Duration
Full-time: Varies
Next start date
2021 Semester One – 1 March
2022 Semester One – 28 February
Available locations
City
Points
120 or 180
Programme type
Postgraduate
Taught & research options available

Programme overview

To make a positive impact on current and future challenges, we must be ready to pivot rapidly to create solutions. Only through a deeper level of understanding of the theories, tools and technologies available to us can we produce meaningful and high-impact outcomes.

The Master of Design builds upon your previous knowledge by enabling advanced inquiry into design methodologies, encouraging independent research projects and access to real-world design issues. You’ll have the chance to work with industry leaders as well as produce an individualised design solution from conception to completion.

Programme structure

You can build an individualised programme based on your personal and professional interests, and supported by expert mentorship.

You can choose either a taught or research pathway.

In a taught masters you can deepen your knowledge with advanced specialist training in your chosen field, and is completed by courses only. You can also do a capstone project, which allows you to investigate a specific issue that would benefit from a design-based approach. Choose a topic which interests you, explore theoretically and conceptually, iterate and deliver a solution.

180 point Taught Masters:
Core courses: 150 points
Elective courses: 30 points

120 point Taught Masters:
Core courses: 90 points
Elective courses: 30 points

The research masters gives you an exciting opportunity to contribute to the knowledge in your field by completing a substantial research thesis project.

180 point Research Masters:
Core courses: 60 points
Elective courses: 30 points
Research courses: 90 points

120 point Research Masters:
Core course: 15 points
Elective course: 15 points
Research courses: 90 points

Note: If you intend to continue on to doctoral study, you must complete the research masters pathway.  

You'll also need to meet other requirements, including time limits and total points limits. See Postgraduate enrolment.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

Sample programme structure

180-point MDes - Taught

Year 1 120 points

  • Code:
    DESIGN 700
    Name:
    Design Research Methodologies
    Type:
    Compulsory core course
    Points:
    15 pts
  • Code:
    DESIGN 701
    Name:
    Design Practices
    Type:
    Compulsory core course
    Points:
    15 pts
  • Code:
    DESIGN 702
    Name:
    Design Technologies
    Type:
    Compulsory core course
    Points:
    30 pts
  • Code:
    DESIGN 703
    Name:
    Project Design
    Type:
    Compulsory core course
    Points:
    30 pts
  • Name:
    Design Elective Course
    Type:
    Elective course
    Points:
    30 pts

Year 2 60 points

  • Code:
    DESIGN 708
    Name:
    Capstone Project
    Type:
    Compulsory core course
    Points:
    60 pts

Sample programme structure

120-point MDes - Research

Year 1 120 points

  • Code:
    DESIGN 700
    Name:
    Design Research Methodologies
    Type:
    Compulsory core course
    Points:
    15 pts
  • Name:
    Design Elective Course
    Type:
    Elective course
    Points:
    15 pts
  • Code:
    DESIGN 795A
    Name:
    Research Portfolio
    Type:
    Research portfolio
    Points:
    30 pts
  • Code:
    DESIGN 795B
    Name:
    Research Portfolio
    Type:
    Research portfolio
    Points:
    60 pts

Subjects available in this programme

  • Design
For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

2021 entry requirements

My highest qualification is from:

Programme requirements

Minimum programme requirements

Minimum requirements listed here are the likely grades required and do not guarantee entry. We assess each application individually and applicants may require a higher grade to be offered a place.

  • Study option
    Taught 180 points
    Grade required
    GPA Grade Point Average 5.0

    A Bachelors degree or Postgraduate Certificate in Design

  • Study option
    Research 180 points
    Grade required
    GPA Grade Point Average 5.0

    A Bachelors degree or Postgraduate Certificate in Design

  • Study option
    Taught 120 points
    Grade required
    GPA Grade Point Average 5.0

    A Bachelors (Honours) or Postgraduate Diploma

  • Study option
    Research 180 points
    Grade required
    GPA Grade Point Average 5.0

    A Bachelors (Honours) or Postgraduate Diploma

Further programme requirements

Select your study option:

You must have completed a Bachelors degree from this University with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher in 90 points at Stage Three, or a Postgraduate Certificate in Design with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher.

Alternatively you can gain entry to the MDes if you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Design (PGCertDes) with the required grade point average.

You must have completed a Bachelors degree from this University with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher in 90 points at Stage Three, or a Postgraduate Certificate in Design with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher.

Alternatively you can gain entry to the MDes if you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Design (PGCertDes) with the required grade point average.

You must have completed a Bachelors (Honours) or Postgraduate Diploma from the University of Auckland with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher.

Alternatively you can gain entry to the 180-point MDes if you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Design (PGCertDes) with the required grade point average.

You must have completed a Bachelors (Honours) or Postgraduate Diploma from the University of Auckland with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher.

Alternatively you can gain entry to the 180-point MDes if you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Design (PGCertDes) with the required grade point average.

Other pathways to study

180-point MDes:

Alternatively, in exceptional circumstances, if you have extensive relevant practical, professional or scholarly experience which is deemed equivalent to the above standard, then you may be considered for admission to the 180-point MDes degree.

An interview will be needed to assist in the assessment of your application. Once you submit your Application for Admission we will contact you directly about scheduling an interview (in-person, telephone, Skype, or Zoom).

You will also likely need to supply the following as part of your application, and we will contact you directly with instructions about this once you have submitted your Application for Admission.

Written Statement

Your written statement should address your reasons for wanting to participate in the programme and how you see this contributing to your future career aspirations. Your statement should be approximately 500 words in length.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Your CV should include descriptions and examples of relevant work experience and any other activities considered appropriate for your application (for example: participation in design projects (professional and amateur), involvement in community activities, details of any academic and/or professional design awards/prizes).

You may additionally be required to provide some examples of your design work and again we will work with you directly if this needed as part of your application.

Programme requirements

Minimum programme requirements

Minimum requirements listed here are the likely grades required and do not guarantee entry. We assess each application individually and applicants may require a higher grade to be offered a place.

  • Study option
    Taught 180 points
    Grade required
    GPE Grade Point Equivalent 5.0

    A Bachelor degree or Postgraduate Certificate in Design

  • Study option
    Research 180 points
    Grade required
    GPE Grade Point Equivalent 5.0

    A Bachelor degree or Postgraduate Certificate in Design

  • Study option
    Taught 120 points
    Grade required
    GPE Grade Point Equivalent 5.0

    Bachelors (Honours) or Postgraduate Diploma

  • Study option
    Research 180 points
    Grade required
    GPE Grade Point Equivalent 5.0

    Bachelors (Honours) or Postgraduate Diploma

  • Qualification
    IELTS Academic International English Language Testing System
    Score required
    6.5

Further programme requirements

Select your study option:

You must have completed a Bachelors degree at a recognised university (or similar institution), with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher across your highest level of study, or a Postgraduate Certificate in Design with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher.

Alternatively you can gain entry to the MDes if you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Design (PGCertDes) with the required grade point average.

You must have completed a Bachelors degree at a recognised university (or similar institution), with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher across your highest level of study, or a Postgraduate Certificate in Design with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher.

Alternatively you can gain entry to the MDes if you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Design (PGCertDes) with the required grade point average.

You need to have completed a one-year postgraduate degree, after an undergraduate degree, at a recognised university (or similar institution), with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher.

Alternatively you can gain entry to the 180-point MDes if you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Design (PGCertDes) with the required grade point average.

You need to have completed a one-year postgraduate degree, after an undergraduate degree, at a recognised university (or similar institution), with a grade point average of 5.0 or higher.

Alternatively you can gain entry to the 180-point MDes if you have completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Design (PGCertDes) with the required grade point average.

Other pathways to study

180-point MDes:

Alternatively, in exceptional circumstances, if you have extensive relevant practical, professional or scholarly experience which is deemed equivalent to the above standard, then you may be considered for admission to the 180-point MDes degree.

An interview will be needed to assist in the assessment of your application. Once you submit your Application for Admission we will contact you directly about scheduling an interview (in-person, telephone, Skype, or Zoom).

You will also likely need to supply the following as part of your application, and we will contact you directly with instructions about this once you have submitted your Application for Admission.

Written Statement

Your written statement should address your reasons for wanting to participate in the programme and how you see this contributing to your future career aspirations. Your statement should be approximately 500 words in length.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Your CV should include descriptions and examples of relevant work experience and any other activities considered appropriate for your application (for example: participation in design projects (professional and amateur), involvement in community activities, details of any academic and/or professional design awards/prizes).

You may additionally be required to provide some examples of your design work and again we will work with you directly if this needed as part of your application.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

How much does a Master of Design cost per year?

2021 fees

Domestic students
NZ$9,565.20*
International students
NZ$44,526*

Fees are set in advance of each calendar year and will be updated on this website. Fees are inclusive of 15% GST, but do not include the Student Services Fee, course books, travel and health insurance, or living costs. Amounts shown are indicative only. In addition to the tuition fees, there is a Student Services Fee of $8.02 per point, estimated at $1,443.60 for full-time study (180 points). Fees will be confirmed upon completion of enrolment into courses.

*Please note: amounts shown are indicative and estimates only.

Find out about financial support information

Scholarships and awards

Find out about the scholarships you may be eligible for.

Student loans and allowances

Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident? You could be eligible for a student loan or allowance.

Cost of living

Get an idea of how much accommodation and general living in Auckland will cost.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

Key dates

Please note: We will consider late applications if places are still available. International students should start the application process as early as possible to allow sufficient time to apply for a visa.

Start dates

Here are the start dates for the programme.

Other important dates

See important dates for the academic year, including orientation, enrolment, study breaks, exams, and graduation.

For all official programme information, including regulations about entry, enrolment, fees, examinations, and requirements for degrees, diplomas and certificates, see the University Calendar.

Where could this programme take you?

The goal of the MDes is to enhance your employability. With the critical thought and practice that comes from postgraduate study, you’ll be well positioned to lead projects as a strategist and practitioner. You’ll have a strong working knowledge of current technologies and the ability to adapt to those which emerge. You’ll have a multidisciplinary mindset, able to frame issues from a social and economic standpoint, and be capable of customising and applying your skills to any employer’s needs. With live projects and current industry professionals contributing to your learning, the networks developed in the MDes will leave you well-placed to contribute design solutions locally and globally.

Jobs related to this programme

  • Design researcher
  • Design strategist
  • Digital designer
  • Experience designer
  • Innovation manager
  • Interaction designer
  • Product designer
  • Service designer

Student career planning service

Once you become a student at the University, you can get help with planning and developing your career from Career Development and Employability Services.

Key Information for Students

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