Courses Master of Design

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Master of Design

Master of Design

  • Length:
    30 weeks
  • Qualification:
    NZQF Level 9 (120 credits)
  • Cost:
    Domestic - Masters only - $9,710.60 NZD
    Domestic - PGDip + Masters - $19,422.35 NZD
    International - Masters only - $30,575.00 NZD
    International - PGDip + Masters - $60,575.00 NZD
  • Intake Date(s):
    November 1st, 2019
    February 28th, 2020
    April 17th, 2020
    June 5th, 2020
    July 24th, 2020
    September 11th, 2020
    October 30th, 2020 View Intake Calendar
  • Click here to access key information about this qualification

Course Overview

Our rigorous, full-time 30 week full-time Master of Design programme is for people pursuing their own ideas and specialist career in design focused on the latest technologies and approaches.

The design equivalent of an executive MBA programme, Media Design School’s Master of Design offers an accelerated learning experience that transforms a wide range of professionals into the most promising next-generation designers. 

Unlike a traditional design degree, the  Master of Design is tailored to your unique needs and creative challenges. One-on-one professional mentoring that supports your personal project and full-time Media Design School faculty who are industry thought leaders are the hallmarks of this intensive programme

Career Pathways

Possible career pathways for graduates of the Master in Design include both strategic and design positions within design studios, companies and consultancy agencies:

Design Project Manager; Systems Designer; Merchandising and Branding Developer or Strategist; Sustainability Designer; Interactive Designer; Mobile Technologies Designer; User Experience Designer; Design Analyst; Screen Designer; Digital Animator; Information Designer; Product Designer and Developer; Service Designer; Transmedia Designer; Packaging Designer; Secondary Design Teacher; Design Consultant; Design Manager.

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More information

About the Media Design Graduate School

The Media Design Graduate School empowers you to take steps that will change the world. Mix with the brightest, most passionate people. Develop systematical creative thinking and build design skills in an innovative fast-paced fun environment.

Who Are These Programmes For?

To ensure optimal peer-to-peer learning, Media Design School determines each Postgraduate Design cohort by carefully managing the participant mix. Postgraduate Design participants typically have 6 plus years of professional experience, are recognised as having significant potential. Most applicants have a high degree of specific design knowledge. Others come from diverse backgrounds but have a strong interest in how design can be applied to their specific field and interests. We’re OPEN to unusual applications and backgrounds!

The Media Design Graduate School Experience

Media Design School and Laureate Universities — Changing the World, For Good

Our programmes develop insightful designers. Our students are not afraid of making mistakes; they only fear missed opportunities. Our alumni are sought-after passionate professionals who are never satisfied with the status quo. Instead, they choose to employ their knowledge, talent, and ideas to create change.

Real Experience: Innovation is in our DNA

Media Design School began with a pioneering spirit and has grown into a higher degree provider with a reputation as a catalyst for change. Drawing on the energy of the latest emerging technology and the most dynamic creative industries, you will learn to try new ideas and embrace the process of fast-failure that leads to success.

Tailor your design career to your interests. You will have access to cutting-edge undergraduate programmes in Visual Effects, Gaming, Software Engineering, Creative Advertising, Media Design, Digital Creativity, and Creative Technologies on a single campus — exposing you to more diversity, more ideas, and more inspiration.

Life At Media Design School: A Culture of Collaboration

From group projects to student competitions to live events, our culture reduces rivalry between students, encourages teamwork, and deepens relationships.

Our Graduate School Studios have been designed for the future, with an eye towards technology, innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. Under the sunny skies of the dynamic Central City Auckland area, with metropolitan shopping, galleries, beautiful parks, day-trips to exotic locations and a dazzling harbour, there is no place quite like it.

Real-World Results

Due to the transformational content and collaborative structure of the programme, many Postgraduate Design students report that they have a broader grasp of design methods and approach real world challenges and opportunities with greater awareness. Their bosses, peers note that Postgraduate Design interact with their teams and colleagues more productively, engage with clients more confidently, and lead cross-functional initiatives and projects more successfully.

Media Design School’s Graduate School is an immersive learning experience—one that empowers a broad range of designers to reflect, recharge, and reemerge as visionary leaders.

Our programmes offer the rare opportunity to step back, reevaluate your career goals, and reset your direction. You'll return to your company (or start your own!) with fresh insights on your professional and personal strengths, strategies for taking your design skills to the next level, within a global network of peers whose challenges mirror your own.

Media Design School’s Postgraduate Design Programmes Vs. Traditional Academia

We are not old-fashioned. If you're an experienced professional, Media Design School’s Graduate School programmes can transport you to the next stage of your career, even prepare you to grow your own business. This is done by pacing you through specific challenges, which ultimately help you become more effective.

No Thesis, No Supervision 

These are practical qualifications completed by coursework. You won’t drown in endless abstract theories, nor sweat through irrelevant formal essay topics. Everything that we do at Media Design School is applied — it echoes the real world. You’ll work hard in a simulated environment to produce slick professional portfolios that stand-out in a crowded marketplace. You’ll pitch to clients, receive feedback from industry leaders, be inspired by the best, produce the types of reports and documents that are actually used in creative design agencies and studios across the world. We’ve cut out the excess and added the most useful stuff!

Key Benefits

  • Examine new techniques and technologies for driving results throughout the design process in any cycle.
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of design functions and build interdisciplinary skills to integrate these functions across any business or organisation.
  •  Formulate a holistic approach to identifying problems, formulating solutions, and adapting to change.
  •  Build strategic skills for effective decision making, creative strategy development, and implementation.
  • Expand your capacity to participate in cross-functional initiatives and real world projects amid challenging markets.
  •  Develop a personal design philosophy that reflects greater knowledge, capabilities, and insights.

Alumni Community

Our collaborative approach and the intimate size of our programmes means that human relationships are strong and alumni can rely on support from each other long after they graduate — wherever they are around the world! Join our club.

During the Master of Design, you will undertake the following course work:

  • Two (30 credits each), NZQF Level 8.
  • Master Proposal (15 credits), NZQF Level 9.
  • Master Project (45 credits), NZQF Level 9.
  • One (not-for-credit) Postgraduate Toolbox component.

Master of Design Students will complete two of the following components: 

PGD001    Design Research: Connecting Texts, Deciphering Context

30 Credits

Discover the ways different types of ‘texts’ (not just the written kind!) can be linked to understand the range of situations in which a designer operates. Research design by exploring these possible connections within the framework of a real-world project. Working in a replicated work environment on actual industry briefs will add a practical focus to your learning. You’ll gain relevant experience and build valuable professional portfolio skills and content. 

PGD002    Interdisciplinary Design Project: Emerging Contexts      

30 credits 

In this component, you’ll gain skills in the analysis of research data for application in visual research and design. Here, emerging technologies across a range of design disciplines are used to study both people and cultural phenomena (such as target audiences). In turn, these tools are utilised to inform your design decisions. Because emphasis is placed on gaining understanding through making, you’ll use audio, visual and textual elements (and more!) in your designed communication responses to a real-world project.  

PGD003    Contemporary Design Issue: Creative Futures    

30 credits 

A live brief is used to explore how design interventions can have profound and ongoing effects on the world - both intended and unintended. This component investigates the ways that designed things such as equipment, services, interfaces or environments shape environments, behaviours and attitudes. Drawing upon contemporary philosophies of technology and theories of practice, you’ll learn about the tools that are critical to design and that can richly engage with the complexity of living. You’ll gain a reflective awareness of the ways in which design can reconfigure ways to produce more considerate and sustainable products, services and approaches that benefit both people and the planet.

PGD004    Special Topic Project: Creative Entrepreneurship                     

 30 credits 

Step out of your comfort zone by crossing the boundaries of your known discipline to contribute to a real-world project that requires a fresh solution. This component explores the potential of design thinking as a generator of state-of-the-art and entrepreneurial strategies, practices and designed things through innovation challenges. This requires the application of both corporate and academic research in conjunction with savvy design methodology. You’ll work both independently and in a team to respond to a client’s requirements and you’ll need to consider the effect of your choices on outcomes throughout the process. Successful results will be risk-taking tactical and effective responses to the brief provided.

PGD005    Special Topic Project: Design and Economies    

30 credits 

Design is profoundly affected by the economy in which it is embedded. In this component you’ll take a real-world project brief and employ it to rethink assumptions about the unsustainable growth-based and unstable economies of the 21st Century. The outcome of this project is to survey critical approaches to an economy using design thinking to address such concerns as the implications of this economy for design; how more sustainable approaches to the economy might open new possibilities for design; and what role design might play in a transition to a different economic model.

PGD006    Interdisciplinary Design Theories: Dialogues      

30 credits 

When one type of design intersects with another, the result can be a more comprehensive solution than a singular, traditional approach might provide. Working in diverse teams of designers from a range of disciplines can build ground-breaking outcomes. This component will introduce you to texts, conversations and viewpoints drawn from assorted disciplinary contexts that are of relevance to design, including philosophy, sociology, anthropology, technology, history, and a range of media. Here, you’ll work in teams to engage with ideas that are (or have been) influential in shaping ways in which designers can ideate in order to unpack solutions to interdisciplinary real-world problems.

In addition to the above two components, there are two mandatory Master of Design components:

PGD007    Master Project Proposal   

15 credits 

The Master studio requires that you put forward a brief for a self-initiated project of your choosing. It is possible to propose an individual, or group project, but team roles and assessments need to be carefully negotiated with the staff before approval can be obtained. Projects may result in static or interactive, print or digital, objects or installations, or approaches to service and experience, for example. Your proposal must outline an executable project that can be developed to a masterate level. You will be mentored through proposal development by an academic staff with practice-based research expertise. 

PGD008    Master Project       

45 credits

The Master studio requires that you work to the proposal, which you generated in PGD007 to produce and actualise a project. This needs to exhibit a sophisticated understanding of the potential offered by contemporary design communication and thinking practice. Central to the component will be evidence of critical analysis, social engagement, reflective practice, all of which are encased within a refined visual language. You’ll draw on the practical, methodological, theoretical, and technical tools that you’ve developed over the duration of the programme to complete an effective project. You will be mentored through project development by an academic staff with practice-based research expertise.

Want to know if Media Design School is right for you? Download our prospectus, book a tour or apply now. Choose one or more of the options below:

Apply now to study at New Zealand’s most awarded digital design school.

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