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Bachelor of Creative Media

Level 7

Develop skills in digital technology, arts and design to contribute to the growing creative industries in UCOL's Bachelor of Creative Media.

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Quick info

Level: 7

Locations: Palmerston North

Duration: 3 years, full-time (part-time options are available)

5 Mar 2018 - 23 Nov 2018

Domestic Fees:*
$7,246.00Scholarship 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.

Equip yourself with the comprehensive knowledge, skills and competencies for working and contributing to the growing global creative industries with UCOL's Bachelor of Creative Media. Mix and match a range of subjects with one degree - 3D design, photography, illustration, video and visual journalism.

The creative industries represent specialties across a range of digital technologies, arts and design-based disciplines. The knowledge and skills associated with these specialties are now an integral part of driving innovation and business.

By combining the latest technologies and experiential work-integrated learning (380 hours of work experience), you'll learn how to apply logic, imagination, intuition, critical thought and reasoning to the creation of meaningful outcomes for clients in the workplace.

You'll develop a multidisciplinary approach in context of cultural and ethical influences, enabling you to contribute to the creative industries in New Zealand and around the world.

 Career & Study Outcomes

UCOL's Bachelor of Creative Media prepares students for professional careers within creative industries that contribute to contemporary visual culture. Potential employment pathways include:
  • Photography
  • Graphic design/illustration
  • 3D modeling (animation, storyboard artist, illustrator)
  • Visual journalism (photo journalist, documentary maker, infographics designer)
  • Video (television producer, television director, documentary maker)
To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Designers and Artists and Photographers.

 Course Information

Year one

Visual Language (15 credits)
Learn the fundamentals of composition within visual practice, through the principles of gestalt, colour theory, colour psychology and terminology.

Digital Technologies (15 credits)
Learn appropriate selection and application of processes and techniques associated with current digital technologies.

Creative Media 1 & 2 (30 credits each)
Choose three workshops a week (or more) from 3D design, photography, illustration, video and visual journalism. Explore how they work together and what may appeal to you. Gain introductory skills in a range of practices such as design, photography, video, illustration, 3D modelling and visual journalism. Develop a professional persona within the creative industry.

Visual Communication (15 credits)
Learn the fundamentals of visual communication, including the development of conceptually based compositions with a consideration of the relationships between author, intent, image, audience and context.

Contextual Studies (15 credits)
Gain an introduction to a range of theories and issues that are relevant to contemporary creative media industry, learn the conventions of academic writing and be able to present information formally by essay and verbal delivery.

Year two

Digital Technologies 2 (15 credits)
Learn how to apply high quality visual techniques and processes, supported by research, critical development and experimentation to communicate and present your ideas.

Creative Media 3 & 4 (30 credits each)
Apply informed problem solving and critical reflection to the creation and production of creative media outputs. Gain knowledge of current professional creative industry techniques, standards, practice, protocols and responsibilities. Develop advanced conceptual and perceptual skills, problem solving techniques and learn how to justify your creative media choices, from ideation through to final resolution.

Critical Studies 1 (30 credits)
Further your understanding of the relationships between theory, research and professional creative practice, by exploring research concepts and methodologies that support an appreciation of cultural and historical influences surrounding contemporary creative media practices.  

Industry Practice (15 credits)
Explore and understand what business looks like in the creative industries and how you can use your skill set to enhance your employment prospects. Undertake 80 hours of work experience to develop skills and attributes associated with professional business and marketing practices in the creative industries.

Year three

Critical Studies 2 - Research Project (30 credits)
Produce a resolved multidisciplinary creative media project, underpinned by a sound research process that addresses current and developing industry trends. 

Industry Immersion 1 & 2 (30 credits and 45 credits respectively)
This is where all your study and work comes together. Work as teams and individuals in "The UCOL Agency" with real clients on real jobs - 120 hours of work experience.

Professional Portfolio and Exhibition (15 credits)
Using your research from Critical Studies 2, create a portfolio to show future clients or employers. At the end of this course you will be work-ready with a graduate exhibition at a curated gallery.

Previous Related Programme

The Bachelor of Creative Media supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:
  • Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging

 Domestic Entry Requirements

Applicants under the age of 20 years must have University Entrance


Equivalent academic achievement


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

Provisional enrolment (defined by NZQA as being Discretionary Entrance and includes the following clauses:

Discretionary enrolment may be granted to those applicants under the age of 20 who:
  • Are New Zealand or Australian citizens and Permanent Residents under 20 years of age
  • Must have a minimum of 14 credits in an approved subject at Level 2 towards NCEA
  • Must also have met the literacy and numeracy standards required for University Entrance
Students accepted under the provisional admission requirements must pass all Year one courses before progressing to Year two.)


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 students.

English Proficiency Entry Requirements:
The minimum entry requirement for international students is IELTS Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5 (or equivalent, including TOEFL).  IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.      

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 Bachelor of Creative Media is a three-year programme comprising 360 credits.

Prospective students should understand that the Bachelor of Creative Media requires a high level of motivation, commitment and attendance.  You need good organisational skills and a high level of initiative in order to be able to generate ideas and complete project work. If there are any health issues, it is important that these are declared in order for us to provide guidance and support for academic success.

Work experience
There are 380 work integrated learning hours for this programme. This is excellent for when you finish your studies and start looking for work. You can inform your future employer that you have industry experience.

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

Students sometimes need to earn an imcome to support their study. We recommend a maximum of 10 hours per 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
Up to two-thirds of the qualification may be credited via recognition of prior learning.  In exceptional circumstances, this amount may be increased by the Faculty Board of Educational Improvement. 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 they can demonstrate specified competencies.

 Additional Costs

Compulsory Course Costs 2018 - Year One

UCOL's Bachelor of Creative Media is a multidisciplinary degree. In your first year you'll choose a minimum of three workshops per week from video, design, photography, illustration, visual journalism and 3D. You'll need to allocate money for project assessment completion and necessary equipment of up to $805.00 as follows (estimate costs for 2018 at current recommended retail pricings):
Memory cards
To use DSLR cameras at UCOL you'll need a memory card. In your first year, you'll use a Canon 700D.
  • 4GB SD card - $20.00 
Hard drive
Creative Media requires a lot of storage – a minimum 1TB hard drive is required. Note that many students prefer to purchase a 2TB hard drive.
  • 1TB hard drive - $85.00
Pen drives/USB flash drives
  • 2 8GB pen drives - $13 each ($26.00 total)
Equipment Bond
To use equipment out of class time, a bond for the use of cameras, tripods, Wacom tablets and other equipment must be paid. All students are required to pay this, which is refundable at the end of the year.
  • Equipment bond - $80.00
Additional Printing
You will be supplied with a $50 print credit at the beginning of the year. However in order to complete the programme, additional print credits will be required – each area of specialisation has a different amount used (please note this is a minimum guide, as printing needs differ with specific paper and output choices).
  • Video - $40.00
  • Photography - $120.00
  • Illustration - $50.00
  • 3D - $20.00
  • Design - $50.00
Mounting Boards/foam core (front or back)
  • Video - $20.00
  • Photography - $80.00
  • Illustration - $50.00
  • 3D - $40.00
  • Design - $50.00
One can of 3M spray mount glue (product defined, as we have found this is the best one & is Industry standard) and double-sided tape.
  • 3M spray mount glue and double-sided tape - $40.00
Visual Diaries
A minimum of two A4 books for use as a visual diary (may be digital)
Two A4 books - $30.00

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: A loan for course-related costs is available from StudyLink of up to $1000.00. 


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.