Bachelor of Business - Design major

Design, creativity and innovative thinking are sought-after skills in today’s rapidly evolving business environment. A business plan may help get an idea to the market, but how do you ensure your ideas are truly innovative, meet real needs, and translate into something with a high value return?

Service Design: AUT meets IAG

Service Design students gain meaningful industry experience with their project collaborating with the insurance company IAG.

Today’s most successful contemporary businesses are using design to drive their strategic thinking and direction, not just to develop high value products, services and brands.

The outcomes for graduates of this major are outlined in the Graduate Profile.

More information about the Bachelor of Business


The Design major introduces you to the principles and practice of design and design thinking – from customer/user research, insight development, creativity, ‘hands-on’ design for services and experiences, to the application of design in effective management processes. You explore the relationships between design, creativity and innovation, and learn to recognise the value of design, whether you’re developing a pioneering product, leading a ground breaking project initiative or starting a new business venture.

Structure and content

Part 1

Papers in part 1 provide you with an introduction to the roles of business and fundamental concepts in business disciplines. You complete 5 core papers in part 1 which are:

  • Business in Context (30 points)
  • Management and Organisation (15 points)
  • Accounting for Decision Making (15 points)
  • Quantitative Methods for Business (15 points)
  • Economic Principles I (15 points)

In addition to the 5 core papers, in order to major in Design you must complete the elective paper Design for Business (15 points) and you choose 1 elective paper from the list below, or from elsewhere in the university:

  • Economic Principles 2 (15 points)
  • Introduction to Finance (15 points)
  • Marketing, Advertising, Retailing, Sales: Positioning in an Omni Environment (15 points)
  • Business Information Systems (15 points)
  • Leadership for Sustainable Enterprise (15 points)
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation (15 points)

Part 2

Over the next two years, you learn to apply creative techniques to business, design effective business processes, foster innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and examine the links between effective design and sustainable business practices.

Part 3

Workplace experience (Co-operative Education) is the final part of your degree and takes a full semester. This is a supervised work placement related to your major(s), for an organisation of your choice in New Zealand or overseas. You apply what you’ve learnt in a real-world business, not-for-profit organisation, entrepreneurial venture or through an applied project, which is a supervised research project.

Recent placements included:

  • Conscious Consumers
  • Lightening Lab
  • Orange Telecom
  • Panuku Development Auckland
  • PwC
  • Resilio
  • Spark Ventures

Further information about Co-operative Education


Level Five:

DESN500 Design for Business and Society

Level Six:

DESN600 Design Thinking Practices

Select two:
DESN601 Startegic Design
DESN602 Visual Communication in Business
DESN603 Activating Creativity

Level Seven:

DESN701 Co-Design

Select Two:

DESN700 Design for Service
DESN702 Design for Sustainability
DESN703 Breakthrough Thinking
DESN704 Design Futures

Related programmes

Please visit our AUT Postgraduate Business Qualifications page to view our range of postgraduate programmes.

Career opportunities

  • Design manager or strategist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Product development coordinator
  • Product manager
  • Service designer
  • Experience designer

Graduates and students of business

Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.42pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.