Concept Design – Bachelor of Design with Honours

Imagine new worlds with Massey's Bachelor of Design with Honours (Concept Design). Learn how to design concepts for entertainment and education within film, animation, television, gaming, and location-based experiences.

Where you can study

Wellington campus

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
Note: Selected entry qualification

Specialise in Concept Design for your Bachelor of Design with Honours at Massey

Concept design is about visualising and developing the ideas behind film, television, gaming, performance, products and interactive experiences.

In the Bachelor of Design with Honours (Concept Design), you’ll use traditional and contemporary art forms to communicate your concepts for new objects, characters or environments. This could include drawing and sculpting 3D models, as well as making digital plans and renders.

You could be designing characters, creatures, props, vehicles and machines, all the way to building entire worlds to form the foundations of feature films, theme parks, events, toys or exhibits.

Concept design is one of the first stages in every design process. Concept designers create the basis for further production and development, rather than finished products.

Get the full picture

Further study

Take your concept design education to the next step with the Weta Workshop School Master of Design, or continue your design research and practice with a Master of Design or Master of Fine Arts at Massey.

Planning information

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 Concept 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 Get advice button on this page. Our student advice team will be able to talk you through your options and help you plan your degree.

More on minors

More information:  ‘Yellow Book’. 

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

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 qualification 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 qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Bachelor of Design with Honours

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Bachelor of Design with Honours core courses

Concept Design courses

Part One

Course code: 296157 Studio I (Imagine) 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to creative and analytical thinking skills, idea generation and visualisation common to art and design practice. They will begin to acquire specific techniques, skills and processes for the definition and investigation of imagined conceptual worlds, stories, characters, and tools through the practice of iterative drawing, modelling and prototyping.

View full course details

Part Two

Course code: 296257 Design Studio IIA (Concept) 30 credits

In this studio course students will explore and articulate creative responses to design challenges through critical awareness of contextual issues. Students will develop and apply core techniques, skills and processes in concept design.

Prerequisites: (237130 or 237131) plus 296157 and 2 of: 198157, 212157, 213157, 213158, 221157, 222157, 222158, 223157, 224157

View full course details
Course code: 296258 Design Studio IIB (Concept) 30 credits

In this studio course students will continue to explore and articulate creative responses to design challenges through critical inquiry into contemporary issues relevant to concept design. Students will further develop and apply core design techniques, skills and processes.

Prerequisites: 296257

View full course details

Part Three

Course code: 296357 Design Studio IIIA (Concept) 30 credits

In this studio course students will establish a critical position through individual or collaborative creative exploration and articulation. With opportunities for varied contextual applications, students will consolidate and expand concept design concepts, techniques, skills and processes in the production of their creative work.

Prerequisites: 296258

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Course code: 296358 Design Studio IIIB (Concept) 30 credits

In this studio course students will negotiate a critical position through individual or collaborative professional practices, with opportunities to apply their specialist skills to a range of contexts. In addition to advancing concept design concepts, techniques, skills and processes in the production of their creative work, students will develop and apply transferable skills relevant to professional environments.

Prerequisites: 296357

View full course details

Part Four

Course code: 296453 Concept Design Research and Development 30 credits

Application of research methods and processes to investigate social, cultural, aesthetic and technical issues and strategies in an approved concept design project.

Prerequisites: B- average over 296358 and 237330

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Course code: 296454 Concept Design Research Project 45 credits

Application of research to the development and production of an independent concept design project.

Prerequisites: 296453

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

This is a selected entry qualification . This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet. 

To enter the Bachelor of Design with Honours qualification 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

  • For Semester One 2024 start: Applications close on 30 November 2023
  • For Semester Two 2024 start: Applications close on 30 June 2024.

Late applications will be considered subject to available spaces.

English language requirements

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

Portfolio requirements

There are three main ways to gain entry to the Bachelor of Design with Honours.

Automatic entry

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.

Portfolio entry

When you apply online, submit a portfolio showing a selection of your creative work that demonstrates your creative potential with your application to study.

See full details about portfolio requirements and pre-approvals

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

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.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

New Zealand’s booming film and entertainment industry means concept designers are in high demand. Apply your creative thinking in roles across film, theatre and television as well as in growing markets like video game development and interactive experiences.

Follow in the footsteps of Massey graduates working at Weta Workshop, Mechanic Animation, A44, PikPok, Weta Gameshop, Pukeko Pictures and Story Inc. Other graduates see success freelancing or starting their own independent companies right after graduating, like game studios Odd Boy, and Wild Boy Studios.

There is also a growing demand for graduates who can apply design thinking at a strategic level. Whether that is in business, government, or within social and civic enterprises. You could go on to work in a design or advertising agency, major events development or create exhibition concepts for a gallery or museum.

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.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Art & Design

College of Creative Arts – Toi Rauwhārangi ranks in the global top 150 for art and design by QS World University Rankings.

Learn more

Reddot design ranking

Ngā Pae Māhutonga Wellington School of Design is ranked 1st in Asia Pacific by Red Dot in 2019, and continues to be the only school in Australasia to be included in the top 10. Recognition by this international design agency gives us a distinctive seal of quality for our design programmes.

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