Skip Navigation LinksHomeProgrammesArts & DesignGraduate Diploma in Animation

Graduate Diploma in Animation

Level 7

UCOL’s Graduate Diploma in Animation will provide you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the animation design industry in New Zealand as well as internationally.

Students work together in a Mac Lab at the Whanganui School of Design
Quick info

Level: 7

Locations: Whanganui

Duration: 1 year, full-time or part-time study options

20 Feb 2017 - 1 Dec 2017

Domestic Fees:*
$6,894.65Scholarship info

International Fees:*

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

The Graduate Diploma in Animation at the Whanganui School of Design (WSD) combines cutting edge software practice with the study of animation principles and animation processes. Our integrated, interdisciplinary approach to animation will enable you to become a well informed and skilled practitioner at the forefront of industry.

Career & Study Outcomes

  • Layout design
  • Storyboarding
  • Voiceover production
  • Soundtrack production
  • Animated films producer
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Producers and Directors and Film, TV and Music Technicians, and Designers and Artists.

Industry Connections

  • A Corporate Member of the Designers Institute of NZ
  • Students and graduates have taken out top prizes in the Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ) BEST Awards many times over the years
  • An impressive range of Industry stakeholders in the fields of animation, web, publication, video, game design and illustration
  • Students undertake real-life industry projects in a wide-range of design industries each year through internships
  • Graduates work at Weta Digital, TVNZ, Digital Arts Network, Charactaz Animation, Saatchi and Saatchi and more.

Learning Facilities

The Whanganui School of Design at UCOL Whanganui is a NZIA (New Zealand Institute of Architects) heritage award winning building located on Taupo Quay and features modern spacious studio suites with industry leading technology and equipment.

Domestic Entry Requirements

  • A Bachelor degree, or higher, from a New Zealand University, Polytechnic or NZQA Approved Provider 
  • Graduate equivalency for those who can demonstrate appropriate practical, professional or educational experience.

International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international students.

English Proficiency Entry Requirements:

International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 6.0 with no band score lower than 5.5. UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. The English Proficiency test is accepted for English language entry into all UCOL programmes.

Academic evidence
Those entering with a Bachelor degree, or higher qualification, will be required to present either an original or certified copy of their academic transcript issued by the awarding institute, which must be an accredited international provider.

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 Graduate Diploma in Animation is a one-year, 120 credit programme of study.

Students who already have established skills in the areas of design and time-based media, and the accompanying software programmes, and are seeking to enhance these through the acquisition of more specialist skills and knowledge in the area of animation, will benefit most from engagement in this programme.

Students who do not have a fundamental grounding in design, computer graphic design and related subjects may need to acquire skills and knowledge in these areas before embarking on this programme. An applicant who is unsure about the suitability of the programme, or the assumed skill-level of those entering the programme, should consult with the programme’s academic manager before enrolling. 

The programme emphasises the acquisition of skills and knowledge through practical application across a range of activities. Where learning activities involve attendance at formal lecture sessions, workshops and studio practice, students are strongly encouraged to attend all the activities as they are timetabled. 

Students are expected to engage in independent learning activities outside the class contact/lecturer supported learning hours.  Where facilities such as the studios or computer suites are required there is 24 hour, security controlled access to these on the UCOL Whanganui campus.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email.

Recognition of prior learning
Applicants seeking graduate equivalency will be asked to present suitable evidence of their work experience, any prior educational achievements and the skill levels that they have attained. The programme’s academic manager can advise an applicant on the presentation of this evidence, but suggested forms of evidence are a curriculum vitae, a portfolio of work, and employer letters of attestation.

Course Information

  • Design Practical
  • 3D Modelling
  • Drawing
  • Internship
  • Design Practical 2
  • Animation
  • Degree Project


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.