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Study Graphic Design

Graphic Design

Bachelor of Media Design

  • Length:
    Three Academic Years
  • Qualification:
    Degree NZQF Level 7 (360 credits) 1.0 EFTS per year
  • Cost:
    Domestic - $10,256 NZD
    International - $24,630 NZD

Course Overview

Visual language and tone-of-voice is the domain of the Graphic Designer. This course will teach you how to communicate using text, image and form to make visual connections, and craft seeds of ideas and information into meaningful interactions. In this course you'll transverse graphic, motion and interactive design, giving you an opportunity to develop your preferred specialisation, before going on to shape your own destiny in a design studio, production house, creative agency, or as a freelancer.

Careers & Industry

Work across a wide variety of media from print to packaging to digital as you develop strong conceptual and technical skills, as well as pre-press experience. The major is built around industry standard software such as Adobe Creative Suite and has a strong focus on production to ensure you are primed for industry placement. This means you'll be working to live briefs and experience realistic demands of industry while you learn.

You'll also have opportunities to collaborate with the two other major streams, interactive design and motion design, to broaden your skillset and to become more valuable to employers or as a freelancer.

The course is led by an accomplished team of international design professionals with close connections to industry.

Career pathways include:

  • Creative director or Studio Manager
  • Graphic Designer and Illustrator
  • Web and mobile interface designer
  • Brand specialist
  • Freelancer

Student Work

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More information

Course Outline

Year 1

An introduction to graphic design disciplines, historical influences and the theories, principles and processes of graphic design. Advanced ideation and creative problem-solving strategies are also covered. You are then immersed into a project-based environment to put this knowledge into practice and develop technical solutions to design briefs.

Year 2

Through a combination lectures, group work and discussions you are introduced to graphic design from a historical viewpoint. You will develop a vocabulary and understanding of the concerns of graphic design to better analyse work and respond to creative briefs. This knowledge is put into practice as part of the studio component.

Year 3

Through work on your final portfolio, reflect on your own specific strengths and weaknesses, self-promotional skills and develop awareness of how you could fit into industry as a professional. This helps to prepare you for the Capstone Project: Practice-based Inquiry and future employment.

Full Information about Course Components

Entry Requirements

General Admission

To qualify for General Admission, you'll need a minimum qualification of NCEA University Entrance or equivalent, such as:

  • An appropriate qualification from an overseas secondary school or tertiary institution, deemed by Media Design School to be sufficient for admission into a bachelors programme.
  • CIE (University of Cambridge International Examination)
  • IB (International Baccalaureate)

Plus, it is recommended to have the following:

  • 24 NCEA Credits, Level 3 in Technology, Art and Design (minimum)

If you are enrolled at a New Zealand secondary school and have not yet completed your NCEA (CIE or equivalent) qualification you can still apply now for admission. When your NCEA results are available in January, we will check them and contact you.

International Students

If you are an international student, you'll need to prove you have sufficient English language skills in order to complete this course. We'll be looking for Academic IELTS 6.0 (minimum), or equivalent qualification if English is not your first language.

Special Entry, Discretionary Entry and Cross Credits

If you don't have university entry, you may still be able to apply for this course. More information about Special Entry, Discretionary Entry and Cross Credits here.


When you apply, you'll need to provide us with a digital copy of your portfolio.

Your portfolio is a selection of work that shows your skills and talents. It introduces you and your ideas, and shows us you have the creativity and imagination to be a student at Media Design School. There are no strict rules about what you should include in your portfolio. As a guide, it should include a range of 12 - 20 pieces of your best works that represent who you are as a creative person. We recommend including a range of media and styles. It is not imperative you include digitally rendered artworks. Here are some of the examples you could include:

  • Pencil drawings and illustrations
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Graphic or Digital design
  • 3D models or visualisations
  • Concept art and characters
  • Video or moving images

For full description of portfolio requirements, see More Information about Portfolio Requirements.


Study at the Media Design School in Auckland, and you can assure your family that you'll be staying in one of the safest and most live-able cities in the world. Auckland is such a diverse city that, no matter where you're from, you'll find food and experiences here that remind you of home.

This wonderful city has nature on its doorstep and, in the same amount of time it takes to fetch a latte, you could travel to spectacular countryside or beaches, all within a stone's throw from the Central Business District.

If you're thinking about making New Zealand your home while you study for your world recognised qualification, you can find more information about making the transition to our beautiful country here.

Study in Adelaide

Media Design School has partnered with Torrens University Australia to offer a selection of our award winning programmes in Australia. Torrens University Australia, the first comprehensive Australian university to be opened in more than 20 years, will be offering Media Design School's courses in two exciting locations: Sydney, New South Wales and Adelaide, South Australia. These degrees will be of particular interest to students who want to obtain their qualification in a shorter period of time, as Torrens University Australia offers students the opportunity to complete their degrees at an accelerated pace in two years, not three.

For more information on studying a Bachelor of Media Design at Torrens University Australia in Adelaide, visit the Torrens University Website.

Looking to enrol or find out more?