From the design of a home interior, a public building or a mode of transport to an interactive exhibition, a theatre set or a virtual world, spatial designers have myriad opportunities at their fingertips. Let your imagination soar.
- Undergraduate, NZQF Level 8
- 4 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
- Available for international students studying in NZ
- Selected entry programme
Note: This programme may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.
More than just the design of buildings, spatial design is all about how people experience spaces. It intersects with the more traditional design fields of architecture, landscape design, interior design, urban design and environmental design.
People inhabit the world in many ways, but we all have spaces where we live, work, play, relax, perform, gather, learn, heal, and celebrate. The design of spaces affects how you feel, how you act, and how you interact with others: Does the layout of your local hospital make you feel reassured or stressed? Do you find you want to linger in some cafes but not in others? Does an office space make it easy and natural for people to get together? Do the views on a walk surprise and delight you because someone has thought carefully about the experience?
Spatial design can improve the standard and quality of our lives, enrich our culture and national identity, and contribute to business success. In spatial design studio courses, you'll learn to design for a host of spaces: private, public, retail, event, work, game, furnishing, experience, display, interface and performance. You learn to use the latest technologies and approaches to design spaces at the required scale, from the big picture (eg urban planning) to the fine detail of construction and materials.
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Careers and further study
Spatial design develops both the practical skills and understanding required for careers in professional design.
Most Massey spatial design graduates work in architectural or interior design practices, but also go on to work in urban planning, landscape design, the web, performance design, exhibition design, advertising, theatre, installation, events, and government departments.
Further your design research and practice with a Master of Design at Massey, or go on to create new knowledge with a PhD.
New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.
Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.
As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.
To enter the Bachelor of Design with Honours programme you will:
- submit a portfolio (if you do well in NCEA Level 2 art, design or technology (or equivalent) you may not need to submit a portfolio. See details below.)
Application closing date
If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this programme close on 30 November 2021 (for Semester One start) and 28 June 2022 (for Semester Two start). Late applications will be considered subject to available spaces.
English language requirements
To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
There are three main ways to gain entry to the Bachelor of Design with Honours.
If you achieved NCEA Level 2 or 3 with Merit or Excellence overall, and a Merit or Excellence endorsement in an approved art, design or technology subject, you have automatic entry and will not have to submit a portfolio.
This also applies for Cambridge International students achieving an AS grade A or B in an approved art, design or technology subject.
Portfolio pre-approval entry
You can show work in progress to a Massey College of Creative Arts staff member during a school visit, Massey Open Day or other University event, or in a video call. They’ll look at examples of your work with you and if it shows the creative potential we’re looking for, they’ll sign a portfolio pre-approval letter. Then you won’t need to submit a final portfolio with your application.
When you apply online, submit a portfolio showing a selection of your creative work that demonstrates your creative potential with your application to study.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
If you do not have the entry requirements
English language and foundation courses
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.
If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.
Courses and planning
- Compulsory core courses – 105 credits
- Major courses – 210 credits
- Studio course selection – 45 credits
- 400-level electives from Schedule C – 30 credits
- Electives – 90 credits
Ensure that overall, you have:
- Not more than 180 credits at 100 level
- At least 90 credits at 200 level
- At least 90 credits at 300 level
- At least 120 credits at 400 level
This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.
Courses for this specialisation
|224157||Studio I (Space)||15|
|224257||Design Studio IIA (Spatial)||30|
|224258||Design Studio IIB (Spatial)||30|
|224357||Design Studio IIIA (Spatial)||30|
|224358||Design Studio IIIB (Spatial)||30|
|224453||Spatial Design Research and Development||30|
|224454||Spatial Design Research Project||45|
Planning your programme
If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.
If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.
About this major
The Spatial Design major in the Bachelor of Design with Honours consists of 210 credits.
Completing a minor is optional and may be a way for you to show the breadth of your degree.
A minor must be in a different subject from your major and be made up of at least 60 credits.
If you’re interested in doing a minor you should contact us using the enquire button on this page. Our student advice team will be able to talk you through your options and help you plan your degree.
More information: ‘Yellow Book’.
Maximum time limits for completion
There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.
Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit
If you complete this programme within the stated time limit, you will normally be able to graduate with a class of Honours.
- Look for further information under ‘Student Progression’ in the regulations for this programme.
- Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Fees and scholarships
Fees and finance
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
Meet our students
Studying spatial design has hugely developed my design thinking, and provided me with tools to explore design through many different processes.” Steph O'Shea
Urban designer, Wellington City Council
Accreditations and rankings
Massey University's College of Creative Arts is ranked as one of the Top 100 art and design schools in the world by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds).
The Wellington School of Design is ranked Number 3 in Asia–Pacific for design concept by Red Dot—the only Australasian university in the top ten.
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.
Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.
Applying and enrolling
Applying for the programme
Check you are ready
If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.
Choose your programme and click on Apply now
You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.
Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.
Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place
You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.
Enrolling in courses
You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.
When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:
- prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
- corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
- restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
- location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.
Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.
More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.
You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.
We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!
If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
What are courses and credits?
What are courses and credits?
Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).
You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.
Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.
There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.
- See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
- Courses search
Understanding course numbers
The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.
The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:
- sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
- undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
- as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.
Workload and time management
Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Scholarships and awards
Scholarships related to this programme
- Fletcher Construction Bursaries
- Hinemoa Hilliard Memorial Scholarship
- Ken and Elizabeth Powell Bursary
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.