Otago Polytechnic

Employers love our design graduates as they're innovative, hard-working, solution-focused and industry-ready.

Our dedicated studio and specialist spaces meet the specific needs of our range of study areas 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’. 

We give our students plenty of 'real-world' opportunities, including an exciting new initiative with Glassons in 2015. Dunedin is a place that encourages innovation and creativity, and nurtures and supports business start-ups. It is a city known for its unique and distinctive style – come and be part of it! 


  • 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.

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

Learn more about the Bachelor of Design (Fashion) - our Certificate in Fashion Studies (Level 4) is the perfect pathway into this degree and will give you the skills, knowledge and industry-awareness needed to study this programme.

Architectural Studies

Architectural Studies is a discipline that combines skill and knowledge about human activity in the built environment. Our new Bachelor of Architectural Studies (Architectural Technology) or (Interior Architecture) offers a highly practical, authentic learning experience which will prepare you for employment in an established architectural practice or for the further study and research needed to become a Registered Architect. In addition, this qualification will enable you to develop your awareness of the social responsibilities of designers within the built environment.

The programme offers two strands - Architectural Technology or Interior Archiecture - but all students study core topics initially before beginning to specialise. 

Learn more about the Bachelor of Architectural Studies (Architectural Technology) or (Interior Architecture).



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. They ask how everyday objects can be better designed to enhance your experience as a user, 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. Our 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) 

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
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workSpace is a dedicated resource to deliver practical research that solves real world problems. Our staff and student researchers cover diverse disciplines including art, design, information technology and engineering. This represents a new focus for workSpace, with the emphasis on education. Read more here