AUT - Bachelor of Business - Design major


Bachelor of Business - Design major

A business plan may help get a product to market, but how do you ensure that your great idea translates into something truly marketable? The design major aims to provide tomorrow’s business leaders with the capabilities to develop creative companies.

More information about the Bachelor of Business


Business students are introduced to the principles and practice of design, from working with designers to the application of design in effective management processes. They will expand their visual awareness and gain a sound appreciation of the interrelationships between design, creativity and innovation.

Through this major, students will come to recognise the value of design whether they are developing a pioneering product, leading a groundbreaking project initiative or embarking on an entirely 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 Thinking (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)
  • Fundamentals of Marketing, Advertising, Retailing and Sales (MARS) (15 points)
  • Business Information Systems (15 points)
  • Introduction to Tourism (15 points)
  • Leadership for Sustainable Enterprise (15 points)

Part 2

Over the next 2 years, you will gain an understanding of how 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

This is the final part to the Bachelor of Business degree and takes a full semester of study. You have the opportunity to apply what you have learnt in your major(s) to the real world in a business, not-for profit organisation, or entrepreneurial venture. You choose 1 of the following papers:

1) Co-operative Education
A supervised industry placement related to your major in an organisation of your choice. Placements can be done either in New Zealand or overseas. Recent placements included Dynamite Mobile Marketing Technology, Dreamcolor and Jack Yan and Associates (publishers of Lucire magazine).


2) Applied Project (normally by invitation only)

You do a supervised individual or group project based within an academic department in the AUT Business School. This option is primarily aimed at those students interested in continuing on to postgraduate study.

Further information about Co-operative Education


Level Five:

115800 Design Thinking

Level Six:

116800 Activating Creativity
116802 Design Contexts
116803 Design and Business

Level Seven:

117807 Managing Design in Business

Select Two:

117803 Design and Innovation for Sustainability
117805 Breakthrough Thinking
117806 Design Futures
117808 Service & Experience Design
117809 Visual Communication for Business

Related programmes

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

Career opportunities

  • Design manager
  • Design strategist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Product development coordinator
  • Product manager

Graduates and students of business

Last updated: 09-Sep-2014 1.03pm

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

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