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design students working on projects together

Bachelor of Design

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


Course details

  • Jul 2024
    Feb 2025
  • Three years
  • Full-time or Part-time
  • $8,027* 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
Note: For mid-year intakes, please contact to discuss pathway options.


Students in the Bachelor of Design programme will develop their creativity, innovation, and design capabilities to find new ways to visually and strategically solve challenges for brands and organisations.

The degree has two different endorsements:

  • Visual Communication (graphic design)
  • Spatial Design (interior design)

"I love being around others who shared my passion and having great tutors enthused about helping me. The fact that the course is designed to get us industry-ready is a huge plus. It’s focused on giving us the skills needed to be an asset to any employer straight off the bat. "

Read Delwyn's story

Visual communication

Students will add value to brands or organisations by creating artwork and graphic designs for digital media, magazines, brochures, advertising, packaging and products. They will learn:

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


YOW Business Cards MockUp-0-2344-0-1652

Career/further opportunities

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

Spatial design

Students will develop designs focusing on functional interior spaces and design fundamentals that span across both residential and commercial disciplines while learning the skills needed to thrive in the industry, including pitching to clients and overseeing a project from start to finish. They will learn:

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



Career/further opportunities

  • 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
  • Product designer
  • Colour consultant

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 will get to apply their knowledge to a project, we call this time ‘project zones’. The project zones also allow 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 to Wednesday, spending most 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 will work in post-study and 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 Ramp events, industry talks, gallery exhibitions, festival week, and performances. These enhance our teaching programme and provide conversations to provoke challenge and inspire, which will fuel progress and connect students with experts that will help launch their creative career.

Internships and industry
By the time students reach the third year, they will be able to take their developing specialised skills, springboard off our connections and be ready to move into a robust internship programme 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 at the Wintec School of Media Arts.

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 to 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 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 610630DSGN510
DSGN620Design 620630DSGN510
DSGN710Design 710730DSGN610
DSGN720Design 720715DSGN710 
CRIT501Critical Methods 1515  
CRIT601​Critical Methods 2615CRIT501 
PROF501Professional Practice 1515  
PROF601Professional Practice 2615PROF501 
PROF702Professional Practice 3715PROF601 

Project modules:

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
CRTV701​Research Methods715CRIT601 
CRTV702​Freelance Project715COMM610 & 620 or
DSGN610 & 620 or,
CART610 & 620 or
CRTV703Capstone Project715COMM710,
CART710 or
CRTV704Matauranga Toi - Art Education715COMM610 & 620 or
DSGN610 & 620 or,
CART610 & 620 or
CRTV705Creative Work Integrated Learning715PROF702 or equivalent 
DFNZ701Design Factory Industry Project73075 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 
COMM502Storytelling, Myth & Ritual515  
PRNT501Screen Printing515  
MAPA502Sound Fundamentals515  
MAPA503Lighting Fundamentals515  
MAPA604Songwriting 2615MAPA504 
MAPA505Intro to Ensemble Performance 515  
MAPA506Repertoire Studies 1515
MAPA507Performance Studies 1515
SCRN502Screen Fundamentals515  
SCRN503Screen Technology One515  
JOUR505Media Law and Context515  
BMA0G210Illustration, Concept Media615DSGN510 or
CART510 or
DSGN503 or
equivalent knowledge or skills
DSGN603Type Design615DSGN510 or
DSGN503 or
equivalent knowledge or skills
DSGN602Motion Graphics 615DSGN510 or
DSGN503 or
equivalent knowledge or skills
PHOT501Photography Fundamentals 515  
PHOT502Photography Tech One515PHOT501 or
equivalent knowledge or skills
PHOT503Darkroom Photography515  
CART502Drawing Fundamentals515  
CART503Painting Fundamentals515  
MAPA606Repertoire Studies 2615MAPA506 or equivalent proficiency 
MAPA607 Performance Studies 2615MAPA507 or equivalent proficiency 
CART602Eco Creative Practice61560 credits level 5 including either
CRIT501 or PROF501
DFNZ601Design Thinking Launchpad61560 credits at level 6 or equivalent 
COMM602Feature Writing 615  
DSGN604Surface Design615DSGN503 or equivalent 

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

Student projects

Look through our graduate publications to see the work students create. In these, you will find short bios and images of student projects from across the media arts disciplines over the years.

Frequently asked questions

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

Who will teach me?

Learn directly from active practitioners who are graphic designers, typographers, artists, interior designers, and architects. Meet the team here.


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

To check what you need to gain direct entry to a course, review the entry criteria available on each programme page. These assist you in understanding what qualifications or experience are typically required to gain entry. You can contact our team at or 0800 2 Wintec at any time for further guidance.

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.

Semester 2 2024

Date: Monday 22 July 2024
Time: 10.30am-4pm
Venue: Events Room 1, City Campus

  • Welcome and staff introductions
  • Tours, ID cards, and parking
  • Lunch
  • Class

Returning students
Please check your timetable for your first class details.

What you will need

Please bring a notebook and pen.

In visual communication classes, we utilise Mac computers and industry-standard software Adobe Creative Suite. While you will have access to computers as part of your study, it is strongly recommended that you bring your own laptop to be able to continue working on projects off-campus. A Mac computer is recommended as this platform is more common in the industry; however, a Windows-based PC would also be suitable. If you plan to buy a device for use during your studies, a 13” MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with the Apple M1 Chip and 8GB memory (or PC equivalent) is sufficient as a starting point for the software and tools used in class. For any enquiries about more advanced software and computer requirements, please send us an email

Spatial design classes will utilise PC computers and industry-standard software Adobe Creative Suite, along with Sketchup, Vray and other interior rendering tools. While students are provided with access to computers as part of their study, it is strongly recommended that they purchase their own laptop to be able to continue working on projects off-campus. A PC computer is recommended as this platform is more common in the industry, however, a MacBook Air would also be suitable. If you plan to buy a device for use during your studies, a 13” laptop with Adobe capabilities and 8GB memory is sufficient as a starting point for the software and tools used in class. For any enquiries about more advanced software and computer requirements, please send us an email

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 - payment and permits may be required. The Gardens Campus has free parking available. Learn more about parking and find out about 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


    If you have not received NCEA credits in arts or visual design, do not meet the entry criteria, or are applying as a mature student, you may need to submit a portfolio with annotation and visit us for an interview. You will be advised of this when you apply.

    What does my portfolio need to contain?

    A visual communication portfolio should include around 15 images of one of the following:

    • Series of drawings
    • Series of paintings and their drawings
    • Series of sculptures/carvings with drawings
    • Series of photographs with drawings (if applicable), proof sheets and work prints
    • Graphic or product design projects with briefs and drawings
    • Video or film scripts and photographs of storyboards (if bigger than A4)
    • Visual narrative sequences (comic strips) and preparatory drawings (photographs only if bigger than A4)

    A spatial design portfolio should include around 15 images of one of the following:

    • Your own home renovations with documentation of processes and outcomes
    • Community or commercial work for yourself, friends, or a client
    • Mock-ups of an idea related to the interior/spatial design process (eg take a room/space in your home and explore and document a different design direction) 

    Your portfolio can include mood boards, colour schemes, selections of finishes and furniture you propose, and room layout exploration using sketched floor plans or room perspectives either by hand or 3D generated models.

    The portfolio of work should form a cohesive series. From this, we want to understand:

    • That you can develop a body of related work, and
    • The way that your ideas were investigated and developed

    It is better to show us one or two complete work series rather than a sample of many different things.

    These portfolio requirements fit nicely with the work you will have done if you studied at NCEA Level 2 or 3 in visual arts, technology or design, or visual communication subject at high school.

    What do my annotations need to communicate?

    Identify and discuss the successful aspects of your work, and describe where your ideas came from, what or who inspired or influenced them and how you developed them. You should also indicate how you could develop these ideas in future work. We are particularly interested in how you engage critically with wider visual culture and your understanding of where your work “fits” in the world's wide range of art and design practices. This could include a reference to art, architecture, movies, digital technologies, culture, or craft.

    Portfolio examples: 

    Do you need help with your portfolio?

    We are happy to help, please send us an email, and we will be in touch.

    Need help? Want to know how to get started?

    Leave your details here and we will come back to you:

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