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MDes - Design as a main subject

The Master of Design (MDes) 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 Design (BDes).

Studying Design at the University of Waikato makes you highly sought after, with a unique combination of design and coding skills. You will be able to meet the increasing demand for designers who can work in a variety of media, such as websites, apps, gaming and virtual reality.


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Key information

Years: 1.5
Points: 120 or 180
Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Estimated Fees* (Domestic): $7,218 - $8,650 per year
Estimated Fees* (International): $37,145 (120 points) or $55,720 (180 points) per year
Entry Requirements: Postgraduate 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

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

Degree Planner

Degree planner — Master of Design (MDes)

180 points

90 or 120 point
Design Thesis and Realisation

60 or 30 points from
500 level taught papers**

  • Compulsory
  • Thesis
  • Elective

Prescriptions for the Postgraduate Diploma in Design (PGDipDes) and Master of Design (MDes)

To complete a PGDipDes, students must complete 120 points at 500 level. Typically, the programme corresponds to 120 points of taught papers as would be taken by MDes students.

To complete a MDes, students must complete 180 points at 500 level, including DSIGN581 (30 points). Students not wishing to complete a research-led MDes degree could take DSIGN591 (30 points) if DSIGN581 is in their programme of study, or could take DSIGN592 (60 points). The remaining papers should be chosen from appropriate 500 level taught papers. A research-led MDes degree would include either a 90 point or 120 point Design Thesis.

Students should select their papers for these qualifications in consultation with the Graduate Advisor for Design in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
DSIGN532Information Visualisation15.022A (Online)
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 Management15.022A (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 Methods30.022A (Hamilton)
Write a report based on the investigation of a topic that is negotiated with a supervisor.
DSIGN589Directed Study15.022A (Hamilton), 22A (Online), 22B (Hamilton) & 22B (Online)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
DSIGN590Directed Study30.022A (Hamilton), 22A (Online), 22B (Hamilton) & 22B (Online)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
DSIGN591Design Dissertation30.022X (Hamilton) & 22X (Online)
Write a dissertation to present the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation, based on a research topic negotiated with a supervisor. Presentation of the findings may include a publicly exhibited design project.
DSIGN592Design Dissertation60.022X (Hamilton) & 22X (Online)
Write a dissertation to present the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation, based on a research topic negotiated with a supervisor. Presentation of the findings may include a publicly exhibited design project.
DSIGN593Design Thesis90.022X (Hamilton) & 22X (Online)
Write a dissertation to present the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation, based on a research topic negotiated with a supervisor. Presentation of the findings may include a publicly exhibited design project.
DSIGN594Design Thesis120.022X (Hamilton) & 22X (Online)
Write a dissertation to present the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation, based on a research topic negotiated with a supervisor. Presentation of the findings may include a publicly exhibited design project.
MEDIA501Critical and Creative Approaches to Research30.022A (Hamilton), 22A (Online) & 22B (Online)
This paper identifies the constraints and freedoms of research methods, and places a strong emphasis on research as an intellectual, theoretical, and processual activity as well as the roles of interdisciplinary projects in creating unique methodological and conceptual media research.
MEDIA504Media Design and Aesthetics30.0No occurrences
Audio-visual media are undergoing continual transformations that question the roles of makers and audiences alike. Students are encouraged to experiment with sensory perception in order to question current notions of aesthetics in relation to cultural practices and media creations. This process of reflection encourages critical perspectives on existing and potential design practices, and contributes to re-evaluating the relationships between the self, digital media, audio-visual technologies, and aesthetics.

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

CMS International Exchange Scholarship  Not currently accepting applications

For students who have completed at least one year in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (subject areas may include Computer Science, Software Engineering, Statistics, Mathematics or Design) 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.

Computer Science Undergraduate Scholarship  Accepting applications

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 either the BCompSc, BSc(Hons) majoring in Computer Science, or BE(Hons) majoring in Software Engineering.
Closing Date: 15 Sep 2022

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Subject links

Design Degree Show


Contacts

School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Phone: 0800 924 528 or +64 7 838 4625
Email: [email protected]
Website: cms.waikato.ac.nz
Facebook: facebook.com/WaikatoCMS