Ara Institute Of Canterbury Graduate Diploma In Computer Aided Design

Further your expertise to meet the demand for CAD professionals in the architecture, engineering and manufacturing sectors.



Our one year qualification will provide the learning to allow you to apply broad knowledge of CAD tools, concepts and practices to provide effective CAD project outcomes. You will complete a combination of courses which provide you with skills and knowledge in:

  • Broad CAD fundamentals
  • Applied practical skills and knowledge
  • CAD system and CAD project management
  • Research and critical analysis

Throughout the year, you will enhance your work readiness through project and problem based learning where you will develop your broad based skills and knowledge in the area of CAD developing processes to ensure that CAD projects are executed effectively.

You will acquire research and evaluation expertise with real world projects where you will work independently and in teams.

You will also use effective written and oral communication for successful CAD outcomes. Part-time up to 4 years.

Fees for 2021

  • Domestic costs $7,900 – $8,700 per year
  • Indicative Student Services Fee $320 per year
  • International costs $23,260 per year
  • International Levy $523.50 per year
  • Valid To December 31, 2021

Academic Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree or a Level 7 qualification in a field involving technical design (not including the Diploma in Computer Aided Design Level 6)

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.

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 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.


Overall IELTS 6.0 Academic

  • 5.5 Listening
  • 5.5 Reading
  • 5.5 Writing
  • 5.5 Speaking

What To Study

Level 6

  • CAM Programming 1
  • CAD Fundamentals
  • 3D Parametric Solid Modelling

Level 7

  • CAD Application Analysis
  • Architectural CAD with ArchiCAD
  • CAM Programming 2
  • Architectural CAD with Revit
  • Civil Engineering CAD
  • Final Project
  • 3D Parametric Modelling with Creo Eleme…
  • Product Design with CAD
  • Design Project Management
  • Risk Management
  • CAD Visualisation and Presentation