Master of Design

The Master of Design (MDes) is about design that matters. Master of Design candidates are self-directed, high-level problem solvers. They conduct purposeful advanced design research that connects with people well beyond the university.

The Massey MDes is particularly suited to externally-connected projects, whether commercial, governmental, cultural or community based. Your project need not necessarily have industry funding and an orthodox design brief (although there are scholarships available for such research). You might instead be developing a design solution for a non-profit organisation, in collaboration with an industry partner, or in response to a gap in design practice.

MDes candidates are expected to produce innovative and responsive design work that is thoroughly grounded in research methodologies and expertly realised. We aim to facilitate design projects that make a significant contribution to research-led innovation and support sustainable economic, environmental, and societal growth.

How will I benefit?

The Massey MDes offers:

  • an advanced design research qualification with a targeted outcome, often of direct application to industry or another external stakeholder
  • strong connections outside the university, whether in business, public or non-profit sector
  • supervision by staff who are leading design researchers and practitioners
  • individual studio space configured to suit your needs
  • comprehensive technical expertise and facilities, including an industry-scale green screen studio, Australasia’s first Fab Lab, industry-standard workshops, digital imaging facilities, darkrooms and high-end computer facilities.

Curriculum

The Master of Design is a supervised programme of study the outcome of which is a comprehensive design thesis project. The thesis project comprises a deeply researched and expertly realised design work, and supporting written exegesis (a reflective document) of 8,000 - 10,000 words, which is submitted for examination. Depending on your research interests, the design work may take the form of a product prototype, a theoretical body of garments, a community service design, or a graphic reworking of indigenous cultural texts.

Scholarships are available for some projects.

Schedule and application deadlines

The MDes is one year (52 weeks) of full-time study. There are three intakes: February, July and September. Application deadlines are: November 15 (February start); June 15 (July start); August 15 (September start). Industry-partnered projects may start at other times of the year, and according to contractual arrangement.

It is highly recommended that international students apply at least three months before their start date to allow for International Office processing and visa application. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Contact

creative.postgrad@massey.ac.nz

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 At 12.23.05 Pm        Your Guide To Creative Arts 2019

  • Where can I go from here?

    Massey MDes candidates rapidly develop excellent analytical skills. You must identify what the problem is, where the opportunities lie, and develop practical - even elegant - solutions, within tight timeframes. This pragmatism, combined with the in-depth critical thinking and technical skills acquired during the course of study, will set you up for diverse careers.

  • MDes graduate career destinations

    Many graduates start their own businesses and have gone on to win high profile awards and commissions. MDes graduates also work as:

    • film industry concept artist
    • web designer for a large overseas institution
    • director of a major NZ health care product manufacturer
    • creative director for art agencies and museums
    • technical development consultant
    • design intern in fashion and industrial design companies
    • publishing
    • secondary school art and design teacher. 
  • Key facts

    Application deadline: 1November 15 (February start), June 15 (July start), August 15 (September start).

    Fees: Domestic - $7,044.20 - $9,148.00 (indicative per one year of full-time study). International - $33,680.00 (indicative per one year of full-time study). (further fees information here).

    Location: Wellington; with opportunities elsewhere.

    Part-time option: yes

  • Master of Design 120

    The MDes 120 is a one-year qualification with direct application to industry and external engagement.

    Prerequisites: Honours degree, or equivalent
(eg. US four-year Bachelor degree).

    Duration: One year full-time (52 weeks); 
may be done part-time.

    Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Research may be undertaken elsewhere.

    Application deadline:  November 15 (February start), June 15 (July start), August 15 (September start).

    International applications: It is highly recommended that international candidates apply at least three months before the start date to allow for International Office processing and visa application.

    Tuition fees: Domestic - $7,044.20 - $9,148.00 (indicative per one year of full-time study). International - $33,680.00 (indicative per one year of full-time study).

    The College aims to support the candidate with their thesis project, supervising those that contribute to research-driven innovation and sustainable economic, environmental, and societal growth. The College is actively expanding its pool of business relationships to facilitate continuing and future opportunities for Master of Design candidates.

    The MDes 120 is an intensive course of study. It involves undertaking a focused design research project that takes a challenging real-world problem through to a deeply interrogated and well-resolved solution. Candidates

    are expected to produce innovative and responsive design work that
is thoroughly grounded in research methodologies and expertly realised. They are expected to enter the year with a clearly defined and approved research proposal and, if partnered with industry, develop strong relationships with the external ‘client’ from the outset. Candidates with industry-partnered projects may spend extended periods located within their client organisation.

    The programme is largely self-directed. Candidates are required to be independent; to set objectives and work to pre-determined deadlines; to openly discuss the research project’s development with their supervisor, and industry partner; to present developmental and polished work to supervisors, staff, peers, and industry partners at key moments.

    Examples of recent MDes projects

    • Site-sensitive spatial design for a visitor experience in a restored wetland – for Wither Hills Vineyards, Marlborough
    • Techniques for using waste
wool in textiles – with Wool Yarns Ltd, Summit Wool Spinner and Radford Yarn Technologies Ltd
    • Applying open-source
design principles through digital fabrication – with the international Fab Lab network
    • Electric fencing solution
with enhanced usability
for the European lifestyle farmer market – with Gallagher Animal Management
    • Ask Away online youth voter engagement tool – with Loomio and Code for New Zealand

    Structure of the MDes 120
    The MDes 120 comprises 2 courses across one full year

    • Design Thesis Part 1 (60 credits)
    • Design Thesis Part 2 (60 credits)


    Contact
    Dr Caroline Campbell Postgraduate Coordinator – MDes
    creative.postgrad@massey.ac.nz

     

     

  • Master of Design 120 - Weta Workshop School at Massey University

    Create your own imaginary worlds for film, TV and game by studying a Master of Design.

    The Weta Workshop School at Massey University is a new way to study Entertainment Design. The school offers a unique educational experience in the exciting and ever-expanding world of design research and practice.

    This course aims to give candidates a dynamic range of skills to start their career in concept design and visual storytelling in the entertainment industry.

    Prerequisites: Honours degree. Candidates with three-year qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    • Selection into the programme through an interview and the assessment of a portfolio of submitted design work.

    Duration: One year full-time (52 weeks).

    Location:  Massey University and Weta Workshop, Wellington, New Zealand.

    Application deadline: May for a mid-September start.

    Programme: the Weta Workshop School is a 120 credit supervised programme delivered in conjunction with established Weta Workshop practitioners. You will study under a primary supervisor and Weta Workshop mentor. Under this supervision and mentorship, you will develop further your proposed concept within the context of concept design for the entertainment industry.  

    Candidates will have access to Massey University workshop, studio, teaching, and library facilities.

    Find out more

    Weta Workshop art director Paul Tobin with Weta Workshop concept artist Logan Preshaw.

  • Master of Design 180

    The MDes 180 offers additional options for study at postgraduate level. To merit entry into this programme, you must submit a proposal and portfolio of recently produced design work (concepts, explorations and final work) for assessment. We look to approve  proposals that are purposeful, focused, academically viable, industry-linked, and able to be supported by Massey resources.

    If you have a Bachelor of Design (Honours) or Postgraduate Diploma in Design, or grade average equivalent that indicates an adequate level of preparation, you do not have to do Part One of the Master of Design 180, but may instead apply for the MDes 120.

    Prerequisites: The entry requirements for Massey’s 180-credit Master of Design are:

    • Admission to Massey University;
    • Attainment of a Bachelor of Design or equivalent with a grade average of at least B;
    • Selection into the programme through an interview and the assessment of a portfolio of submitted design work;
    • An appropriate level of English language proficiency (IELTS score of 6).

    Duration: 18 months.

    Location: Wellington, New Zealand.

    Application deadline: July 15 (September start). Applications from New Zealand academic institutions, such as the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), will be considered after that date.

    International applications: It is highly recommended that international candidates apply at least three months before the start date to allow for International Office processing and visa application.

    Part One tuition fees: Domestic 4,751.22 (indicative per one semester of full-time study). International - $17,588.90 (indicative per one semester of full-time study).

    Structure of the MDes 180

    The MDes 180 comprises two parts:

    • Part One: taught courses. 60 credits. One Semester. Part One is for candidates with a BDes or equivalent non-Honours degree. You will take a compulsory course in creative research practices. Creative Research Practices I (30 credits) introduces you to design as critical thinking and ends with you producing a fully conceived research project proposal for entry into the MDes (Thesis). In Part One, you also take two elective courses (each 15 credits) of your choice. Options include a digital fabrication path through Fab Lab Wellington, which will set you up to use open design and digital fabrication approaches in your thesis. In addition, we offer an Independent Study option where you negotiate one-on-one, or small group supervision, with a lecturer on a research field of mutual interest. We also offer a range of Honours-level courses in Textiles, Fashion, Visual Communication, Photography, Industrial, and Spatial Design.

    • Part Two: thesis. 120 credits. One year full-time (52 weeks). Candidates who have attained Part One of the MDes 180 with a B grade average may progress to the thesis year. In this supervised year of study you will interrogate more thoroughly your research project topic so as to ‘master’ your proposal and deliver an expertly realised solution. You will develop further capacity for independent thinking, critical design practice, and pragmatism in seeking design solutions that are innovative and sustainable, and that are of benefit to society, the economy and the environment. The MDes (Thesis) programme also assists those with externally connected projects. External connections are really important in the advancement of knowledge, and so we expect you to keep in regular contact with your external partners or community of interest. Some projects may even require you to be located in a business or factory for long periods.


    Contact
    Dr Caroline Campbell Postgraduate Coordinator – MDes
    creative.postgrad@massey.ac.nz