School of Visual Design, Marketing & Branding

Save 10% with Early Bird Registration before 15 November '19

Discount on your tuition fees, flexible and extended payment terms, early access to your student portal and an exclusive early bird gift just to name a few. Don't delay, contact one of our student advisors today!

Read More

Home > Fet Certificate: Design Foundation

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. 

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 exclusivly to AIE students, devices can now be financed with your tuition fees. We provide three models:



  • CORECore Spec, Dell Inspiron 15” 3593 Series i5
  • MEDIUMMedium Spec, Dell Inspiron 15” 3593 Series i7
  • HIGHHigh Spec, Dell Latitude 3500 Series i7

R9 000.00Learn More

15" laptop that meets all your everyday needs and looks good doing it. Featuring 10th generation Intel®

10th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1035G1 Processor (6MB Cache, up to 3.6 GHz), 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display, 8GB, 1x8GB, DDR4, 2666MHz, 1TB 5400 rpm SATA Hard Drive, DVD Drive (Reads /Writes to DVD/CD), NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) MX230 with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory, Windows 10 Home 64bit English, 1Y Collect and Return Service

R14 000.00Learn More

The foundation for intense graphic and processor heavy tasks. Featuring 10th generation Intel® processors and an array of ports.

10th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-1065G7 Processor (8MB Cache, up to 3.9 GHz), 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Display, 8GB, 1x8GB, DDR4, 2666MHz, 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5" SATA Hard Drive, Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD), NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) MX230 with 2GB GDDR5 graphics memory, Windows 10 Pro (64 Bit), 1Y Collect and Return Service

R18 000.00 Learn More

Get serious with the high spec Latitude, Dell’s flagship hardware for high end graphics and processing.

8th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 -8565U, 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Display, 16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4 Non-ECC, 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5" SATA Hard Drive, Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD), NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) MX130 with 2GB GDDR5 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, +- 2 ½ day/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. 
    *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. 


    Online & Part Time

    • Part Time = 12 months, 120 credits (2 x evening classes, 18:00 to 21:00, Mon & Wed OR Tues & Thur)
    •  Online = 12 Months, 120 credits (Online live classes, twice/week, 17:00 - 18:00, Mon & Wed OR Tues & Thurs)
    •  Credits are obtained through a combination of live virtual classes, pre-recorded video lectures and project-based tasks. 
  • 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: 


    • HUION H420 Tablet Drawing Board. 
    • Adobe Student Licence valid for one year. 
    • Free WIFI (3GB/Month, On Campus only). 
    • Art equipment including, 24 Piece Pencil Set, sketchpad, notepad. 
    • Electronic study guides. 
    • Orientation kit including: Student Card, Welcome Letter and Getting Started Guide. 
    • Access to our myAcademy student portal and student support team via phone, email and tickets.  

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

At AIE, The Academic Institute of Excellence we understand that that each person prefers different learning styles and techniques. This is influenced by many factors including, circumstances, location, field of study and learning preference. It is for this reason that we have developed our myWay learning methodology, a unique and modern approach to blended learning that encompasses multiple delivery methods, involving our three main channels.

Full Time

Reach your full potential through our myWay Instructor-led or Mentorship based classes combined with interactive lessons, practical assignments and in-field experience, combined with our blended platform to make up a full day or selective days within a week.

Part Time

Designed for the working professional, our part time programmes provides you with the flexibility and benefit of our myWay Blended Learning with at home exercises/assignments and mentored or in-class lectures at a manageable schedule and pace.


We have re-defined online learning. Our myWay Online Learning ensures that the student is supported by technology and people throughout his academic journey. We focus on a blended learning approach, combining online Virtual Classrooms, at home exercises, activities and project-based assignments bundled with fully developed video lectures, all managed by our student learning platform.

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
  • 05 February 2020
    10 February 2020
    Full Time
  • 05 February 2020
    10 February 2020
    Part Time
  • Campus
    Registration Close Date
    Start Date
  • 05 February 2020
    10 February 2020
    Part Time
  • 05 February 2020
    10 February 2020
    Full Time
  • Campus
    Registration Close Date
    Start Date
  • 05 February 2020
    10 February 2020

Delivery Method: 
Include a Laptop? Yes No   Read more
  • Math Result: