘spacebag’ presentation due to work commitments- I’d wish I’d seen them all. How did they go? Any highlights?

Peter probably recommended 4 years for mature age students as at half time a 4 year degree is 8 years, an extra year is two more. That said I looked at the letter last night and it said I had until the 5th of November to make up my mind, else I’d be put into the recommended ( new) program. The course details are up on the UniSA website- interesting that studio goes in 3rd year from 6 units to 9 units.