Graphic Design &
Digital Media

we live in a visual world with graphic design everywhere!
from business documents to websites, logo designs to animation, graphic design covers a huge range of work.
This is why graphic designers are in such high demand all over the world.

At The Design School you will Learn how to
  • Develop your Creative processes and drawing skills to communicate your design ideas.
  • Learn Design process skills and technologies and how to apply them in commercial style projects.
  • Use the latest digital media tools from Adobe and others to create your designs.
  • Understand how the graphic design & digital media industries have developed and identify future opportunities.
  • Learn how to work and talk like a professional designer including how to manage creative processes, work to deadlines, present and critique design work and respect copyright laws and cultural and ethical boundaries.

Certificate in Graphic Design Level 4

The gateway to a Graphic Design career

Palmerston North | Whangarei

Build your design skills and extend your talent.
At level 4, students learn advanced design processes and professional skills including the latest digital media software from adobe.

This course includes two qualifications to make sure you get the design and digital media skills needed to step in to the graphic design industry and the portfolio to open the door to the premier design degree courses in New Zealand and around the world.

Work on a range of projects including children’s book illustrations, a concert poster, publication design and a Corporate Brand for a Vineyard including all the marketing resources the company would need from business documents to a website to special edition packaging.

Students also have the opportunity to work with commercial clients when available.

Full-Time

Qualifications: NZ Certificate in Arts & Design Level 4
NZ Certificate in Digital Media & Design Level 4

Credits:  121

Duration:  39 Weeks

Fees 2022:  $5941 | Eligible for Fees Free and StudyLink support.
No hidden costs –  All equipment, materials, printing etc are included in the course fees.

Location:  Palmerston North | Whangarei

Entry requirements:
The programme is available for domestic students aged 16 years or older; and who hold a Level 3 qualification in Arts and Design, or NCEA (Level 3). Prospective students without a qualification can contact the school to discuss other options to demonstrate equivalent skills and knowledge.

Applicants will be required to submit multiple examples of design or creative work in any medium, along with a written statement (300 words) outlining who you are and your interests and goals for your chosen course.
This is not required for students enrolled at The Design School previously.

Where does it lead: This course gives students the qualifications and portfolio for entry to design courses at degree or diploma level or entry level employment.

Vineyard brand by level 4 student Wairua te Mataki
Vineyard brand by level 4 student
Wairua te Mataki

Certificate in Graphic Design Level 3

The fast track to achieving your career goals

Palmerston North | Whangarei

Modern Graphic Designers need great creative talent combined with the latest digital media skills. This is the course to develop both.

Step on to the Graphic Design and Digital Media pathway or extend yourself beyond NCEA. This course will build your design and technical skills in an industry styled environment and put you on the fast track to achieving your career goals.

Work on a range of projects including branding, packaging , web design, advertising and conceptual design. Optional animation projects are also available as part of this graphic design course.

Whatever level you are at now, this course will give you the skills and portfolio to help launch your graphic design career.

Full-Time

Qualifications: NZ Certificate in Arts & Design Level 3

Credits:  63

Duration:  20 Weeks

Fees 2022:  $3110 | Eligible for Fees Free and StudyLink support.
No hidden costs –  All equipment, materials, printing etc are included in the course fees.

Location:  Palmerston North | Whangarei

Entry requirements:
The programme is available for domestic students aged 16 years or older and who hold a Level 3 qualification in Arts and Design, or NCEA (Level 2). Prospective students without a qualification can contact the school to discuss other options to demonstrate equivalent skills and knowledge.

Applicants will be required to submit examples of design or creative work in any medium, along with a written statement (300 words) outlining who you are and your interests and goals for your chosen course. For applicants without any design or creative work, a taster project can be completed to make sure the course is the right pathway.
This is not required for students enrolled at The Design School previously.

Where does it lead: This course gives students the qualification and portfolio for entry to level 4 Design courses.

Typographic design by level 3 student Bayley Rossiter
Typographic design by level 3 student
Bayley Rossiter

NCEA Level 2 - Creative Industries Vocational pathway

Opening the door to a digital media career

Whangarei

It doesn’t matter if you are a mature student wanting to begin your creative career or if you are looking for an alternative to school to get NCEA focused on graphic design and digital media, we will help you start the journey to use your talent as a career.

Work on a range of projects including branding, packaging , web design, advertising and conceptual design. Optional animation projects are also available as part of this graphic design course. The course also includes the literacy and numeracy requirements of NCEA achieved in a design context.

Regardless of previous achievement in education, this course will give you the skills and portfolio to get on the pathway to a graphic design career.

Full-Time

Qualifications: NCEA Level 2

Credits:  80

Duration:  26 Weeks

Fees 2022:  Zero Fees | Eligible for StudyLink support (does not use your Fees Free allocation).
No hidden costs –  All equipment, materials, printing etc are supplied.

Location:  Whangarei

Entry requirements:
The programme is available for domestic students aged over 16 years old without a level 2 qualification. 15 year old students may be eligible with support from the Ministry of Education. Those with an existing level 2 qualification in a different field of study may still be eligible for this course.

Applicants will be required to submit a small sample of design or creative work along with a written statement (300 words) outlining who you are and your interests and goals for your chosen course. For applicants without any design or creative work, a taster project can be completed to make sure the course is the right pathway.

Where does it lead: This course gives students the qualification and portfolio for entry to level 3 Design courses.

Food truck brand by level 2 student Jayden Tolley
Food truck brand by level 2 student
Jayden Tolley

Foundation Skills in Graphic Design Level 2

The creative alternative to School

Palmerston North

If you are looking for an alternative to school or you know design is your pathway, achieve NCEA and more focused on graphic design and digital media.
This programme includes two qualifications to make sure you get the right start towards a Graphic Design career.

Work on a range of projects including branding, packaging , web design, advertising and conceptual design. Optional animation projects are also available as part of this graphic design course. The course also includes the literacy and numeracy requirements of NCEA achieved in a design context.

Regardless of previous achievement in education, this course will give you the skills and portfolio to get on the pathway to a graphic design career.

Full-Time

Qualifications: NCEA Level 2 Creative Industries Vocational Pathway
NZ Certificate in Arts & Design Level 2

Credits:  120

Duration:  39 Weeks

Fees 2022:  Zero Fees | Eligible for StudyLink support (does not use your Fees Free allocation).
No hidden costs –  All equipment, materials, printing etc are supplied.

Location:  Palmerston North

Entry requirements:
The programme is available for domestic students aged 16 to 19 years old without a level 2 qualification. 15 year old students may be eligible with support from the Ministry of Education. Those with an existing level 2 qualification in a different field of study may still be eligible for this course. 

Applicants will be required to submit a small sample of design or creative work along with a written statement (300 words) outlining who you are and your interests and goals for your chosen course. For applicants without any design or creative work, a taster project can be completed to make sure the course is the right pathway.

Where does it lead: This course gives students the qualification and portfolio for entry to level 3 Design courses.

Character design by level 2 student Michael Chapman
Character design by level 2 student
Michael Chapman

Part Time study for Secondary School students

Extend your creative skills and earn extra credits towards NCEA

Palmerston North | Whangarei

Are you committed to a creative industries pathway but not yet ready to leave school?
Study part-time and gain more design credits towards NCEA plus extend your portfolio.

Part-time courses at The Design School let you study design in a commercial style studio with industry level equipment but continue with the other school subjects you love.

Course options are available at levels 1, 2 & 3. Attend one or two days per week or one day per week plus a one week block in each term holiday.

Course options and credits can be custom made for each student and school.

Work on a range of projects including branding, packaging , web design, advertising and conceptual design. Optional animation projects are also available as part of the courses.

Part-Time

Qualifications: This course gives students credits towards NCEA levels 1, 2 or 3 and can be Achievement or Unit Standards.
Most level 3 credits are aligned to University Entrance requirements however UE subject endorsement may require additional assessments at the secondary school.
Design projects improve students portfolios needed for entry to full-time tertiary level design courses. 

Credits:  18-20 One day per week | 36-40 Two days per week.

Duration:  Normally 30 Weeks (3 terms) but can be altered to suit student and school needs.

Fees 2022:  No cost to students. All equipment, materials, printing etc are supplied.
Trades Academy options are delivered in partnership with UCOL USKILLS in Palmerston North or Te Kura Huarahi in Palmerston North and Whangarei.
STAR funded options also available in collaboration with all schools.

Location:  Palmerston North | Whangarei

Entry requirements:
The programmes are available for students aged 16 to 19 years currently enrolled at a Secondary School (including Te Kura The Correspondence School)

Where does it lead:  Higher level study in creative industries.

Food Truck brand by level 2 student Josh Fieldsend
Food Truck brand by level 2 student
Joshua Fieldsend

F.A.Q.

Frequently asked questions

8am-4pm – Monday – Thursday (Friday optional)

In all our courses we teach you the fundamentals of drawing and help you develop strong visual communication skills.

That is absolutely fine. We teach you the fundamentals so you can operate an industrial sewing machine with confidence.

We will teach you basic to advanced sewing skills.

We teach all our students from basic to advanced computer skills, so you are confident to navigate through our industry software.