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Master of Design

Information for Applicants
Thank you for your interest in the Master of Design programme (Code: AK1248).
Intake: There is only one intake in the year in Semester One: March
Venue: City Campus
Applications due: on or before 1 December of the preceding year. Late applications are accepted if
places are available.
The Master of Design (MDes) is a one-year taught programme with associated research, aimed at
developing innovative and strategic leadership for the design and business environment. Students
are exposed to a range of design research and innovation methods and practices. The focus is on
improving and extending creativity and understanding about the design of products, environments,
services and brands within market contexts. This involves user-centered design of products and
services and exploring how design thinking and the power of design can deliver new forms of value,
experience and competitive advantage for business, and environmental sustainability.
Spanning a range of core and elective subjects, the Master of Design allows students to focus on
applied research and design practices within a chosen area of their own expertise. The programme
consists of 3 x 30-point core papers, and 2 x 15-point elective papers. The curriculum is designed to
nurture a new breed of strategic design thinkers and innovators.
The qualification may be taken as a full-time or part-time work-based study. Work-based study at
Masters level recognises creative work, knowledge and skills acquired through professional art and
design practice as criteria for admission into the programme. This allows industry practitioners to
fulfil their educational potential while simultaneously pursuing a career.

Entry criteria
Applicants must have one of the following
A four year bachelor's degree in a relevant field with a B grade average or higher in papers at
Level 7 or equivalent
A bachelor's degree with honours in a relevant field
the Postgraduate Diploma in Art & Design
A bachelor's degree and:
a professional qualification in a relevant discipline, recognised by the University as being
equivalent to one year of advanced study, or
evidence of at least three years professional experience in the design industry, subject to
approval by the Dean (or representative).

English Language Requirements

All applicants for admission to Art & Design postgraduate programmes are expected to have an
appropriate level of proficiency in English. The English Language requirement is an IELTS (Academic)
result of no less than 6.5 overall, with no band less than 6.0, or recognised equivalent.
Applicants for whom English or Mori is not their first language should provide one of the following
Master of Design application guide School of Art & Design
Updated November 2015

An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results card (Academic), gained
within the last two years
Evidence of a comparable pass in an equivalent language test gained within the last two
years or other recognised English proficiency equivalency

Programme structure
Students enrolled in MDes must achieve 120 points by successfully completing the following papers:
Part A: CORE PAPERS. A student must complete 90 points from:
Design Research Methods and Contexts
Design Innovation, Technology and
Design Project
119200, 119201
Part B: ELECTIVE PAPERS. A student must complete 30 points from:
Special Topic
Design Systems and Business
Merchandising and Branding Strategy
Strategic Innovation
Reading Paper
Sustainability Design
OR any AUT Master of Business paper. Enrolment in elective papers must be approved by the
Master of Design Programme Leader.

Domestic fees
The 2016 tuition fee for the MDes programme is $8,050.00 (GST incl) for a full time enrolment of 120
points. There is also a compulsory Student Services Fee and a Building Levy, totalling $573.90 (GST
International fees

Information and application requirements can be found online at:
Search AUTs Scholarships database using level = postgraduate and Study area = Art and Design

Application process
Domestic applicants: (NZ citizens or with resident status): apply online
You will be given a student ID number which you should include with all the documents you submit
in support of your application (see below).
International Applicants: Applicants from the countries/regions listed below may apply online
USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scandinavia, Europe

Master of Design application guide School of Art & Design

Updated November 2015

Applicants from countries/regions not listed can apply directly using the International Student
Application form (download it here) or apply through an AUT registered agent. For more information
about the application process:

Documents to support your application

All applicants must provide each of the following documents to support their application

Certified copies of the academic transcript/results and completion certificates of your

For information about how to obtain certified documents, see this page:

Current CV outlining, in detail, any previous work experience relevant to your application for
postgraduate study.

Portfolio of work a selection of 10 to 12 images of recent work supporting your proposal.

Please supply these on CD/DVD or as a PDF or PowerPoint file or a website link. Please include an
index for these images and a brief commentary about the context within which the work was
produced. Domestic applicants may upload their portfolio to Arion see below for more


Project Proposal
Please base the proposal around a topic which you want to explore or investigate at an
advanced level. Your proposal for research may be either practice-based, or based around
theoretical/written research, or both. Within one or two A4 pages, please outline and discuss:
What you want to do (the nature of the project)
Where this interest comes from and what it relates to - e.g. previous work leading up to
this; your own background in art/design leading to current interests; work by other
artists/designers which might be relevant to or inform your study; other contexts which are
related (e.g. areas of theory or practice).
What sort of media, methods, and processes you would use.
The field or discipline(s) most closely related to your project or topic (e.g. product design,
business, branding, etc). If more than one please write Inter-disciplinary and indicate the
two nearest related disciplines.

Where to send your documents

In person:
AUT Student Centre at the following locations
City Campus: WA atrium, level 2 (ground floor entry)
North Shore Campus: AG building
South Campus: MB building

University Admissions Office, AUT University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142


University Admissions Office, AUT University, WA Building, Level 2, 55 Wellesley

Street East, Auckland 1010

Alternatively, all of the above documents may be emailed to except

for the certified copies of academic transcripts/results and completion certificates which must be
mailed, couriered or delivered in person.
Master of Design application guide School of Art & Design
Updated November 2015

Outcome of application
We will contact you after AUT Admissions receives your complete application. In most cases the
School invites applicants for an interview (in person or by phone). The purpose of the interview is to
discuss your interests in more depth, to clarify any matters related to your application, and to check
that you are enrolling in the postgraduate programme most suitable for your purposes.

Contact Information
School of Art & Design Postgraduate Enquiries:
Phone (09) 921 9663
Postal address:
School of Art & Design, AUT University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Courier address:
AUT University, School of Art and Design, 27 St Paul Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Uploading your portfolio to Arion (Domestic applicants only)

During the online application process, you will see a page entitled Upload Documents (Optional).

At this point you may upload a portfolio: click Choose File and browse to select your file, then
click Upload Files.

You are strongly encouraged to submit your portfolio along with your application to AUT. If,
however, your portfolio is not ready to be submitted at this stage, then you can upload your
portfolio through your Arion account at a later date. Please see the instructions below: How to
submit your portfolio after applying to AUT.

You will be unable to re-submit or update your portfolio once it has been received by AUT.

Portfolio format

Approximately 10-12 A4 pages of images/photos of your work merged into one PDF file.

The portfolio filename should include your full name and programme for which you are applying,
for example: MaryJaneDoe-MDes-portfolio.pdf

If you are applying in the areas of Digital Design or Graphic Design, you may wish to send us a
movie file as your portfolio. Please DO NOT upload movie or audio files with your application or
to your Arion account. Instead, we recommend you upload your movie or audio file to YouTube,
and place a link to this in your CV.

If for any reason you have a problem uploading your portfolio (ie due to file size limitations)
please email the PDF portfolio to
The file size MUST NOT EXCEED 30MB. Any files exceeding 30MB will be sent back to you by
Admissions and/or not uploaded to your application. Applications that do not include a portfolio
will not be assessed.

Master of Design application guide School of Art & Design

Updated November 2015

How to submit your portfolio after applying to AUT

If you are not ready to submit your portfolio with your application to AUT, then you can upload
your portfolio through your Arion account at a later date. Portfolio format must be as outlined

Log in to your Arion account using the username and password sent to you by AUT
Click Academic Details > Student Documents.

Click Add Document.

Click Browse, select your portfolio file (filename should include your full name and programme)
then click Upload.

You will be unable to re-submit or update your portfolio once it has been received by AUT.

For more information or assistance with uploading a portfolio

Please contact the AUT Student Centre: phone (09) 921 9779.
Online Help:

Master of Design application guide School of Art & Design

Updated November 2015