School of Design



Industrial Design

Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2015 academic year unless otherwise specified.

On this page:

This subject is taught by the School of Design.


Industrial Design is a creative discipline which aims to connect human culture with technology in innovative ways. It develops original, useful and meaningful manufactured products or product systems that enrich our daily lives.

Industrial Design at Victoria will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to design a vast array of products—from medical and sports equipment to furniture, homeware and architectural fittings. Within this diversity of products and environments, you are encouraged to question stereotypes and develop your own novel interpretations.

This programme will expose you to a wide range of historical and theoretical approaches within Industrial Design, but maintains a strong emphasis on industry collaboration and global perspectives. We encourage an inquisitive and experimental approach to the use of materials, processes and technologies.

Industrial Design sits alongside the other design subjects—Media Design and Culture+Context. Cross-disciplinary study is encouraged within the School of Design and in the wider university context, enabling you to combine your studies in design with disciplines such as Engineering, Psychology, Computer Science, Management or Marketing in the form of a minor subject.

Industrial Design is a specialisation in the Bachelor of Design Innovation (BDI) degree. This undergraduate programme leads into a two-year Master of Design Innovation (MDI) for those seeking a professional qualification in Design.

For more detailed information on the School of Design and its programmes, see School of Design.

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Undergraduate information

Entry requirements

To enrol in a BDI you must have a University Entrance qualification and have met the Guaranteed Entry Score requirements for this degree. For more information, please see the admission webpages for New Zealand students and International students.

Useful background subjects are creative disciplines such as Art, Design, Technology or Graphics, and essay-based disciplines such as English, History, Art History, Classics, Geography or Economics. 

Credit assessment of prior learning

If you have completed any study previously at another tertiary institute you may be eligible for some transferred credit towards your Victoria University qualification. Please check with the Faculty Office if you think this applies to you.

Degree requirements

The BDI in Industrial Design is a three-year undergraduate degree consisting of 360 points and is structured in two parts. In addition to core courses at each level, students do elective courses which provide opportunity to either include a minor in a related subject, or to engage with the wide range of courses offered within the BDI and other undergraduate programmes.

Part 1

Part 1 (120 points) is the first year of the Design Innovation. This year you take courses alongside students in the Media Design and Culture+Context programmes.

In Part 1 you will investigate a broad range of essential design ideas, principles, histories, theories, practices and strategies. Vocabularies of three- and four-dimensional design are also undertaken during this first year, allowing students to challenge traditional and presumptive definitions of design. These core design courses will equip you to enter Part 2.

Students complete 6 core courses and 2 elective courses as follows:

Core courses:

*If you have achieved 14 or more NCEA Level 3 credits in English, History, Art History, Classics, Geography or Economics you may substitute WRIT 101 or WRIT 151 with an additional elective course.

Part 2

Part 2 comprises the second and third years of the BDI degree, and requires 240 points—120 points each year.

Note: Entry into Part 2 is based on your academic performance in Part 1. Entry generally requires good grades across all courses completed in Part 1.

In Part 2 you will develop your Industrial Design abilities through a series of studio-based courses and will gain a thorough knowledge of the key historical and theoretical approaches and precedents in the field of Industrial Design, its parameters and its relationship to other design disciplines.

2nd year courses, students complete 3 core courses and elective courses (120 points), as follows:

3rd year courses, students complete 4 core courses and elective courses (120 points), as follows:

Industrial Design elective course requirements

When selecting your electives in Part 1 and 2 you need to plan your programme to include:

  • at least 240 points from the BDI schedule
  • at least 200 points at 200- or 300-level.

You can also choose to use your elective courses to satisfy the requirements of a minor subject.

Industrial Design minors

The BDI allows an optional minor to be taken alongside the Industrial Design specialisation. A minor can be another subject offered within the BDI programme, or can be a subject offered by another faculty or school within the University.

A minor requires 60 points at 200- and 300-level including at least 15 points at 300-level. You need to plan ahead to ensure that you do any prerequisite 100-level courses as your first year electives.

Recommended minors include:

Please contact the relevant Faculty or School for course information relating to your choice of minor.

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Postgraduate information

Please visit our postgraduate study pages on the School of Design website for information about postgraduate qualifications in Industrial Design.

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How to find out more

You can order more information on this subject by registering on our Request for Study Material database.

Victoria's Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Office offer advice on courses and help with planning your degree.

Contact the School of Design Student Administration Office for information on:

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

All courses are taught at Victoria's Te Aro Campus.

Faculty Office Architecture and Design
Phone: +64 4 463 6200

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Related subjects and careers

The Industrial Design specialisation in the BDI programme can lead to a variety of careers, including:

  • in-house industrial designer
  • design consultant
  • CAD and digital prototyping designer
  • self employed designer/maker
  • exhibition designer
  • film prop designer
  • domestic furniture and office systems designer.

Industrial Design students who complete the one-year Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) after their BDI can become secondary school teachers in the fields of design and technology.

Industrial students who complete minors can look forward to careers in the following:

Minor Career
Computer Science Project Development Manager
Psychology Human Centred Product Designer
Management Design Manager
Marketing Design in Business Strategist
Media Design Interactive Interface Product Designer

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List of courses

200 Level Courses

INDN 211 – Object Based Experiments

INDN 212 – Product Based Experiments

INDN 252 – Design Physiology

300 Level Courses

INDN 311 – Digital Form

INDN 312 – Brand + Identity

INDN 341 – Mass Production + Digital Manufacturing

INDN 342 – Digital Fabrication

INDN 383 – Fire Apparatus Design For Safety And Efficiency

INDN 384 – Smart Interactions Design: Healthcare