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Study digital design: animation, gaming or emerging technologies

Study digital design in New Zealand and work with world-leading experts to build a career in animation, gaming or emerging technologies.

Why choose New Zealand

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Why study digital design in New Zealand?

Whether you're studying game design, animation, visual effects or another digital design discipline, New Zealand offers you unique opportunities to bring your creative ideas to life.

Build connections with industry leaders, such as the Oscar-winning filmmakers who made Lord of the Rings, Shrek and Avatar. Gain real-world experience in vibrant design communities and showcase your work in shows, galleries and competitions.

With four universities in the 2020 top 150 QS World University Rankings for art and design, the New Zealand education system sets you up to meet the demands of the rapidly-changing global design industry.

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Digital design students work in close-knit, high-performing teams while they're studying, just like they would in the workplace. But it's not all work - there's also time to explore New Zealand and discover the extraordinary landscapes captured in filmmaker Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.

New Zealand is a land of outdoor sports, wilderness adventures and incredible travel experiences, but we also have cosmopolitan cities with great restaurants, music, arts and shopping. You'll be given a warm welcome in our safe, multicultural and friendly communities.

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Working while studying can be a good way to gain New Zealand work experience and help support you while you’re studying abroad.

Student visa holders may be able to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during scheduled holidays, depending on their programme of study. Masters by research or PhD students may work full-time throughout their studies.

You can study up to three consecutive programmes over five years on a single Pathway Student Visa.

Find out more about working while studying on NauMai NZ website.

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Digital design students work collaboratively on group projects under expert leadership. They also network with world-leading innovators - people that students wouldn't usually get the chance to meet.

Study digital design in New Zealand and you'll gain skills, qualifications and experience that will make you in demand on the global job market. You'll also have the capability skills - such as English language proficiency, leadership, communications, creative thinking and problem-solving - graduates need to stay at the top of the fast-moving design industry.

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Hear from international digital design students and graduates

Study pathway

New Zealand’s flexible education system gives digital design students the freedom to choose from many different study options, ranging from professional postgraduate qualifications to undergraduate degrees.


Post graduate

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3
  • Year 4
  • Year 5
  • Year 6
Diploma in Digital Creativity
A Diploma in Digital Creativity gives you experience in graphic design, interactive design, motion graphics and 3D modelling.
Diploma in Applied Animation
A Diploma in Applied Animation gives you the drawing and digital art skills needed to build a career in anything from character animation and game art to app creation.
Bachelor of Design Innovation
A Bachelor of Design Innovation is flexible degree that lets you combine studying design with a minor in another discipline, such as computer science or media studies.
Bachelor of Media and Creative Technologies
A Bachelor of Media and Creative Technologies is an innovative degree focused on emerging ways of creating and sharing content.
Postgraduate Diploma in Design
A Postgraduate Diploma in Design is for graduates who choose to take the next step in their careers by exploring the latest relevant professional practice in design.
Master of Design - 18 Months
A Master of Design is an advanced research qualification that involves taking a challenging real-world design problem through to a well-constructed solution.
A PhD is the highest tertiary honour. It involves writing a thesis - a major piece of research - over three to five years.

This is a generic pathway. Length of study may vary depending on how students choose to structure their degrees.

Jobs involving digital design include:

  • Digital animators use traditional and digital media - such as drawing, models, photography, and image capture and manipulation software - to create still and moving images for print, web, TV and film.
  • Visual effects artists create computer-generated animations and special effects for films and other screen productions.
    Visual effects artist
  • Game artists work as part of a team to create video games, coming up with a game’s concept, characters, setting, story and game play.
    Game artist
  • Compositors work at the end of the production process to combine many elements - such as special effects, graphics, 2D animation and live action - into the final image.
  • Mobile app designers create programmes used on mobile devices such as smart phones. They write the programme, test it and repair any problems.
    Mobile app designer

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