Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 4)



Six months full-time; part-time over two years (you will study during semester one in both year one and two)
February 2019
until start date
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    17 February 2020



Prepare for entry-level roles in the creative industries sector or for higher level creative study. 

No matter what direction your creative career takes, you will benefit from having the ability to select from and apply creative processes, methods and technologies to a range of outcomes.

Artists and designers work in various dynamic fields and career opportunities in the creative industries are ever-changing and diverse. This qualification will prepare you for a junior role in a creative workplace or for study on higher-level qualifications. 

Successful completion of this Certificate and the New Zealand Certificate in Digital Media and Design (Level 4) will prepare you for application to the Bachelor of Design (Communication, Fashion or Product), Bachelor of Architectural Studies or the Bachelor of Visual Arts. 

The School of Design is internationally recognised as a great place to study art and design. You will be part of a vibrant creative culture with access to extensive facilities and guidance and support from highly skilled and enthusiastic tutors.

Student advisor: Pam Hodgkinson pam.hodgkinson@op.ac.nz

Academic leader: Jane Venis jane.venis@op.ac.nz

Skills required
  • A passion for design and art
  • The ability to communicate your ideas to others 
  • An interest in people and the world around you
  • An enjoyment of working with others
Entry requirements
  • Open entry
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they have an acceptable level of secondary school achievement. 

All students (international and domestic) for whom English is not a first language:

  • must demonstrate English Language skills with an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.5, with no band score lower than 5.0 OR
  • must provide acceptable alternative evidence of English language proficiency depending on the visa decline rate of the country you are from. See here for acceptable evidence and visa decline rates by country.

Please note: All scores must be achieved in a single test completed in the preceding two years. You cannot combine scores from multiple tests. If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance you are not required to provide evidence of English Language skills. 


Other requirements

  • A portfolio or other evidence to demonstrate creative work. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview.
Your portfolio

You need to submit a portfolio that demonstrates your design, graphic and/or art skills equivalent to NCEA Level 3. We will assess your portfolio against these criteria: composition, concepts - ideas and content, variety and range of media, and drawing skills.

Find out what you need to include in your portfolio, what we're looking for, and how to submit it to us. 

Additional information

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity and proof of residency (where appropriate).

You will study

 Four x 15-credit courses

  • Art and Design History: Research skills in relation to contemporary art and design and understanding cultural contexts within NZ and internationally
  • Creative Methodology:  A design-based course focusing on idea generation, technical and creative skills, materials and processes.
  • Visual Arts Studio: An art-based practical 2D and 3D studio course exploring idea development through drawing, illustration/ cartooning and sculpture
  • Studio Project:  Students finish the programme, developing their own project with either an art or design focus - this is their choice. They apply skills learnt in the preceding courses. This project finishes in an exhibition of work.
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. 


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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