Master of Creative Enterprise and Innovation

The programme prepares creative graduates from any field to confidently become founders, entrepreneurs and develop start-up wealth and job-creating enterprises, or to operationalise their creativity within existing organisations.

The Master of Creative Enterprise and Innovation (MCEI) will provide a unique springboard for future founders and startup entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality.

New Zealand’s first-ever non-disciplinary MCEI kicks off in July 2023 and was co-created with some of the world’s leading innovative thinkers, business owners, investors, mentors, movers, and shakers.

The NZQA-approved and accredited 180-credit Level 9 programme gives students access to industry experts via weekend master classes, guest lectures, and presentations. Designed as a low-residency model, applicants can continue working while exploring their innovative ideas and will benefit from programme flexibility that allows for individual aspirations and goals.

Key dates

July 2024 Intake 22 • 07 • 24
February 2025 Intake 17 • 02 • 25

View full calendar


18 months (3 semesters) – full-time


Master's Degree (Level 9) 180 credits


Domestic $8,738 + $300 Student Service Levy
International $24,000 + $300 Student Services Levy
Fees indicated are for 1st year of study. Next 6 months fees may vary.
All 2024 fees are subject to change and regulatory approval.

View full fees

Master of Creative Enterprise and Innovation Course Outline

Programme length is 18 months (3 semesters) – full-time.
All components are compulsory and follow a defined progression with pre and co-requisites.

The MCEI is the ideal programme for future founders and startups to learn how to launch an enterprise whether it’s a product or service. Non-disciplinary specific, it’s the perfect meld of academic learning, problem-solving, design thinking and human–centred system-minded design. Students will be encouraged to develop a deep sense of curiosity, purpose, passion and empathy to be leaders — not followers — and to influence the future.

To be able to co-create an innovative programme with industry experts has enabled Whitecliffe to build a really exciting master’s degree that will challenge, enlighten and encourage students to not only dream big but potentially turn those dreams and enterprises into reality.

The American writer and entrepreneur Mark Twain once said, ‘Explore. Dream. Discover.’ This programme will allow students to Explore. Dream. Discover and Do.

The programme supports students through an integrated approach, intentionally building resilience and confidence alongside the development of creative and innovative concepts and products. Students will strengthen their critical thinking and analysis skills, problem-solving, self-management, working with people and communication competencies. The MCEI programme is also a platform for human-centred creativity, impacting social, cultural, economic, and environmental outcomes and job creation. The relationship between creativity, enterprise and innovation will enable graduates to work beyond borders and become global citizens.

Semester One

Understanding Self as the Innovator
Understanding the self as an innovator is foundational as an in-depth awareness of what is involved in becoming a founder and developing concepts. It focuses on the concept of ‘cultivating’ and includes critique and application to the self and own aspirations to become resilient and risk positive, both important attributes reflected in the industry feedback. Semester one will provide opportunities to open the inner innovator/entrepreneur and give them license to move to the next stage of their (ad)venture.


Risk and Resilience: (30 Credits - Compulsory)

To build a community of learning/practice and establish the foundations of becoming creative innovators. To develop resilience and innovative responses to a variety of contemporary challenges and situations, including risk, through collaboration, experimentation, and reflection.

Experimentation as a Tool for Success: (30 Credits - Compulsory)

To evaluate and analyse relevant design model/s and processes and communicate their application.

Master of creative enterprise design tools

Semester Two

Applied Models for Success
Semester two is concerned with the application and experimentation of creative innovation, e.g., intellectual property (IP), finance (big picture), funding, forecasting, marketing, scoping, lean startup, digital marketing, design thinking, human centred design, digital transformation, branding, and social change. By the end of this semester students will have developed their Minimum Viable Product (MVP)


Applied Models for Success: (30 Credits - Compulsory)

To provide principles and practices to support the continuation the ‘build, test, learn’ process of creative, innovative designs.

Innovative Concept Development and Testing: (30 Credits - Compulsory)

To synthesise the design process of a contextualised prototype based on robust analysis and evaluation.

Design Innovation

Semester Three

From Innovation to Market
From Innovation to Market focuses on bringing the concept to market. The process is driven by self-determined learning supported by lecturers/mentors with the intention of making a final pitch to investors (if relevant).


Innovation to Market: (60 Credits - Compulsory)

Build on the learning from the previous semester, synthesise research, development strategies and design skills to bring a finalised prototype to market.

Master of Creative Enterprise and Innovation programme

Life After a Masters of Creative Enterprise and Innovation

Graduates of the MCEI are creative and innovative problem solvers focused on creating change and entre/intrapreneurship.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an agile mind-set, communications skills, innovative leadership, and resilience through creative storytelling.
  • Apply critical thinking to discern the social, cultural, environmental, and economic impacts of design innovation.
  • Create innovative, non-linear solutions to design challenges.
  • Establish and monitor realistic goals to transform and actualise a minimum viable produce (MVP) to market readiness.
  • Synthesise concepts, research, and practice to generate future-focused ideas and creative innovations in local or global contexts.

Graduates of this programme may progress to doctoral studies, depending on the entry requirements of the receiving programme.

Design Innovation

Key Information for Students

NZ Government key information link for students, that provides more information to support your decision making for this programme

KIS Button landscape

Admission Requirements

To enter the Master of Creative Enterprise and Innovation candidates will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor’s Degree achieved with a B average in the final year, or a Bachelor Honours Degree or a Postgraduate Diploma OR
  • have been awarded a Bachelor’s Degree followed by relevant professional experience OR
  • have demonstrated equivalent practical, professional and/or scholarly experience.

Evidence for equivalent practical, professional and/or scholarly experience:

Candidates applying for entry without an acceptable academic qualification will need to show how their informal learning aligns with the learning outcomes for a degree. A graduate of a Bachelor’s degree is able to:

  • demonstrate intellectual independence, critical thinking, and analytic rigour
  • engage in self-directed learning
  • demonstrate knowledge and skills related to the ideas, principles, concepts, research methods and problem-solving techniques of a recognised major subject
  • demonstrate the skills needed to acquire, understand, and assess information from a range of sources
  • demonstrate communication and collaborative skills.

As a guide, the above outcomes could be expected to be achieved after a minimum of four years of professional-level work experience
(paid or unpaid), or through a combination of pre-degree education and professional-level work. Professional-level work is characterised by:

  • The ability to use independent judgement and discretion in performing work duties.
  • A level of specialized knowledge in the field of work with some authority for decision-making.
  • In-depth work requirements, such as data gathering, analysis and interpretation.
  • Interaction with a broad range of individuals, including key stakeholders.
  • Individual accountability for results.

Entry at the Discretion of the Head of School:

Candidates applying for entry will be required to submit evidence that they meet the entry requirements, as well as a written expression of interest summarising their creative or innovative practice, their creative enterprise concept, and their initial ideas about taking their concept to market.

Candidates will be interviewed.

Candidates will be offered entry to the programme at the discretion of the Head of the School of Design Innovation.

English language requirements:

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide satisfactory evidence of proficiency in the English language, such as a minimum score of 625 on the TOEFL test, or 6.5 on the IELTS.

International students are required to meet the minimum English language requirements for this level programme as detailed on the following NZQA webpages: and

Credit recognition and transfer:

Individual case by case for semester one courses only:

  • MCE8101 Risk and Resilience and
  • MCE 8102 Experimentation as a tool for Success

Recognition of prior learning:

As this programme is focused on original outputs, prior learning is not recognised for credit purposes.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Requirements:

This programme has Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) requirements, the following specifications will support you to be successful in your studies.

Required IT Specifications:

  • Apple Mac OS 10.6 (Leopard) or higher, preferably 10.x Yosemite or higher 
  • Apple MacBook Air with M1 Chip (base model) 
  • Macbook Pro (preferred)
    AND dedicated GPU (Graphics card).

Minimum Hardware requirements

  • Mac - Intel processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor with SSE 4.2 or later
  • MacBook Air with M1 Chip 
  • Intel® or AMD processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor with SSE 4.2 or later 
  • 16 GB RAM    
  • 500 GB SSD or higher hard drive with 10GB free space minimum    
  • Wireless capability 802.11n dual-band    
  • Up-to-date antivirus software    
    AND Recommend
  • A Wacom Intuos - small (USB drawing tablet needed for projects)
  • May use Apple iPad Pro and pencil.

Minimum Operating System     

  • Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1809 or later; LTSC versions are not supported
  • Apple macOS Mojave (version 10.14) or later 
  • Internet and data plan.    

Not Supported:    

  • Chromebooks    
  • Windows X or Windows S OS    
  • Tablets (except Windows Surface Pro or iPad Pro)   

Where could this programme take you?

The programme promotes and nurtures the essence of entrepreneurship without necessarily restricting graduates to becoming entrepreneurs. Graduates of this programme may progress to doctoral studies, depending on the entry requirements of the receiving programme.

Jobs related to this programme

• Entrepreneurs

• Enterprise creators

• Innovators

• Agents of change – someone who promotes and enables change to happen within a sector or organisation.

• Disrupters – someone who looks at things differently.

• Business founders

• Business owners

• Re-imagining existing business

• Job creators

• Senior managers or C-suite contenders

Find out more about career opportunities

Talk to our team

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If you would like to ask us a question or request more information, please detail your enquiry using the form below. If you would like you can contact us directly on 0800 800 300, email us or use the contact us form.

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