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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Universal College of Learning (UCOL)
Universal College of Learning (UCOL) logo

Postgraduate Diploma of Design

This course is available


Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


1 year

Next start date



UCOL’s Postgraduate Diploma of Design is an exciting year of independent and facilitated study focussing on design media, visual art design or textile and fashion design.

UCOL's Postgraduate Diploma of Design builds on your Bachelor’s degree in an art or design discipline. This rewarding and challenging programme is based on both lecturer facilitated and self-directed research projects that will broaden your understanding of either time-based design applications and expose you to current thinking and research methodologies.

You will advance your skills in a chosen design media, and produce a significant design portfolio, exhibition or show. This postgraduate pathway will prepare you for Masters level study or enable you to secure higher level of employment.

Graduates will be equipped to work in a variety of roles within art and design based industries such as galleries, fashion houses, graphic design studios, film and television, printing and publishing, web design, art studios, set design and much more.

Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of UCOL's Postgraduate Diploma of Design will be suitably equipped to work in a variety of roles in the design based industries. Areas of employment and potential roles include:

  • Advertising
  • Consultancy
  • Art/Design education
  • Art/Design studios
  • Fashion studios
  • Galleries and museums
  • Set design and styling
  • Television and video production
  • Printing, publishing and illustration
  • Research and development
  • Self-employment
  • Graphic design
  • Textile design
  • Visual communications
  • Website design
  • Object and craft design
  • Practicing artist

Education pathway

Master of Design

Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pukenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time.

This programme consist of 120 credits. The courses includes;


Advanced Methodologies for Design Research (30 Credits)

Development Studio (30 Credits)

Creative Thinking (30 Credits)

Studio Project (30 Credits)

Industry Connections

  • UCOL is a Corporate Member of the Designers Institute of NZ (DINZ)
  • UCOL students and graduates have taken out top prizes in the Designers Institute of New Zealand (DINZ) BEST Awards many times over the years.
  • UCOL has an impressive range of industry stakeholders in the fields of animation, web, publication, video, game design and illustration.
  • UCOL students undertake real-life industry projects in a wide-range of design industries each year through Internships.
  • UCOL graduates work at Weta Digital, TVNZ, Digital Arts Network, Charactaz Animation, Saatchi and Saatchi and more.

Learning Facilities

UCOL is 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.

Entry criteria

To be eligible for entry into UCOL's Postgraduate Diploma of Design applicants must have graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, or a similar qualification in art or design, or be able to demonstrate equivalent skills and knowledge.

Applicants may be asked to provide a portfolio of original, developmental and finished work.

English language Requirement: IELTS - Academic: Academic: Score of 6.5 with no band lower than 6; TOEFL (iBT) - Score of 79 (with a writing score of 21); Cambridge English Qualifications - C1 or C2 with score of 176; no less than 169 in each skill; OET - Minimum Grade C+ or 300 in all subtests; NZCEL - Level 5; and Pearson Test of English (Academic) - Score of 58 with no band less than 50.

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