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Victoria University of Wellington
Victoria University of Wellington logo

Bachelor of Design Innovation - BDI

This course is available

Online, On-Campus

Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


Victoria University of Wellington


The Bachelor of Design Innovation (BDI) is a three-year undergraduate degree designed to prepare you for a career in one of the many expanding design-related industries.

At Victoria University of Wellington, Design is about innovation. While developing the skills and knowledge that industry currently demands, you'll also be pushing the limits and, in a sense, forging the future of design practice. During studio classes and seminars your teachers will show you how to take an experimental approach to design that encourages creative and thoughtful design solutions.

You'll major in one of eight areas - Animation and Visual Effects, Communication Design, Design for Social Innovation, Fashion Design Technology, Game Design, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, or Media Design. A feature of this degree is that it's cross-disciplinary, meaning you'll be encouraged to study and work in subject areas outside Design. This will make sure you gain a thorough grounding in design and its connections with the real world.

First year

In your first year you'll investigate a broad range of essential design ideas, principles, histories, theories and practices so you're able to challenge traditional ideas about design. Study eight courses made up of a combination of core Design courses, a writing course if needed, and electives.

The first year covers all three of the subject areas giving you a solid foundation in design, and confidence in the direction you'll have chosen to go in for your second year.

Second year

This is the year you'll begin to focus more on your chosen major. Media Design students will delve more into screen-based technology, including games, VFX and web app design. Industrial and Interaction Design students will learn the core skills and knowledge needed to work in product design and manufacturing. Design for Social Innovation students will gain a deeper and more critical understanding of design research, thinking and practice.

In your second year you're likely to take six courses made up of core Design courses from your major and complementary electives from other disciplines. If you're a Design for Social Innovation student, you'll need to take a minor subject a secondary area of study you choose to focus on.

Third year

By this stage you'll have developed a good understanding of your major and be confident in your design skills. You're likely to take six courses three or four in your major or specialisation, and two electives.

Get a Master's degree:

A Master's degree can make all the difference in achieving possible into a professional career in design. The BDI leads into a suite of four postgraduate programmes, each taking 12 months to complete.

Entry criteria

Achieve the International Baccalaureate Diploma, or three GCE Advanced Level passes at C grade, or equivalent.

Proof of English proficiency

To be accepted into this programme you will need one of the following:

IELTS: minimum overall score of 6.0 with no sub-score below 5.5

TOEFL: minimum overall score of 80 (internet-based test)

Pearson Test of English: minimum score of 50 (with a 'Communicative score' of not less than 42)

EPP: minimum final scores of 4,4,4,3

Application deadline - Trimester 1: 1 Dec.

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