Helpful tips—Ngā tohutohu āwhina

Read explanations of some common terms that you'll come across when you start your studies with us.


Adding or withdrawing from a course

To make any changes to your course of study, you need to email the Faculty office on and include your student ID number, name, and course(s) that you wish to add or withdraw from.


Always read all the way through your assignment or project briefs. Ask questions if you are unsure what is being asked of you. Your tutors are there to help you, so ask for help.


Create your own opportunities—whai mātauranga means to pursue knowledge, to be curious. Attending to all lectures, studios, and tutorials is important. If you are not able to turn up, email your course coordinator as soon as possible. Be aware that documentation is required if you need extensions to the submission dates as a result of your absence from classes.



Throughout the trimester, you will find all your coursework and information on Blackboard. Log in using the same username and password as you have set for your main login in Blackboard.

On most Blackboard pages you will also be able to find your tutorial group and—later in the trimester—your grades. Your course coordinators will also send information updates out to the class using the Blackboard announcements feature. It is important for your learning that you keep up with these announcements. These will be sent from Blackboard to your student email address.


Change your degree or specialisation

To change your degree or major/minor you need to email the Faculty office on for further course advice. If you are considering changing your degree or specialisation, you should first discuss your options with a student adviser.

Conjoint degree

A conjoint degree is a programme of study that leads to two or more qualifications. Conjoint programmes involve special cross-crediting arrangements that allow students to complete two qualifications in a shorter time than that required to complete each separately.


Studio classes and tutorials are exciting opportunities to communicate with your classmates, share ideas, and discuss your work with others. Whanaungatanga acknowledges the shared experience of the design studio—so make connections and reach out to classmates.

Course finder

Course finder is a publicly available online publication that lists all courses, course prescriptions, and timetabling information. The Course finder is used by students when completing an enrolment application and is a companion document to the University Calendar.

Course codes

Each course has two identifiers. One consists of four letters identifying the subject and field, and the other consists of three numbers, which identifies the level—for example, DSDN 101. A course code starting with a “1” refers to a first-year course. See a full list of course subject codes.


The University website is regularly updated with information regarding COVID-19 and our approach to teaching. Information about online learning.


Double degree

A double degree is a programme of study that leads to two degrees—for example, BDI and BCom. For more information on double degrees, contact the Faculty student advisers.


Email notifications

We often send out important email communications. All official email communications sent by Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington (including Blackboard announcements) are sent to student email accounts. To keep up to date, you should forward all your email from Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation to your established email account. Include your name and student ID in all of your communications with staff.


First-year workshop—health and safety induction

Mandatory course requirements: all students wishing to use the First-year workshop must complete the First-Year Workshop Student Health and Safety Induction and Basic Machinery training.



Grades are posted on Blackboard, usually within two weeks of the hand-in date. If you have a question about your grade, you can contact your course coordinator. But before doing that, make sure you thoroughly read their feedback in Blackboard.

The grades range in scale from A+ to E.

Passing grades

Grade Percentage range Level of work
A+ 90–100 Outstanding performance
A 85–89 Excellent performance
A- 80–84 Excellent performance in most respects
B+ 75–79 Very good performance
B 70–74 Good performance
B- 65–69 Good performance overall, but some weaknesses
C+ 60–64 Satisfactory to good performance
C 55–59 Satisfactory performance
C- 50–54 Adequate evidence of learning

Failing grades

Grade Percentage range Level of work
D 40–49 Poor performance overall, some evidence of learning
E 0–39 Work is below the required standard



In the spirit of whanaungatanga—relationships and collaborations—help us to help you. Let’s appreciate the shared experience of teaching and learning. Talk about your mahi (work) and korero (share your ideas) with your classmates and tutors. And—most importantly—if you don’t know something, just ask!



We are here to help you learn. Teaching and learning is a two-way relationship in the spirit of akoranga.



Do the mahi. Within a number of your classes you will also be asked to do small bite-sized weekly exercises, tasks, and assessments that relate to specific skills and course tasks (often called PBAs). These help both you and us keep the coursework relevant and challenging.


A major is a substantial component of an undergraduate degree, consisting of courses normally worth at least 120 points in a recognised subject area and including at least 40 points at 300-level or above. For a general undergraduate degree—that is, the BA, BCom, BSc—a major shall not require more than 140 points at 200 level or above.

In the Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation (WFADI), a major is defined by a distinct set of courses that offer students a specific set of skills. At WFADI there is a selection process at the end of first year for entry into the majors.

Architecture majors

  • Architecture
  • Architecture History and Theory
  • Building Science
  • Interior Architecture
  • Landscape Design

Find out more about Architectural Studies subjects.

Design majors

  • Animation and Visual Effects
  • Communication Design
  • Design for Social Innovation
  • Fashion Design Technology
  • Game Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Media Design

Find out more about Design subjects.


A minor is a component of an undergraduate degree, consisting of courses at 200-level or above in a recognised subject worth at least 60 points, and including at least 15 points at 300 level. Minors in Bachelor of Design Innovation.

myAllocator tutorial sign-up

You can sign up for tutorials by logging in to myAllocator using your student username and password. Most tutorials will not be loaded into myAllocator until the start of the first trimester. Also, tutorials that are loaded may not be available for sign-up immediately. If you are concerned about your tutorial being unavailable, contact your course coordinator.



Let’s practice manaakitanga and respect the places and the people we share space with:

  • Please don’t make personal phone calls in class. If you need to take or make an important call, excuse yourself temporarily from the class.
  • Engage in sustainable practices—kaitiakitanga. Remember to recycle and don’t be wasteful.
  • No food or drink is allowed near any of the computers.
  • Be respectful of the space and others that use it. Tidy up after yourself—this includes any furniture you have shifted.
  • Check the studio noticeboards for studio culture guidelines.


Prerequisites are the courses you have to pass before you can take a particular course you’re interested in.

Progress-based assessments

Progress-based assessments (PBAs) are bite-sized weekly tasks used in some courses that relate to specific aspects of your coursework and skill sets. Doing the PBAs will help you succeed in each course. You must complete PBAs within the designated timeframe for the studio, class, or lecture. There are no extensions and no do-overs. PBAs can be worth up to 30% of your total grade in each course, so make sure you do them. It’s pretty clear—do the mahi (work) and you’ll reap the rewards.

Pūaha—student portal

Explore the new student administration space on our website Pūaha, a self-service portal where you can access personalised tools and information for your studies including:

  • your personalised timetable, grades, student records, and other academic details
  • key dates
  • links to news and events
  • links to services that support your learning, study, and wellbeing.

All currently enrolled students can login using their username and password. Meaning ‘mouth of a river’, Pūaha connects to the idea of a student journey through university.

If you have any questions about Pūaha call 0800 04 04 04 or email


Student representatives

At Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation, we enjoy a great relationship between students and staff, and much of this is due to the communication channels. Become a student representative and an active leader who represents the student voice in our Faculty. Nominations will be asked for in classes. Put your hand up!



Lab and lecture times are outlined on the student timetables and on the course information webpage for each course.


Weekly optional design tutorials are run for students in the School of Design Innovation by both staff and tutors on Wednesdays from 10:30 am to 12 noon. Optional tutorials go over important and sometimes more complex tasks covered in the main design studios or tutorials. They give you added time and assistance to understand and master them.

Each week we let you know in lectures and on the optional tutorial calendar pinned on the studio wall what we will be doing in the next optional tutorial session.

Choosing your degree

Watch a video to learn all about how you can choose your degree. Find out about majors, minors, and courses—and how you can shape your study to match your career goals.