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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
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Postgraduate Certificate in Design

This course is available


Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


6 months

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


Otago Polytechnic


This qualification introduces you to postgraduate study in a guided learning environment, and is perfect for people who are returning to study after a long break or who desire more personalised guidance and support.

During this programme you will extend and deepen your knowledge and understanding of design research methods and the professional design environment. You will also develop capabilities in design, creativity, sustainability and problem-solving through an applied design project. This project can be individual or team-based and can explore ideas and issues relevant to your design discipline.

Graduates of this qualification will be well-prepared for further postgraduate study such as our Postgraduate Diploma in Design or Master of Design Enterprise qualifications, or for employment in a wide range of creative or design management roles.

This programme is taught in a multi-disciplinary environment which means that your design projects may be more discipline focused e.g. fashion, communication, visual arts, product, spatial design, or explore projects than span and connect disciplines such as interaction design, fashion communication, accessories, food design, multimedia projects, event and experience design to name a few.

A preliminary project proposal helps us to understand what motivates and inspires you to study at postgraduate level. It also allows us to determine if your area fits within our areas of expertise.

You will study

This one semester, full-time programme is comprised of two 30 credit courses at Level 8. These are:

Professional Design Practice (30 credits)

Develop an understanding of professional design practices, conventions, and professional and legislative frameworks applicable to specific design disciplines and examine what it means to be a sustainable design practitioner from multiple perspectives - cultural, social, environmental and economic.

Applied Design Project 1 (30 credits)

This project, either individual or team-based, employs relevant skills and techniques and explores ideas and issues applicable to your design discipline. You will research and analyse information from a range of sources, and incorporate critique and iteration to arrive at a resolved final design outcome. Sustainability will be addressed throughout the applied research process from cultural, social, environmental and/or economic perspectives.

Your workload

You will be expected to spend around 16 hours per week in directed study and work-based learning, and a further 22 hours a week in self-managed study.

Further study options

Successful completion of this qualification will prepare you for further postgraduate study in our Postgraduate Diploma in Design or Master of Design Enterprise qualifications (or equivalent), or for employment in a wide range of creative or design management roles.

Entry criteria

Minimum entry requirements are:

The Bachelor of Design (discipline endorsed) Level 7 OR an equivalent qualification at bachelor level or above. Please send us certified copies of your undergraduate degree transcript and other relevant qualifications.

A physical or digital portfolio which demonstrates a depth of engagement with creative work relevant to your field.

International applicants must demonstrate that they have equivalent experience/qualifications as domestic applicants.

If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in any band.

TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT): Score of 590 (with an essay score of 5.5 TWE)

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT): Score of 79 (with a writing score of 21)

Cambridge English Qualifications: C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a score of 176. No less than 169 in each skill;

PTE (Academic) score of 58 with no band score lower than 50

Language Certificate: C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with HIGH PASS and no less than Pass in each skill or C2 Mastery IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill

By 31 January

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