Programme list > Postgraduate Diploma in Design

Postgraduate Diploma in Design


Start your postgraduate design journey

Go beyond your bachelor’s degree and advance your design thinking with a Postgraduate Diploma in Design.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Credits

  • 120
  • Duration

  • 1 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • Other

  • 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.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Design is an opportunity for you to upskill in creative practice, modern design technology and theory.

Extend your design speciality or explore new horizons. You’ll have the opportunity to specialise in fashion design, industrial design, photography, spatial design, textile design or visual communication design.

This programme will give you an introduction to postgraduate research processes and contemporary design theory. You’ll push the boundaries of your design practice with a research-led independent project. You’ll also have elective courses and course focused on creative entrepreneurship, exhibition or writing in the creative arts.

If you don’t have an honours degree this programme can allow you to progress to postgraduate design study.

Get the full picture 

Careers and further study

Further study

This programme is the same as the honours year of the Bachelor of Design with Honours. That means when you complete this programme you can apply for a further postgraduate qualification such as the Master of Design.

International students

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.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


The Postgraduate Diploma in Design is a selected entry programme. This means there are extra requirements you must meet.

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Design you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Design or equivalent, with an adequate grade point average
  • submit a portfolio of design work
  • take part in an interview if required.

Selection is based on your academic background, portfolio and interview (if required).

You must provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

Late applications may be accepted, subject to available spaces

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

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.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

120 credits

  • Core course(s) from Schedule A – At least 15 credits
  • Courses from Endorsement in Schedule B – 75 credits
  • Elective course(s) from Schedule C – Up to 30 credits

An endorsement is compulsory and requires 75 credits.

Courses for this programme

Schedule A: Core course selection

At least 15 credits from
197465 Creative Leadership 15
213465 Exhibition 15
237465 Creative Exposition 15

Schedule B: Endorsement courses

Please refer to individual specialisation page for a list of courses for your specialisation.

Schedule C: Elective courses

197433 Designing Science Fiction 15
197434 Design Awards and Competitions 15
197435 Design for Festivals and Events 15
197436 Play, Research and Design 15
197440 Contemporary Design Project D 15
197441 Contemporary Design Project E 15
197442 Contemporary Design Project F 15
197443 Contemporary Design Project G 15
197465 Creative Leadership 15
197470 Creative Ecologies 15
197471 Social Interventions Through Design 15
197490 Design Special Topic A 15
197495 Design Independent Study 15
197499 Design Special Topic 30
198463 Industrial Design Digital Representation 15
198490 Industrial Design Special Topic C 15
198495 Industrial Design Independent Study 15
212403 Apparel Production Research 15
212495 Fashion Design Independent Study 15
213411 Fine Arts Special Topic IV 15
213464 Art in Context 15
213465 Exhibition 15
221456 Photography and the Archive 15
221457 Photography and Visuality 15
221495 Photography Independent Study 15
222409 Contemporary Letterpress 15
222417 Image and Identity 15
222449 Spatial Type 15
222490 Visual Communication Design Special Topic D 15
222491 Visual Communication Design Special Topic E 15
222496 Visual Communication Design Special Topic F 15
222499 Independent Visual Communication Design Study 15
223411 Embroidered Textiles 15
223412 Sustainable Colouration 15
223490 Textile Design Special Topic C 15
223495 Textile Design Independent Study 15
224490 Spatial Design Special Topic C 15
224495 Spatial Design Independent Study 15
237401 The Material Turn 15
237402 The Visual Field 15
237403 Studies in Material Culture B 15
237404 Studies in Visual Culture B 15
237417 Māori Art and Design Studio IV - Toi Atea 30
237465 Creative Exposition 15

Majors and minors

About specialisations

An endorsement in the Postgraduate Diploma in Design is 75 credits.


Planning your programme

Planning overview

The Postgraduate Diploma in Design has a focus on studio-based enquiry and the development of research skills.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Maximum time limits for completion

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.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

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. 

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.

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.

A good fit if you:

  • studied design at undergraduate level
  • want to do a Master of Design but don’t have an honours degree
  • want to develop your research and analysis skills.

Accreditations and rankings

Art & Design QS Ranking

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).

red dot design ranking

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.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

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.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

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

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships