Weta Workshop School at Massey University
“Here at Weta Workshop we are tremendously fortunate to have some of the finest creative minds working in film, television, and gaming today. It is with great pride that we now join forces with Massey University in this new venture to develop the world’s best budding concept designers into extraordinary storytellers for the world’s entertainment industries.”
Weta Workshop co-founder and CEO
Create your own imaginary worlds for film, TV and game by studying a Master of Design
The Weta Workshop School at Massey University is a new way to study Entertainment Design. The School develops experts of design research and practice. Graduate with the diverse range of skills needed to start your career in concept design and visual storytelling for the entertainment industry.
The partnership of award-winning Weta Workshop and the internationally recognised Massey University delivers a unique educational experience. Learn from and engage with some of the industry’s finest concept designers as you work towards a Master of Design qualification from New Zealand’s premier Design School, ranked in the top 100 Art and Design Schools in the world.
Empowering your Mastery of Concept Design
By specialising in Entertainment Design, you’ll emerge with the tools to create incredible imaginary worlds for film, television, and gaming. The programme focuses on the key areas of idea creation, storytelling, and concept design. As you progress through the one-year course, you’ll expand your technical ability, develop critical thinking skills, and take on leadership roles in real-world scenarios.
Undertake your own research and design project, exploring how Entertainment Design works as a tool for creating compelling characters, engaging worlds, and incredible stories. The programme culminates with a written research component presented alongside a body of concept design work.
Expert instruction from Industry Leaders
An exclusive one-year programme – starts September 2019
Duration of course: 12 months full time
Start date: 16 September 2019
• Master of Design 120 credit programme
• Students will have access to Massey University workshop, studio, teaching, and library facilities
Location: Massey University and Weta Workshop, Wellington, New Zealand
Weta Workshop Grad Camp
An intensive week-long orientation programme run by designers from Weta Workshop and Massey University. Be introduced to Weta Workshop’s design practice surrounding story, character and world creation. Start to develop skills in visual storytelling by collaborating on a world-building project.
You will be assigned two supervisors for your project, one from Weta Workshop and one from Massey University. Your supervisors will regularly review your work to help guide your progress and take your design ideas to new heights.
Weta Workshop Internship
The course includes a two-week internship at Weta Workshop: A very special opportunity to gain experience at a working design studio. Here, you will develop your communication and technical skills and work on a real concept design project, for a real client.
Due to the specialised nature of this Master of Design, a limited number of places are available each year.
This programme is only available for full-time study starting on 16 September 2019.
To be eligible for entrance, students must have:
A four-year undergraduate degree or four-year degree in design, visual communication, fine art, or equivalent (eg. US four-year Bachelor degree), or significant concept design experience in the entertainment industry.
Students must also supply the following with their application:
A portfolio of artwork between 12-20 pages that includes the following:
1) Concept Design:
(This section needs to reinforce an applicant’s capability and understanding of concept design and how it is applied to the Entertainment industry.)
• A selection of your best work that ideally showcases your conceptual thinking and technical execution across character and costume design, creature design, environment design and key-scene illustrations. This could be personal and/or professional work.
• Please include at least one example of a design that shows how you took your design from an idea through to a range of options and on to a selected final.
2) Personal Work:
(This is to showcase your personal artistic passion and technical ability. We are interested in seeing the depth of artistic mediums and creativity you engage with outside of concept design)
• A selection of your personal artwork. This could include, life drawing and painting, sculpture, model-making, toy or doll making, traditional painting, graphic design, animation.
• The approximate split between your concept design and personal work in your portfolio should be 70% concept design and 30% personal work.
A two page (400 - 800 words) outline which explains the intended line of enquiry/ research that will be the primary design practice for the Masters project. Including the preliminary research questions:
• an explanation of the context of the concept design issue, or area of concept design interest.
• an introduction to an existing licence that will frame your design project, or an original IP, or type of creature/character, world or story construct you wish to explore.
• a schedule for how the project could develop over the year.
• how you will fund your study.
• a list of specialist equipment, software or facilities needed to complete the project.
a preliminary bibliography of central texts and precedent designs (films, games, TV) that could influence your project.
Portfolio Submission Process:
All portfolios must be submitted in a digital format through this site. Submissions open February 1st 2019 and close 31 May 2019.
Please send your submission as a PDF. If you have links to animations include those within your portfolio along with still images.
If you are submitting traditional work like sculpture or paintings, please ensure your photographs are of a good quality. NOTE: Hardcopy portfolios will not be accepted.
• A resume showing previous education and/or work experience.
• For students whose first language is not English, you must achieve and submit your verified proficiency score with your application. Applications without the required score in-hand will not be assessed. Please submit your verified IELTS (International English Language Testing System) overall score of at least 6.5 (with no score lower than 6.0 in any category) with your application. For the requirements of other English tests Massey accepts (such as TOEFL or DAAD) please consult Massey’s language requirements through this link.
What happens after I submit:
• You will receive correspondence from Massey University with regards your Master of Design programme application.
• You will also receive an acknowledgment of your submission and its acceptance based upon the criteria listed above.
• All submissions will be given due consideration. Candidates will be notified after the application deadline.
• A short-list of students will be interviewed, and offers will be made upon completion of this stage. Interviews will be conducted online via Skype.
• Please note: Due to entertainment industry confidentiality considerations, all successful students must sign a non-disclosure agreement with Weta Workshop.
In 2019, the programme fees are set at between $7,185.00 - $9,331.70 NZD for domestic (NZ citizens / permanent residents) and $34,690.00 NZD for International full fee-paying students. These tuition rates are correct at time of writing but are subject to change.
Ready to apply? Click here.
Each student will have two supervisors for their project. One from Weta Workshop and one from Massey University. Supervisors will jointly review students work multiple times during the course of their project and help direct their learning and skills.
College of Creative Arts
+64 (04) 801 5799 ext. 63061
Paula Barletto Andrade
Applications open 1 February 2019
Weta Workshop Internship
The course includes a two-week internship at Weta Workshop: A very special opportunity to gain an understanding of what it is like at a working design studio. Candidates will develop their communication and technical skills and work on a real concept design project, for a real client.
Weta Workshop is a multi award-winning design studio and physical manufacturing facility servicing the world’s entertainment and creative industries.
Drawing on more than 27 years of filmmaking experience, five-time Oscar-winning Design and Effects Supervisor Richard Taylor and the Weta Workshop crew engage in projects from the earliest stages of technical analysis and creative design, through to manufacture across all departments and final delivery on set to anywhere in the world.
Ghost in the Shell
Behind the scenes with Weta Workshop
Watch our showreel
Blade Runner 2049
Weta Workshop making minatures
Designing the Kaiju
Massey University College of Creative Arts, Wellington, New Zealand
Ngā Pae Māhutonga – the School of Design is acknowledged as providing one of the best design educations in the Asia-Pacific region. The contemporary portfolio of courses, faculty of internationally recognised leaders in design research and practice, and world-class facilities provide an ideal environment for students to realise their full creative potential.
The School of Design offers five major design specialisms in fashion, industrial, spatial, textiles and visual communication. The programme allows for a number of minor options, which flexibly enable students to explore and develop a range of interdisciplinary design skills. In the course of their study students address local and global issues producing inspirational design solutions for a rapidly changing world.
Students achieve the highest level of success in national and international competitions and awards including: Red Dot, AGOTYA, WOW, Dyson, Electrolux, Sony, LG, and Best Design.