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Media Design

Media Design combines elements of design, screen and media studies within a single major.  Use your design skills to create content for multi-media platforms such as 2D and 3D animation, film and video production, and motion graphics.


Studying Media Design will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the theory, research and design of multi-modal media content for screen and multi-media platforms.  You will learn about different tools and techniques such as 2D and 3D animation, film and video production, and motion graphics.

As a media designer, you will focus on key design principles associated with the creation, construction and production of audio-visual media content for effective communication.

You can study Media Design as a major in the Bachelor of Design (BDes).

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.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Location:Hamilton

Study Media Design in these qualifications

Media Design as a specialisation of

Career opportunities

  • Media Designer
  • Digital Media Designer
  • Media Artist
  • Motion Graphics Designer
  • TV Graphics Designer
  • Computer Games Designer

Prescriptions for the GradCert(MedDes) and GradDip(MedDes)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Media Design at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences Office.

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...
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 mathematical...
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.
MEDIA100Understanding Visual Culture19A (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
Our lives are dominated by still and moving images and visual technologies. This paper will constitute an important first step in learning to understand how images variously work to convey ideas, their impact and influence on our behaviour, thinking and culture. It draws on a broad theoretical platform from aesthetics, art history,...
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
DSIGN242Design 4: Interactive Environments19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
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.
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.
MEDIA202Film Production 2: Experimentation and Creativity19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
Students are challenged to extend their creative practice beyond the conventions of narrative film making. Working with moving image and sound, students work in teams to experiment with the affordances of the medium and extend their own creative thinking and strategies.
MEDIA203Digital Arts and Cultures19A (Hamilton)
The paper examines how traditional analogue media are being supplemented by digital media and the impact it is having on creative and artistic practices. Digital media is best understood as a complex process that involves the transformation of existing cultural forms and skills leading to more hybrid media forms and interdisciplina...

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
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.
MEDIA301Animation Studies: Theory and Practice19A (Hamilton)
While providing a broad critical and historical context of animation and animated films, this paper introduces students to key principles, techniques, cultural expression, aesthetic approaches and applications for animation. Students are encouraged to explore conceptual approaches, and apply these to innovative creative productions...
MEDIA302Film Production 3: From Concept to Screen19A (Hamilton) & 19B (Hamilton)
Do you want to create a festival-ready short film? Develop your creative practice in filmmaking and challenge yourself with a hands-on practical paper that builds on the skills acquired in MEDIA102 and MEDIA202. Students hone their craft in several areas, including: cinematography, sound design, scriptwriting and directing to produ...
MEDIA305Interactive Media Design19A (Hamilton) & 19B (Hamilton)
Create your own interactive projects that expand your creative practice. Students will engage with contemporary arts practices to devise audio-visual installations, evaluate the rise of interactivity in gaming and VR, and create projects that blend different media formats.
MEDIA306Work-related Media Project19C (Hamilton)
The work for this paper can be mostly a university-based project with a workplace connection or a community based project. The project will consist of engaging with a relevant workplace/community. If the work undertaken has an applied focus but within an academic context, then the university should be seen as the relevant workplace...
MEDIA307Professional Studio Production19C (Hamilton)
This paper allows students to explore professional studio production roles and experience working within, and as part of a studio ecology. Students learn to communicate and work in a controlled live production space comprising of a control (live editing) booth and studio floor (green screen, operating studio pedestal mounted camera...
MEDIA309Game Design19T (Online)
This paper examines interactive digital gaming as a technological, aesthetic and social phenomenon that constitutes a distinct form of expression and discrete category of cultural activity. Students will understand the affordances of games and explore key principles of game design.

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.
MEDIA501Theory and Research in Action19A (Hamilton)
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.
MEDIA502Creative Practice: Development19C (Hamilton)
This individually supervised paper allows students to engage in concept development, scriptwriting, or other aspects of pre-production and planning for an advanced practice based creative project. Students are advised to also take MEDIA501 in order to develop an appropriate scholarly rationale and framework for the work that will b...
MEDIA503Creative Practice: Production19C (Hamilton)
This individually supervised paper allows students to execute the project planned in MEDIA502. This is an opportunity for students to complete an advanced creative practice project of their choice.
MEDIA504Media Design and Aesthetics19B (Hamilton)
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 per...

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, 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  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 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 25 and 26 October 2019.
Closing Date: 20 Sep 2019

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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



Faculty of Computing & Mathematical Sciences

Phone: 0800 924 528 ext: 4322 or +64 7 838 4322