Home > Fet Certificate: Design Foundation Nqf4

FET Certificate: Design Foundation NQF4


The FET Certificate in Design Foundation (NQF Level 4) is aimed at providing a foundation of design, allowing learners to explore different design fields in the creative industries. Design Foundation will introduce learners to a number of artistic and professional disciplines that focuses on visual communication and graphic presentations.  This will provide the learner with the necessary skills to further their studies with the necessary foundation to follow a career in web design, advertising, book design, poster design etc.


Features and Benefits

  • This qualification consists of a fundamental, core and extra module. The fundamentals will cover both digital literacy and Microsoft Office to make sure computer literacy foundation is set.  
  • Learn how to conceptualize, visualize, design, illustrate and set-up various types of artistic pieces for all media types.  
  • Learn the basics of art and design which will include a good working ability to draw and illustrate various artworks, acquire a good working knowledge of graphic design, the history thereof and all the necessary theory and imbedded knowledge to function well as a designer in the industry to set you up for furthering your career in any design discipline.  
  • Learn critical industry used software including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel.


  • Get internationally certified as either an ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) Photoshop CC or ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) Illustrator CC to increase job readiness.  
      adobe logo  
  • Get job ready with our Workplace Preparation module where you will learn how to compile your own personal design portfolio, enhance your CV, handle yourselves in a design job interview, how to be resourceful in job hunting and managing your online reputation.  
  • Get industry exposure through our industry contacts and online recruitment portal. 
  • Showcase of student work at our annual internal Job Fair for exposure to potential employers as well as the popular Rage Expo or Comicon. 
  • Get a free Office 365 Education A1 license, valid for the duration of your studies. 
  • Job placement assistance through our industry network and online recruitment portal, exclusively available to AIE graduates. Visit for more.  

Admission Requirements

  • NQF3 or Grade 11 (Competency in the English language & mathematical literacy)

Hardware Requirements

Please note that you are required to have your own computer for this qualification. AIE, in partnership with Dell and TripleH committed to supplying every student with a Dell laptop to support our DigitalCampus initiative. Available exclusively to AIE students, devices can now be financed with your tuition fees. We provide three models:



  • MEDIUMMedium Spec, Dell Latitude 5510, i7, 16GB
  • HIGHHigh Spec, Dell Latitude 5510, i7, 32GB

R19 000.00 (OUT OF STOCK)Learn More

The foundation for intense graphic and processor heavy tasks.

11th Generation Intel Core i7-11370H(12M cache, up to 4.8GHz), 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Narrow Border WVA Display, Camera & Microphone, Power Button without Touch Fingerprint Reader, 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 Non-ECC RAM, M.2 256GB PCIe NVMe Class 35 Solid State Drive, Nvidia GeForce MX450 w/2GB GDDR6 Graphics Memory, 4 Cell 54Whr Express Charge Capable Battery, Windows 10 Pro (64 Bit), 1Y Collect and Return Service

R21 500.00 (OUT OF STOCK) Learn More

Same foundation, more memory...for those who want to get a little more serious.

11th Generation Intel Core i7-11370H (15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display, Camera & Microphone, Power Button without Touch Fingerprint Reader, 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 Non-ECC RAM, WLAN, M.2 256GB PCIe NVMe Class 35 Solid State Drive, Nvidia GeForce MX450 w/2GB GDDR6 Graphics Memory, Windows 10 Pro (64 Bit), 1Y Collect and Return Service

Salaries & Skills



* All statistics are derived from

  • Pricing & Payment Options

  • Duration

    Full Time

    • 12 months, 121 credits  (10 Sessions/Week, 2:00 hours each, 3 days/week, class times are between 08:30 & 16:00) 
    • All credits are achieved via your study duration at the institute, studio time and project-based assignments. 

    Online & Part-Time

    • Part-Time = 12 months, 120 credits (2 Hours on Campus session - 1 x Week @ 18:00 / 6 Hours on Campus session - Every 2nd Saturday @ 08:00) 
    •  Online = 12 Months, 120 credits (2 Hours Online session - 1 x Week @ 18:00)
    •  Credits are obtained through a combination of live virtual classes, pre-recorded video lectures and project-based tasks. 

    *Sessions will be grouped together to lower cost of traveling, however, in some cases classes may not follow this convention and schedules are subject to change

  • Career Options

    • Junior Graphic Designer
    • Logo Designer
    • Print Designer
    • Web Designer
    • Package Designer
    • Advertising Designer
    • Branding Designer
    • User Interface Designer
  • Study Kit

    Your study kit is included in your fees and will contain: 
    • Free WIFI (Unlimited, On-Campus only).  
    • HUION H420 Tablet.  
    • Stationery kit that includes: 
      • AIE Pen
      • AIE Ruler
      • Staedler Eraser
      • AIE Pencil Case (15cm)
      • Steel Ruler (30 cm)
      • Derwent 12 piece Artist Pencil
      • A3 Sketchpad
      • AIE Notepad
    • Electronic study guides. 
    • Orientation kit including: Student Card, Welcome Letter and Getting Started Guide. 
    • Access to our myAIE student portal and student support team via phone, email and tickets.  
  • Enrol Now

What you get

This qualification is designed to provide the student with multiple certificates and
qualifications, both locally and internationally recognised by industry for maximum employability


 On completion the student will earn: 


  • FET Certificate: Design Foundation (SAQA ID: 49127, NQF Level 4, 141 Credits) 
  • International certification: ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) Photoshop CC OR ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) Illustrator CC 
  • Portfolio of Evidence 

Our Learning Methods

Our learning methods is a technology mediated delivery model, focused on flexibility, accessibility, and academic support to provide the ultimate learning experience without compromising teaching time and quality.





Full Time, Contact
(Hybrid) Learning

A modern twist on traditional face-to-face, full-time learning. Our contact classes are delivered via Hybrid learning, providing students with the flexibility to attend on campus, virtually, or both.

Full Time, Online

Extending our reach with online only, full time learning. Our progressive technology platform and people-supported academic journey giving students access to our classes from anywhere in the world.

Part Time, Flexi Online

Designed for the working professional, our part time programmes provide you with the flexibility to manger your own schedule and pace of learning. Sessions are conducted after hours on selected weekdays, and on alternate Saturdays.

Career Video

Watch this video to understand a day in the life of a Graphic designer. 

Important Notes

Please note that you are required to have your own computer. This can be in the form of a laptop or desktop PC. Should you not have one, we can supply you with a laptop as part of your package. Please note that additional costs will apply. The below shows the recommended specification.


CPU Intel® Core™ i5 or i7, 2.4 GHZ or more (i7 preferred)
MEMORY 8GB DDR3 Memory (16GB preferred)
GRAPHICS Dedicated 1GB graphics card (NVIDIA recommended) 
OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 10 (64 Bit)


Fundamental Modules

To build a strong structure of knowledge, you need a solid foundation. Modules covered in the Fundamental section will ensure that you start right to finish strong.

  • DL-101: Digital Literacy
  • Digital Literacy Series: Computer Basics
  • DL-102: Microsoft Office 2016
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint.



Core Modules

Core modules are at the heart of your qualification and where you will be spending most of your study time.

  • RND-101: Research and Communication
  • Foundation Communication
  • Effective Research
  • FDS-101: Foundational Skills
  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Work and Lifeskills
  • ADT-101: Art and Drawing Techniques
  • ADT-102: Design Production and Management
  • DDC-101: Digital Design and Computer Applications 
  • Visual Design Using Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Graphic Design & Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator



Extra Modules

Finish off your studies with the extra modules, designed to add additional value to your existing qualifications based on industry requirements.

  • WOP: Workplace Preparation (On exit only)
  • Learn how to compiling your CV, handle yourselves in an interview, how to be resourceful in job hunting and managing your online reputation. 



The following software programs will be covered during your studies:

  • Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel. 



  • Campus
    Registration Close Date
    Start Date
  • 13 February 2023
    20 February 2023
    Full Time, Contact
  • 13 February 2023
    20 February 2023
    Full Time, Contact
  • 13 February 2023
    20 February 2023
    Full Time, Online
  • 13 February 2023
    20 February 2023
    Part Time, Online

Delivery Method: 
Include a Laptop? Yes No   Read more