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Start your postgraduate design journey
Go beyond your bachelor’s degree and advance your design thinking with a Postgraduate Diploma in Design.
- Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
- 1 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
- Selected entry programme.
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
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.
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.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Design is a selected entry programme. This means there are extra erequirements 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:
- 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 programmes that may help.
Courses and planning
- 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|
Schedule B: Endorsement coursesPlease 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|
|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|
|221456||Photography and the Archive||15|
|221457||Photography and Visuality||15|
|221495||Photography Independent Study||15|
|222417||Image and Identity||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|
|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|
Majors and minors
Planning your programme
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.
- Look for information under ‘Student Progression’ in the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.
- 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.
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
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|
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
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.