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Massey University
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Bachelor of Design with Honours (Visual Communication Design)

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


4 years

Next start date



Visual communication is one of the most universal forms of design. It is at the heart of how our world works; guiding, informing, persuading and inspiring us every day.

The world is undergoing a radical shift in how people communicate, work and share ideas. More people can share more ideas in more ways than ever before - photos, video, animations, tweets, graphics and experiences. We can connect with people across countries, languages and cultures. People can interact with governments and corporations in new ways, while they are using the same tools to try to influence us.

Visual communication design (VCD) offers huge scope and flexibility. At Massey, we teach a diverse range of media, like print, web and video, and give you the chance to try all of them. Within VCD you can explore and specialise in print, typographic and editorial design, information and graphic design, web, interaction and service design, and illustration and branding. You’ll learn to solve complex design problems. You’ll follow your interests and aspirations by developing a higher level of expertise in a specific area.

We set you up for the real world, where you’ll work collaboratively, adapt to new ideas and technologies, and turn your hand to whatever needs to be done.


There has never been a more exciting time to be a visual communicator. There are opportunities to work in areas such as:

  • publishing
  • branding
  • interactivity
  • entertainment.

There is also a growing demand for graduates who can apply design thinking at a strategic level in business, government, and within social and civic enterprises.

Massey design graduates with a visual communication design major are employed in a diverse range of enterprises in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, North America and beyond. They work for:

  • design firms and consultancies
  • advertising agencies
  • IT and web design firms
  • film studios
  • post-production companies
  • publications.

Some are self-employed freelance illustrators and designers, or have set up their own successful companies.

Further study

Further your design research and practice with a Master of Design at Massey, or go on to create new knowledge with a PhD.

Note: Students starting in July may complete in 3.5 years, provided they complete Summer School in the first year

Entry criteria

Students must have successful completion of a qualification equivalent to the New Zealand Year 13 - NCEA Level 3 University Entrance. International students need to check the equivalency of their secondary school qualification by reviewing the Academic Admission Requirements by Country.

We are looking for creative, enthusiastic and dedicated students who demonstrate skill and passion for design and the visual arts. To enter the Bachelor of Design with Honours programme you will: submit a portfolio (if you do well in NCEA Level 2 art, design or technology (or equivalent) you may not need to submit a portfolio.

Students from a country where English is not the first language, must obtain a minimum English Language competency level.

  • IELTS score of 6.0 (no band less than 5.5)
  • TOEFL iBT score of 80 overall (min 19 in Writing)
  • PTE Academic score of 50 Overall (min 42 in communicative skills)
  • Cambridge English score of 169 overall and all bands 162 or better

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