Otago Polytechnic


  • Jessica Gleeson

    Jessica Gleeson

  • Olivia Bloxham

    Olivia Bloxham

  • Tobi Scott

    Tobi Scott

  • Zhu Mingcheng

    Zhu Mingcheng

Prepare for your dream career in the fashion industry! Specific to the study of fashion at this level are the industry-and-research-driven themes of patternmaking, garment construction, materials and the collaborative and holistic nature of the design projects  these skills enable. Innovative design and production through creative exploration, applied research and collective enterprise, is encouraged and facilitated and is realised through the use of advanced, industry-specific skills.

Each year, students from the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) showcase their creations in ‘Collections’. Third-year graduate collections are the main focus of this event and students have the chance to display their design ethos, creativity and skill through their garments.

We also offer the Certificate in Fashion Studies, designed to lead into the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) where you can build upon your skills and knowledge to further your career prospects.

Fashion at Otago Polytechnic also has strong links with iD Dunedin and Ali McD Model Agency.

Learn more about the Certificate in Fashion Studies (Level 4) and the Bachelor of Design (Fashion)


Communication Design encompasses a wide range of media and processes. Study with us and learn about key areas of this exciting design field including storytelling, graphic design, photography, branding and advertising, moving image, illustration, web design, interactive media and interaction design. You will be involved in a variety of exciting projects, ranging from blue-sky to client-based, and will gain over 100 weeks in a design studio environment!

Learn more about the Bachelor of Design (Communication)


Product designers can help everyone live a more comfortable, productive and sustainable life. Think about all of the objects you engage with on a day to day basis - product designers ask how these can be better designed to enhance your experience as a user. They respond to the needs of society, think about market opportunities, consider issues from new perspectives and devise solutions to our challenges. And because the problems product designers are addressing are as diverse and rapidly-changing as the society we live in, they need the ability to adapt and think laterally. For this reason, Otago Polytechnic's Bachelor of Design (Product) prepares you for a wide range of career paths within the extremely broad field of professional design. This broad-based programme ensures you have some understanding of other specialisations to be able to proactively respond to our society, create new products or redesign existing ones, and apply technical knowledge and conceptual skills to achieve sustainable products.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Design (Product) 


Interior design is a discipline that combines skill and knowledge about human activity in the built environment. It involves creative problem-solving that explores the use of space, aesthetics of materials, finishes, colour and proportion. This activity is underpinned by empathy and understanding of peoples’ physical, emotional and functional needs and the ongoing needs of our environment.

The interior designer plans and creates private and public spatial solutions. Design projects can cover a large range, from domestic spaces (residential design), work place interiors (commercial design), shop and mall interiors (retail design), bars, cafes, restaurants (hospitality), leisure spaces such as spas and resorts, and even stage sets and exhibitions.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Design (Interiors)

Creative Studies

Gain a foundation in drawing and mixed media, creative processes and digital design, and choose from a range of Art and Design-based studio papers. Benefit from the opportunity to work within our extensive design facilities and flourish under the guidance of highly skilled and enthusiastic tutors.

Learn more about the Certificate in Creative Studies 

Graduate and postgraduate

Want to continue your design studies? Study one of our graduate or postgraduate qualifications and become a specialist in design!

The Graduate Diploma in Design (Specialty) will enable you to achieve an applied, one year qualification to complement your degree in a specialist area of design. This programme is ideal if you are a professional designer or practitioner wishing to develop your applied skills and studio project experience. Find out more here.

The Bachelor of Design (Honours)* is ideal if you have already achieved excellence in your undergraduate degree. Graduates of this programme will be well-prepared for further postgraduate study or employment in a design creative lead role. Find out more here.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Design* introduces you to postgraduate study in a guided learning environment. Graduates will be well-prepared for further postgraduate study or for employment in a wide range of creative or design management roles. Find out more here.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Design* is for those who want to extend and deepen their research skills and professional design practices. Graduates will be well-prepared for Masters study or for a career in design or design management. Find out more here.

The Master of Design* is a qualification of excellence which allows you to develop a significant body of scholarly creative work or a thesis which could form the basis of academic journal articles. Graduates will be well-prepared for doctoral-level study, an academic career or a lead design or design management role. Find out more here.

The Master of Design Enterprise has "design thinking" and user experience design at its heart. You will become highly skilled in this groundbreaking methodology, enabling you to resolve issues and enhance people's experiences. This makes this industry-leading programme of scholarship and applied research relevant to a wide range of disciplines. Find out more here


 Dunedin Fashion Incubator and Design Studio

The Dunedin Fashion Incubator (Dfi) is designed to support the next generation of designers in New Zealand. The Dunedin-based organisation, which is closely affiliated with the Otago Polytechnic School of Design, provides a creative professional environment to foster promising fashion talent, and help selected designers grow and sustain their business. By offering low-cost access to resources, business mentoring, and networking opportunities, this programme provides a way for participants to reach their full potential and become an integral part of the global fashion and design community.  

Outreach membership:

Make an investment in your design career by signing up to our annual Outreach membership, which includes the following: 

  • Small business advice and mentoring
  • Career management strategies 
  • Student and graduate mentoring
  • Industry networking
  • Promotional opportunities
  • Access to resources and technical advice 
  • Assistance with product development.

Dfi studio services: 

  • Industry advice 
  • Prototyping and sampling
  • Product development and sourcing
  • Project management and collaboration
  • Short courses and workshops
  • Educational collaborations and opportunities.

The Dfi is available to students studying:

> Certificate in Fashion Studies (Level 4)
> Bachelor of Design (Fashion)
> Graduate Diploma in Design (Specialty)

Tracy Kennedy
Dfi Manager
ind out about the latest designer news and events by liking our Facebook page


workSpace is Otago Polytechnic’s on campus commercial product development, business transformation, and communication design studio.  

The team is made up of expert business enablers, who match academic rigor with enterprise, business, production, prototyping, and management. Their portfolio is a diverse showcase of applied design, creativity and innovative endeavour.

They provide experience and mentorship for the best and brightest students from Design with the opportunity to apply your talents and education to practical and commercial situation.

While working with workSpace, you will be connected with clients and projects that suit your style and skillset. The studio provides a solid and steady support network, so you will always have a helping hand.   

Here’s what our interns had to say about their time at workSpace

Adam Gorrie – product design student “working with workSpace gave me great insight and knowledge into how design in the real world works."

Oliver Jones - communication design graduate “The staff at workSpace were supportive, encouraging me to the edge of my skill set and providing mentorship and guidance whenever I was out of my depth."

Alex Murray - communication design graduate “The staff at workSpace gave me real world experience which I was able to apply to my final project during my final semester at Otago Polytech. This allowed me to communicate in a more professional manner with my clients and finish my projects at a higher level."

Intern and employment opportunities are available to students studying:

Bachelor of Design (Interiors)
> Bachelor of Design (Communications) 
 Bachelor of Design (Product) 
Graduate Diploma in Design (Specialty) 

Lynda Henderson
workSpace, Creative Director



At the School of Design, we are proud that more than 85 per cent of our graduates find jobs in the field of design.

Our dedicated studio and specialist spaces meet the specific needs of our areas of study and offer you a supportive and motivating environment where you have the chance to interact with fellow students and learn from each other. Design communication, context and cultural themes are fundamental to all of our design degree programme streams.

We also provide you with opportunities to develop and showcase your creative talent through competition entry, seminars and the end-of-year student exhibitions, ‘Debrief’ and ‘Collections’, which are highlights of the Otago Polytechnic calendar. 

We give our students plenty of 'real-world' opportunities, including an exciting new initiative with Glassons in 2015. The Australasian retailer will be partnering with our 3rd Year Design students, challenging them to interpret its new brand strategy: Made of Here. A chance for our students to get some truly international experience!