Call us now on 0800 10 95 10 Apply Now Order Brochure

Programme overview

The Master of Design is a research only degree with no taught components. It is extremely flexible and operates on the basis of mutually agreed supervision sessions and regular progression workshops.


  • Create a significant body of new work, build a portfolio, improve your job opportunities and refresh or re-orientate your career.
  • Undertake research and training in contemporary contextual and theoretical frameworks and practise based methodologies.
  • Work in an evolving multi-disciplinary environment with exposure to a wide range of approaches, practices, and theories..
  • Get advanced feedback on your developing work from specialists in your field and visiting critics.
  • Hone your communication skills through critique sessions and written components.
  • Undertake research and training in contemporary contextual and theoretical frameworks.
  • Learn from experts – our lecturers and supervisors include notable artists, designers and educators.

Portfolio requirements

Applicants may be required to attend an interview, at which you may be asked to present and discuss a portfolio of your design work. You may also be asked to submit a brief description of a proposed project which you wish to undertake in this programme.

You should be ready to discuss your professional history, the ideas within your work, your interests and the area of research by design that you are considering, and your proposed project.

You should have a significant portfolio of professional work that will enable you to reflect critically on your practice.

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. Achieved one of the following:

  • A recognised Bachelor’s degree in a discipline relevant to your proposed project, with an average grade of B- or higher in all Level 7 courses
  • A recognised postgraduate diploma in a discipline relevant to your proposed project, with an average grade of B- or higher

2. A significant portfolio of professional work which enables us to critically reflect on your prior practice
3. 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing).
4. If English is your second language, you are required to have one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t meet the requirements? We also accept:

  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

Compulsory courses

Design Research Project - Design (DESN9000/ DESN 9000ENR)

Aim: The aim of the programme is to produce graduates who have developed a theoretically sophisticated understanding of design through engagement in research by design. The students are expected to develop this understanding by undertaking a research project which involves creating a new body of work within a theoretical context and then critically appraising the new work and the theoretical framework which informed it.

Timetable: There are no set timetables for this course. As this is a research based course, timetables are tailored for individual students.





The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.

Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements: A relevant degree or postgraduate diploma with average grade requirements, a portfolio of work and English language requirements. Special admission also accepted.

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.


2 Years

Tuition Fees


Total Qualification

Student fees:  $1,344$2,688
Government tuition subsidy: $6,373$12,746

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earnings$57,829
Earnings rangeN/A - N/A
In employmentN/A
In further studyN/A
On a benefitN/A

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.