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Creative Arts & Design×

Full Time Masters Degrees in Creative Arts & Design, New Zealand

We have 8 Full Time Masters Degrees in Creative Arts & Design, New Zealand

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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. Read more

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.

Course Structure

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.

MCGD Papers

  • CGRD524 – Topics in Interaction Design
  • CGRD532 – Information Visualisation
  • CGRD551 – Studio Management
  • CGRD581 – Report of an Investigation
  • CGRD591 – Dissertation and Exhibition (30 points)
  • CGRD592 – Dissertation and Exhibition (60 points)
  • CGRD593 – Thesis and Realisation (90 points)
  • CGRD594 – Thesis and Realisation (120 points)

Computing facilities at Waikato

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.

Career opportunities

  • Advertising Designer
  • Computer Games Designer
  • Interactive Designer
  • Motion Graphics Designer
  • TV Graphics Designer
  • Web Designer


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The Master of Arts (MA) degree normally requires at least one year of full-time, or its equivalent in part-time, study and entails completion of a thesis. Read more
The Master of Arts (MA) degree normally requires at least one year of full-time, or its equivalent in part-time, study and entails completion of a thesis. The normal admission requirement is a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) degree in one of at least 24 subjects, but admission on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience is possible. Some degree candidates may be required to pass approved postgraduate papers before embarking on the thesis research, but will be advised of that before enrolment.

The thesis is a major piece of supervised research on a topic of current interest.

The primary aim of the programme is to develop in a candidate skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement an extended piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership. It prepares candidates for employment in education, regional and national government agencies, the private sector, and industry. The degree is also an entry qualification for the Doctor of Philsophy (PhD).

Subject Areas

The degree may be awarded in any of the following subjects:
-Anthropology
-Art History and Visual Culture
-Childhood and Youth Studies
-Chinese
-Classics
-Communication Studies
-Computer Science
-Economics
-Education
-English
-Film and Media Studies
-French
-Gender Studies
-Geography
-German
-History
-Indigenous Development / He Kura Matanui
-Information Science
-Japanese
-Linguistics
-Māori Studies
-Mathematics
-Music
-Peace and Conflict Studies
-Philosophy
-Politics
-Psychology
-Religious Studies
-Sociology
-Spanish
-Statistics
-Theatre Studies

Structure of the Programme

-The degree may be awarded in any of the subjects listed above. With the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) the degree may be awarded in a subject not listed above.
-The programme of study shall consist of the preparation and submission of a thesis embodying the results of supervised research. A candidate who has obtained a three-year bachelor’s degree will be required to take and pass the fourth-stage papers listed in the Honours requirements for the subject concerned, in addition to completing a thesis. A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours, or the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects in the subject of the degree, will be required to complete a thesis, although in some cases the candidate may also be required to take and pass approved papers, normally at 400-level, in addition to completing a thesis.
-A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, secure the approval of the Head of the Department concerned for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
-A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
-For a thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.

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The Master of Music (MMus) is designed for students who've already gained an Honours-level qualification in Music. It's an advanced, one-year programme of study. Read more

The Master of Music (MMus) is designed for students who've already gained an Honours-level qualification in Music. It's an advanced, one-year programme of study. You'll be guided by experts who will supervise you in individual sessions. You'll complete substantial-sized tasks focused on your chosen area of specialty. During this process, you'll develop your skills and expertise, and show an understanding of the content of your work. You'll also develop the attributes you need to work in this field.

Is your passion for performing music? During your MMus, you'll learn how to work towards a public musical recital, right up to the actual performance. This process involves planning and preparation, the integration of music research with performance, and you'll develop skills to be able to demonstrate each step leading up to your recital.

Are you more interested in composition? You'll be given the opportunity to create a significant body of original music.  You'll develop the skills to write music to a professional standard, suitable for being performed in public at a concert or similar event.

Links with Music Professionals and Associations

When you study for your MMus at Waikato, you'll have opportunities to network with professional groups working in the music industry. You'll be able to participate in your musical field and this will help you grow as a professional musician.

Are you interested in orchestral work? Waikato's MMus programme has links with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the Opus Orchestra. There are links with Chamber Music New Zealand and Opera New Zealand. In terms of local groups, Waikato has links with the Hamilton School of Instrumental Music, the Hamilton Community Centre of Music, the Waikato Museum Concert Series, Arts Waikato and the Hamilton Civic Choir.

As far as other music-related groups and associations go, Waikato has connections with Atoll Records, New Zealand Institute of Registered Music Teachers, Radio New Zealand Concert, the Composers Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Music Examinations Board.

There are links with international organisations, including publishing companies: the Computer Music Journal (MIT Press, USA), Australasia Computer Music Association, Electronic Music Foundation (USA) and the Sonic Arts Network (UK). Also from overseas, there are links to Oxford Music on Line (Oxford Uni Press), Cambridge, UK, St Paul's Concert Series, Herne Hill, London, the Interlochen Arts Academy, USA and the Australian Centre for Interactive Design – Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

Career Opportunities

By the end of your MMus, you'll be working at a professional level in your chosen field. If your passion is performance, you may choose to pursue a career as a studio musician or solo performer, in a chamber group or orchestra, or do experimental or theatrical work. You may prefer to go on to work in broadcasting or in radio, television or recording production. Perhaps you'd like to work in film or video music production, or in multi-media creation. You could alternatively work as a musical director or producer.

You may use your MMus to work in a role as an arts administrator, communications coordinator or in community development (for tribal authorities). You may like to work in human-computer interface development or as an educator, in the primary, secondary or tertiary sectors. Perhaps you'd like to work as a journalist or as a librarian or information consultant and music technician.



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The Master of Professional Writing (MPW) involves taking a core paper, designed specifically to enhance your workplace readiness, as well as elective papers which range across a variety of fields from creative writing to writing for promotional purposes and advertising, for digital media and for scholarly and professional publication. Read more

The Master of Professional Writing (MPW) involves taking a core paper, designed specifically to enhance your workplace readiness, as well as elective papers which range across a variety of fields from creative writing to writing for promotional purposes and advertising, for digital media and for scholarly and professional publication.

If creative writing is your passion, then you will have the opportunity to specialise in this. The Creative Writing Thesis gives selected students the option of producing a manuscript of publishable quality – whether poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction – in a stimulating and supportive workshop environment of fellow writers, and supervised by award-winning authors. The selection of students for the Creative Writing Thesis is by assessment of a portfolio of poetry and prose, and a manuscript proposal outlining the creative project.

When studying towards the MPW you will be able to include a professional writing internship and be offered an on-campus writing mentor, who will provide professional advice and direct you towards writing opportunities.

Industry Connections

The staff contributing to the Professional Writing programme have long-standing relationships with the broader writing community at a number of levels:

  • They have established senior profiles as publishers of creative and scholarly writing, as editors of literary and scholarly materials, and as peer reviewers for local and international journals.
  • The creative writing staff have won significant local and international prizes for short fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.
  • They publish across a wide range of academic and popular media, including reviews, opinion columns, feature articles, works of scholarly reference, book chapters, scholarly articles, researched scholarly editions, and researched books.
  • They are called on to judge local and international literary prizes, and to assess applications for substantial public and private funding for literary grants, including the annual University of Waikato Writers’ Residency (co-funded by Creative New Zealand) and the Sargeson Grimshaw Writing Fellowship.
  • Contributing staff in Screen and Media maintain international networks in scriptwriting and script development.
  • Staff maintain professional links with local and international organisations who co-ordinate, sponsor and enhance the interests of professional writing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Career Opportunities

MPW graduates will have excellent transferrable skills in devising, producing and editing text. If you include a formal internship in your programme of study, or take up the option of informal professional mentoring, you will make connections in the professional writing community, and enhance your CV with relevant workplace experience.

Potential careers include editing, long-form researched journalism, policy analysis and policy writing, report writing, script writing, speech writing, teaching, website content editing, writing for digital and broadcast media, writing for stage and screen, writing for travel and tourism and writing for public relations and marketing.

Potential employers include biotechnology industries; cultural sector/arts organisations; energy provision sector; higher education sector; libraries and archives; local and district councils; manufacturing and technology; national government, NGOs; non-profit and philanthropic sector; primary industries; print and digital news media; publishing industry; telecommunications; theatre, film and broadcast media production houses; transport, tourism and travel.



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