Graphic Design Courses at UCOL Polytech

Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging

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Photography, Graphic Design, Web Interactive Design, Animation, Video, Illustration

Programme Overview


Create the unexpected and ignite your creativity while discovering the many exciting careers open to you in visual imaging.


UCOL’s three year Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging (BAVI) will give you all the necessary industry-ready skills for this vast field in photography, graphic design, web/interactive design, animation, video, illustration and visual journalism.


The programme will introduce you to a wide range of knowledge in the first year where you’ll discover your true creative and technical abilities so that you can then focus on one discipline for your final year.


The programme is industry focused and flexible, allowing you to fine tune your career opportunities by choosing your own mixture of subjects, and even exiting with either a Certificate or Diploma after year one or two, if desired.



Design focuses on some traditional as well as new core areas of Graphic Design including: advertising, publications, branding, typography and projection mapping.


The primary focus on creativity and the ideation process. The design discipline is based on visual problem solving and the analysis of target user groups, and includes an overview of the techniques needed to persuade your audience.


The programme is industry focused and works towards building a strong portfolio of work.



Illustration explores the translation of drawings into illustrations. You will experiment with techniques and media, understand visual relationships and develop your drawing and observational skills.


You will build up a body of illustration work for your portfolio and put your work in context, whether it is within designs, publications or hanging in a gallery.


Illustration can cross the boundaries of the other disciplines and can be an excellent tool in digital image creation within photography and design.


Moving Image

Moving Image is the combination of animation and video. You will be able to focus on either or combine the techniques.


It will allow you to produce animated sequences for video and film from concept to final implementation. You will explore classical, 2D and 3D animation, write scripts and produce storyboards while gaining the technical knowledge to produce the animations for your final portfolio.


Whether you want to focus on modelling, character development and creation or the animation itself, you will get an all round knowledge of the processes and problem solving techniques required.



Photography explores all the areas of the photographic industry from both the technical and creative aspects.  


The primary areas of specialisation in photography that you can focus on are; wedding, product, architecture, landscape, portrait and conceptual.  


You will develop skills in solving visual problems through idea generation, composition, lighting and the use of various equipment. 


The 3rd year is based on building your portfolio of images for future employment.


Visual Journalism

Visual Journalism develops skills for applying visual storytelling through theoretical reference and global contexts.  


It looks into photojournalism, documentary filmmaking and infographics which allows you to structure information in a visual way. 


You will look into developing non-fiction narratives in a visual context.  


Video Showcase





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UCOL photography students did extremely well at NZIPP - the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography Iris Awards in Queenstown this year. They brought home two gold with distinction, four gold, six silver with distinction, 16 silver and 18 bronze:



Programme Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging - Level 7
Study Options / Duration Full-time and part-time options available , 3 years
Campuses Palmerston North
​Domestic fees: $6,987  International fees: $19,800


Palmerston North

22 February 2016 - 18 November 2016




Palmerston North
Classes are generally between the hours of 9.00am - 8.00pm Monday - Friday.

Allow 20 hours in class and an additional 20 hours lecturer-directed learning each.
Please ring Tricia Falkner for more information, phone +64 (0)695 27231


Other Programme Costs
UCOL has an Admission and Conversation process to make sure you are studying at a level you are prepared for. The aim is to help you find the right level of study and educational pathway for you to succeed at UCOL. For more information please download and read the UCOL Admission Guide.

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