Spatial Design – Bachelor of Design with Honours

From designing a home interior, or public building to an interactive exhibition, or a virtual world, spatial designers have myriad opportunities at their fingertips. Let your imagination soar.

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 Spatial Design for your Bachelor of Design with Honours at Massey

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.

Get the full picture

Further study

Further your design research and practice with a Master of Design at Massey, or go on to create new knowledge with a PhD.

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 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 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

Spatial Design courses

Part One

Course code: 224157 Studio I (Space) 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 physical, temporal and digital spatial environments and their inhabitation. They will learn to discuss and evaluate their work and the work of their peers.

Restrictions: 197131

View full course details

Part Two

Course code: 224257 Design Studio IIA (Spatial) 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 spatial design.

Prerequisites: (237130 or 237131) plus 224157 and 2 of: 198157, 212157, 213157, 213158, 221157, 222157, 222158, 223157, 296157 Restrictions: 224251, 224261, 224271

View full course details
Course code: 224258 Design Studio IIB (Spatial) 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 spatial design. Students will further develop and apply core design techniques, skills and processes.

Prerequisites: 224257 Restrictions: 224252, 224272, 224291

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Part Three

Course code: 224357 Design Studio IIIA (Spatial) 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 spatial design concepts, techniques, skills and processes in the production of their creative work.

Prerequisites: 224258 Restrictions: 224351, 224361

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Course code: 224358 Design Studio IIIB (Spatial) 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 spatial 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: 224357 Restrictions: 224352, 224371

View full course details

Part Four

Course code: 224453 Spatial Design Research and Development 30 credits

Research methods, processes and practices for Spatial Design and their application through a research project.

Prerequisites: B- average over 224358 and 237330; or B- average over 224352 and 224381; or PGDipDes admission

View full course details
Course code: 224454 Spatial Design Research Project 45 credits

Application and development of research in an independent spatial design project.

Prerequisites: 224453

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 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

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.

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.

What our students say

“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

Bachelor of Design with Honours (Spatial Design)

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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