Master of Design

Course 234AA (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

This is a
New Generation course
, part of the
Melbourne Model
and is available from 2008
Year and Campus: 2014 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 074683M
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time.


Professor Philip Goad


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

The Master of Design is highly flexible and allows students to select subjects in accordance with their study and career aspirations, (with guidance from the course coordinator).

This course is of great benefit to students who:

  • do not wish to specialise in one particular area;
  • are not yet certain where their interest and career aspirations lie; or
  • for those with an existing qualification in the disciplines represented in the Melbourne School of Design, (or related) who wish to enhance their qualifications through advanced studies in the area(s) of their choice.
  • It can also be used to establish academic credentials for entry into a research higher degree.
Learning Outcomes:

The course aims to develop skills in the discipline areas offered by the Melbourne School of Design. Applicants may pursue a prescribed course of study to:

  • enhance their existing qualifications;
  • assist in a shift within the disciplines represented in the Faculty; and/or
  • lead to further academic studies.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

All students must complete:

100 credit points of graduate level subjects.

Students select from graduate level subjects offered by the Melbourne School of Design in consultation with the course coordinator (not all subjects are offered every year and some subjects have prerequisites). Students should contact the Environments and Design Student Centre (see contact details above) to organise subject selection.


Master of Design students may structure their program by choosing subjects from the study areas listed below:

Study areas:

  • Architectural conservation
  • Architectural Practice and Management
  • Architectural history
  • Architectural theory
  • Architectural practice and management
  • Construction management
  • Landscape conservation
  • Landscape architectural theory
  • Landscape design
  • Project management
  • Property management
  • Urban design
  • Urban planning
  • Statutory planning
  • Transport planning
  • Urban sustainability
  • Workplace planning and design
Subject Options:

100 points graduate level subjects

This course is tailored to meet the requirements of individual candidates. Areas of study are listed above. For assistance with subject selection contact the Environments and Design Student Centre (contact details above).

Entry Requirements:

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant's ability to pursue the course successfully using the following criteria:

  • a minimum four-year professional degree or equivalent in the disciplines of the Melbourne School of Design with a weighted average of at least H3 (65%) in the final two years; PLUS
  • at least two years of documented relevant work experience demonstrated in a portfolio/report* submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Selection Committee.

2. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

* The design portfolio of not more than eight A3 pages should focus on design work rather than, for example, life or still-life drawing skills. Applicants submitting work done in the context of employment should explain their role in the work produced with brief notes. Images and drawings presented in the portfolio should be reproduced at sufficient scale and resolution to be clearly readable. Elaborate formats that reduce the available page space for the design images should be avoided. It is most helpful to see a variety of kinds of drawings and images; free hand diagrams, computer images, two-dimensional (plans, sections, elevations) and three-dimensional studies, photographs of physical models.

Reports should be in electronic format and no more than 10 x A4 pages. They should include a CV plus illustrate work(s) undertaken in the context of employment. Applicants should explain their role in the work(s) produced with brief notes, and if appropriate, provide images and official documentation.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne School of Design is the graduate school of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. It offers professional entry programs in Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Property and Urban Planning. It offers specialist development programs in Property Valuation, Planning and Design and in Urban Design.

The Melbourne School of Design welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is the University and Faculty (Architecture, Building and Planning) policy to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments so as to enable students’ participation in degrees offered by the Melbourne School of Design (MSD).

A candidate for degrees offered in the MSD must have abilities and skills which include the following: observation; communication; motor; conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and
behavioural and social. Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability, however, particularly at Masters level, students need to be able to participate in programs in an independent manner and with regard to their safety and the safety of others.

(i) Observation: Candidates must be able to read text, diagrams, maps, drawings and numerical data. Candidates should be able to observe details at a number of scales and to record useful observations of environmental contexts.

(ii) Communication: Candidates should be able to communicate with fellow students, professional and academic staff, members of relevant professions and the public. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing, presenting one's own work in front of a large group, receiving and responding to feedback about one's own work in a public setting. Assessment in studio subjects will involve 'crits' where students present their own work in front of a large group, where they will receive and respond to feedback about their work in a public setting. Crits are an integral part of working in the industry and are an inherent requirement of the course.

(iii) Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from environmental contexts. Off campus investigations may include visits to construction sites,
urban, rural and/or remote environments. Candidates should have sufficient motor ability to prepare documentation of analytic texts, drawings and models of findings and for the
preparation of proposals for environmental interventions via digital or other means. Candidates should have the ability to actively participate in appropriate site and/or design
studio-based activities.

(iv) Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis and, importantly, the ability to
interpret results of such work. Problem resolution, the critical skill demanded of graduates, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, given the disciplines pursued in the
MSD, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships in environmental structures of a wide range of scales –
from smaller than the individual through individual buildings and urban spaces to large geographic areas. Further, graduate study entails learning to master one’s own abilities and
skills and to deploy them strategically. This requires further developing skills in both reflective and reflexive thinking and being able to practice these skills.

(v) Behavioural and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students. Assessment in studio subjects will involve 'crits' where students present their own work in front of a large group, where they will receive and respond to feedback about their work in a public setting. Crits are an integral part of working in the industry and are an inherent requirement of the course.

Students who feel a disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes:

Refer to University of Melbourne graduate attributes located at


Students in this program may be eligible to undertake final subject assessment if they:
• are in the final semester of their enrolment (not the last 50 points of the course); and
• fail* a single subject worth up to 12.5 points with a final result of 40 - 49%.

* Receive an N or NH grade, except where that NH grade was awarded due to failure to participate in a component of assessment.

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