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Certificate in Graphic Design

Level 4

Study part-time while gaining essential skills needed for the graphic design industry with the Certificate in Graphic Design at UCOL.

Student showcases graphic design layout
Quick info

Level: 4

Locations: Whanganui

Duration: 17 weeks, part-time

20 Feb 2018 - 27 Jun 2018
24 Jul 2018 - 28 Nov 2018

Domestic Fees:*
Nil fees

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

International Fees:*
Please enquire.

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.

UCOL's Certificate in Graphic Design (Training Scheme) will introduce you to current industry standard software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, and equip you with an understanding of graphic design methods.

From concept and process through to the production of a basic design portfolio, this qualification is a great start for anyone wanting to pursue design as a career or additional skill set.

 Career & Study Outcomes

UCOL's Certificate in Graphic Design will develop your computer and graphic design skills to build a design portfolio. You'll graduate understanding visual communication, the principles of design, the design process, and with the ability to use design as a means of generating and developing work. Employment options include working in an entry-level position in graphic design or related industries.

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:

 Course Information

  • Elements and principles of design, and the design process
  • Basic computer skills and specialist software skills
  • Visual communication
  • Design methodology and problem solving
  • Design as a means of generating and developing work
  • Text and image
  • Images and letterforms
  • Symbolic image and text
  • Design presentation
  • Applied design research

 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 specialist Mac Design Labs, printing facilities, and library resources.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

Open entry.


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

 International Entry Requirements

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

UCOL's Certificate in Graphic Design (Training Scheme), Level 4 comprises 20 credits.

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

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.


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.