Postgraduate Diploma in Design – PGDipDes

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

Type of qualification

Postgraduate diploma

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

NZQF level 8

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year(s) full-time (120 credits)
Up to 4 years part-time
Part-time available

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.

Study a Postgraduate Diploma in Design – PGDipDes

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 qualification 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 courses focused on creative entrepreneurship, exhibition or writing in the creative arts.

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

Get the full picture 

Further study

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

A PGDipDes is 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.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

The Postgraduate Diploma in Design is a selected entry qualification. 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 qualification 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:

English language skills

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

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 qualification 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. 

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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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.

Structure of the Postgraduate Diploma in Design

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

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

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Courses
Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Credits
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Specialisations
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

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.

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.

Schedule A: Core course selection (Choose at least 15 credits from)

Choose at least 15 credits from
Course code: 197465 Creative Leadership 15 credits

In this course, students from a broad range of creative practices will work together to situate themselves within the spectrum of the creative industries. Serving their communities as creative leaders, students will apply research and innovation theories to business and social-enterprise practices in order to conceptualise, develop, and deliver a strategic offering for a defined audience.

Prerequisites: 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358

View full course details
Course code: 213465 Exhibition 15 credits

In this studio-based course students situate their creative practice through exhibition. Students work in a collaborative group to develop and realise an exhibition project. One of the key focus points for the course is students' growing understanding of the reality of public presentation of the creative output. This advanced programme of study will encourage discussion and critical reflection on diverse approaches to the exhibition of creative work and its relevance for a range of academic and/or professional contexts.

Corequisites: (198454 or 198455 or 212454 or 212455 or 213442 or 221454 or 221455 or 222454 or 222455 or 223454 or 223455 or 224454 or 224455 or 296454 or 296455) or Permission Head of School

View full course details
Course code: 237465 Creative Exposition 15 credits

In this course students will situate their creative practice through writing. They will extend and hone their critical, analytical and reflective skills through written exposition that focuses on projecting themselves and their practice externally. This advanced programme of study will encourage discussion on diverse approaches to creative research exposition and its relevance for a range of academic and/or professional contexts.

Prerequisites: [237330 and (198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358)] or Appraisal Required

View full course details

Schedule B: Endorsement courses

Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

A specialisation (endorsement) in the Postgraduate Diploma in Design is 75 credits.

 

Schedule C: Elective courses

Course code: 197433 Designing Science Fiction 15 credits

In this studio course students will, through a process of research-informed practice, investigate design issues particular to the science fiction genre. Students will explore and expand science fiction theory and practice in the development of an original production concept.

Prerequisites: 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358

View full course details
Course code: 197434 Design Awards and Competitions 15 credits

In this studio course you will develop a response to a top-level national or international design brief, award, or competition. You must apply for a specific offered module appropriate to your design specialisation or propose a competition brief to a supervising faculty member. All modules extend your skills in design research, conceptual development and advanced technical application, so that you can produce a high calibre award or competition entry.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 197435 Design for Festivals and Events 15 credits

This course focuses on developing creative work that responds to specific festival themes and locations. With a focus on practice and collaboration you will contextualise, define, develop and deliver creative outcomes for a specified festival or event.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required Restrictions: 197440

View full course details
Course code: 197436 Play, Research and Design 15 credits

Advanced design research informing the meaning and methodology of play within a social, cultural or technological context. This course focuses on the development of design strategies for the formation of original Play activities, games and experiences. Students will explore ways in which Play can engage users to participate in the experience of other perspectives and challenge their worldview through active participation in a multidisciplinary Play scenario.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required Restrictions: 197442

View full course details
Course code: 197440 Contemporary Design Project D 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary design research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 197441 Contemporary Design Project E 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary design research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 197442 Contemporary Design Project F 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary design research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 197443 Contemporary Design Project G 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary design research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 197465 Creative Leadership 15 credits

In this course, students from a broad range of creative practices will work together to situate themselves within the spectrum of the creative industries. Serving their communities as creative leaders, students will apply research and innovation theories to business and social-enterprise practices in order to conceptualise, develop, and deliver a strategic offering for a defined audience.

Prerequisites: 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358

View full course details
Course code: 197470 Creative Ecologies 15 credits

In this studio course students will investigate how understanding “ecology” can catalyse research that may transform a current social or environmental issue. This course will engage in practices that include behavioural change frameworks, transformation design and sustainable design. A student will self-select a topic that is independently researched and results in a speculative proposal.

Prerequisites: 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358

View full course details
Course code: 197471 Social Interventions Through Design 15 credits

In this studio course students will establish a critical position through theme based experimental projects exploring the intersection between diverse design practices. Students will work collaboratively and interdisciplinary to explore and combine unconventional communication design materials, methods and practices to creative interventions in public spaces.

Prerequisites: 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358

View full course details
Course code: 197490 Design Special Topic A 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 197495 Design Independent Study 15 credits

Supervised independent student work on a negotiated design topic involving the setting of objectives, research and /or project work and the presentation of appropriate written and/or practical outcomes.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 197499 Design Special Topic 30 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 198463 Industrial Design Digital Representation 15 credits

Digital design processes and their integration into design research.

Prerequisites: 198358 or Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 198490 Industrial Design Special Topic C 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 198495 Industrial Design Independent Study 15 credits

Supervised independent student work on a negotiated industrial design topic involving the setting of objectives, research and /or project work and the presentation of relevant written and/or practical outcomes.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 212403 Apparel Production Research 15 credits

In this studio course students will apply a research informed investigation of advanced apparel production processes. Students will expand their advanced technical knowledge through design exploration, sampling and prototyping.

Prerequisites: (212100 and 212101) or 212358

View full course details
Course code: 212495 Fashion Design Independent Study 15 credits

Supervised independent student work on a negotiated topic related to fashion or apparel involving the setting of objectives, research and /or project work and the presentation of appropriate written and/or practical outcomes.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 213411 Fine Arts Special Topic IV 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 213464 Art in Context 15 credits

The course will discuss, critique and apply a range of exhibition, dissemination and publication conventions and practices within the context of contemporary art including art galleries, social practice, temporary and permanent artworks, public art, publishing, screenings and events

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 300-level

View full course details
Course code: 213465 Exhibition 15 credits

In this studio-based course students situate their creative practice through exhibition. Students work in a collaborative group to develop and realise an exhibition project. One of the key focus points for the course is students' growing understanding of the reality of public presentation of the creative output. This advanced programme of study will encourage discussion and critical reflection on diverse approaches to the exhibition of creative work and its relevance for a range of academic and/or professional contexts.

Corequisites: (198454 or 198455 or 212454 or 212455 or 213442 or 221454 or 221455 or 222454 or 222455 or 223454 or 223455 or 224454 or 224455 or 296454 or 296455) or Permission Head of School

View full course details
Course code: 221456 Photography and the Archive 15 credits

A studio-based course that examines photography's engagement with the 'archive' as a cultural repository. Students will investigate the social, political and historical uses of archives through photography.

Prerequisites: 221358 or 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358

View full course details
Course code: 221457 Photography and Visuality 15 credits

A studio-based course that examines photography’s historical and contemporary relationships with vision and visuality. Students will discuss the impact of visual representations on contemporary life and they will develop this discussion through verbal presentations, written work and in the execution of a body of experimental photographic images.

Prerequisites: 237330 or 237331 or 221381 or Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 221495 Photography Independent Study 15 credits

Supervised independent student work on a negotiated topic related to photography involving the setting of objectives, research and/or project work and the presentation of appropriate written and/or practical outcomes.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 222409 Contemporary Letterpress 15 credits

In this studio course students will apply a visual research process of typography with historical and contemporary printing methods. Students will explore aesthetic and theoretical implications of hand presses, metal type, wood type and digital technologies in the creation of new hybrid visual communication.

Prerequisites: 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222304 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358

View full course details
Course code: 222417 Image and Identity 15 credits

In this course students will explore how designers lead and manage the branding process for organisations by communicating with images and words. How an organisation presents itself can be called its identity. How different audiences perceive this is can be called its image. Students research, explore, and develop a flexible design system for an organisation by creating a dynamic brand experience that can adapt to visual, interactive, and sensory modes.

Prerequisites: 222358 or 197379 or 222347 or 222348

View full course details
Course code: 222449 Spatial Type 15 credits

In this studio course students will apply a research-informed investigation of typography in spatial environments. Students will explore two and three dimensional typographic solutions that may include interpretive, navigational or informational typography.

Prerequisites: 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358

View full course details
Course code: 222490 Visual Communication Design Special Topic D 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 222491 Visual Communication Design Special Topic E 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 222496 Visual Communication Design Special Topic F 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 222499 Independent Visual Communication Design Study 15 credits

Independent student work is undertaken on an approved course of study involving research and/or project work in visual communication design.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 223411 Embroidered Textiles 15 credits

Students will explore embroidery and advanced technologies for the production of innovative fashion textiles.

Prerequisites: 223211 or 223358 or Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 223412 Sustainable Colouration 15 credits

Students will explore contemporary design concepts using sustainable dye processing and advanced technology to colour and pattern textiles.

Prerequisites: 223258 or 223207 or Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 223490 Textile Design Special Topic C 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 223495 Textile Design Independent Study 15 credits

Supervised independent student work on a negotiated topic related to textile design involving the setting of objectives, research and/or project work and the presentation of appropriate written and/or practical outcomes.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 224490 Spatial Design Special Topic C 15 credits

The course focuses on particular aspects of advanced Spatial Design. Offerings change from year to year or may not be offered in a particular year.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 224495 Spatial Design Independent Study 15 credits

Supervised independent student work on a negotiated topic related to spatial design involving the setting of objectives, research and/or project work and the presentation of appropriate written and/or practical outcomes.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 237401 The Material Turn 15 credits

Students will apply selected theories from the fields of material culture studies in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally to inform and evaluate understandings of creative practices.

Prerequisites: 15 credits in any 300-level course

View full course details
Course code: 237402 The Visual Field 15 credits

Students will apply selected theories from visual culture studies in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally to inform and evaluate understandings of creative practices.

Prerequisites: 15 credits in any 300-level course

View full course details
Course code: 237403 Studies in Material Culture B 15 credits

A variety of case studies which include materiality as cultural process, material culture and remembering, and the reification of domestic everyday life.

Prerequisites: 237401

View full course details
Course code: 237404 Studies in Visual Culture B 15 credits

A series of case studies which examine the shift from art history and film studies to contemporary visual culture.

Prerequisites: 237402

View full course details
Course code: 237417 Māori Art and Design Studio IV - Toi Atea 30 credits

An advanced course to focus and refine visual language and personal tikanga through negotiated projects that explore topics of direct reference to Māori people and their communities.

Prerequisites: (197317 and 197318) or (237317 and 237318) Restrictions: 197417

View full course details
Course code: 237465 Creative Exposition 15 credits

In this course students will situate their creative practice through writing. They will extend and hone their critical, analytical and reflective skills through written exposition that focuses on projecting themselves and their practice externally. This advanced programme of study will encourage discussion on diverse approaches to creative research exposition and its relevance for a range of academic and/or professional contexts.

Prerequisites: [237330 and (198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358)] or Appraisal Required

View full course details

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.

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

Red Dot Design ranking

Ranked 1st in Asia-Pacific by International Red Dot Design Awards, the only design school to be ranked in New Zealand and Australia. This significant achievement recognises the high calibre of our teaching staff and the exceptional quality of our students' design concept work.

Learn more