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Course content

Get the specialist skills and knowledge you need to be a successful professional in the design industry. In this three-trimester programme, you'll learn the art of bringing ideas to life—from conception to design to construction.

Choose one of three majors—Industrial Design, Media Design, and Culture+Context Design—in this industry-focused, professional qualification with the School of Design. Assess new technologies and investigate the social, cultural, environmental and economic implications of design on our world.

Through a combination of coursework and supervised research you'll gain a greater understanding of the process of creating value through design.

Design Research Innovation Labs (DRIL)

You'll do much of your work in the Design Research Innovation Laboratory (DRIL), giving you a stimulating and supportive environment for inspiration and discovery. Choose a research group with DRIL that fits with your current knowledge and career goals, and your intended thesis or research portfolio topic.

Work with commercial and cultural organisations on applied research projects, build your communication and collaboration skills and get ready for an exciting career in design.

What you'll study

In the first trimester you'll study the 30-point Research Methods course. Examine a variety of design research techniques to help inform and guide your thesis project. Gain the skills you need to identify a design research topic, frame a research question, define the scope and develop your proposal.

You'll further develop your knowledge and expertise in design research in the second trimester. You'll join a Design Research Innovation Laboratory (DRIL) and nominate a supervisor so you can begin your 90-point thesis. You'll also complete one 400-level, 30-point course in your major subject area while continuing to work on your thesis project within your DRIL.

In the third trimester you'll focus on completing your design research thesis project with the guidance and support of your DRIL stream coordinators and supervisor.

Design Research Innovation Laboratory (DRIL)

DRIL research groups receive support from government, industry and external grants. They produce a range of commercially viable solutions that contribute to the advancement of design research.

You'll choose from one of five research groups within DRIL:

Through DRIL you'll work closely with staff, students and industry collaborators on research projects that address a wide range of contemporary design challenges.

Duration and workload

The MDI can be completed in three trimesters of full-time study or in six trimesters if you are studying part time. It usually takes full-time students between 13 and 18 months to complete.

If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.


Postgraduate study at Victoria will help you build valuable relationships and networks with peers, university staff and future colleagues.

You'll have opportunities to attend events, seminars, workshops and social functions. The Postgraduate Students' Association can give you information on study at Victoria and provides a voice for you on campus.


You'll be ready for a career in many design-oriented fields within the public and private sectors. You might work as an industrial, interior or product designer, an art director, visual effects artist, jeweller, exhibition designer, digital animator or a web designer.

Because you'll gain a broad range of skills during your studies, you'll also be able to find opportunities for careers beyond the mainstream profession.





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Recipient: Victoria University of Wellington

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