Postgraduate Certificate in Learning Design

Are you a learning and teaching development specialist wanting to upskill with a professional qualification in learning design? Or are you planning a career change into this dynamic and fast-growing area? In response to a growing demand for professional learning designers in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world, this new programme has been created to meet your training needs and is facilitated by learning design experts. It will give you the practical skills and theoretical knowledge you need.


1 Year Part-time
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee


1 Year Part-time
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee

What You Study


There is a two-week orientation course at the start of the programme that will enable you to get used to the online learning environment and get to know the other learners and your lecturer. This course is not assessed. 

After that, we then move into four assessed courses. 

The Learning Theories and Learning Design course runs parallel to the other three courses, so the theories are integrated and contextualised within project management, learning technologies and visual communication. 

(Course 1 ) Management of Learning Design Projects

Level 8, 15 credits, 30 directed hours / 60 work experience hours / 60 self-directed hours

Learn how to manage the design and delivery of learning design projects.

Example topics

  • History of instructional design
  • Role and influence of the learning designer
  • Stakeholder relationship building – Whanāungatanga
  • Instructional systems design (ISD) frameworks and instructional design models
  • Needs analysis
  • Scope and scope creep
  • Project management principles and phases
  • Communication strategies and tools
  • Blueprints/storyboarding
  • Quality assurance standards
  • Monitoring tools and strategies
  • Success criteria and evaluation.
(Course 2) Learning Theories and Learning Design

Level 8, 15 credits, 30 directed hours / 50 work experience hours / 70 self-directed hours 

Discover how to apply learning theories, and learning design models and strategies, to create and evaluate quality learning experiences for diverse learners and contexts. 

Example topics

  • Ako as both theory and practice
  • Learning theories – behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism, etc.
  • Information processing theories
  • Visual literacy
  • Modes of learning – e-learning, distance, blended, kanohi ki te kanohi
  • Learning contexts – social, economic, political, environmental, technical
  • Culturally-centred learners – motivation, whakamana, community
  • Instruction strategies – e.g. Merrill’s five steps, Gagne’s 9 events of instruction
  • Assessment design
  • Technical and instructional writing strategies.
(Course 3) Learning Technologies for Learning Design

Level 8, 15 credits, 30 directed hours / 60 work experience hours / 60 self-directed hours 

Learn how to evaluate and apply appropriate technologies to create tailored learning experiences that meet the learning needs and quality assurance standards of a project brief. 

Example topics

  • Types of learning technologies – macro and micro
  • Needs assessment - task, learner and context analysis
  • Evaluation of established and emergent learning technologies
  • Reasons for using particular technologies
  • Technical and instructional writing strategies
  • Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Copyright Law – Creative Commons
  • Learning technologies for formative and summative assessment
  • Accessibility technologies.
(Course 4) Visual Communication for Learning Design

Level 8, 15 credits, 30 directed hours / 60 work experience hours / 60 self-directed hours 

Gain the skills to evaluate and apply visual design principles to enhance communication in a range of learning contexts and environments. 

Example topics

  • Visual design principles, layouts and conventions, and terminology
  • Visual design for accessibility
  • Visual learning theory
  • Typography principles
  • Colour theory
  • Visual literacy
  • Graphics for visual communication for learning
  • Constructive criticism and critique
  • Data visualisation.

Further study options 

After finishing this programme, you’ll be in a great position to apply for our Master of Professional Practice. This programme is delivered through work-based learning and enables you to identify a goal or challenge in your work environment (i.e. developing a new process). You then research and define this, develop an approach for resolving it and implement it as part of your learning and reflection.


Your workload 

As this programme is at postgraduate level and fully online, the majority of your study is self-paced. However, there are also scheduled sessions which we will tell you about at the start of the programme so you can plan for these. These sessions are also recorded so you can watch it in your own time if you can’t make the scheduled date/time.

While workload hours will vary throughout the year, on average, you’ll be expected to spend about 15 hours a week on this programme. This includes a mix of directed, teacher-led study and self-directed learning in your own time.


Entry requirements 

  • You must hold an undergraduate degree, or degree-equivalent, practical, professional or scholarly experience (e.g. technical writers, higher educators, graphic designers, librarians, scientists, corporate trainers, human resources, software developers, Kaiako Māori and others involved in training or education).
  • You will also need to submit a structured resumé or CV.

If English is not your first language, you must provide:

Please note: International students who are currently in New Zealand can apply for this programme. If you are an offshore international student, you can’t apply for this programme.

Recognition of prior learning 

You can apply for recognition of prior learning for whole courses within this programme (rather than partial courses). Speak to us when you apply if you feel your prior learning may align with the courses we offer.

Selection criteria

If there are more applicants than places available, applicants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis and the below criteria will be used:

  • whether you’ve been employed in the training and development sector in the past three years (e.g., government, education, or corporate sectors) and had a substantial role in designing or developing learning experiences, and
  • the strength of questions you answer during the application process and your structured resumé or CV. 

You may have to attend an interview if we need more information. 

The above criteria will let us figure out your level and experience in learning design and development and your potential aptitude for working with a learning design environment. 

If the number of successful applicants exceeds the places available, we’ll use a waiting list and applicants will be offered a position in waiting list order if one becomes vacant.

Not quite ready to tackle this programme?

If you don’t feel quite ready to tackle this postgraduate programme, a good starting point would be the Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education. This programme will provide you with a formal qualification tailored directly to teaching at tertiary level. You’ll be able to study in a way that suits your current schedule and responsibilities and graduate able to design and facilitate inclusive learning in your tertiary cultural context.


Domestic fees

Full tuition

International fees

Full tuition

Additional costs 

You’ll need to have access to the following equipment to study this programme online:

  • a computer
  • a reliable internet connection
  • a microphone
  • speakers
  • a web camera.

Some additional texts and resources will be needed and these will be confirmed closer to the start of the programme.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees shown above are approximate only. There may be a slight fee increase per year once Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) rules and guidelines are applied. These fees also don’t include additional costs or living costs.


How to apply

This page gives you a summary of what to expect when you’re applying online with us. It’s also got some info about getting in touch with our liaison advisors if you need more advice or just want to have a chat.

Feel free to reach out to us at any time for support with your application – it’s what we’re here for!

Get in touch

0800 762 786
International +64 3 477 3014