New Zealand Certificate in Digital Media and Design (Level 4)

Location

Dunedin

Duration
17 weeks full-time; part-time over two years (you will study during semester one in both year one and two)
Credits
60
Level
4
Start
18 July 2022
Apply
By 30 June
  • Location
    Intake
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    19 July 2021
  • Dunedin
    18 July 2022

Learn how to be creative on a computer! 

Artists and designers work in lots of different areas and career opportunities in the creative industries are exciting and diverse. 

Build the skills and degree-level portfolio you need to apply for our Level 5 video and photography programme (New Zealand Diploma in Digital Media and Design Level 5), Bachelor of Design (Communication) or Bachelor of Visual Arts. Alternatively, you could prepare for a junior role in a creative workplace. 

You'll explore graphic design, digital photography, web design, digital illustration, animation and interactivity. And you'll complete a research project about symbols, motifs and markings and how they connect with cultural identity. 

If you'd like to move into our Level 5 video and photography programme, this certificate on its own provides a great pathway. 

By studying the New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 4) before you do this programme, you'll gain the well-rounded skills you need for degree-level study and both certificates together will provide a strong pathway into our Bachelor of Design (Communication) or Bachelor of Visual Arts. 

Both Level 4 certificates will also give you the creative skills that you need to be able to apply for our Bachelor of Design (Product) and our Bachelor of Architectural Studies. These degrees need a different technical skillset from our other art and design programmes. You’ll need to achieve a very high level in both Level 4 certificates if you’re keen to apply for either degree – just so we can make sure it’s the right fit for you. 

Entry requirements
  • Open entry
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they have an acceptable level of secondary school achievement. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Other requirements 

  • A portfolio or other evidence to demonstrate your creative work. We need to see this so we can make sure you’re ready for studying at Level 4.
  • You might also need to attend an interview so we can make sure this programme is the right choice for you. 
Preparing your portfolio

We need to see some examples of your creative work so we can make sure you’re ready for studying at Level 4.

We call this a portfolio.

We're keen to see examples of your work that shows us your design, graphic and/or art skills.

Please send us 10 to 12 examples of work that show a variety of techniques and interests, such as:

  • drawings/sketches
  • paintings and/or printmaking
  • photographs
  • images of original 3D objects that you have made
  • digital art/digital illustration
  • animations
  • whatever you feel is visually informative about yourself and your abilities.

Please note: If you’re an NCEA student and are thinking of submitting your NCEA portfolio, we’d recommend you take photographs of your creative works before you send it for external moderation. Sometimes portfolios aren’t returned on time and then you have nothing to submit to us.

How to submit your portfolio

You can send us your portfolio digitally or in a physical format (we do prefer digital).

Digital Portfolio

Please make sure you take quality photographs of your pieces of creative work if you are sending us a digital portfolio. Make sure the light is right and the images aren’t blurry. Please take photographs of individual artworks as well as your NCEA board as a whole. We want to be able to see your work at its best!  

During the online application process, you'll be asked to upload your portfolio documents. These should preferably be uploaded as PDFs.

Please note: the portfolio file upload size is limited

If your file is too big to upload, you can:

  • send it to us on a USB (using the address below)

  • email it to us at ebsDES@op.ac.nz, or

  • provide a link to your website or online platform in the 'Portfolio website link’ section of our online application form.

You will also be asked to provide two statements during the online application process:

1. Why have you decided to study this programme? (60-100 words)

You’ll be asked why you've decided to study this programme. 

It’s a good idea to prepare something to add into the online form before you begin the application process.

Think about what makes you drawn towards art and design? Are you curious about what creative career might be best for you? Tell us about it.

2. What skills and experience do you have? (60-100 words)

You’ll then be asked about your skills and experience. Again, it’s a good idea to prepare this before you start applying.

Think about how you create visual art and design projects. What materials do you use and how do you use them? For example, if you use paint, describe how you apply it, layer it or mix colours as you create your pieces.

 

Physical Portfolio

Firstly, complete the online application process. During this, you’ll be asked to provide these two statements:

1. Why have you decided to study this programme? (60-100 words)

You’ll be asked why you've decided to study this programme. 

It’s a good idea to prepare something to add into the online form before you begin the application process.

Think about what makes you drawn towards art and design? Are you curious about what creative career might be best for you? Tell us about it.

2. What skills and experience do you have? (60-100 words)

You’ll then be asked about your skills and experience. Again, it’s a good idea to prepare this before you start applying.

Think about how you create visual art and design projects. What materials do you use and how do you use them? For example, if you use paint, describe how you apply it, layer it or mix colours as you create your pieces.


Then pull together your portfolio ready to post to us.

Please include photographs or colour photocopies of your work in an A4/A3 clear file folder and clearly label with your name. Please don’t send any original pieces of work.


Remember
, please make sure you take quality photographs of your pieces of creative work. Please take photographs of individual artworks as well as your NCEA boards as a whole. Make sure the light is right and the images aren’t blurry. We want to be able to see your work at its best!

When you’re ready to send us your portfolio, send it to the address below (or drop it off in person at Customer Services):

Attn: Student Administrator for Design

Customer Services

Otago Polytechnic

F Block, Forth Street

Dunedin 9016

Please remember to enclose a self-addressed, postage-paid courier package so that we can return your portfolio to you.

You will study

Four x 15 credit courses

  • Creative Digital Skills : Develop skills in digital design and photography with practical applications to print and screen solutions
  • Creative Online Design: Developing an understanding of digital citizenship and how to develop an online practice. Managing and designing content for blogs, web design etc. 
  • Animation and interactivity: Learn basic skills for creating animations and moving image
  • Symbolism and identity: A research project whereby students learn about symbol motifs and markings and the connection to cultural identity with a particular focus on iwi Māori cultural practice.
Additional costs

You will receive a list of basic requirements to be purchased during the first week (some class materials are supplied). 

Student loans and allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Disclaimer

While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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