Master of Design



One year full-time; three years part-time

Blended; self-managed study and meetings with your supervisor

  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    22 February 2021
  • Dunedin
    19 July 2021
  • Dunedin
    21 February 2022
    27 June 2022 - 15 July 2022
    18 April 2022 - 29 April 2022
    3 October 2022 - 14 October 2022



This qualification of excellence allows you to develop a significant body of scholarly creative work which is presented in a public forum and supported by an exegesis or equivalent. Alternatively, you can complete this programme through a thesis which could form the basis of academic journal articles.

The work will respond to societal needs, address sustainability from multiple perspectives, and be positioned within a wider framework of academic and applied research.

Graduates of this qualification will be well-prepared for doctoral-level study, an academic career or a lead design or design management role. 

Why study postgraduate design?
  • Acquire a clear, critical sense of the roles and functions of design within a local, national and global context.
  • Engage in research for design, research about design and research through design, allowing you to address the complex and contested issue of sustainability from cultural, social, environmental and economic perspectives to meet both current and anticipated future needs, and
  • Gain transferable skills enabling you to work as a design professional, to think laterally, to take risks, to problem solve and to work effectively as a team member.
Why should you study with us?
  • Employers love our design graduates as they are industry-ready, innovative and hard working.
  • We offer a boutique learning environment; small classes mean your lecturers know you by name and can support you to develop your own ‘design identity’.
  • You will benefit from the expertise of award-winning staff and leading industry researchers.
  • You will have access to exhibitions and international competitions to showcase your creativity.
  • Local, national and international collaboration and partnerships are at the heart of our learning philosophy.
  • We have extensive industry connections and strong links with international design networks including the Cumulus Association and The Designers Accord.
  • Our acclaimed programmes are full of individual, team and interdisciplinary learning opportunities.
  • You will enjoy studio-based learning with access to specialised equipment and spaces.
  • And, you will have access to support and business start-up advice through the Dunedin Fashion Incubator (Dfi).
Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements are:

  • The Bachelor of Design (Honours) at Level 8 OR the Postgraduate Diploma in Design at Level 8 with an overall grade of B+ (75%) in Design Research Methods and Applied Design Project 2 OR an equivalent postgraduate qualification of 120 credits in a related area. Please send us certified copies of your undergraduate degree transcript and other relevant qualifications. 
  • A physical or digital portfolio which demonstrates a depth of engagement with creative work relevant to your field. Please see below for more information.
  • Exceptional applicants not meeting the entry requirements but with appropriate documented professional experience may also be considered.
  • International applicants must demonstrate that they have equivalent experience/qualifications as domestic applicants. Click here for your country’s equivalent academic entry requirements. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Other requirements 

  • We may decide that you need to undertake an interview and/or entry task. We'll contact you if this is necessary.   
Your portfolio
Selection procedure

An interview panel consisting of the Postgraduate Coordinator and relevant postgraduate supervisors will interview and select applicants. Where there are more applicants than places, candidates will be prioritised on the basis of:

  • strength of academic record
  • breadth and depth of their portfolio
  • an entry task that validates existing skills and knowledge.

Applicants who do not meet the entry or selection criteria will be directed to a path of study to help prepare them for application in the future.

Additional costs

You will be expected to meet the cost of project materials but will receive financial support for publication of your exegesis or thesis.

You will study

This one-year, full-time programme is comprised of one Level 9 course worth 120 credits.

Integrated Body of Creative Work (Option one) OR Thesis (Option two)

You will undertake a significant body of independent research as an integrated body of creative work supported by an exegesis or equivalent (Option one) OR an individual research thesis (Option two). The purpose of this research is to demonstrate systematic engagement with contemporary and critical thinking in your chosen field, to demonstrate mastery of theoretically-sophisticated knowledge and specialised skills and to confidently articulate the impact and contribution of your work in a wider context. 

Your workload

You will be expected to work independently but will meet regularly with your supervisor.

Further study options

Successful completion of this qualification will prepare you for further postgraduate study at doctoral level, an academic career or a lead design or design management role.

Student loans and allowances

Full-time domestic students of this programme are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on age and financial circumstances.) Please contact Studylink for additional information. Phone 0800 88 99 00 or visit:

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning including Cross Credit or Credit Transfer are not available for this programme. Advanced standing is also not available for this programme.

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