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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission categories?

General Admission Category

To be considered for general admission, applicants must:

  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age
  • Hold NCEA level 1 (at least 80 credits) including literacy and numeracy
  • An appropriate qualification from an overseas secondary school or tertiary institution, deemed by Animation College to be sufficient for admission into a Diploma programme.

Discretionary Admission Category

Applicants who do not meet requirements for general admission, and are at least 16 and under age 20, may apply for discretionary admission. Discretionary admission applicants should:

  • have reached a significant level of achievement in year 11, or;
  • have successfully completed a relevant foundation programme or tertiary qualification;
  • all portfolios should show significant art and design skills and experience (applicants may be asked to attend an interview to ascertain their suitability for admission in some cases).

Special Admission Category

Applicants who do not meet requirements for general admission, are age 20 or more, are New Zealand residents or permanent residents, and have relevant experience and skills may apply for special admission. The application must be supported by:

  • a professional portfolio, and/or;
  • documented industry experience.

What do I need to apply?

General Admission:

1. You must be 16 years of age

2. You must have NCEA Level 1 as a minimum or see admission categories (for Bachelor or Diploma)

3. You must submit a portfolio (see FAQ for portfolio)

4. Supply a 'Letter of Intent' - a one pager explaining a little bit about yourself and what makes you passionate about animation.

5. Fill out the Online Application Form

6. Support Documents (see FAQ: What are support documents?)

What do I need to have in my portfolio?

10 x varied examples of your work; traditional drawings/sketches, digital art, creative writing, photography or even animation.

Any portfolio submitted must meet the following criteria:

  • Each piece of creative work must be clearly labelled with your name and the date the work was created.
  • Work may be submitted as a link to an online portfolio or website or attached to an email as a PDF. We also accept motion graphics, 3D animation or visual effects which can be supplied as a website link or on a USB if submitting in person.
  • Work included in the portfolios must show current work examples and should be no older than a year prior to submission.
  • All work provided must be original and your own work, when group work is shown, you must describe your involvement in the project.

How can I submit a digital portfolio?

Sign up, create an online portfolio by uploading your drawings/scans to one of the following websites:

  • Deviantart
  • Behance
  • Tumblr
  • Imgur

Portfolios can be supplied digitally as URL link via the Online Application Form. Please don't send attachments in regular emails.

What if I'm not a very good drawer?

Not everybody is naturally talented at drawing and some artists find that software is how they express themselves. But fear not we have a comprehensive fundamental drawing program which will teach you all the basics. We focus on human and animal anatomy drawing, observational drawing, basic perspective and drawing using basic shapes.

Even talented drawers need to brush up on these skills and they help to lay a foundation for the animation elements of the course.

Our 3D students also take part in life drawing exercises fortnightly to keep their skills sharp.

What if I've never used a computer for art before?

Not every student arrives with computer knowledge and especially not specialist art software! But don't worry, you will be taught step-by-step and eased into the use of digital software by our team of specialists.

Practical skills are important, but these also go hand-in-hand with digital skills. Digital software skills allow for faster output, editing throughout a project and broader application for the final productions.

Animation College teaches the Adobe suite (Flash, Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects) and Maya software but also welcomes open source software and platforms for specific projects.

Do I need an interview?

Not everyone requires an interview, as acceptance to the course is judged on the strength of your portfolio application and support documents provided via the Online Application Form. In some cases we may require an interview to clarify any issues that have come up in your application.

If you would like an interview one can be arranged.

The interview is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the course, take a tour of the school, and decide whether a career in animation is right for you.

To book an interview today, contact our Marketing Director here.

If you can’t make an interview in person (e.g. if you are not living in Auckland), it’s no problem; we will organise a Skype or phone interview instead.

What are support documents? How do I send them?

Support Documents required:

  • New Zealand Citizens: A verified copy of your passport or Birth Certificate
  • Permanent Residents: The passport you used to enter the country with a valid residency stamp.
  • Australian Citizens: A verified copy of your Australian Passport
  • A letter of intent, introducing yourself and your telling us why you'd like to study animation.

New Zealand students:

You can upload your support documents below via the Support Document Uploader.

What is document verification? How do I verify documents?

Verification is the sighting of an original, and the signing and stamping to authenticate your copy of the original as a true copy.

Your support documents must either be verified by a Justice of the Peace, solicitor, notary, minister of the church or school principal. Please do not post any original documents.

Use the Support Documents uploader to upload your support documents.

When do I need to send my support documents?

If you'd like to be proactive start collecting these as soon as possible. To get the ball rolling complete the Online Application Form above and if you have verified documents ready send these through as well via the Support Documents Uploader.

If you are waiting for documents i.e.: your IRD number application to arrive in the post. You may still upload documents that you have in the meantime.

What is U.E? What do I do if I don't have enough credits to apply?

U.E is University Entrance. If you are applying for the Bachelor you must hold a U.E as a minimum requirement to enter the Bachelor programme.

How many credits is equivalent to U.E?

If you don't have credits to gain access directly from high school, Summer School might be an option for you. For more about this follow this link here.

Or studying at Diploma level (entry with a minimum NCEA level 1) and bridging after you have reached level 7 may also be an option for you.

Applicants with previous study - a level 7 Diploma (or higher) may also need to sit bridging papers to gain access. See the Bachelor Bridging FAQ for more about admission categories.

What do I do after I've applied?

Once you have submitted your Online Application Form Animation College will be in contact with you to confirm details of your enrolment. If you haven't already you may start uploading your Support Documents via the Support Documents Uploader.

If you have any questions, we are always available to help, so stay in touch.

How do fees work?

Things you need to know about your fees:

  • Fees (including deposit) may be paid by cash, EFTPOS, cheque or Direct Credit.
  • Fees are inclusive of Compulsory Course Costs and GST (the NZ Goods and Services Tax – 15% subject to change).
  • Fees are subject to change without notice. The applicable fee is the one published at the time of your payment of the Registration Fee.
  • By enrolling at Animation College you accept full responsibility for paying your fees by the due date.
  • Your fees are due by the first day of course. Tuition may be refused until fees have been paid.
  • The statutory withdrawal period is eight calendar days after the advertised start date of the course. Animation College is entitled to retain up to 10% of any amount paid, or $500, whichever is less.
  • Students who withdraw, or are withdrawn by the school, are not eligible for a refund and are still liable to pay any outstanding fees owing.

Can I pay my fees with a Studylink Student Loan?

Most New Zealand students are eligible to receive a Student Loan from StudyLink to pay for their tuition fees. If you intend paying via this method you must apply immediately after you are accepted into the course as processing times can be lengthy during busy periods (Dec-Feb). Visit the StudyLink website and download their booklet 'The Guide- Your Introduction to Student Finance' to find out more about student loans, allowances, and living costs. Applications can be made through

What are course related costs?

First year students are provided with a list of stationery requirements which can be purchased at a 20% student discount online at Gordon Harris.

The cost of this pack varies from $80.00 to $170.00* depending on price fluctuations and whether the student has chosen to do 2D or 3D animation. Any extra stationery needed throughout the year can also be purchased from Gordon Harris at a 10% discount.

These costs, along with any other extra costs, (e.g. Wacom tablets, or money towards a new PC, etc) can be funded up to $1,000 by applying for ‘Course Related Costs’ through a StudyLink loan.

Please note that the earliest this money can be released to students is 2 weeks prior to the start of course.

*Prices correct at time of posting but are subject to inflation.