Faculty of Architecture and Design


Media 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.


Digital media technology has opened up new and exciting opportunities within the design world. Media Design explores the diverse ways people interact with digital technology today – through web experiences, visual and audio communication, augmented reality, gaming and portable computing.

These areas present special challenges for designers, addressing issues of communication, work, play and daily life in this rapidly expanding field.

Our Media Design programme will equip you to enter a career in:

  • visual and audio communication
  • augmented reality
  • game design
  • interaction design
  • wearable and ubiquitous technologies
  • embedded and portable computing
  • web and internet development.

You will approach real-world problems in the studio through a variety of course briefs, engaging in experimentation, innovation, research and interdisciplinary collaboration to obtain the creative solutions needed for the future of the design industry.

Media Design sits alongside design specialisations in Industrial Design and Culture+Context within the School of Design and can be combined with other disciplines such as Film, Media Studies, Computer Science or Music in the form of a minor subject. A BDI in Media Design can be undertaken with a focus on Computer Graphics through appropriate selection of courses.

All Media students have access to the Media Lab, a state-of-the-art facility with its own technical support staff, triple projection screen, HiFi audio, and HD Video Conference capability. The Media Lab has 45 High end Apple Mac computers , running 2D, and 3D graphic applications including, Adobe Production Premium CS5 and many other design and web applications.

Media 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) degree in Media Design for those seeking a professional qualification in Design.

The MDI programme in Computer Graphics is available to students who have completed appropriate courses through a BDI in Media Design with a minor in Computer Science.

For more detailed information on these programmes, see the School of Design website.

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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 subjects such as Art, Design or Graphics and essay-based subjects, such as English, History, Art History, Classics, Geography or Economics. Students wanting to pursue a Computer Science minor or the postgraduate programme in Computer Graphics are strongly adviced to include NCEA Level 3 Mathmatics.

Degree requirements

The BDI in Media 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

Credit assessment of prior tertiary study

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.

BDI in Media Design with Computer Graphics focus

Media Design students planning for the Masters programme in Computer Graphics should include a minor in Computer Science in their BDI in order to systematically build the unique skill set and knowledge base required as preparation for the postgraduate Computer Graphics programme.

Visit the Computer Graphics website for more information.

Part 1

Part 1 is the first year of the Design Innovation programme (120 points). This year you take the courses alongside students in the Industrial 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 best 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.

Note: Students planning for the postgraduate Computer Graphics programme must include COMP 102 Introduction to Computer Program Design and MATH 161 Discrete Mathematics and Logic in their first year programme.

Part 2

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

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

In Part 2 you will gain a sound knowledge of the key theoretical and practical approaches in Media Design, as well as its boundaries and its relationships with other design disciplines.

2nd year courses, students complete courses as listed below, a total of 120 points:

3rd year courses, students complete courses as listed below, a total of 120 points:

  • Three 300-level MDDN courses
  • CCDN 331 Live Theory
  • Elective courses or courses to complete a minor (40 points)

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Media Design elective course requirements

When selecting your electives in Part 1 and 2 you need to plan your programme to ensre your BDI includes:

  • 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.


Minors for students specialising in Media Design

The BDI allows an optional minor to be taken alongside the Media 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:

* Required for students intending progressing to MDI in Computer Graphics.

Minor in Music focusing on sonic arts and music technology

Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music offers courses in music technology and sonic arts that can be done as a Music minor within your BDI.

Courses in sonic arts engage with music technology—such as computer music programming, recording, production and digital interface design—with the goal of using this technology to create new sound-based art.

Some courses are focused primarily on technological proficiency, while others place greater emphasis on developing the aesthetic and conceptual perspectives of the student as well as more substantial creative work.

In order to enter the 200-level sonic arts or music technology courses you need:

And for the courses with a stronger creative focus (CMPO 210 or 211) you also need:

List of Music courses available:

200-level CMPO courses are 15 points and the 300-level CMPO courses are 20 points.

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 Media Design.

Postgraduate programme in Computer Graphics

The School of Design, in association with the School of Engineering and Computer Science, have introduced Computer Graphics as a new option within the Master of Design Innovation (MDI). Uniting design and computation, this degree blends computer programming and scripting processes with studio approaches to deliver cutting edge computer graphics compositions.

Visit the Computer Graphics website for more information.

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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
Email: design@vuw.ac.nz

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Related subjects and careers

The Media Design specialisation in the BDI programme can lead to a variety of careers.

Graduates of the Media Design specialisation have career opportunities that include:

  • creative director
  • film, video, special FX editor
  • motion graphics designer
  • museum experience designer
  • dynamic web designer
  • filmmaker
  • game developer
  • interface interaction designer
  • information architect
  • content developer.

Media Design students who complete the one-year Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) after their BDI can become visual arts teachers.

The following list gives examples of how various minors can lead to a range of careers.

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

Minor Career
Film Filmmaker, Videographer, Web Broadcast Content Developer or Mobile Media Developer
Media Studies Media Critic, Curator or TV Producer
Computer Science Information Architect, Live Media Artist or Game Developer
Music Musician, Spatial Designer or VJ Designer
Art History Curator or Exhibition Designer

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List of courses

200 Level Courses

MDDN 201 – Internet Design

MDDN 211 – Digital Video Creation

MDDN 241 – 3D Modelling and Animation

MDDN 242 – Creative Coding II

MDDN 243 – Introduction to Computer Game Design

MDDN 251 – Physical Computing

300 Level Courses

MDDN 311 – Postproduction and Special Effects

MDDN 314 – Audio-Visual Space

MDDN 343 – Advanced Computer Game Design

MDDN 351 – Wearable Technology

MDDN 352 – Mobile Media