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Areas of interest

Study visual communication design , Ākona te hoahoa ataata ā-whatu

Study visual communication design at Massey to hone your skills in graphic design, experience design, interaction design, illustration and typography.

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Focus or generalise

You can choose to specialise in graphic design, interactive or experience design, illustration or typography. Or mix and match.

Global top 100

Get creative at Massey. The only New Zealand university to be ranked by QS in the top 100 for art and design.

Stretch and grow

Do it all at Massey. Learn the fundamentals. Be challenged. Evolve, whether you're just starting out or an established creator.

Design your own degree

All Massey design students start with broad core courses. Then in later years you can specialise or gain wide-ranging skills.


Visual communication can educate, entertain, guide and inspire. It's a key way people experience the world – online, in print, in physical or virtual worlds.

Learn from world-class staff with industry experience as diverse as corporate branding, creative coding, and service design. Explore new ideas in areas such as creating characters or designing for social impact. Master new skills with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

Get hands-on with real-world projects. Gain skills employers need, such as working collaboratively and adapting to new ideas and technologies – including internship opportunities at our on-campus Open Lab.

Visual communication design is a good fit if you:

  • do well in school subjects such as art (ngā toi) or design and visual communications
  • want to use design to entertain, inform, or to tackle issues
  • like thinking creatively and critically, and have a good eye for detail.

Visual communication design courses may cover:

  • design processes, including ways to generate ideas and develop concepts
  • designing characters, concepts or settings
  • storyboarding
  • technical skills to create digital media, illustration, print and video
  • user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, also called interaction design
  • VR, AR and MR (mixed or hybrid reality), also called immersive design.

Visual communication design at College of Creative Arts – Toi Rauwhārangi

Our staff, students and graduates have a long history of participation and success in design competitions such as the:

How to study visual communication design

Discover what we offer if you’re interested in visual communication design – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is generally the first thing you’ll study at university.

Undergraduate bachelor's degrees with honours

An undergraduate honours degree is a four-year bachelor’s degree. We also offer postgraduate honours years.

Undergraduate certificates

If you want to study at university, but aren't sure if you want to commit to a degree, try an undergraduate certificate.

Undergraduate diplomas

Undergraduate diplomas let you try university study before you commit to a degree. They’re also useful if you need to advance your career.

Graduate diplomas

Graduate diplomas can help you advance to postgraduate study or research in a subject you haven’t majored in for your undergraduate study.

Relevant undergraduate subjects to major or specialise in

When you apply to study at Massey, for some undergraduate qualifications you can choose what subject you’d like to specialise in. You can usually change your mind after you get to university, depending on the courses you enrol in.

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equivalent experience – you’ll be ready to take on postgraduate study.

Master's degrees

A master's degree normally builds on a main subject of study from your undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate diplomas

Postgraduate diplomas are postgraduate-level qualifications that are longer than a postgraduate certificate. If you’re successful, you might be able to use the credits towards the longer master’s degree.

PhD and other doctoral degrees

Doctoral degrees, including PhDs, are the highest degrees we award. They’re very demanding and their entry criteria reflect this.

Relevant research areas at Massey

Discover research expertise, projects and initiatives relating to visual communication design at Massey.

Visual communication design research

What our students say

“If I hadn’t gone to Massey I’m not sure I would have stumbled across my 'calling’. It taught me how to be empathetic, how to ask questions and how to make a difference.”
Caitlin MacEwan

Design strategist, Capital One (London)

Bachelor of Design with Honours (Visual Communication Design)

“In fourth year I'm in control of my own project and I can reach into what I really like—how can design educate people?”
Pita Tonga

Freelance graphic designer

Bachelor of Design with Honours (Visual Communication Design)

“Integrated Design looks to develop an attitude that I still practise today: an openness towards broader fields of creativity while challenging one's own design practice.”
Alfred Hoi

Freelance graphic designer

Bachelor of Design with Honours (Visual Communication Design)

Our facilities

You'll have access to a wide range of first-class facilities when you study with us.

Fab Lab

Fab Lab Wgtn is Australasia’s first digital fabrication laboratory (Fab Lab) affiliated to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Fab Lab's capabilities include: A computer-controlled laser cutter; numerically-controlled milling machine; a sign cutter; a precision milling machine to make three-dimensional moulds; surface-mount circuit boards; and small 3D printers, for fast production of 3-dimensional forms.

Photo studios

Massey University's Wellington campus has specialised professional photography studios, (white cycs, green screen, Elincrom/Bowens/Diva lite) access only by students enrolled in photographic specialised papers only.

Virtual and augmented reality

A specialised room where students can explore and prototype virtual spaces and experiences, or create virtual artworks or designs using virtual reality and augmented reality equipment.

Screen and digital print facility

Massey students have access to a screen and digital print facility, where they can use a digital sublimation printer for polyester fabrics and materials, and a screen printing facility with 7m print tables.


The Toystore offers a wide range of audiovisual equipment for design students to borrow, as well as access to large format printing and technical support.

Jobs in visual communication design

Careers can span content creation to concept design, advertising to experience design, post-production to publishing.

Job prospects are good, with growing demand for employees who can apply design thinking to products and services for businesses, government agencies, and social enterprises.

Our graduates work in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, North America and beyond. Some are freelance illustrators or designers. Others start their own business.

Visual design communication careers include:

  • concept designers, who create characters or settings for film, TV or virtual spaces
  • graphic designers, who work for advertising, design or publishing agencies
  • digital designers, who may specialise in interactive design
  • interaction designers (UI and UX)
  • service designers.

Annual salary ranges for jobs

Salary ranges disclaimer

Indicative pay rates are:

Which visual communication design qualification?

Examples of where our qualifications may take you.

Table showing jobs and what you could study to enter them.
Jobs Examples of what you could study
Animator or digital artist Bachelor of Screen Arts with Honours
Bachelor of Design with Honours (Concept Design)
Bachelor of Design with Honours (Visual Communication Design)
Designer working in advertising, marketing or publishing Bachelor of Design with Honours (Visual Communication Design)
Designer specialising in film, game or TV Master of Design
Bachelor of Design with Honours (Concept Design)
UI or UX designer Bachelor of Design with Honours (Visual Communication Design)
Bachelor of Design with Honours (Integrated Design)
Bachelor of Information Science (Information Technology)

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.

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Grey dot with NASAD in the middle


Massey's College of Creative Arts is New Zealand's only art and design school granted “substantial equivalency” — an international benchmark of quality — by the United States National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

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Red Dot Design ranking

Ranked 3rd 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.

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Get an information guide

Download our guides to find out more about studying visual communication design at Massey.

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