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BDes - Communication Design as a major

The study of Design combines an understanding of human needs and desires, forming creative solutions, prototyping and developing artefacts and evaluating their impact and effectiveness in society. It comprises a well-balanced combination of analytical, technological and creative abilities.

Communication Design is concerned with visually communicating messages and ideas across multiple media platforms. As a communication designer, you will work to combine type and image to attract an audience's attention and deliver your client's messages.


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Key information

Years: 3
Points: 360
Study Locations: Hamilton
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $6,591 (approx) per year
Fees (International): $29,705 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Faculty:
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Career opportunities

  • Graphic Designer
  • Graphic Artist
  • Web Designer
  • Creative Director
  • Art Director

Degree Planner

Degree planner — BDes in Communication Design

If no point value is listed, papers are worth 15 points.  This structure applies to study starting in 2019.

  • Major
  • Elective
  • Compulsory

Recommended Elective Papers

This information is provisional and subject to change.

Gage Hall Former Hamilton Boys’ High School student Gage Hall is in the final year of a Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design at the University of Waikato.

Read stories from other students


Communication Design is concerned with visual symbols; the communication of information in words and images across different media.

Communication Design is available as a major for the BDes. Communication Design may also be included as a minor or second major in other undergraduate degrees, subject to the approval of the Faculty in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Communication Design as a single major, students must gain 135 points from papers listed for Communication Design, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must complete DSIGN141, DSIGN142, DSIGN241, DSIGN242, DSIGN243, COMPX324, DSIGN341, DSIGN342 and DSIGN360.

To complete Communication Design as a second major, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for Communication Design, including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level. Students must complete DSIGN141, DSIGN142, DSIGN241, DSIGN242, DSIGN243, and 45 points from COMPX324, DSIGN341, DSIGN342 or DSIGN360.

To complete a minor in Communication Design, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Communication Design major, including at least 30 points above 100 level.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
COMPX101Introduction to Computer Science19A (Hamilton), 19A (Online), 19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper introduces computer programming in C# - the exciting challenge of creating software and designing artificial worlds within the computer. It also covers concepts such as the internals of the home computer, the history and future of computers, cyber security, computer gaming, databases, mobile computing and current researc...
COMPX161Computing Media19B (Hamilton), 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China) & 19D (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
In this paper students will create multimedia web content using appropriate software packages. Web design concepts will be introduced for the effective use of text, images and sounds. Students will be introduced to relevant computing concepts and provided with software tutorials and related exercises.
CSMAX170Foundations in Computing and Mathematical Sciences19A (Hamilton) & 19B (Hamilton)
The objective of this paper is to provide students with the academic foundations for computing and mathematical sciences. The paper will cover the following areas: - Effective academic reasoning and communication - Information literacy and research skills - Academic integrity - Techniques and tools in the computing and mathematica...
DSIGN125Introduction to Communication Design Production19A (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper enables students to perform basic computing operations and to operate software packages for the manipulation of visual images and text for use in print and screen-based applications. Students will be introduced to basic computing concepts and provided with software tutorials and related exercises.
DSIGN141Design 119A (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper develops the student's ability to recognise and utilise the basic elements and principles of design both two and three dimensionally. It explores topics related to 'thinking' and creativity with an emphasis on raising a student's creativity consciousness and attitude. The work will primarily be abstract in nature and wil...
DSIGN142Design 219B (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper develops the student's ability to put into graphic application the basic elements and principles of design. It will also provide an introduction to typography. The emphasis of the study is to apply these basics to 2D and 3D mediums. The work will be resolved in both traditional and computer technology.
DSIGN151A History of Visual Communication19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
Students consider the role of visual communication design in society and culture, from the evolution of writing to the revolutions of twentieth century modernism, through the study of visual images and critical theory.
MEDIA102Film Production 1: Telling Stories19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
A hands-on practice paper in which students learn to apply film production theory to communicate ideas and tell stories. Students gain experience capturing, constructing and manipulating both audio and moving image in the process of designing, shooting and editing digital short films.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
DSIGN241Design 3: Aspects of Web Design19A (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper presents the students with the challenge of designing, developing and publishing content for the World Wide Web, working with content management systems (CMS). The students are challenged to combine their typographic skills and their knowledge of design in order to practically solve communication design projects.
DSIGN242Design 4: Interactive Environments19B (Hamilton)
This paper presents the students with the challenge of designing interactive media environments of different types. The students are challenged to experiment beyond their previously acquired knowledge, designing for interactive computer screens and mobile devices.
DSIGN243Visual Language and Information Design19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper offers students the possibility to explore the area of information design. By using their knowledge of principles of design, visual communication using typography and image, students will design information graphics (infographics): visual representations of information, working in the passage from data to information uti...
DSIGN252Cultural Perspectives for Design19B (Hamilton)
The paper provides students with an understanding of culture-specific perspectives on design issues and the ability to apply these in diverse contexts.
DSIGN271Design Thinking19B (Hamilton)
The paper presents the iterative process of design, used to understand users, challenge assumptions and redefine problems through empathising with users, defining their needs, ideating innovative solutions, prototyping and testing.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
COMPX324User Experience Design19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
An introduction to the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) where students develop skills and techniques for the design and evaluation of modern computer interfaces.
DSIGN341Communication Systems Design19A (Hamilton)
This paper challenges students to design a visual identity system and apply it across multiple deliverables in different media.
DSIGN342User Centred Design19B (Hamilton)
This paper provides opportunity for students to develop skills in design methods. Students will solve visual design problems for diverse target audiences using theoritical and practical design methodologies.
DSIGN350Intern Project19A (Hamilton)
This paper will induct the design student into the professional environment where the student applies design skills, research methodology and production skills to allocated projects or industry placement.
DSIGN360Capstone Project19B (Hamilton)
In this paper students plan, develop and execute a small scale design project with relative independence alongside the guidance of a supervisor.
DSIGN361Portfolio Project19B (Hamilton)
This paper is an opportunity for students to develop and refine a professional portfolio showcasing their design work.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
DSIGN532Information Visualisation19A (Hamilton)
This paper aims to provide an awareness of the potential offered by information visualisation techniques, a familiarity with the underlying concepts, and an understanding and ability to effectively design and apply information visualisations in a given context.
DSIGN551Studio Management19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the management of design projects in the studio. It is intended for those aiming for a future senior position in a design studio, or those managing freelance teams.
DSIGN581Design Research Methods19A (Hamilton)
Write a report based on the investigation of a topic that is negotiated with a supervisor.
DSIGN591Design Dissertation and Realisation19C (Hamilton)
Write a dissertation and undertake a publically exhibited realisation on a research topic negotiated with a supervisor.
DSIGN592Design Dissertation and Realisation19C (Hamilton)
Write a dissertation and undertake a publically exhibited realisation on a research topic negotiated with a supervisor.
DSIGN593Design Thesis and Realisation19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
DSIGN594Design Thesis and Realisation19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

CMS International Exchange Scholarship  Closed

For students who have completed at least one year of study in the Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (FCMS), applied for a University of Waikato exchange programme, and who will be enrolled full-time in FCMS in the year of tenure.

Computer Science Undergraduate Scholarship  Closed

For students who are currently in Year 12 or Year 13 at a New Zealand secondary school. Candidates must be intending to enrol full-time in a BCMS(Hons), BSc, BSc(Tech), BE(Hons) or BDes degree, in one of the computing streams, at the University of Waikato. Candidates will sit a Scholarship exam, which will be held on 19 and 20 October 2018.

Looking for more scholarships?

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In addition to the practical experience gained throughout the Bachelor of Design degree, you have the opportunity to undertake a real-world design project in the 300 level paper DSIGN350. In this project you work relatively independently and collaborate with your peers and with members of the professional design industry.

The final semester 300 level paper DSIGN360 involves a self-directed brief which culminates each year in a Degree Show. The Degree Show projects cover a wide range of media including web design and production, mobile design, interactive design, brand development, visual identity work, interactive installation, motion graphics, 3D animation and more.


Subject links

Design Degree Show


Documents


Contacts

Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences

Phone: 0800 924 528 ext: 4322 or +64 7 838 4322
Email: cms@waikato.ac.nz
Website: cms.waikato.ac.nz
Facebook: facebook.com/WaikatoFCMS