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New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design Level 3

Level 3

Discover your talent with UCOL’s NZ Certificate in Arts & Design, level 3. This inspiring hands-on programme is an excellent foundation to prepare you for further study in arts, graphic design or textile and fashion.

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Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: Palmerston North, Whanganui

Duration: 1 semester

Palmerston North
20 Feb 2017 - 30 Jun 2017

20 Feb 2017 - 30 Jun 2017

Domestic Fees:*
$3,114.96Scholarship info

International Fees:*

* 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.

This is a hands on, studio-based programme which allows you to explore & gain skills in a range of visual arts, fashion/textiles and digital design mediums. 

The NZ Certificate in Arts and Design, level 3 aims to provide a basic grounding in a range of design and arts media and is a good stair-casing programme for entry into higher level art and design qualifications.

Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of the New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design will be able to:

  • Apply introductory skills and conventions in arts, craft and/or design to investigate and produce work.
  • Apply creative processes and techniques to solve problems in response to a brief.
  • Demonstrate introductory work practices in arts, craft and/or design.
  • Collaborate with others, and reflect on, select and present work.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural sector and creative industries within Aotearoa New Zealand.

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 art and design home room, specialist Mac design labs, printmaking facilities, fashion and textiles studio, photography and lighting studio, and wood and metal working workshop.

Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1 (including Literacy 10 credits and Numeracy 10 Credits at Level 1) or equivalent.

International Entry Requirements

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

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS (or equivalent including TOEFL) score of 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

The New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 3) comprises 60 credits. This leads to the New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 4), 60 credits qualification. It can be studied full-time or part-time, and may require students to engage with evening classes and activities. 

Applicants for the New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 3) may be required to attend a conversation with UCOL staff. The purpose of the conversation is to provide information to the applicant, to gauge motivation and support, and preparedness for study, and to inform teaching staff of the needs of the student. 

From time to time study may include field trips of one or more days in length, and in those instances there may be additional costs incurred by the student. In these instances students will be informed of the schedule and associated costs well ahead of time and the programme lecturers will endeavour to ensure the costs and arrangements are appropriate.

Students need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in professional studio environments. Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Programme Leader before the programme begins.

Work experience
There are no work experience hours for this programme.

Recognition of prior learning
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.

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design Level 3 supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:
  • Certificate in Art and Design.

Course Information

Compulsory courses:
  • Design                  
  • Creative Processes                          
  • Elective Courses - Students must choose ONE Elective Stream**
Stream 1:                                             
  • Two-Dimensional Studies                                             
  • Three-Dimensional Studies                         
Stream 2: 
  • Digital Media                       
  • Photography      
** Available streams may vary between campuses. 


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.