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BDes - Industrial 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.

Industrial designers shape the world we live in by designing the products we use every day, from items as simple as a toothbrush, through to those as intricate as an aeroplane. The role of the industrial designer is in the designing of products that are durable, effective in purpose, and beautiful in appearance.

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Key information

Years: 3
Points: 360
Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $7,280 per year
Fees (International): $31,515 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Area of Study:
*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

  • Design Researcher
  • Strategic Designer
  • Experience Designer
  • Industrial Designer

Degree Planner

Degree planner — BDes in Industrial Design

If no point value is listed, papers are worth 15 points. This structure applies to study starting in 2021.

  • Major
  • Compulsory
  • Elective

Recommended elective papers

This information is provisional and subject to change.

The Industrial Design major will equip graduates with the knowledge and experience required to design and develop industrially-produced objects. Graduates will be prepared to develop a design career in manufacturing industries. The different industries in the Waikato region and in the rest of the country will have the possibility of employing a number of graduates with a professional profile that will contribute to the development of products designed in New Zealand, with the added economical value that this implies.

Industrial Design is available as a first major for the Bachelor of Design (BDes). Industrial Design may also be included as a second major or minor in other undergraduate degrees, subject to approval of the Division in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Industrial Design as a single major for the BDes, students must gain 135 points from papers listed for Industrial Design, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must complete DSIGN141, ENGEN112, DSIGN281, ENGME280, ENGMP211, DSIGN360, DSIGN381, DSIGN382 and ENGME380.

To complete Industrial Design as a second major, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for Industrial Design, including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level. Students must complete DSIGN141, ENGEN112, DSIGN281, ENGME280, ENGMP211, DSIGN360, DSIGN381 and DSIGN382.

To complete Industrial Design as a minor, students must gain 60 points from papers listed for Industrial Design, including 30 points above 100 level. Students must complete DSIGN141, ENGEN112, DSIGN281 and DSIGN381.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
DSIGN126Introduction to Industrial Design Production15.021B (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on Computer Aided Design (CAD)/3D modelling software packages, CNC routing and 3D digital printing, required in the process of prototyping and production of Industrial Design projects.
DSIGN141Principles of Form and Design15.021A (Hamilton) & 21X (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...
ENGEN112Materials Science and Engineering15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Tauranga)
Introduction to engineering materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, semiconductors and biomaterials) and their atomic structure and mechanical properties. Includes; elastic and plastic deformation, fracture mechanisms, failure in service, iron-carbon phase diagram, redox reactions in corrosion, production of polymers, ce...
ENGEN180Foundations of Engineering15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
Introduction to the engineering design process and computer aided design, fundamental principles of engineering analysis, open ended problem solving, engineering economics and the skills of a successful engineer. Includes a design-build-test experience.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
DSIGN281Industrial Design Studio 115.021A (Hamilton)
This paper presents students with the challenge of designing different types of simple industrially manufactured projects. The students are challenged to experiment beyond their previously acquired knowledge, designing and prototyping for small scale manufacturing.
ENGME280Design and Manufacturing 115.021B (Hamilton)
The paper focuses on the principles of fundamental manufacturing processes and engineering design methods. Practical aspects of selected major manufacturing processes via workshop and practical sessions give students the opportunities to build up their practical skills and apply their theoretical knowledge to solving practical prob...
ENGMP211Materials 115.021A (Hamilton)
This paper will provide a foundation for understanding the relationship between material structure, processing and behaviour to support engineering of materials and engineering with materials.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
DSIGN360Capstone Project15.021B (Hamilton) & 21X (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
In this paper students plan, develop and execute a small scale design project with relative independence alongside the guidance of a supervisor.
ENGME380Design and Manufacturing 215.021B (Hamilton)
This paper uses problem and project based learning methods to help students gain knowledge and skills in design and manufacturing. Students will be taught how to apply dirty prototyping to a design project, and use modern manufacturing methods to design and produce a complex machine.

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 School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences in the year of tenure and have applied for a University of Waikato exchange programme. By clicking on 'Apply Now' below, students will be taken to a list of possible exchange universities, and can then choose to apply once they have read further.

Computer Science Undergraduate Scholarship  Open

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 BCompSc, BCMS(Hons) majoring in Computer Science, BSc majoring in Computer Science, BE(Hons) majoring in Software Engineering, BE(Hons) majoring in Electrical and Electronic Engineering; or a BDes majoring in Interface Design.
Closing Date: 15 Sep 2021

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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



School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Phone: 0800 924 528 or +64 7 838 4625
Email: [email protected]