design students working on projects together

Bachelor of Design

Bachelor of Design with endorsement in: Visual Communication or Spatial Design


Course details

  • Feb 2021
    Jul 2021 - contact about mid-year study options.
  • Three years
  • Full-time or Part-time
  • $7,472* per year
  • You may qualify for fee free study under Fees-Free Policy
  • Level 7
  • Available for International Students. International Fee Guideline
  • Hamilton City Campus


This degree will develop students’ capabilities in creativity, innovation, and design. Students will learn to apply creative problem-solving and spatial design skills in the residential and commercial environment.

The degree has pathways in Spatial or Visual Communication (Graphic Design).

Visual communication

Students will develop skills in design and hone their eye for detail so they can masterfully bring their ideas to life. They will learn:

  • Web and interactive design, animation and motion graphics 
  • Graphic design for print, package, and publication
  • Illustration
  • Brand identity development

Students will gain practical and critical design skills, while keeping pace with current industry trends in this rapidly evolving industry. They will also be challenged to apply their skills to a variety of design situations as they learn while doing.

Spatial design

Students will develop skills in spatial design and hone their eye for detail, so they can masterfully bring their ideas to life. They will learn:

  • Design fundamentals for residential and commercial spaces
  • People and communication skills to pitch to clients
  • Project management strategies

Students will gain practical and critical design skills, while keeping pace with current industry trends in this evolving industry. They will also be challenged to apply their skills to a variety of design situations as they learn while doing.

How you will learn

Project zones

Project-based learning is at the heart of what students will do. Each term students will do a bunch of structured learning with tutors and in the last four weeks of the term they'll get to apply their learning to a project, we call this time ‘project zones’. The project zones also provide opportunities for students to collaborate across the creative disciplines of Media Arts: Music and Performing Arts, Design (Visual Communication), and Contemporary Art.   

Classrooms for creatives

Students will be with us Monday-Wednesday, spending the majority of their time in a design studio environment, alongside their peers. This time is structured so students can find their rōpū (group) and build their creative network, replicating the environment they'll work in post-study but also allowing them the time and space to explore and make a mess. Students will also have 24-hour access to our studios and workshops, so they can work whenever inspiration hits.

Specialists and mentors

Students will get a backstage pass to our events, industry talks, gallery exhibitions, festival week and performances. These enhance our teaching programme and provide conversations to provoke challenge and inspire, that will not only fuel progress, but will connect students with experts that will help launch their creative career.

Internships and industry

By the time students reach third year, they will be able to take their developing specialised skills, springboard off our connections and will be ready to move into a robust internship program that could take up the last six months of their final year with us. This sets students up with real on-the-job experiences as they launch their creative career. 

Click the play button to take a walk through our facilities and discover what studying at the Wintec School of Media Arts can offer you.

Design student drawing fonts


What you will learn

In the first year students will take three core modules:

  • Design Craft: Develop specialised skills 
  • Critical Methods: Understand the arts and cultural word
  • Professional Practice: Learn the ways of industry

To complement, students will add two electives of their choice so they can broaden their creative toolkit, such as the fundamentals in graphic design, contemporary art, textile design or photography, with more options to choose from. 

These electives will give students a secure grounding in the technical, theoretical, and professional skills, while also exposing them to broader ideas about the arts and the cultural world around them.

​View programme modules

Note: No value in the pre/co-requisite columns means there are no pre/co-requisites for that module.

Craft and core modules:

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
DSGN510Design 510530  
DSGN520 Design 520530DSGN510 
DSGN610Design 610630



DSGN620Design 620630



DSGN710Design 710730



CRIT501Critical Methods 1515  
CRIT601​Critical Methods 2615CRIT501 
PROF501Professional Practice 1515  
PROF601Professional Practice 2615PROF501 
PROF701Professional Practice 3730PROF601 

Project modules:

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
CRTV701​Research Methods715CRIT601 
CRTV702​Freelance Project715

COMM610 & 620 or

DSGN610 & 620 or,

CART610 & 620 or


CRTV703Capstone Project715



CART710 or


CRTV704Matauranga Toi - Art Education715

COMM610 & 620 or

DSGN610 & 620 or,

CART610 & 620 or


DFNZ701Design Factory Industry Project730

75 credits at level 6 or

pre-requisites may be waived at the discretion

of the relevant Head of School/Centre Director

or designated authority


The 30 credit module DFNZ701: Design Factory 1 can be offered as an option within any Wintec degree programme, wherever the degree programme structures allows such an option.  Admission into the Design Factory module is on negotiation with the Centre Director or delegated authority and selection into the module is in line with the Design Factory process.

Elective modules:

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
DSGN502​CMS Web Publishing515  
DSGN503Graphic Design Fundamentals515  
CRTV501​Creative Special Topic 1515  
CRTV502Creative Special Topic 2515  
CRTV601Creative Special Topic 361560 credits level 5 
CRTV602Creative Special Topic 461560 credits level 5 
BMALX142Storytelling, Myth & Ritual515  
PRNT501Screen Printing515  
MAPA502Sound Fundamentals515  
MAPA503Lighting Fundamentals515  
MAPA604Songwriting 2615MAPA504 
MAPA505Intro to Ensemble Performance 515  
BMAVX212Textile Design515

DSGN510 or

DSGN503 or

equivalent knowledge or skills

SCRN502Screen Fundamentals515  
SCRN503Screen Technology One515SCRN502 
JOUR505Media Law and Context515  
BMA0G210Illustration, Concept Media615

DSGN510 or

CART510 or

DSGN503 or

equivalent knowledge or skills

DSGN603Type Design615

DSGN510 or

DSGN503 or

equivalent knowledge or skills

DSGN602Motion Graphics 615

DSGN510 or

DSGN503 or

equivalent knowledge or skills

PHOT501Photography Fundamentals 515  
PHOT502Photography Tech One515

PHOT501 or

equivalent knowledge or skills

PHOT503Darkroom Photography515  
CART502Drawing Fundamentals515  
CART503Painting Fundamentals515  
CART602Eco Creative Practice615

60 credits level 5 including either

CRIT501 or PROF501

DFNZ601Design Thinking Launchpad61560 credits at level 6 or equivalent 
COMM602Feature Writing 615  

Or other modules and packages of learning as agreed to by the designated Media Arts staff.


Design Factory NZ

In their third year of study, students can apply to study the 30 credit Design Factory NZ module. This experience teaches a range of problem-solving methodologies, which students will apply to a real-world challenge provided by an industry partner. Students will work in a multi-disciplinary team alongside students from engineering, business, IT, sport and exercise science, media arts, and more. 

Joining Design Factory NZ will provide students with the opportunity to learn and work in new ways, prototype solutions to complex problems, and develop their soft skills of creativity, empathy and communication - all in high-demand for the workplace of the future.

Read more about Design Factory NZ here.

Design factory NZ logo small size

Career/further opportunities

Visual communication:

  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Motion graphics
  • Art director
  • Content developer
  • Product and brand developer

Spatial design:

  • Residential interior designer
  • Commercial spatial designer (wide range of areas such as: hospitality, retail, office, exhibition) 
  • Kitchen and bathroom designer
  • Furniture and fitting specialist
  • Lighting designer and specifier
  • Colour and materials expert
  • Showroom design maker
  • Product designer
  • Colour consultant 

Graduates will be qualified to work in a range of design and creative related roles, and will have developed transferable skills and professional attributes that will position them for many other jobs. Graduates will have the skills to work collaboratively and creatively within the increasingly complex and dynamic creative industries. 

Graduates of the Bachelor of Design (Spatial) are positioned to pathway into postgraduate programmes at Wintec such as the Bachelor of Media Arts with Honours and Master of Arts.

Frequently asked questions

If you have not done NCEA credits in arts or visual design, do not meet the entry criteria, or you are applying as a mature student, you may need to submit a portfolio, and you’ll be advised of this when you apply. Find out more about portfolio entry and if you need to submit a portfolio in the programme regulations here.

What can I expect from the class schedule and workload?

Students are expected to spend about 26 hours a week in scheduled classes. Some of these will be on campus, but students will also spend time on industry visits and working on client projects.

How much time outside of class will I need to spend on study?

Students are expected to do another 14 hours of independent learning on top of classes - in total the mix of class time and independent study should add up to about 40 hours per week.

What opportunities will I get to work on industry projects?

There are four project zones per year, during which students will work for up to three weeks with an industry or community partner on a cross-disciplinary project. Students will also do a work placement in second year and a major internship in their third year.

Undergraduate, semester, pathway, module and cross-disciplinary - what do these words mean?

Undergraduate means any study up to the level of completing a bachelor degree. Our academic year is made up of two main semesters, one from February to June and the other from July to November. We also have a summer semester for some classes. A degree is made up of a mix of compulsory and elective modules, modules are worth between 15 and 60 credits. A year’s worth of full time study is 120 credits. 


Entry criteria

General academic admission

a) Candidates are required to have:
  i. NCEA Level 3 comprised of 60 credits at NCEA Level 3 or above and 20 credits at NCEA Level 2 or above, including:
    (1) 14 credits each at NCEA Level 3 in three approved subjects, including a Language Rich; and
    (2) Literacy (10 credits at NCEA Level 2 or above made up of 5 credits each in reading and writing); and
    (3) Numeracy (10 credits at NCEA Level 1 or above); or
 ii. A relevant level 4 qualification; or
 iii. Equivalent.

b) In exceptional cases, candidates with 60 credits at NCEA Level 2 across four subjects including 12 credits in a Language Rich subject, or equivalent, will be considered.

UE 2020

Applicants who achieved University Entrance through NCEA in 2020 will be assessed under separate NZQA entry requirements that take into account the impacts of COVID-19. Candidates are required to have: 

  • NCEA Level 3 comprised of 60 credits at NCEA Level 3 or above and 20 credits at NCEA Level 2 or above, including:
    • 12 credits each at NCEA Level 3 in three approved subjects; and
    • UE Literacy (10 credits at NCEA Level 2 or above made up of 5 credits each in reading and writing); and
    • UE Numeracy (10 credits at NCEA Level 1 or above)

Special admission

Domestic applicants aged 20 years or above who have not met the general admission or entry requirements for a programme but whose skills, education or work experience indicate that they have a reasonable chance of success may be eligible for special admission. Special admission will be granted at the discretion of the relevant Head of School/Centre Director or designated nominee. Such applicants may be required to successfully complete a foundation, bridging or tertiary introductory programme as a condition of entry into higher-level programmes.

Provisional entry

Domestic applicants aged under 20 years who have not met the general academic admission and entry criteria for a programme but who can demonstrate a reasonable chance of success through other educational attainment and/or work or life experience may be eligible for provisional entry at the discretion of the relevant Head of School/Centre Director or designated nominee. Provisional entry places restrictions on re-enrolment to be lifted if the applicant’s performance is deemed satisfactory by the relevant Head of School/Centre Director or designated nominee.

Selection criteria

a) Where there are more applicants than the number of places available, selection will be determined on the basis of the candidate’s application and submitted portfolio work.
b) An interview and written language test may also be required as part of the selection process.

English language requirements

a) Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.5; or,
b) Equivalent.

Want to see full details of the entry criteria?

Don't meet the entry criteria?


Media Arts pathway diagram for semester 2 2019

Please check the entry criteria for each programme to see which course is the best level for you to begin with. The entry criteria information can be found on each of the programme pages here online. You can also contact us directly to discuss the appropriate level for you at

Your first day

Are you ready for your first day of class? Check out your start date and where you need to be. You can also find useful information about studying at Wintec on our welcome page.

Year 1 students beginning February 2021

Date: Monday 15 February 2021
Time: 10am-4pm
Venue: The Atrium, City Campus


  • 10.00am Welcome and staff introductions
  • 10.45am Tours, ID Cards, parking
  • 12.00pm Lunch
  • 1.00pm Classes

    Year 1 students beginning July 2021

    Date: Monday 19 July 2021
    Time: 10am-4pm
    Venue: Events Room 1, City Campus


    • 10.00am Welcome and staff introductions
    • 10.45am Tours, ID Cards, parking
    • 12.00pm Lunch
    • 1.00pm Classes

    What you will need

    Timetable information

    All Wintec timetables are available online here.

    How to find your way around

    Campus maps can be found here.

    Parking and bus information

    Both the Rotokauri and City campuses have parking available - permits are required. Learn more about parking and find out about discounted bus services here.

    He reo pōwhiri  - Your official welcome to Wintec

    Tēnei te mihi mahana ki a koe e piki nei, e kake nei ki te Kuratini o Waikato.

    You are warmly invited to attend the official welcome to Wintec for all new students, staff and whānau (family) at either our marae, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa or Rotokauri campus. The pōwhiri is a welcoming ceremony involving mihimihi (speeches), waiata (singing), and will conclude with kai timotimo (light refreshments). Please gather at the campus hubs, and a staff member will guide you through our pōwhiri.

    Click here to find out when the next pōwhiri will be.

    Paying for your study

    Course-related costs

    Additional information


    Purchasing textbooks

    If your programme requires you to have access to textbooks, these can be purchased through a range of suppliers listed below:

      New Zealand-based suppliers

      General book suppliers

      First aid certificate

      Health status



      Clinical placement

      Prospectus (course guide)

      The Wintec Prospectus (otherwise known as a course guide) outlines everything you need to know about Wintec. It contains information about the Wintec campuses, student life, and the programmes that are on offer.

      Access your copy of the Wintec Prospectus

      The Wintec Prospectus (course guide) is available by downloading the file - click on the document below to access the file. Alternatively, to request a copy via email or the post, please complete the form below.

      Request an emailable or printed copy of the Prospectus

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