Courses Postgraduate Certificate in Design

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:

Awesome! Success Message goes here! Different based on form this one is a bit longer and wraps over two lines
SORRY! Error Message goes here!

Postgraduate Certificate in Design

Postgraduate Certificate in Design

  • Length:
    15 weeks
  • Qualification:
    NZQF Level 8 (60 Credits)
  • Cost:
    Domestic - $4,856.45
    International - $15,000.00
  • 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

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.

This full-time programme is for early to mid-career professionals (with at least six years of relevant work experience). It facilitates those without formal qualifications direct entry into postgraduate study. Progress onto a Master of Design, or simply take us for test-drive and exit with a completed Postgraduate Certificate in Design in only 15 weeks.

You have successfully signed up to our Newsletter

There was an error and you were not signed up to the Newsletter


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 highly 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, daytrips 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!

Course Components

To complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Design, you must complete any two of the following components:

PGD001    Design Research: Connecting Texts, Deciphering Context         30 credits / NZQA Level 8

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. 

This course will be offered in Trimester 1

PGD002    Interdisciplinary Design Project: Emerging Contexts      30 credits / NZQA Level 8

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. 

This course will be offered in Trimester 1

PGD003    Contemporary Design Issue: Creative Futures    30 credits / NZQA Level 8

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.

This course will be offered in Trimester 2

PGD004    Special Topic Project: Creative Entrepreneurship                       30 credits / NZQA Level 8

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.

This course will be offered in Trimester 2

PGD005    Special Topic Project: Design and Economies    30 credits / NZQA Level 8

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.

This course will be offered in Trimester 3

PGD006    Interdisciplinary Design Theories: Dialogues      30 credits / NZQA Level 8

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.

This course will be offered in Trimester 3

2016 dates for Level 8 components:

Component Code

Start Date

End Date



26 August, 2016

11 October, 2016

~7.5 weeks


14 October, 2016

27 November, 2016

~7.5 weeks

2017 dates for Level 8 components:

Component Code

Start Date

End Date



24 February, 2016

09 April, 2016

~7.5 weeks


14 April, 2016

28 May, 2016

~7.5 weeks


09 June, 2016

23 July, 2016

~7.5 weeks


28 July, 2016

10 September, 2016

~7.5 weeks


22 September, 2016

05 October, 2016

~7.5 week


10 November, 2016

24 December, 2016

~7.5 weeks

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

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.

Apply Now

Read our academic prospectus to find out more about what courses and qualifications Media Design School has to offer.

Visit us see why our campus is unlike any other design school in New Zealand.

Awesome! Success Message goes here! Different based on form this one is a bit longer and wraps over two lines
SORRY! Error Message goes here!