Visual Communication Design – Graduate Diploma in Design

Develop your visual communication design skills and learn to think like a designer.

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 Visual Communication Design for your Graduate Diploma in Design at Massey

Note: This qualification may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

The Graduate Diploma in Design is an opportunity for people who have already completed a degree to add an additional subject area to their learning.

You’ll be studying with other design students in courses at 200, 300 and 400 level across these majors offered in the Bachelor of Design with Honours.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Prerequisites
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.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
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.

Compulsory courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 222357 Design Studio IIIA (Visual Communication) 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 visual communication design concepts, techniques, skills and processes in the production of their creative work.

Prerequisites: 222258 Restrictions: 222301, 222303, 222310, 222320, 222330, 222340, 222355, 222370

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Course code: 222358 Design Studio IIIB (Visual Communication) 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 visual communication 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: 222357 Restrictions: 222302, 222303, 222311, 222321, 222331, 222341, 222356, 222371

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At least 15 credits from

Course code: 222208 Letterpress 15 credits

In this studio course students will explore and articulate issues and design considerations particular to letterpress technologies. Students will develop and apply techniques, skills and processes in letterpress typography and print production.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level

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Course code: 222215 Brand Communication 15 credits

In this studio course students will learn history and methods particular to practices of brand positioning and marketing communication. Students will apply fundamentals of brand strategy to the process of differentiating branded offerings through design.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts or 75 credits at 100 level including 115116 or 115104

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Course code: 222225 Narrative Illustration 15 credits

In this studio course students will explore and articulate issues and creative considerations particular to narration and narrative theory. Students will develop and apply techniques, skills and processes in the use of storytelling in their creative practice.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 222232 Illustrated Characters 15 credits

In this studio course students will explore the unique area of character creation, design and production. Following an investigative process, students will develop an original character that is meaningfully placed within a social or fantastical context.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 222248 Typographic Systems 15 credits

In this studio course students will explore and articulate issues and design considerations particular to managing complex information. Students will develop and apply techniques, skills and processes in communicating through text, symbol, colour and form.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts including 222158

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Course code: 222312 Art Direction 15 credits

In this studio course students will learn art direction practices for the resolution of conceptual executions with an emphasis on typography, image narrative and advertising design hierarchies. Students will explore art direction techniques and processes applied to print and digital media encompassing visual culture theory and practical skills.

Prerequisites: 222258 Restrictions: 222411

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Course code: 222313 Copywriting 15 credits

In this studio course students will establish a critical position through the authority of words to inform, challenge or communicate a narrative within the broad spectrum of visual communication design. Students will explore the expressive characteristics of words and their potential to influence through themes relating to textual creativity and narrative in communication design.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 200 level

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Course code: 222326 Sequential Art 15 credits

In this studio course students will learn how to create visual narratives in sequential form. The emphasis will be on visual narrative construction for the picture book, with some contextual history of the genre. Production aspects include analogue and design techniques, continuity and image and text relationships.

Prerequisites: 198258 or 212258 or 213242 or 221258 or 222220 or 222230 or 222258 or 223258 or 224258 or 296258

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Course code: 222333 Concept Design for Imaginary Worlds 15 credits

In this studio course students will learn how to represent ideas, characters, moods, scenes and scenarios which could be used in film, games or animations. Within this area of pre-production students will use both divergent and convergent approaches that will result in multiple concept options as well as technically resolved images.

Prerequisites: 296257 or 222232 or 222225 or Appraisal Required

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Course code: 222347 Editorial Design 15 credits

In this studio course students will explore and articulate design considerations particular to managing editorial content. Students will develop and apply techniques, skills and processes in communicating through advanced typographic techniques and image composition.

Prerequisites: 222158 and (198258 or 212258 or 213242 or 221258 or 222258 or 223258 or 224258 or 296258)

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Course code: 222348 Narrative Information Design 15 credits

In this studio course students will explore information design concepts and expand information design theory and practice. Complex information will be interpreted and translated into precise and accessible form for specific audiences.

Prerequisites: 222158 and (198258 or 212258 or 213242 or 221258 or 222258 or 223258 or 224258 or 296258) Restrictions: 222408

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Course code: 222390 Visual Communication Design Special Topic A 15 credits

The course focuses on one specific aspect of visual communication design. Offerings change from year to year or may not be offered in a particular year.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

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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 Graduate Diploma in Design you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent
  • demonstrated equivalent practical, professional and/or scholarly experience.

You will also need to provide the following:

  • a portfolio of work to show you are at the standard necessary to undertake work up to 300-level and beyond
  • verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

Application closing date

If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications close on 30 November 2021.

English language requirements

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

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.

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