Principles and Elements of Design

Course code DD1

The course introduces students to the principles of design, including Balance, Rhythm, Emphasis, Proportion and Scale. Students investigate the Elements of Design; Space, Line, Form, Texture, Light and Colour and their applicability to design situations. Students then apply their understanding of the Principles and Elements to a design brief.

How to enrol

Before enrolling in this course you need to:

  • Choose the qualification you will study the course under. See the Work towards tab below for qualification options.
  • Check the order that courses in the qualification should be studied in the Qualification Structure table. This is in the Choose courses tab on the qualification page.
  • Level 4  
    Credits 10 
  • Study type Open  
    EFTS 0.0833  
  • Availability
    2018 :  
    This course will start on the first Monday of the month you select for enrolment.
  • Delivery type
    2018 :  
    Print only
  • Workload

    All our open courses have a credit value. For each credit, allow about 10 hours of study. Your workload may be higher around assessment due dates.

  • Fees
    2018 :  
    NZ students $299 + $60 annual administration fee
    International students $900 + $60 annual administration fee
  • Prerequisites Check entry and other requirements under the qualification you are studying  

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to

  • Identify, analyse and produce reports explaining how the principles and elements of design have been applied to the exterior of a building
  • Identify, analyse and produce reports on how the principles and elements of design have been applied to the interior of a building, their appropriateness and suggestions for improvement

Course content includes

  • Principles of Design
  • Balance, Symmetrical, Asymmetrical and Radial
  • Rhythm, Emphasis, Proportion and Scale
  • Elements of Design
  • Space
  • Lines, straight, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, broken and curved
  • Form, square, rectangular, triangular and circular
  • Texture, rough and smooth
  • Light and colour


  • This course is 100% internally assessed