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Programme overview

The world of designed products is rapidly changing. Contemporary designers must be capable of working on projects that vary from the single bespoke artefact, crafted by hand, to the mass-produced product, designed on-line and manufactured in a digital lab. In the Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts (Product and Furniture Design) you'll explore how to bring design products from concept to market. You'll be able to develop an applied practice focused upon the design of products from concept to market. You'll be able to develop an applied practice focused upon the design of products that are realistic, creative, market sensitive and designed with a sustainable future in mind. Learn about design sketching, 2D and 3D visualisation and modelling, computer-based simulation and animation, and consumer psychology. You will also explore the practice of leading New Zealand and international designers and makers, and the design methods used by global brands.

Highlights

  • Recognised by industry leaders such as Scion, Design Mobel, Queensberry, Goode Industries and Criterion Group.
  • In your final year, work on an individual project, designing a product and developing a functioning prototype, computer model and design report.
  • A chance to work with the latest CAD software, experiment with new materials, carry out product testing and produce prototypes.
  • Guest speakers and international lecturers.
  • Access to well-equipped studios, CAD laboratories, workshops, photographic studios, machine shop, ergonomics lab and 3D digital production facilities.

In your first year, you'll learn how to apply a structured approach to design before putting it into practice by working on real design projects.

Portfolio requirements

You must upload a digital portfolio of work with your online application.

If you can’t upload your portfolio please email a PDF file to study@unitec.ac.nz and we will attach it to your application.

Alternatively, bring your PDF file to your nearest Student Central and we will scan and attach it to your application.

What to include

Your portfolio must include 10 - 15 images of your work, each labelled with the size, media and date the work was made. It must be an A4 size PDF document and not exceed 60MB in total.

Your images could include (but are not limited) to:

  • Your bursary board or similar year 12 or 13 work.
  • Other drawings, photographs or three-dimensional models.
  • Drawing with an emphasis on observational skills and/or personal expression.
  • Photography with an emphasis on visual skills and technique.
  • Art/design project work.
  • Sketches or notebook pages illustrating visual art/ design concepts.
  • Art/design related work from another discipline, for example jewellery or craft.
  • Images that demonstrates a visual narrative or sequence.
  • Group work you’ve been involved in (including a description of your involvement and contribution to the finished result).

Need some help?

Follow our portfolio hints and tips on what to include, what not to include and how to lay it all out.

Exit qualification

If you're looking for a two-year experience, you should consider the Diploma in Product Design Studies.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the general, or the discretionary, or the special admission requirements and they must also meet any programme-specific admission requirements. Applicants must also meet the English language requirements and may be interviewed.

Generic Admission Requirements

General Admission

Applicants must have:

  1. A minimum of 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher on the National Qualifications Framework, with 14 credits at Level 3 or higher in each of two subjects from an approved subject list, with a further 14 credits at Level 3 or higher taken from no more than two additional domains on the National Qualifications Framework or approved subjects plus a minimum of 14 credits at Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau on the National Qualifications Framework, plus a minimum of 8 credits at Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Maori; a minimum of 4 credits must be in Reading and a minimum of 4 credits must be in Writing; OR
  2. At least 3 ‘C’ passes in the New Zealand University Bursaries Examinations; OR
  3. Successful completion of the Unitec Certificate in Foundation Studies: Whitinga Level 3 with a relevant pathway, where appropriate;OR
  4. Certificate of University Preparation (Level 4); OR
  5. Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 4); OR
  6. Equivalent

Special Admission

Applicants must have: 

  1. Attained the age of 20 years on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the degree is to commence; AND 
  2. Have provided sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a potential successful outcome in the qualification. 

Discretionary Admission

In exceptional cases an applicant who does not meet the general admission requirements and who has not reached the age of 20 on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the degree is to commence may apply for discretionary admission.

In assessing whether to grant discretionary admission in exceptional cases, the primary focus will be on the applicant’s level of preparedness for study at the required level.

English Language Admission Requirements

General English Language Requirements
Applicants must have achieved a minimum standard of English as demonstrated by a minimum of 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in Reading, 4 in Writing).

International Students for whom English is not their First Language
Applicants must have achieved one of the following:

  1. Completion of NZ Certificate in English Language (NZCEL), Academic, Level 4;
  2. An overall IELTS band score (Academic Format) of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5;
  3. An overall TOEFL pBT (Paper-based Test) score of 550 (plus essay TWE of 5) OR  an overall TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test ) score of 60 (plus writing score of 20);
  4. Level B2 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
  5. First Certificate in English (FCE) with a pass at grade B OR Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) with a score of 52 or higher under the Cambridge International standard tests of English as a foreign language;
  6. Pearson Test of English (PToE) (Academic) with a score of 50;
  7. City & Guilds Internal English for Speakers of Other Languages (IESOL) B2 Communicator with a score of 66.

Existing English Language Proficiency
Applicants may also provide evidence of satisfying one of the criteria for existing English proficiency as specified by the NZQA. For more information please visit the NZQA website.

Programme Specific Admission Requirements

To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule.

Specific Admission

A student shall be admitted to this programme if they have completed the Unitec Certificate in Design and Visual Arts (Level 4) with an average grade of at least 'B' in the courses DEVS 4022, DEVS 4024 and DEVS 4026, or equivalent. A student who has completed this certificate with a lower average grade in these courses may be admitted to the programme at the discretion of the Programme Committee.

To be admitted to this programme, a student who has completed the Unitec Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 3): Whitinga, Art and Design Pathway, must also complete the Unitec Certificate in Design and Visual Arts (Level 4), or equivalent.

To be admitted to this programme, the applicant must also meet the following requirements:

    • All applicants must submit with their application evidence of their ability within their chosen major or within a variety of art, design or related media.
    • Through these photographic reproductions applicants should attempt to indicate the variety of artistic endeavour with which they are conversant.

      Discretionary Admission

      Applicants under the age of 20 may be granted Discretionary Admission if they have, for example:

      1. A minimum total of 72 NCEA credits at Level 2 in their best of four subjects, including English, or equivalent; OR
      2. A maximum total of 10 in New Zealand Sixth Form Certificate in their best four subjects, or a National Qualifications Framework equivalent; OR
      3. A minimum total of 42 credits at Level 3 or higher on the National Qualifications Framework, including, but not limited to, the following subjects:
        Design (Practical Art); Painting (Practical Art); Photography (Practical Art); Printmaking (Practical Art); Sculpture (Practical Art); Graphics; Technology; Art History or equivalent.

      Courses and timetables

      The following courses are valid for 2014. The courses may be offered as part of the programme. Click on the course links below to see the course details and timetables.

      CoursesCredits Restrictions
      Practice in Context 1 (DEVS5031) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with a thorough grounding in the historical and theoretical foundations of design and visual art in order to enhance student awareness of the intellectual environment within which contemporary practice operates. To provide opportunities for students to develop the necessary academic study skills and effectively apply a range of learning strategies required for study at a tertiary level.
      Studio Practice 1: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS5401) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to acquire practical experience, skills and knowledge of established processes, procedures and principles that will inform design and/or visual art practice whereby students attain those skills, attitudes and methodologies essential for research and practice. To provide opportunity for students to develop analytical ability and confidence that allows for meaningful evaluation of practical endeavours and facilitates independence of learning.To provide experiences that draw upon students’ needs, interests, and cultural backgrounds in order to foster confidence, commitment and personal responsibility for the student’s engagement in the programme.
      Studio Practice 2: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS5402) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to acquire practical experience, skills and knowledge of established processes, procedures and principles that will inform design and/or visual art practice whereby students attain those skills, attitudes and methodologies essential for research and practice. To provide opportunity for students to develop analytical ability and confidence that allows for meaningful evaluation of practical endeavours and facilitates independence of learning.To provide experiences that draw upon students needs, interests, and cultural backgrounds in order to foster confidence, commitment and personal responsibility for the student’s engagement in the programme.
      Methods in Practice 1: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS5411) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide an opportunity for students to extend and broaden their knowledge, skills and experience in the use of drawing processes, procedures, materials and technology relevant to their chosen field of practice.To familiarise students with commonly understood forms of visual communication and conventions of established practice while also providing opportunities for identifying the implications of deviating from such conventions.
      Methods in Practice 2: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS5412) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide the student with both broadly contextual and specialist knowledge that will enable insightful and competent practice within a chosen field of practice.To provide an opportunity for students to extend and broaden their practical understanding of concepts, issues, and material concerns associated with their chosen field of practice.
      Practice in Context 2: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS5432) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide the student with both broadly contextual and specialist knowledge that will enable insightful and competent practice within a chosen field of practice.To provide an opportunity for students’ to extend and broaden their practical understanding of concepts, issues, and material concerns associated with their chosen field of practice.
      CoursesCredits Restrictions
      Practice in Context 3 (DEVS6033) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To analyse contemporary theoretical discourses that build awareness of the intellectual environment that contemporary practice operates within.To discuss and debate the critical perspectives that inform notions of culture and cultural production within the New Zealand context.
      Studio Practice 3: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS6403) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to identify individual opportunities within studio practice and to develop the necessary critical skills to articulate themselves with creative confidence and assertiveness.To consolidate students’ practical experience, skills and knowledge of principles and procedures within their chosen field of practice in order to communicate creative propositions with clarity of purpose and fluency.
      Studio Practice 4: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS6404) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to identify individual opportunities within studio practice and to develop the necessary critical skills to articulate themselves with creative confidence and assertiveness.To consolidate students’ practical experience, skills and knowledge of principles and procedures within their chosen field of practice in order to communicate creative propositions with clarity of purpose and fluency.
      Methods in Practice 3: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS6413) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)The course further develops a student’s knowledge, skills and experience in the use of drawing processes, procedures, materials and technology relevant to their chosen field of practice. The course consolidates a student’s understanding of context that will enable insightful and competent practice within a chosen field of practice.
      CoursesCredits Restrictions
      Studio Practice 5: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS7405) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To engage students in individual modes of practice in accordance with established procedures and protocols appropriate to professional practice.To extend students? practical experience, skills and knowledge of principles and procedures within their chosen field of practice in order to communicate creative propositions with authority and inventiveness.
      Studio Practice 6: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS7406) 45 credits (0.375 EFTS)To engage students in individual modes of practice in accordance with established procedures and protocols appropriate to professional practice.To provide the student with the challenges of conducting a self-directed and in-depth exploration of a research project within the chosen field of practice, and of professionally presenting the results of that project.
      Practice in Context 5: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS7435) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To extend and consolidate knowledge of research processes and theoretical concerns in relation to individual design/art practice. To formulate and manage a research plan that examines and critically reflects upon research methodologies within Product and Furniture Design.
      CoursesCredits Restrictions
      Negotiated Studies 1 (DEVS5041) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop knowledge and skills in areas of learning which are of personal interest to the student and are considered to be relevant (directly or tangentially) to the student’s design and visual art education. To develop skills and responsibilities in designing and managing a self-directed programme of learning and enhance student awareness of the inter-relatedness of diverse areas of learning and their potential implications and influences in design and visual art.
      Toi Maori - Tahi (MAOR5030) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to broaden their knowledge of Toi Maori (Maori art), through the mediums of Whakairo (Carving), Raranga (Weaving), Ta Moko (Tattooing) and Taonga Puoro (Musical Instruments).
      CoursesCredits Restrictions
      Professional Practice and Internship (DEVS6037) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with an understanding of cultural, ethical and professional practice issues relevant to their chosen field of practice.To develop an understanding of professional contexts with reference to self-employment and the creative industries and to contextualise such learning through establishing relevancy and connections with current industry practices.
      Negotiated Studies 2 (DEVS6041) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop knowledge and skills in areas of learning which are of personal interest to the student and are considered to be relevant (directly or tangentially) to the student’s design and visual art education. To develop skills and responsibilities in designing and managing a self-directed programme of learning and enhance student awareness of the inter-relatedness of diverse areas of learning and their potential implications and influences in design and visual art.
      Practice Context 4: Product and Furniture Design (DEVS6434) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To analyse contemporary theoretical discourses that substantiate awareness of the intellectual environment in which contemporary practice operates within the domain of Product and Furniture Design.To discuss and debate the critical perspectives that inform and critique notions of culture and cultural production within Product and Furniture Design.
      Three-Dimensional Digital Production Technology (DEVS6442) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop skills and knowledge in the use of three-dimensional CAD tools appropriate for design practice, and to further understanding of how various software packages may be used to assist design production, including the virtual enviroment and animations of ?un-built? schemes.To develop and extend skills relating to mixed media presentations and the use of presentation and communication techniques.
      CoursesCredits Restrictions
      Advanced Research Methods (DEVS7036) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To allow opportunity and incentive for students to pursue the goals of research, to discover reliable knowledge of creative practice, and make it accessible for use in practice and education.To elucidate understanding of the principles and practices of research methodolgies that would provide a sound foundation for further study at a postgraduate level.
      Design and Visual Arts Management and Enterprise (DEVS7037) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide a framework of information and principles related to effective project management in all aspects of creative practice.To engender in students a sense of professional and ethical responsibility with an understanding of the principles and application of legal frameworks as related to intellectual property rights, product liability and ethical business practices.
      Negotiated Studies 3 (DEVS7041) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)The course develops knowledge and skills in areas of learning which are of personal interest to the student and are considered to be relevant (directly or tangentially) to the student’s design and visual art education. The course enhances student awareness of the inter-relatedness of diverse areas of learning and their potential implications and influence in design and visual art.