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New Zealand Diploma in Arts and Design

Level 5

UCOL’s Diploma in Arts and Design is built around the vibrant ‘Glass Arts’ industry and is suited to those who wish to focus their artistic study in the areas of both hot glass and kiln-based glass.

Glass art by Lewis Batchelar
Quick info

Level: 5

Locations: Whanganui

Duration: 1  year fulltime, part time options also available.

19 Feb 2018 - 30 Nov 2018
23 Jul 2018 - 28 Jun 2019

Domestic Fees:*
$7,308.50Scholarship 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.

Learn from the best in the field and gain studio glass skills through hot and kiln-based projects, drawing, mixed-media labs, art/design history and theory.

You’ll become versed in the language of art and design, hone your professional creative skills, and work directly within a professional glass studio environment.

Here are some snapshots of the class of 2017 making glass objects and Glass and Visual Arts Lecturer Kathryn Wightman demonstrating how to polish glass:



 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Object design 
  • Visual arts practice 
  • Gallery practice 
  • Commercial glass studios
  • Craft production
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

All courses are compulsory:
  • Glass Arts 1 
  • Glass Arts 2
  • Visual Language 
  • Art/Design LAB 1
  • Art/Design LAB 2
  • Design Practical 
  • Art/Design History 
  • Drawing 

 Industry Connections

  • NZ Glassworks 
  • 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

UCOL is home to a New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) heritage award winning building located on Taupo Quay and features modern spacious studio suites with industry leading technology and equipment.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

Applicants for the NZ Diploma in Arts and Design (Level 5) 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. 

To be eligible for entry to the programme, applicants must hold at least one of the following:
  • A Level 3 qualification in a related field 
  • Or University Entrance 
  • Or equivalent academic achievement
  • Or on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean
  • Or provisional enrolment.


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

 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 Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL).  UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre. 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). 

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 Diploma in Arts and Design comprises 120 credits. The programme can be studied full-time or part-time, and may require students to engage with evening classes and activities. 

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 glass studio environments. Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Programme Leader before the programme begins.

Upon successful completion of the UCOL NZ Diploma in Arts and Design (level 5), graduates will be eligible to apply by cross-credit to year 2 of the UCOL Bachelor of Design and Arts (level 7).

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

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.

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the New Zealand Diploma in Arts and Design as follows:
  • Allow approximately $200.00 for drawing and stationery supplies (dependent on personal preference)
  • USB flash drive - Approximately $15.00 from Warehouse Stationery
  • Allow up to $300.00 for glass (media) supplies (dependent on personal preference)


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.