Why study postgraduate design?
- Acquire a clear, critical sense of the roles and functions of design within a local, national and global context.
- Engage in research for design, research about design and research through design, allowing you to address the complex and contested issue of sustainability from cultural, social, environmental and economic perspectives to meet both current and anticipated future needs, and
- Gain transferable skills enabling you to work as a design professional, to think laterally, to take risks, to problem solve and to work effectively as a team member.
Why should you study with us?
- Employers love our design graduates as they are industry-ready, innovative and hard working.
- We offer a boutique learning environment; small classes mean your lecturers know you by name and can support you to develop your own ‘design identity’.
- You will benefit from the expertise of award-winning staff and leading industry researchers.
- You will have access to exhibitions and international competitions to showcase your creativity.
- Local, national and international collaboration and partnerships are at the heart of our learning philosophy.
- We have extensive industry connections and strong links with international design networks including the Cumulus Association and The Designers Accord.
- Our acclaimed programmes are full of individual, team and interdisciplinary learning opportunities.
- You will enjoy studio-based learning with access to specialised equipment and spaces.
- And, you will have access to support and business start-up advice through the Dunedin Fashion Incubator (Dfi).
Minimum entry requirements are:
- The Bachelor of Design (Honours) at Level 8 OR the Postgraduate Diploma in Design at Level 8 with an overall grade of B+ (75%) in Design Research Methods and Applied Design Project 2 OR an equivalent postgraduate qualification of 120 credits in a related area. Please send us certified copies of your undergraduate degree transcript and other relevant qualifications.
- A physical or digital portfolio which demonstrates a depth of engagement with creative work relevant to your field. Please see below for more information.
- Exceptional applicants not meeting the entry requirements but with appropriate documented professional experience may also be considered.
- International applicants must demonstrate that they have equivalent experience/qualifications as domestic applicants. Click here for your country’s equivalent academic entry requirements.
- If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.5, with no band score less than 6.0, or equivalent.
- We may decide that you need to undertake an interview and/or entry task. We'll contact you if this is necessary.
You need to provide a portfolio to support your application consisting of:
- current and recent examples of work that demonstrate your creative ability and depth of engagement in your proposed field of research
- a letter of introduction which explains why you have chosen to apply for this programme at Otago Polytechnic
- names and contact details of two referees, and
- an initial proposal (maximum 1500 words) that outlines a project focus for the Master of Design.
This proposal should address the following questions :
- What is your project? - this needs to be a clear description of a product, service or other design outcome that your project is based on
- Why is your project relevant? - i.e. what change will it bring about, what problem will it solve, what issue will it address?
- Who are your customers/who is your audience?
- What is your field of research and how is your project situated within this field? - please cite academic references here (this section should be around 300 words)
- What research methods do you intend to use?
- How will you achieve the proposed outcome? - i.e. what is your process?
Please forward your digital portfolio to ebsDES@op.ac.nz
We look forward to receiving your application- once received, we will endeavor to process it within 15 working days.
An interview panel consisting of the Postgraduate Coordinator and relevant postgraduate supervisors will interview and select applicants. Where there are more applicants than places, candidates will be prioritised on the basis of:
- strength of academic record
- breadth and depth of their portfolio
- an entry task that validates existing skills and knowledge.
Applicants who do not meet the entry or selection criteria will be directed to a path of study to help prepare them for application in the future.
You will be expected to meet the cost of project materials but will receive financial support for publication of your exegesis or thesis.
You will study
This one-year, full-time programme is comprised of one Level 9 course worth 120 credits.
Integrated Body of Creative Work (Option one) OR Thesis (Option two)
You will undertake a significant body of independent research as an integrated body of creative work supported by an exegesis or equivalent (Option one) OR an individual research thesis (Option two). The purpose of this research is to demonstrate systematic engagement with contemporary and critical thinking in your chosen field, to demonstrate mastery of theoretically-sophisticated knowledge and specialised skills and to confidently articulate the impact and contribution of your work in a wider context.
You will be expected to work independently but will meet regularly with your supervisor.
Further study options
Successful completion of this qualification will prepare you for further postgraduate study at doctoral level, an academic career or a lead design or design management role.
Links to useful websites
Visit our very active School of Design Facebook page and get involved in our community.
Student loans and allowances
Full-time domestic students of this programme are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on age and financial circumstances.) Please contact Studylink for additional information. Phone 0800 88 99 00 or visit: www.studylink.govt.nz
Recognition of prior learning
Recognition of Prior Learning including Cross Credit or Credit Transfer are not available for this programme. Advanced standing is also not available for this programme.
While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.