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New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design Level 4

Level 4

Extend your talent with UCOL’s NZ Certificate in Arts & Design, level 4. This inspiring hands-on programme is an excellent foundation to prepare you for further study in arts, graphic design or textile and fashion.

A large scale illustration on a wall with the artist standing next to it.
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: Palmerston North, Whanganui

Duration: 19 weeks, full-time

23 Jul 2018 - 30 Nov 2018

Domestic Fees:*
$3,171.50 Scholarship info

Find out if you're eligible for fees-free study

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* 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.

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

UCOL's NZ Certificate in Arts and Design, level 4 aims to provide a solid grounding in a range of design and arts media as well as art and design history. It is an excellent stair-casing programme for entry into Diploma and Degree level art and design qualifications.

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Prepares graduates for entry level positions within the arts and/or creative industries or higher level study within art/craft/design disciplines 
  • Provides students with a strong understanding of the cultural sector of Aotearoa New Zealand to enhance the creative industries.
  • Enables students to produce work through applying creative processes in a studio-based environment that reflects professional practices and conventions within arts/craft and design contexts.
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Designers and Artists.

 Course Information

Compulsory courses:
  • Art/Design History
  • Creative Methodology
Elective Courses - Students must choose Two Elective Courses**
  • Visual Arts Studio
  • Fashion Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Digital Media
** Available elective courses may vary between campuses. 

 Industry Connections

  • UCOL's School of Creative Industries (includes programmes and expertise from Wanganui School of Design) is a Corporate Member of the Designers Institute of NZ (DINZ).
  • Our students and graduates have taken out top prizes in the DINZ BEST Awards many times over the years. 
  • UCOL 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, wood and metal working workshop.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

To be eligible for entry to the programme, applicants must hold at least one of the following:
NCEA Level 2

Equivalent academic achievement

On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

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

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

The New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 4) comprises 60 credits. 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 4) 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.

The availability of specific elective courses may be subject to the campus and the number of students enrolling in courses.

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

Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, and will comprise a weekly commitment of:
  • 19 hours of lecturer supported learning in class
  • 17 hours of self-directed learning (your own time spent working to complete your assignments)

If you choose to do part-time work, we recommend a maximum of 10 hours a week.

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
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 4 supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:
  • Certificate in Art and Design

 Additional Costs

Compulsory course costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design Level 4 dependent on which campus you study at and what electives you choose as follows:
  • 8GB flash drives - up to $40.00
  • 16 GB SD card - $20.00
  • Equipment bond for using cameras, tripods, tablets etc outside of class time - $80.00
  • Stationery costs for project assessment completion - $100.00 - $240.00

Optional course costs

  • Stationery and art supplies - the cost is dependent on what you'd like to use
  • Hard drive - if you'd like a hard drive as a back up, you could get a 1TB hard drive - $85.00
  • A2 portfolio case for carrying works in a safe manner - form $20.00 for a manilla version
  • Field trips - various trips will have optional costs associated with them. They are recommended for expanding your knowledge. For example, once a month the video students will be going to the movies.
  • Ipad Air 2, Wacom tablet or Android tablet for drawing - $180.00 - $1,300.00
  • Computers or laptops with solid state for safety with bumping, 8GB RAM with 256 Flash Memory - up to $4,000.00
  • Adobe Creative Cloud education license - $370.00


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.