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Bachelor of Design with Honours

Key facts

  • Available at Wellington
  • Four years full-time
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

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Details you need to know about the structure, courses and requirements for this programme.

View regulations

Entry requirements

We are looking for creative, enthusiastic and dedicated students who demonstrate skill and passion for design and the visual arts. There are no required school subjects, but students who do well in NCEA Level 2 art, design or technology (or equivalent) may be granted automatic entry to the programme without having to submit a portfolio. The requirements for automatic entry are: NCEA Level 2 with Merit or Excellence, including a Merit or Excellence endorsement in an approved art, design or technology subject.

Entry to the University is confirmed once you have achieved University Entrance.

Full details of the application process and portfolio requirements are here.

The due date for a Semester One start is 15 February. However late applications will be considered subject to available spaces.

Please contact 0800 MASSEY to discuss your options with an Academic Adviser.

For general entry requirements see Massey University entry requirements.

Credits and prior learning

Cross credit applications can be made for the Bachelor of Design (Honours). Students will need to supply verified copies of academic transcripts as well as a portfolio of creative work (if applicable to the study that is under consideration for credit). It is recommended that students apply for credit at least six weeks prior to their intended study start date. 

Planning your programme

All design degree students in the college initially enrol in a Bachelor of Design with Honours.

The degree is made up of separate courses, the size of which is defined by the credit value. In the first year you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits. You should aim for 60 credits per semester and make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study. To complete your degree you will need a total of 480 credits, which corresponds to four years of full-time study.

  • 15 + 15 + 15 + 15 = 60 credits = one semester
  • 60 + 60 = 120 credits = two semesters = one full-time year
  • 120 + 120 +120 +120 = 480 credits = four full-time years = one Massey Design Degree!

When you apply we ask you to indicate what you think you want to major in, but you do not have to confirm your final choice of major until the end of First Year.

Everyone starts off in the Honours programme. Towards the end of Third Year the College of Creative Art assess whether you will continue with the Bachelor of Design (Honours) or complete a Bachelor of Design, which is less research-focused.

Students who start in Semester Two will require specific course planning and will need to take courses over summer school. Please discuss your options with an academic advisor.

Bachelor of Design with Honours structure

The Bachelor of Design with Honours is the best preparation for becoming a well-rounded designer, whatever your chosen field of practice. Regardless of what major you choose, your degree has the same basic structure:

Year One: fundamental design skills & principles

Studio courses in different design/art disciplines (your choice of 4, totalling 60 credits) + theory (30 credits) + electives (30 credits).

Year Two: focus on techniques, skills, processes in your Major and important issues in design

Studio in your Major (60 credits) + theory/enterprise (30 credits) + electives (30 credits).

Year Three: increasing collaboration across Majors

Studio (60 credits) + theory/enterprise (30 credits) + electives. (30 credits).

Year Four: design research & development project

Studio (75 credits) + an externally focused course (15 credits) + electives (30 credits).

To find out how to plan your study and to see the courses that are necessary to complete the programme, please check the regulations or contact 0800 MASSEY to discuss with an Academic Adviser.

If you would like to find out more about individual course requirements, please use our Course Search.

These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates


This section outlines the courses for First Year Design. More information is available in the College of Creative Arts ‘Yellow Book’. You can also use Massey’s course search.

Core studio courses

You must enrol in four. Each course runs for an intensive six weeks. Your options are:

  • 198.157 Object (required for Industrial Design major)
  • 212.157 Dress (required for Fashion Design major)
  • 213.157 Art Lab (either this, or Art Place, required for BFA)
  • 213.158 Art Place (either this, or Art Lab, required for BFA)
  • 221.157 Lens (required for Photography major)
  • 222.157 Screen (either this, or Type, required for Visual Communication Design major)
  • 222.158 Type (either this, or Screen, required for Visual Communication Design major)
  • 223.157 Material (required for Textile Design major)
  • 224.157 Space (required for Spatial Design major)
  • 296.157 Imagine (required for Concept Design major)

Critical & Contextual Studies courses

These are compulsory and core to the degree programme. You must enrol in both:

  • 237.130 Communication for Makers
  • 237.131 Conversations in Creative Cultures

Elective courses

Your choice of two courses from a wide range, covering topics in art, design, creative media, creative writing, expressive arts, business, marketing, communication and beyond.

Majors or endorsements

Majors available for this programme:

How much will it cost?

We can't tell you the exact cost until you have chosen your courses, as the tuition fees you pay each year vary depending on the courses you choose. There will also be compulsory non-tuition fees you have to pay in addition to your tuition fees. For some courses there may be other charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

To get an approximate idea of tuition costs for typical study areas, you can use our quick guide to programme fees.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our Fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Financial assistance

You might be eligible to apply for a scholarship or award. You can use our scholarship search to see what is available. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

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