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

A great starting point if you want to get a feel for what this area has to offer. Project options in digital photography, digital illustration, game design, web design, moving image, animation and interactivity will help you develop real-world skills and a portfolio of your work.

About the programme

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. 

Studying part-time 

We know full-time study isn't always possible. We also offer this programme part-time over two years (you'll study during semester one in both year one and two). 

Studying online 

You can study this programme at our Dunedin Campus or fully online with eCampus NZ.


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.

A change for 2023 enrolments

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic in 2023, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people. The great news is that this enables us to share skills and knowledge across a network of passionate education providers, to better help you succeed. Enrolling in programmes that start in 2023, means that you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


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.