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Media Design School (MDS)

Media Design School (MDS) is New Zealand’s premier provider of creative education in the fields of Digital Technologies and Design. The school was founded in 1998 to provide trained graduates for digital and technological companies in New Zealand; today it is recognised among employers as a leader in the creative technology education sector.

Accreditations, Rankings and Awards

Rated by NZQA as a Category 1 institution, Media Design School has a strong reputation among employers in the creative industry and is a proud winner of over 50 industry awards including: Cannes Future Lions, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Irvine International Film Festival, Anima, Spark Animation, SIGGRAPH, Best Design Awards, ComicCon International: San Diego, D&AD New Blood, Young Guns, CG Student Awards, NZME Axis and The Rookies. For a complete list of awards please see: Media Design School Awards.


The Media Design School Albert Street Campus is spread over 6 floors of commercial studio space where each floor caters to the needs of a different digital discipline. The campus is located in the heart of Auckland City, minutes away from Queen Street, and near the iconic Sky Tower.


Each year the school welcomes over 500 domestic New Zealand students and 100 international students from over 30 countries. 80% of all students at MDS are under 25 years old.

Study Areas

Media Design School offers a wide range of NZQA approved certificates, diplomas, bachelor degrees, graduate diplomas and master degrees in the following areas:

  • Game Art
  • Game Programming
  • Graphic Design
  • Creative Advertising
  • Motion Graphics
  • Interactive Design
  • 3D Animation and Visual Effects


Postgraduate courses (includes Master Degrees and Graduate Diplomas):

Undergraduate courses (includes Bachelor Degrees and Diplomas):

Short courses (includes certificates and workshops)*:

*Media Design School short courses, Diploma in Digital Creativity (NZQF Level 5) and Postgraduate Certificate in Design (NZQF Level 8) are not offered to international students due to visa limitations.

Learning Environment

The school’s Albert Street Campus is designed to mimic a real-world production studio environment. Throughout the course students are assessed individually and as part of a team through various project works similar to those faced by a typical graphic designer, animator, or creative director on a daily basis.

International Student Requirements

  • Students must be 18 at the start of the course.
  • International students must hold a secondary school completion certificate equivalent to 12 years of schooling in New Zealand and must meet the academic and any additional requirements for their chosen course.
  • The English language requirement for entry at the Diploma, Bachelor Degree and Graduate Diploma levels (NZQF Levels 6-7) is IELTS 6.0 with no individual band less than 5.5
  • The English language requirement for entry at the Postgraduate Diploma and Master Degree levels (NZQF Levels 8-9) is IELTS 6.5 with no individual band less than 6.0

Accommodation Options

Media Design School does not organise accommodation for international students. However, there are an array of accommodation options available in the Central Business District (CBD) and in the surrounding suburbs, the most popular being:

International students are encouraged to organise temporary accommodation (i.e. Homestay or temporary Hostel Accommodation) prior to arriving in New Zealand and making the decision to settle.

Interesting Facts

Media Design School is part of the Laureate International Universities network of over 80 institutions worldwide. As such, some of their courses are also offered in Adelaide, Australia (Bachelor of Media Design) and Milan, Italy (Diploma of Creative Advertising).


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