New Zealand Education - Think New Logo


Victoria University of Wellington
Victoria University of Wellington logo

Master of Design Innovation - MDI

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


180 credit hours

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


Victoria University of Wellington


Expand on your Bachelor's degree and get a head start in your career with advanced study and research in design.

Get the specialist skills and knowledge you need to be a successful professional in the design industry. In this three-trimester programme, you'll learn the art of bringing ideas to life from conception to design to construction.

Choose one of three majors Industrial Design, Media Design, and Culture Context Design in this industry-focused, professional qualification with the School of Design. Assess new technologies and investigate the social, cultural, environmental and economic implications of design on our world.

Through a combination of coursework and supervised research you'll gain a greater understanding of the process of creating value through design.

Research groups

You’ll do much of your work as part of a group in the Design Research Innovation Laboratory (DRIL). These groups provide a stimulating and supportive environment for inspiration and discovery. Choose a research group that fits with your current knowledge, your career goals, and your intended research portfolio topic.

Work with commercial and cultural organisations on applied research projects, build your communication and collaboration skills and get ready for an exciting career in design.


You'll be ready for a career in many design-oriented fields within the public and private sectors. You might work as an industrial, interior or product designer, an art director, visual effects artist, jeweler, exhibition designer, digital animator or a web designer.

Because you'll gain a broad range of skills during your studies, you'll also be able to find opportunities for careers beyond the mainstream profession.

What you'll study

In Trimester 1, you'll study the 30-point Research Methods course in addition to a 30-point elective course. Examine a variety of design research techniques to help inform and guide your research project. Gain the skills you need to identify a design research topic, frame a research question, define the scope, and develop your proposal.

In Trimester 2, you'll further develop your knowledge and expertise in design research. You can join a Design Research Innovation Laboratory (DRIL) and nominate a supervisor, so you can begin your 90-point research portfolio. You'll also complete one 400-level, 30-point elective course in your major subject area, while continuing to work on your research project within your DRIL.

In Trimester 3 and in Trimester 1 of the following year, you'll focus on completing your design research portfolio with the guidance and support of your DRIL stream coordinators and supervisor.

Entry criteria

To be accepted into this programme you will need to meet:

A Bachelor of Design Innovation or Graduate Diploma in Design Innovation from this university, with at least a B average, or an approved alternative

To be accepted by the Head of School as being capable of proceeding with the proposed course of study

Proof of English proficiency

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

IELTS: minimum overall score of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.0

TOEFL: minimum score of 90 for the internet-based test with a minimum of 20 in writing

Pearson Test of English: minimum score of 58 (with a ‘Communicative’ score of not less than 50)

EPP: minimum final scores of 4,4,5,5

Application Deadline - Trimester 1: 1 Dec.

Studying in NZ

Border reopeningPlan your study experience

Share this course

Share this course