New Zealand has a vibrant arts and cultural scene, making creative arts and design courses a popular choice for many students


Creative Arts & Design Courses in New Zealand
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It’s worth exploring your study options in one of New Zealand’s most appreciated and well-loved industries.

There are plenty of courses available, so you are likely to find an option that matches your interests, skill set and intended career path. Whether your interests lie in acting, fashion, graphic design or photography, it’s worth exploring your study options in one of New Zealand’s most appreciated and well-loved industries.

For more information about studying creative arts and design in New Zealand, visit the following websites:

Arts Council of New Zealand

If you’re interested in studying creative arts and design, you may also consider courses within architecture, building and construction, communications, computer science and IT, humanities and social sciences and education and training.

What you can study Creative arts and design courses fall into one of two groups. First, there are courses that prepare students for careers in the visual and performing arts. The second group includes programmes designed to provide students with the skills and technical knowledge to work in creative production roles (‘behind the scenes’).

Because this is such a practical field of study, there is a wide selection of courses at vocational certificate and diploma level. Choices range from certificates in art and design, dance, music, performing arts, fashion technology and photography, to diplomas in areas such as animation, audio engineering, computer-aided design, fashion design, jewellery and interactive design. There are also many higher education courses available, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Just some of the options include applied visual imaging, creative technologies, dance studies, digital media, dramatic arts, fashion, fine arts and music. Doctoral study is an option, with programmes available in design, fine arts, music and musical arts.

Where to study

Courses in creative arts and design are widely available, offered by polytechnics, institutes of technology, universities and a large number of private colleges (many are specialists in the field). Creative arts and design is a field where it is particularly important to pay attention to the quality of facilities and equipment on campus. No matter where you study, you should have access to spaces for practical work (such as design studios and computer labs) and up-to-date and industry-standard equipment.


  • Auckland University of Technology
  • Massey University
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Otago
  • University of Waikato
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics

  • Aoraki Polytechnic
  • Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
  • Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT)
  • Eastern Institute of Technology
  • Manakau Institute of Technology
  • Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT)
  • Northtec
  • Otago Polytechnic
  • Southern Institute of Technology
  • Tai Poutini Polytechnic
  • The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
  • Unitec New Zealand
  • Universal College of Learning (UCOL)
  • Waiariki Institute of Technology
  • Waikato Institute of Technology
  • Wellington Institute of Technology (Weltec)
  • Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT)
  • Whitireia New Zealand
  • Private Training Establishments (PTEs)

  • ACG Yoobee School of Design
  • Animation College New Zealand
  • Edenz Colleges
  • Hungry Creek Art and Craft School
  • Lifeway College
  • New Zealand School of Education (NZSE)