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Certificate in Graphic Design

Level 4

Study part-time while gaining essential skills needed for the graphic design industry with the Certificate in Graphic Design at the internationally acclaimed Whanganui School of Design.

Student showcases graphic design layout
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: Whanganui

Duration: 17 weeks

20 Feb 2017 - 21 Jun 2017
1 Aug 2017 - 29 Nov 2017

Domestic Fees:*
Nil fees.Scholarship info

International Fees:*
Please enquire.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). Fees for multi-year programmes are for one year of study.

In association with Whanganui District Council and Awa City Clubhouse, the Certificate in Graphic Design (Training Scheme) will introduce you to current industry standard software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, and equip you with an understanding of graphic design methods.

From concept and process through to the production of a basic design portfolio, this qualification is a great start for anyone wanting to pursue design as a career or additional skill set.

Career & Study Outcomes

UCOL's Certificate in Graphic Design will develop your computer and graphic design skills to build a design portfolio. You'll graduate understanding visual communication, the principles of design, the design process, and with the ability to use design as a means of generating and developing work. Employment options include working in an entry-level position in graphic design or related industries.

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Designers and Artists.

Education pathway

Graduates who wish to further specialise can enrol in:

Industry Connections

  • The Whanganui School of Design (WSD) is a Corporate Member of the Designers Institute of NZ (DINZ)
  • Whanganui School of Design students and graduates have taken out top prizes in the DINZ BEST Awards many times over the years.
  • Whanganui School of Design has an impressive range of Industry stakeholders in the fields of Fine Arts, Fashion and Graphic Design

Learning Facilities

Fully equipped specialist Mac Design Labs, printing facilities, and library resources.

Domestic Entry Requirements

Open entry.

International Entry Requirements

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Under 20 years of age
For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

Advice & Guidance

UCOL's Certificate in Graphic Design (Training Scheme), Level 4 comprises 20 credits.

Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course or unit standards have already been met.

Course Information

  • Elements and principles of design, and the design process
  • Basic computer skills and specialist software skills
  • Visual communication
  • Design methodology and problem solving
  • Design as a means of generating and developing work
  • Text and image
  • Images and letterforms
  • Symbolic image and text
  • Design presentation
  • Applied design research


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.