Diploma in Computer Aided Design Diploma in Computer Aided Design

A-Z study guide
Diploma in Computer Aided Design

DiplomaFull-time, 1 year | Part-time up to 5 years

Programme code



February, July





Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

20 January for February start; 23 June for July start


Christchurch - Madras Street

Annual Fees(indicative 2019)


$6,830 -$7,550



Course related costs

Advised before enrolment

About this programme

Develop your CAD skills and open the door to a multitude of career pathways.

With this diploma you'll learn how to install, operate and manage CAD software applications and systems.

Our Diploma in Computer Aided Design will equip you with the skills and knowledge to make a significant contribution to the design and associated information technology systems of a business enterprise. You will develop expertise in installing, operating and managing CAD software applications and systems.

Made up of 75 compulsory credits and 45 elective credits, the Diploma in Computer Aided Design will develop you as a skilled and creative practitioner ready to apply your knowledge on the job or enrol in further study and/or undergraduate level research.

Career opportunities

Having CAD know-how means you will be able to field employment in various fields such as mechanical product design, civil engineering, landscape design, architecture, industrial design, and character animation.

CAD designers are in high demand globally and you may wish to use this qualification for permanent and freelance contracts.

Create new horizons and new opportunities for yourself or specialise in tasks related to the electrical or mechanical industries such tasks include CAD software and hardware analysis, budget considerations and job/project analysis and planning.

Study pathways

After completing your study you will be equipped to apply for further study in related disciplines at diploma and advanced levels.

Recommended school subjects

  • Computing
  • Technology
  • English
  • Mathematics

Programme structure

To complete this Diploma you are required to complete 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • Certificate in Computer Aided Design Level 4 or equivalent


    Successful completion of a qualification at Level 4 or above in Engineering, Construction or Architecture.


    If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

    Note: The number of courses you have to complete for this qualification may be reduced where you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace. Contact Ara for advice.

Additional requirements
  • In addition you will need to:

    Provide a CV and Supporting references


    Portfolio of work undertaken.

English requirements
  • What if English is not my first Language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study. Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart .


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS, Pearson or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS test report form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Applicants who meet the entry requirements will be accepted into the programme in the order that applications are received.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please:

  • complete an Admission and Enrolment Form or an International Application Form

If you don't meet the criteria for entry into this programme, we can help you meet entry level with our foundation and bridging programmes.

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.