COVID-19 Student & Staff Update
New Zealand moved to the COVID-19 Protection Framework. Learn More
Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation)
Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation)

Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation)

Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation)

Develop professional, creative, analytical and technical skills in 3D Animation. Study the Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation) course and prepare yourself for a career in the film, animation, television, cinematographic and digital media industries. Advance your CG skills and 3D character development and get into the industry.

Enrol via email
Key Details
Graduate Diploma

One year full-time

Study Modes:
On Campus

14 February to 18 November 2022


This programme is eligible for the Zero Fees Scheme.

  • NO tuition fees
  • Direct material costs of $2228 (GST inclusive)

International Fees can be found here.

The Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation) aims to equip students with the professional, creative, analytical, and technical skills to prepare them for employment or further study in the film, animation, television, cinematographic, and digital media industries.

You will learn:

  • 3D Animation 
  • 3D Character Animation 
  • Studio Drawing 
  • Project Management 
  • Animation Project 
  • Advanced Animation Production

Develop the skills to conceive, execute and promote animation productions to industry standards. This course will help you improve your skills in CG short films, design and 3D digital characters and advanced animal techniques.

BSA626 3D Animation Production

Students will develop and manage a story and character driven 3D project for a short film or a game cut scene. Students will research and develop a workflow management strategy to ensure an effective, quality-driven, production pipeline. Students will develop and apply a range of current best practices from the gaming and animation industries. These will include techniques such as hard and soft surface modelling, look development, rigged and dynamic animation, and traditional and Realtime rendering. Students will develop their creative thinking and analytical problem-solving skills to deliver a complex project in a time-intensive environment.

BSA615 Studio Drawing 2

Students will develop both physical and digital drawing skills. Students will explore their drawing methods by participating in a variety of group and individual exercises such as mural design, life drawing, and prompt illustrations. Students will produce a narrative-driven illustrated project, such as a graphic novel, children’s book, motion comic, manga, or comic, that distinguishes their own creative voice. Students will also examine relevant existing and emerging practises, and document project progress through self-reflective commentaries.

GD730 Internship

Students will engage in activities which further develop their skills as professional creative sector practitioners.  They will undertake an industry related internship(s) gaining a clear understanding of organisational and operational requirements and contribute as directed within that environment. Students will develop and refine an internship proposal/s that clearly identifies relevant skills and plan and manage activities to achieve these. Students will complete an in-depth evaluation of the internship experience based on documentation collected over the duration of their internship. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of Health and Safety in the workplace.

GD701 Studio Project 3

Students will build knowledge and skills in communications and management strategies to develop or produce a creative project. Students will develop individual or collaborative projects with peers or external partners but must implement individual processes with legal considerations. Students will plan and implement pipelines/workflows that embed researched and evaluated ethics, health, safety, and wellbeing procedures. Students will identify audience to ensure all concepts and designs are user-centric and have clear approaches to brand development and product release. Students will critically analyse and execute transmedia approaches to release their final project.

All graduates have developed leadership and teamwork qualities and are equipped to pursue a range of film, television, animation employment opportunities or continue with further study.

Applications are open to Bachelor degree graduates who can demonstrate equivalent, relevant, practical professional or educational experience in a related discipline. 

Special Admission

Notwithstanding the above admission criteria, provided the applicant has successfully completed an approved course or programme, or has relevant industry experience, which is deemed to meet the required standard for entry, the applicant may be admitted to the programme. 

Provisional Part-time Admission
An applicant, who does not meet academic criteria, may be provisionally admitted to enrol in one or more papers. Upon successful completion of the paper(s), the student may apply for special admission or admission by mature entry.

Additional Criteria

In addition, the following requirements also apply to applicants in all admission categories:

Applicants for the Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation) are required to submit a portfolio of their work with their application and may be asked for a written submission also.

Applicants are required to have a high competence in spoken and written English, 18 credits or more at Level 2 in NCEA literacy or an equivalent or more advanced English qualification.

Portfolio Requirements

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of their work with their application, as follows:

  • Portfolio One: examples of free-hand drawing (x10)
  • Portfolio Two: a digital portfolio/showreel showcasing digital storytelling skills.
  • Statement: typed, double spaced statement X two A4 pages (outlining your interests and goals within the programme e.g. why are you choosing animation as a career).
  • Prior Learning: This course is designed for applicants who have already worked in the industry and need to hone their skills, or already have a degree in a related field (fine arts, graphic design, film, 2D animation, gaming etc).
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • References: two specific references/testimonials from previous employers/lecturers who know you well and are able to recommend you for graduate study. Please include contact details.
  • Interview: a time will be arranged for you to meet with the programme manager or appropriate staff member following the assessment of your application.
  • Established Skills, Motivation & Passion: We are looking for a high level of skill, competency and motivation. Applicants must be proficient at self-driven research and analysis. This is a very intensive year suited to those who are committed to excelling in this exciting industry.
  • Links to online portfolios and showreel accepted.

English Language Requirements

Applicants, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having achieved one of the following

NCEA Level 3 with University Entrance, or

an International Baccalaureate Diploma or Cambridge A- level qualification for which the teaching and assessment was conducted in English; or

Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA),or Trinity College London Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CertTESOL);or

Successful completion of all primary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand primary school years 1 to 8) and at least three years of secondary education (being the equivalent of three years from New Zealand secondary school years 9 to 13) at schools in either New Zealand,,Australia,Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States one of the countries listed in Rule 18.5 where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction; or

Successful completion of at least five years of secondary education (being the equivalent of New Zealand secondary school years 9 to 13) at schools in either New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction; or

Successful completion of a Bachelor's Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters' Degree or Doctoral Degree, the language of instruction of which must be in English and which must be from a tertiary education provider from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States or

Successful completion of one of the following internationally recognised proficiency tests listed below to the level required of the programme of study and with all scores achieved in a single test during the two years preceding the proposed date of enrolment

IELTS test - Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5
TOEFL Paper based test (pBT) - Score of 550 (with an essay score 5 TWE)
TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) - Score of 60 (with a writing score of 18)
Cambridge English Examination - B2 First or B2 First for schools or C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill.
OET - Minimum of Grade C or 200 in all sub-tests
NZCEL - a) Expiring Level b) Current: a) Level 4 (Academic) b) Level 4 (Academic)
Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42
Language Cert - C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill
Trinity ISE - ISE II with no less than distinction in any band

* New versions of some NZCEL qualifications, and in some cases new qualifications, were published on 13 June 2017. These are intended to replace pre-existing versions and qualifications, which have been given expiring status until discontinued on 31 December 2019. (a) denotes expiring (b) denotes current

To be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation) students must have been credited with all required papers as specified in the Programme Schedule. The total credit value of the Graduate Diploma in Screen Arts (3D Animation) is 120 credits.

Classes are held Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm at SIT's Downtown Campus (Don St, Invercargill).

Suggested Courses