Bachelor of Business - Design major

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? Creativity, design and innovative thinking are sought-after skills in today’s challenging and rapidly evolving business environment. Some of the most successful contemporary  businesses are not only using design to develop high value products,  services and brands, but also using design to drive their strategic thinking and direction.

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 will expand your design awareness and capability and gain a sound appreciation of the interrelationships between design, creativity and innovation.

You will come to recognise the value of design, whether you are developing a pioneering product, leading a ground breaking 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 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)
  • 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)
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation (15 points)
  • Law in Our Contemporary World (15 points)

Part 2

Over the next two 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

Co-operative Education is the final part of the BBus and takes a full semester of study. This is a supervised work placement related to your major(s) in an organisation of your choice. You have the opportunity to apply what you have learnt in your major(s) to the real world in a business, not-forprofit organisation, entrepreneurial venture or an applied project. 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).

Further information about Co-operative Education


Level Five:

DESN500 Design for Business

Level Six:

DESN600 Design Thinking Processes

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

Level Seven:

DESN701 Design Collaboration

Select Two:

DESN700 Service Design
DESN702 Design and Innovation 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
  • Design strategist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Product development coordinator
  • Product manager

Graduates and students of business

Last updated: 29-Jul-2016 11.28am

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