This course is concerned with the advanced exploration and application of principles of graphic design within the contexts of research and professional development. Engagement with digital and making technologies is central to discovering and harnessing new thinking in design.
This course is of particular relevance to those interested in effective visual communication and developing innovative concepts and approaches in publication design, illustration, motion graphics, corporate identity, photography, design for digital media and graphic design for advertising.
Based in the heart of the School of Art, MA/MFA Design: Graphic Design and Art Direction is part of an innovative design network — a community of staff and students exploring design ideas in a discursive, cross-disciplinary studio environment. Critically informed practical designers, the group works experimentally, inspired by new insights and possibilities.
While studying towards a particular qualification at MA/MFA level, students experience their subject in the broader context of contemporary design practice.
Dedicated spaces for the postgraduate community have been developed to enable the postgraduate community to flourish. These spaces, for thinking and practice, are located centrally within the School of Art, allowing easy access to an extensive range of workshops where the combination of traditional and state of the art equipment opens up a world of exciting possibilities.
The MA Design: Graphic Design and Art Direction is made up of four units totalling 180 credits.
The programme is designed to help you acclimatise to the challenges of MA level research and practice, enabling you to identify and describe a clear direction for your postgraduate design study.
You will be encouraged to develop design propositions that encompass key design issues and have complexity and ambition, taking full consideration of the relative contextual drivers.
You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry.
Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions – whatever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.
If you choose to progress to MFA Design: Graphic Design and Art Direction award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.
This route is focused on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material.
The MCGD provides an opportunity for you to plan, develop and carry out a large scale design research project. This will enable you to collaborate with other students and academics, and to work with members of the professional design industry. The MCGD research is represented by both a written thesis and an exhibited design realisation.
Research topics are tailored to suit your interests, providing an opportunity for you to hone a particular aspect of graphic design further, which could be a pathway to your chosen career. You will also have the full support, guidance and expertise of your supervisor during your research project.
For students with an undergraduate degree, the MCGD requires a total of 180 points at 500 level. Students with an honours degree or a postgraduate diploma are required to take 120 points at 500 level.
Students will normally complete a 90 or 120 points research-focused Thesis and Realisation that requires both original research and design exhibition. It is also possible for students to alternatively complete a 30 point or 60 point Dissertation and Exhibition.
Students work closely with a supervisor to select a research topic.
Students enrolled in a 180 point MCGD will include CGRD581 – Report of an Investigation to prepare them for Thesis and Realisation or Dissertation and Exhibition. The remaining points for the degree will be made up of relevant taught papers.
The University of Waikato offers students 24-hour computer lab access with all the latest computer software, and several labs fully equipped with Mac computers, commonly used in professional design environments. Graduate students have a dedicated lab space and access to all undergraduate facilities.
The Applied Studies Program (ASI) is a 12 month practicum that provides you, as a graduate of a technical program, with the opportunity to enhance your skills by participating in an experiential workplace paid internship program at the Army Learning Support Centre (ALSC) at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown.
The multi-disciplinary platform will focus on the continuation of your technical studies and is designed to give you experience in your field of study with the opportunity to develop your leadership potential.
It's the next step in your career, one that can open doors needed for you to achieve your dreams by helping you gain experience, enhance your skills and the opportunity to network.
Internships are offered in the following fields of study:
The Army Learning Support Centre (ALSC) integrates industry standard technologies to develop advanced training for the military. The ALSC designs and develops distance learning, 3D models, gaming applications, animations, graphic print media, videos and photography to help modernize army training.
The facilities are among the best in the country to include state-of-the-art technology and equipment; 3D print capability, Oculus technology, motion chairs and motion capture systems.
You will work daily in a production environment that uses the same software, processes and techniques that industry studios employ. You will work in a team environment as a contributing member to the success of ALSC projects and the opportunity to learn new skills while in the program.
To enhance the technical training you already possess, you’ll focus on the following areas of study. These soft skills are important in your day to day activities and will give you added skills to succeed in industry. You will learn through a combination of online and in-class sessions at NBCC Fredericton.
In the first phase of the applied studies program, you'll learn the fundamentals of project planning, the development process, and the importance of quality.
You will be assigned a mentor who will assist you in your new endeavour, ensuring that you have all the tools required to succeed. They will guide and coach you throughout the year to make this a great experience.
Working on actual community based projects you will begin to learn project management skills, technical writing styles, and quality assurance techniques, all while contributing to organizations that need support.
The second phase focuses on developing skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary to support individuals as members of a team and as part of an organization's culture.
Here you'll participate in several courses which focus on developing leadership; adding value to a team; making effective, collaborative decisions; and displaying professional and ethical behaviour.
During the final phase of the program, you'll present your portfolios outlining the knowledge and skills acquired throughout your internship program. You'll have the opportunity to apply the principles and techniques of self-promotion, job searching, and career planning to pursue employment and/or entrepreneurial opportunities.
You will also get the opportunity to use the work that you have completed for the ALSC in your portfolio.
Upon successful completion of the prescribed curriculum, you will receive a post-graduate diploma in Applied Studies Internship and one year experience as a member of the ALSC within the Department of National Defence.
You will also have the option to apply for the Mentorship program, which will give you another year in the program. The mentorship program focuses on mentoring/coaching and gives you the opportunity to learn these skills while applying them in a work environment. These skills are sought after in industry and will further enhance your leadership capability.
There is no application fee to apply for this program.
A complete application consists of:
The Applied Studies Internship is a L.I.V.E. program (Learning Integrated Virtually Everywhere).