Master of Design Innovation

Programme overview

The Master of Design Innovation (MDI) qualification is offered in three majors – Industrial Design, Media Design, and Culture+Context Design, and is well-suited for our Bachelor of Design Innovation (BDI) graduates and others with a similar undergraduate degree who wish to advance their entry into professional design practice through postgraduate study.

MDI study is divided into three trimesters. In your first trimester you will take the core Research Methods course and one other taught course. You will also join one of our Design Research Innovation Labs (DRILs). In the second trimester study consists of a taught course and the beginning of the thesis project within your DRIL. In the third trimester and for the remainder of study, you will focus on your thesis research, production of a final design outcome, and research analysis and documentation. Multi-disciplinary coursework and research is a distinctive characteristic of the MDI and the DRIL streams. The unique design environment offered in the MDI fosters the development of strong skills in team work and collaboration and effectively prepares our graduates for contemporary professional practice.

In the first trimester Research Methods core course, you will be introduced to a wide variety of design research methods that will inform and guide your thesis project. You will gain the skills necessary for identifying the significance of a design research topic, framing a research question, defining the scope of the research, and developing a thesis proposal.

In the second trimester, you will further develop your knowledge and expertise in design research with a taught course while also undertaking work on your thesis project, resolving your research aims and project objectives as identified in the first trimester.

Finally, in the third trimester and until completion of your thesis project, your efforts will focus on completing your design research project and thesis documentation with guidance and supervision provided by your DRIL stream coordinators and affiliated School of Design academic staff.

Within the MDI programme, you will have the opportunity to take one elective course as well as one in your chosen specialisation area. Courses on offer may include one or more of the following topic areas:

  • Computer Generated Culture
  • Creative Coding
  • Creative Digital Manufacturing
  • Interaction Design
  • Research Methods
  • Design Thinking
  • User Experience Design
  • Visual Effects (VFX)

Current Design Research Innovation Labs within the School of Design include:

Find more information on the MDI programme contact the School of Design.

MDI requirements


13-18 months of full-time study.

Admission requirements

Entry into the Master of Design Innovation (MDI) normally requires one of the following:

  • a Victoria University of Wellington Bachelor of Design Innovation (BDI) degree
  • a Victoria University of Wellington Graduate Diploma in Design Innovation (GDipDI)
  • entry at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Students) of the Faculty of Architecture and Design or an equivalent qualification approved by the Faculty and a portfolio.

Entry into the Master's programme is based on excellent academic performance in the prerequisite qualifications.

Degree requirements

The Master of Design Innovation (MDI) degree requirements are outlined below for each year's course of study.

Trimester 1 (for 60 pts)

A multi-disciplinary core:

and one of the following:

Trimester 2 (for 60 pts - 30pts course work and start 90pt thesis)

One of the following:

and one of the following:

  • CCDN 495 Thesis - 90 pts
  • INDN 595 Thesis - 90 pts
  • MDDN 595 Thesis - 90 pts

Trimester 3 (for 60 pts)

Continue with thesis

Research requirements

All postgraduate students are expected to conduct their research with a high level of competency in the English language.

Victoria University offer a range of University Preparation courses to assist students in English as a Second Language (ESOL) or the English Proficiency Programme.

To make an inquiry contact the Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office, include a comprehensive description of your qualifications and your initial research interests.

Career opportunities

Many Master's graduates move into a satisfying career in design oriented fields within the public and private sectors. The skills and training you gain in this programme are broad in scope allowing you to find opportunities for careers both within and beyond the mainstream profession.

How to find out more

The Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office offer additional information on:

  • admission
  • qualifications and courses
  • course advice and selection criteria
  • exemptions and prerequisites
  • your Application to study.

This Master's qualification is taught at the School of Design, Te Aro Campus, 139 Vivian Street, Wellington.

For further assistance, please contact us:

Phone: 04 463 6200

To find out what is available to you as a Master's student see PostgradLife.