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Programme overview

This programme is no longer offered. If you have applied for this programme we will contact you to discuss your options - including alternative programmes that may suit you such as the Bachelor of Creative Enterprise or Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Screen Arts).

New Zealand’s most practical animation programme is now available at Unitec. The Diploma of Applied Animation is a highly practical course focused on delivering foundation skills in fundamental drawing, visual storytelling and acting through animation. 

You'll spend plenty of time hands-on in the classroom developing your life drawing skills and preproduction techniques such as character design, storyboarding and layout. The course also gives a background in technical and production knowledge, legal requirements, and animation history.

You'll also gain a thorough understanding of character animation and physical motion through timing, posing, weight and balance in animation. With the attention to the 12 principles of animation and scene planning, this helps to strengthen character performance with dialogue and acting sequences timed to sound.

There is high demand for practical skills in the creative industries of film, animation and game creation and this programme will prepare you for a range of careers in this evolving and fast growing industry.


  • Develop your fundamental drawing skills, with a strong focus on the 12 principles of animation
  • Use industry standard software and studio pipelines and the latest digital tools
  • Learn pre-production and pre-visual development techniques as well as post production and compositing techniques
  • Apply visual storytelling in multiple digital mediums

Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. A total of 60 credits at NCEA Level 2 from four different subjects including a minimum of 8 credits in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing)
2. Be at least 16 years old by the time the programme begins
3. Submit a portfolio of original creative work
4. If English is your second language, you will need to have one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t have NCEA? We also accept:

  • A relevant qualification at Level 3 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; or
  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.





The 'Key Information for Students' below does not reflect any international student information.

Please take this information as a guideline only. For example, you will often see a difference between these tuition fees and our estimate above. This is because there are a number of variables, such as the specific courses chosen within a programme.

The national graduate outcomes information is for all tertiary New Zealand providers including Unitec. This information is provided by the New Zealand Government and is derived from a national database that links educational and income information.

Key Information for Students

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements: 60 credits at NCEA Level 1 from a mix of subjects, be 16 years old, submit a portfolio of work and English language requirements or relevant and equivalent qualifications, special and discretionary admission also accepted.

Detailed requirements: See the above "Admission requirements" section for more information about entry to this progrogramme.


2 Years

Tuition Fees


Total Qualification

Student fees:  N/AN/A
Government tuition subsidy: N/AN/A

Compulsory Student Services Fee
Student loan information available at StudyLink.

National graduate outcomes

(3 years after completion)
Median earnings$35,776
Earnings range$26,007 - $43,735
In employment65%
In further study25%
On a benefit6%

Note:All KIS information is the most recent available relating to domestic students only. Click here for more information about the Key Information for Students.