Master of Computer Graphic Design

The Master of Computer Graphic Design (MCGD) is an advanced degree focusing on graphic design theory, technology and original research.  It builds on the unique combination of design and coding skills developed during the Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design (BCGD).

The MCGD provides an opportunity for you to plan, develop and carry out a large scale design research project.  This will enable you to collaborate with other students and academics, and to work with members of the professional design industry.  The MCGD research is represented by both a written thesis and an exhibited  design realisation.

Research topics are tailored to suit your interests, providing an opportunity for you to hone a particular aspect of graphic design further, which could be a pathway to your chosen career. You will also have the full support, guidance and expertise of your supervisor during your research project.

Computing facilities at Waikato

The University of Waikato offers students 24-hour computer lab access with all the latest computer software, and several labs fully equipped with Mac computers, commonly used in professional design environments.  Graduate students have a dedicated lab space and access to all undergraduate facilities.

 Career opportunities

  • Advertising Designer
  • Computer Games Designer
  • Interactive Designer
  • Motion Graphics Designer
  • TV Graphics Designer
  • Web Designer

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton
Faculty Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Years 1.5
Points 120 or 180
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Domestic Fees $7,181-$7,926 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
International Fees $31,085 per year
Tuition fees shown above 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.


These are all the subjects available for the Master of Computer Graphic Design

Computer Graphic Design

Freemasons Postgraduate Scholarship

For full-time students who are in their final year completing a Doctorate, a Masters degree with thesis or Postgraduate Diploma at any New Zealand University. The scholarship will have a value of $10,000.

Closing Date: 2017-10-01 23:59:00

University of Waikato Summer Research Scholarship

For students who are enrolled at a NZ or Australian University and have completed at least three years of undergraduate study. The Summer Research Scholarship provides students with opportunities to experience the challenges and rewards of research. The scholarship will have a value of $5,000.

Closing Date: 2017-08-31 23:59:00

University of Waikato Taught Postgraduate Scholarship

For students who are enrolling in 500-level taught papers. Some 400-level taught papers are also eligible (see appendix A of the regulations for a full list). Applicants are expected to have a minimum GPA of A-. International students may apply however they must have completed at least 120 points of study at a New Zealand University. The scholarship will have a value of up to $3,000.

Closing Date: 2018-04-30 23:59:00

To enrol in the MCGD you should have completed a Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design (BCGD) (or equivalent) and have achieved a B average over the course of your study.

If you are applying with an undergraduate or graduate qualification from another university you must also complete a portfolio containing ten pieces of art or design work (see Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design admission and enrolment section). Please include the ID Number that you will receive during this online application process when naming your portfolio. Submit your Portfolio after you have completed an online application to enrol.

It is helpful if you can discuss the choice of your actual programme of study – that is, the courses you are going to take and the area in which you plan to write a thesis or dissertation with the graduate advisor in Computer Graphic Design.  We will go over your entire proposed graduate programme with you, not just the courses you plan to take in the first year.  If you cannot come to the University in person, we can discuss your proposed programme by email or on the phone.


Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +64 7 838 4322 / 0800 924 528

Degree Structure

For students with an undergraduate degree, the MCGD requires a total of 180 points at 500 level. Students with an honours degree or a postgraduate diploma are required to take 120 points at 500 level.

Students will normally complete a 90 or 120 points research-focused Thesis and Realisation that requires both original research and design exhibition. It is also possible for students to alternatively complete a 30 point or 60 point Dissertation and Exhibition.

Students work closely with a supervisor to select a research topic.

Students enrolled in a 180 point MCGD will include CGRD581 – Report of an Investigation to prepare them for Thesis and Realisation or Dissertation and Exhibition. The remaining points for the degree will be made up of relevant taught papers.

MCGD Papers

  • CGRD524 – Topics in Interaction Design
  • CGRD532 – Information Visualisation
  • CGRD551 – Studio Management
  • CGRD581 – Report of an Investigation
  • CGRD591 – Dissertation and Exhibition (30 points)
  • CGRD592 – Dissertation and Exhibition (60 points)
  • CGRD593 – Thesis and Realisation (90 points)
  • CGRD594 – Thesis and Realisation (120 points)