Programme list > Graduate Diploma in Design

Graduate Diploma in Design


Develop your technical skills and learn to think like a designer.

  • Level

  • Graduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Wellington
  • Credits

  • 120
  • Duration

  • 1 year(s) full-time. Available. part-time.
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ
  • Other

  • Selected entry programme

Note: This programme may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

The Graduate Diploma in Design is an opportunity for people who have already completed a degree to add an additional subject area to their learning.

You’ll be studying with other design students in courses at 200, 300 and 400 level across these majors offered in the Bachelor of Design with Honours. These are:

  • fashion design
  • industrial design
  • photography
  • spatial design
  • textile design
  • visual communication design.

In studio classes you’ll be immersed in hands-on doing and making as well as discussion and debate. You’ll hone your creative problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. You’ll also develop specialist design capabilities at an advanced level.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.   

To enter the Graduate Diploma in Design you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent
  • demonstrated equivalent practical, professional and/or scholarly experience.

You will also need to provide the following:

  • a portfolio of work to show you are at the standard necessary to undertake work up to 300-level and beyond
  • verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

Application closing date

If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this programme close on 30 November 2021.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

120 credits

  • Part A compulsory courses – 30 credits
  • Part B courses from one endorsement – 60 credits
  • Part C electives from the Part C Schedule – 30 credits

Ensure you have at least 75 credits from one endorsement (course prefix)

Courses for this programme

Part A: Core courses

30 credits
197388 Creative Communities 15
237330 Creative Cultures & Ideas 15
237331 Creative Cultures & Display 15

Part B: Core Endorsement courses

60 credits
198357 Design Studio IIIA (Industrial) 30
198358 Design Studio IIIB (Industrial) 30
212357 Design Studio IIIA (Fashion) 30
212358 Design Studio IIIB (Fashion) 30
221357 Design Studio IIIA (Photography) 30
221358 Design Studio IIIB (Photography) 30
222357 Design Studio IIIA (Visual Communication) 30
222358 Design Studio IIIB (Visual Communication) 30
223357 Design Studio IIIA (Textiles) 30
223358 Design Studio IIIB (Textiles) 30
224357 Design Studio IIIA (Spatial) 30
224358 Design Studio IIIB (Spatial) 30

Part C: Elective courses

30 credits
197211 Rapid Ideation 15
197228 Contemporary Design Project A 15
197229 Contemporary Design Project 2A 15
197238 Interaction and Interface I 15
197270 Creative Ecologies I 15
197291 Art and Design: Special Topic II 15
197331 Contemporary Design Project B 15
197332 Contemporary Design Project C 15
197338 Interaction and Interface II 15
197370 Creative Ecologies II 15
197379 Service and Experience Design 15
197383 Internship 15
198212 Product Design Visualisation 15
198213 Furniture Design 15
198308 Industrial Design Special Topic A 15
198315 Product Development 15
198320 Open Design & Digital Fabrication 15
212200 Garment Block Pattern Drafting and Grading 15
212226 Fashion Communication 15
212228 Fashion Special Topic A 15
212304 Drape for Design 15
212309 Contoured and Knit Apparel 15
212321 Digital Applications for Fashion Production 15
212328 Fashion Special Topic B 15
213211 Fine Arts Special Topic II 15
213254 Drawing in Practice 15
213255 Drawing the Body II 15
213256 Contemporary Art Projects A 15
213257 Contemporary Art Projects B 15
213258 Contemporary Art Projects C 15
213259 Contemporary Art Projects D 15
213260 Fine Arts Special Topic IIB 30
213261 Contemporary Art Projects F 15
213262 Contemporary Art Projects G 15
213263 Contemporary Art Projects H 15
213264 Contemporary Art Projects I 15
213265 Contemporary Art Projects J 15
213311 Fine Arts Special Topic III 15
213356 Contemporary Art Projects E 15
213358 Fine Arts Internship 15
213359 Contemporary Art Projects K 15
213360 Fine Arts Special Topic IIIB 30
221220 Photography and the Studio 15
221221 Photography and Digital Practices I 15
221222 Photography and the Darkroom 15
221291 Photography Special Topic A 15
221320 Photography and the Body 15
221321 Photography and Digital Practices II 15
221391 Photography Special Topic B 15
222208 Letterpress 15
222215 Brand Communication 15
222225 Narrative Illustration 15
222232 Illustrated Characters 15
222248 Typographic Systems 15
222312 Art Direction 15
222313 Copywriting 15
222326 Sequential Art 15
222333 Concept Design for Imaginary Worlds 15
222347 Editorial Design 15
222348 Narrative Information Design 15
222390 Visual Communication Design Special Topic A 15
223207 Materials Lab 15
223211 Fashion Textiles 15
223301 Contemporary Wallcoverings 15
223312 Textile Print Project 15
223328 Textile Design Special Topic B 15
224204 Design for Performance 15
224205 Design for Display 15
224302 Spatial Design Special Topic A 15
224306 Game Space 15
237211 Māori Visual and Material Culture - Toi Atea 15
237217 Māori Art and Design Studio IIA - Toi Atea 15
237218 Māori Art and Design Studio IIB - Toi Atea 15
237230 Creative Cultures & Contexts I 15
237231 Creative Cultures & Contexts II 15
237317 Māori Art and Design Studio IIIA - Toi Atea 15
237318 Māori Art and Design Studio IIIB - Toi Atea 15

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Endorsements available for the Graduate Diploma in Design are:

  • fashion design
  • industrial design
  • photography
  • spatial design
  • textile design
  • visual communication design

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

If you complete this programme within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with Distinction or Merit.

Look for further information under ‘Student Progression’ in the regulations for this programme.

More information

  • Read the regulations for this programme thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Accreditations and rankings

Art & Design QS Ranking

Massey University's College of Creative Arts is ranked as one of the Top 100 art and design schools in the world by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds).

red dot design ranking

The Wellington School of Design is ranked Number 3 in Asia–Pacific for design concept by Red Dot—the only Australasian university in the top ten.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships