Skip to Content
Design that matters
In the Master of Design, you’ll produce innovative and responsive design work that is thoroughly grounded in design research methodologies and expertly realised, with the option to work with industry leaders at Weta Workshop.
Go in depth with an advanced design research qualification. You’ll have a targeted outcome, often of direct application to industry. We will help you make strong connections with the business, public or non-profit sector.
You’ll have access to individual studio space and our comprehensive technical expertise and facilities. These include:
All MDes students complete a thesis project: a supervised programme of focused design research, taking a challenging real-world problem through to a well-resolved solution, like a product prototype.
Our staff are leading design researchers and practitioners. You will be supervised by one primary supervisor with expertise in your field of design. You will be guided by a secondary supervisor with expertise in an aligned field.
An exclusive one-year programme.
The specialised one-year, 120-credit Master of Design, focusing on entertainment design in partnership with Weta Workshop, is open to concept designers.
Your research and design project will focus on creating your own imaginary worlds for film, television and game. You will develop skills in the key areas of idea creation, storytelling and concept design. As you progress you’ll expand your technical ability, develop your critical thinking skills and push the boundaries within your own conceptual world.
Visit the Weta Workshop School website to find out more.
Many graduates start their own businesses and have gone on to win high profile awards and commissions. MDes graduates also work as:
After completing your Master of Design project you may be able to develop your work and produce 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.
You will have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Design or equivalent, having achieved at least a B grade average.
You will also need to:
You will have been awarded or qualified for a relevant honours degree with a B grade average in Part 4 or Postgraduate Diploma in Design or equivalent with a B grade average.
You must also submit:
You will have been awarded or qualified for an honours degree or equivalent.
You must also submit:
See the Weta Workshop School website for details of what to submit with your application and how.
You must provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.
If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this programme close on 30 November 2020 (Semester One), 15 June 2021 (Semester Two) and 15 August 2021 (mid-September 2021 start).
This programme has three intakes:
To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.
From the Schedule to the Degree including
Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree in 120 credits.
This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.
See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.
|197701||Creative Research Practices I||30|
|197702||Creative Research Practices II||30|
|197703||Creative Research Special Topic A||30|
|197704||Creative Research Special Topic B||15|
|197706||Advanced Digital Fabrication for Creative Res 1||15|
|197707||Advanced Digital Fabrication for Creative Res 2||15|
|197802||Design Thesis 120 Credit Part 1||60|
|197803||Design Thesis 120 Credit Part 2||60|
If you don’t have a relevant honours degree, you’ll do the eighteen-month, 180-credit MDes, completing Parts One and Two. You must complete the first part before moving on to the second.
If you have a relevant honours degree already, you’ll do the twelve-month, 120-credit MDes, starting at Part Two.
The first part of this qualification will build your research and technical skill through our creative research practices course. You will end by developing your thesis project proposal.
Other taught courses include a digital fabrication path through Fab Lab Wellington. This will set you up to use open design and digital fabrication approaches in your thesis project.
We also have an Independent Study option and other electives.
For progression to Part Two, you must have a grade average of at least B in Part One.
Join the MDes 120 credit students for 12 months, to focus on mastering your research proposal and thesis project. Those who are most successful generally start the year with a clearly identified problem, or project brief, and develop strong relationships with their external ‘client’ from early on.
External connections are important in MDes thesis projects. We expect you to keep in regular contact with your external partners or community of interest.
There are maximum time limits to complete 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.
Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit.
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.
If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.
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 will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
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.