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Course content

Advance your knowledge in the area of design that interests you, enhancing your theoretical and practical design expertise.

You'll further develop your critical thinking and discussion skills, increase your understanding of design and learn to express your own ideas and conclusions within a theoretical framework.

Offered by the School of Design, the Master of Design is an opportunity to explore design-based research under the supervision of staff who are widely acknowledged as leaders in their fields.

You'll need a solid understanding of design research methodology to be successful in your studies. Explore your topic through a written thesis or a research project in the form of a design-based composition.

Research topics

Consider your current knowledge of the intellectual, technical, aesthetic and cultural conditions of design theory and practice when choosing your thesis topic.

Past research areas include:

  • design-led futures
  • gaming
  • interaction
  • digital imaging
  • live theory
  • design history
  • human factors in design research
  • design and culture.

You may be able to study the Master of Design by distance. 

Duration and workload

The MDes can be completed within three trimesters of full-time study, or in six trimesters if you're studying part time. You have up to three years from enrolment to complete and present your thesis.

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 also give you information on study at Victoria and provides a voice for you on campus.




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Recipient: Victoria University of Wellington

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