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  • Annual course fee

    AUD 23,000

  • Duration

    1 Year

  • Intake months


  • Delivery locations


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Students from Australia are accepted for this course

Complement your existing degree and open doors to working in innovative ICT settings. Our full time one year graduate diploma is designed to meet the needs of graduates from a variety of disciplines who do not possess the specific skills necessary to work in ICT industries, but who have already demonstrated the ability to perform at a significant academic level. This programme offers courses from a wide range of ICT related disciplines including analysis, design, development, implementation and maintenance of business information systems. You are able to specialise in information systems, web or software development or network administration. Each student will follow a study path that takes into account their prior knowledge and the ICT area they wish to specialize in. For some students completing the Graduate Diploma over 18 months is recommended.

Visit official website for program curriculum

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You must have successfully completed an New Zealand Bachelor degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) or/with full-time or equivalent, work experience in a relevant industry setting.Meeting the minimum academic requirements does not guarantee entry. Your application will still need to be assessed and accepted.If you dont meet the entry requirements, there may be other programs you are eligible for that can lead you to your preferred program.


  • Type of institution

    Private College - VET

  • Year established


  • Total students


  • On campus accommodation


Located in the heart of Christchurch, New Zealand, Ara Institute of Canterbury is a leading tertiary institution renowned for its quality education and commitment to student success. With a rich history spanning over a century, Ara has established itself as a hub of excellence in vocational and applied education, offering a diverse range of programs and industry-focused courses.

Ara prides itself on its strong connection with industry and the community, ensuring that its graduates are well-prepared to enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed. The institute collaborates closely with local businesses, organisations, and industry professionals to develop a curriculum that is relevant, up-to-date, and aligned with industry demands. This close collaboration also provides students with valuable opportunities for internships, work placements, and networking, allowing them to gain practical experience and establish connections in their chosen fields.

One of the key strengths of Ara is its comprehensive range of study areas, catering to a wide spectrum of interests and career aspirations. Whether it's business, engineering, health sciences, hospitality, media and design, trades, or creative arts, Ara offers programs that equip students with the expertise and practical skills required for their chosen industries. The courses are delivered by highly qualified and experienced faculty members who are dedicated to nurturing students' potential and helping them achieve their goals.

In addition to academic excellence, Ara is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment. The institute recognises the importance of holistic student development and offers a range of support services to ensure that students thrive both academically and personally. From academic support and counselling services to disability support and career guidance, Ara is committed to empowering students to overcome challenges, fulfil their potential, and achieve success.

Facilities at Ara are modern and well-equipped, providing students with the resources they need to excel in their studies. The institute's campuses feature state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops, industry-standard simulation suites, and specialised facilities tailored to each discipline. These facilities enable students to gain hands-on experience and develop practical skills using industry-standard equipment, preparing them for the real-world demands of their chosen professions.

Beyond the classroom, Ara offers a vibrant and diverse student life experience. The institute hosts various events, clubs, and societies that foster a sense of community and encourage student engagement. From sports clubs to cultural groups, students have the opportunity to pursue their passions, make new friends, and engage in extracurricular activities that enrich their overall university experience.

Located in Christchurch, Ara enjoys the benefits of being situated in one of New Zealand's most vibrant and innovative cities. Christchurch offers a dynamic and multicultural environment with a thriving arts scene, a burgeoning tech industry, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Students at Ara have the opportunity to immerse themselves in this vibrant city, explore its cultural offerings, and connect with its diverse communities.

Campus Location

Located in the dynamic city of Christchurch, New Zealand, the Ara Institute of Canterbury enjoys a prime campus location that seamlessly blends urban convenience with the stunning natural landscapes of the South Island. Situated in a vibrant and culturally diverse city, Ara offers students an exceptional learning environment.

The institute's campus is strategically positioned in the heart of Christchurch, allowing students easy access to the city's bustling central business district, vibrant entertainment precincts, and a multitude of amenities. From trendy cafes and restaurants to boutique shops and cultural attractions, students have a wealth of options to explore during their free time.

Christchurch itself is renowned for its innovative spirit and resilience, having undergone significant revitalisation following the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. The city now embraces cutting-edge architecture, modern infrastructure, and sustainable urban design, creating an exciting backdrop for students to immerse themselves in.

Beyond the urban landscape, the campus location of Ara also benefits from its proximity to the natural beauty of the South Island. From stunning mountains and pristine lakes to breathtaking coastal areas, students have easy access to a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, and water sports. The natural surroundings provide an idyllic escape for students seeking tranquillity and adventure.

Transportation options in Christchurch are well-developed, with an efficient public transport system comprising buses and trains, making it easy for students to navigate the city and explore its surroundings. Additionally, the campus location offers convenient access to major transportation hubs, including Christchurch International Airport, facilitating travel for domestic and international students.

Furthermore, Christchurch is a city renowned for its strong sense of community and cultural vibrancy. Students at Ara have the opportunity to engage with local events, festivals, and exhibitions that celebrate the city's artistic and creative spirit. The dynamic cultural scene, combined with the warm hospitality of the local population, creates a welcoming and inclusive environment for students from all backgrounds.

Study areas

Ara Institute of Canterbury offers a comprehensive range of study areas, providing students with diverse options to pursue their academic and career aspirations. The institute's programs are designed to equip students with practical skills and industry-relevant knowledge. Here are some of the study areas and courses available at Ara:

Business, Accounting, and Management:

  • Business Administration
  • Accounting
  • Management
  • Marketing

Computing and IT:

  • Information Technology
  • Software Development
  • Cybersecurity

Creative Arts and Design:

  • Digital Media
  • Graphic Design
  • Fashion Design and Technology
  • Photography

Engineering and Architectural Studies:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Architectural Studies
  • Quantity Surveying

Health Sciences:

  • Nursing
  • Medical Imaging
  • Social Work
  • Occupational Therapy

Hospitality and Culinary Arts:

  • Hospitality Management
  • Professional Cookery
  • Baking and Patisserie

Trades and Applied Technologies:

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Carpentry and Joinery
  • Plumbing and Gasfitting
  • Welding and Fabrication

Media and Communication:

  • Journalism
  • Broadcasting
  • Public Relations

Applied Sciences:

  • Environmental Management
  • Laboratory Technology
  • Conservation and Wildlife Management

Social Sciences:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Counselling
  • Youth Work

Diversity and Inclusion

Ara Institute of Canterbury is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment that values and celebrates the uniqueness of every individual. The institute recognises that diversity enriches the educational experience, promotes innovation, and prepares students to thrive in a global society.

Ara embraces diversity in all its forms, including but not limited to ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and socio-economic background. By creating an inclusive atmosphere, Ara encourages mutual respect, understanding, and collaboration among students, staff, and the wider community.

The institute actively promotes equity and fairness, ensuring that all students have equal opportunities to succeed. Ara's inclusive policies and practices aim to eliminate barriers to education and provide support for students from diverse backgrounds. These efforts include accessible facilities, disability support services, and tailored resources to accommodate individual needs.

Ara values cultural diversity and promotes intercultural understanding. The institute welcomes students from different cultural backgrounds and provides opportunities for cross-cultural engagement. Through events, workshops, and cultural exchanges, students have the chance to explore and appreciate diverse perspectives, traditions, and practices.

To support the LGBTQ+ community, Ara fosters an inclusive and accepting environment. The institute promotes LGBTQ+ awareness, hosts events during Pride Month, and offers resources and support for LGBTQ+ students. This commitment to inclusivity helps create a safe and supportive space for all students to thrive academically and personally.

Ara also recognises the importance of indigenous cultures and the unique contributions of Māori and Pasifika communities. The institute actively supports the cultural aspirations and success of Māori and Pasifika students through initiatives such as Te Ohaka - Centre for Growth and Innovation. These efforts promote cultural understanding, strengthen connections with local iwi (tribes), and provide pathways for Māori and Pasifika students to excel in their chosen fields.

In summary, Ara Institute of Canterbury is dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment where all students feel valued, respected, and supported. By embracing diversity, promoting equity, and fostering cultural understanding, Ara prepares students to become compassionate global citizens who can contribute positively to society and thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.

Student life - Clubs & Societies

At Ara Institute of Canterbury, student life extends far beyond the classroom, with a vibrant array of clubs and societies that cater to a wide range of interests and passions. These clubs and societies provide students with opportunities to connect, engage, and pursue their hobbies alongside like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of community and enhancing the overall university experience.

Ara's diverse range of clubs and societies reflects the wide array of interests and talents among its student body. Whether it's sports, arts, culture, community service, or professional development, there is something for everyone to get involved in. Students have the chance to explore new activities, showcase their skills, and form lasting friendships with fellow enthusiasts.

Sports clubs offer a platform for students to engage in friendly competition, promote fitness, and build teamwork skills. From rugby and soccer to basketball and volleyball, Ara's sports clubs provide opportunities for students to participate in regular training sessions, friendly matches, and even intervarsity tournaments.

For those passionate about the arts and creative expression, Ara offers various clubs and societies dedicated to music, dance, drama, and visual arts. Students can join choirs, bands, dance troupes, and theatre groups, allowing them to showcase their talents, collaborate with peers, and participate in performances and exhibitions.

Ara's clubs and societies also embrace cultural diversity, celebrating the different heritages and backgrounds of its students. Cultural clubs offer a platform for students to share their traditions, language, and customs. These clubs organise cultural events, festivals, and workshops, creating opportunities for cultural exchange and fostering a sense of belonging for students from different backgrounds.

In addition to recreational and cultural pursuits, Ara's clubs and societies also focus on professional development and career-oriented activities. Professional societies offer students the chance to network with industry professionals, attend workshops and seminars, and gain valuable insights into their respective fields of study. These societies often collaborate with industry partners to provide students with internship and employment opportunities.

Community service clubs at Ara provide students with a chance to make a positive impact beyond the campus. These clubs organise volunteer activities, fundraisers, and community outreach programs, allowing students to contribute to the local community and develop a sense of social responsibility.

Overall, Ara's clubs and societies contribute to a vibrant and inclusive student life experience. They provide opportunities for personal growth, skill development, cultural exploration, and community engagement. By actively participating in these clubs and societies, students can broaden their horizons, forge lifelong connections, and create cherished memories during their time at Ara Institute of Canterbury.

Campus Facilities

Ara Institute of Canterbury, located in Christchurch, New Zealand, is renowned for its excellent campus facilities that cater to the diverse needs of its students. The institute takes pride in providing a conducive environment for learning, personal growth, and overall well-being. Whether it's academic resources, recreational spaces, or support services, Ara Institute ensures that students have access to top-notch facilities to enhance their educational journey.

Academic Facilities:

Libraries: Ara Institute boasts well-equipped libraries that house an extensive collection of books, journals, and digital resources. Students have access to quiet study areas, computer labs, and helpful librarians who provide assistance with research and information retrieval.

Laboratories and Workshops: With a focus on practical learning, Ara Institute offers state-of-the-art laboratories and workshops. These facilities are equipped with modern equipment and technologies to support hands-on training in fields such as engineering, health sciences, computing, and trades.

Lecture Theatres and Classrooms: The institute has spacious lecture theatres and classrooms equipped with audio-visual aids and multimedia capabilities. These venues provide an ideal setting for interactive lectures, presentations, and discussions.

Recreational Facilities:

Student Hub: The Student Hub serves as a vibrant social space for students. It offers comfortable seating areas, study zones, and recreational facilities. Students can gather, relax, and engage in various activities while building connections with their peers.

Sports and Fitness Centers: Ara Institute encourages a healthy and active lifestyle by providing sports and fitness facilities. Students can make use of well-equipped gyms, indoor courts for sports like basketball and badminton, and outdoor sports fields.

Cafeterias and Food Outlets: Multiple cafeterias and food outlets are available on campus, offering a range of cuisines and dining options. These spaces allow students to grab a quick bite or enjoy a meal while socialising with friends.

Support Services:

Student Services: Ara Institute offers comprehensive student services, including academic advising, counselling, and disability support. These services aim to assist students in achieving their educational goals and ensuring their well-being throughout their time at the institute.

Health Services: The institute has a health centre on campus where students can seek medical assistance from qualified professionals. Regular health check-ups, vaccinations, and counselling services are also provided to promote student wellness.

Career Services: Ara Institute provides career guidance and support to students, helping them explore career options, develop job-seeking skills, and connect with potential employers. The institute organises career fairs, workshops, and networking events to enhance students' employment prospects.

Alumni Network

The alumni network of Ara Institute of Canterbury is a thriving and closely-knit community comprising graduates who have completed their studies at the institute. This network serves as a valuable resource for both current students and alumni, offering numerous opportunities for professional growth, collaboration, and mentorship.

Ara Institute takes great pride in maintaining strong relationships with its graduates, recognising their achievements and contributions to their respective fields. The alumni network plays a pivotal role in fostering lifelong connections, allowing alumni to stay connected with the institute and their fellow graduates.

By joining the alumni network, graduates gain access to a wide range of benefits and services designed to support their personal and professional development. One of the key advantages is the extensive networking opportunities that the network provides. Alumni can connect with fellow graduates, industry professionals, and potential employers, facilitating valuable connections that can lead to career advancements and collaborations.

The network also organises various events and reunions, providing a platform for alumni to reconnect, share experiences, and expand their professional networks. These gatherings often feature guest speakers, workshops, and panel discussions, offering insights into current industry trends and fostering a sense of community among the alumni.

Furthermore, the alumni network serves as a valuable resource for career development. Alumni can access job boards, career counselling services, and mentorship programs offered by the institute. Through these initiatives, alumni can receive guidance from experienced professionals in their fields, allowing them to navigate their careers with confidence and make informed decisions.

In addition to professional support, the alumni network encourages and facilitates philanthropic endeavours. Graduates are encouraged to give back to the institute through donations, sponsorships, or volunteering opportunities. This not only helps future generations of students but also strengthens the bond between the alumni and their alma mater.

Why study at Ara Institute of Canterbury?

Ara Institute of Canterbury offers a compelling educational experience that attracts students from around the world. With its commitment to excellence, practical learning, and student support, studying at Ara Institute provides numerous advantages for those seeking a quality education and a solid foundation for their future.

Academic Excellence: Ara Institute has a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence. It offers a wide range of programs and courses taught by highly qualified faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. The institute's commitment to maintaining industry relevance ensures that students receive up-to-date knowledge and skills that are in demand in the job market.

Practical Learning: Ara Institute emphasises practical learning, providing students with hands-on experience and real-world application of their knowledge. Through state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops, and industry partnerships, students gain valuable practical skills that enhance their employability. This practical approach to education sets Ara Institute apart and equips graduates with the confidence and competence to excel in their chosen professions.

Industry Connections: The institute has strong connections with various industries, offering students excellent opportunities for internships, work placements, and industry collaborations. These connections provide valuable insights into the professional world and enable students to establish valuable contacts and networks that can benefit their future careers.

Supportive Learning Environment: Ara Institute prioritises the well-being and success of its students. It offers a supportive learning environment with small classes, personalised attention, and comprehensive student support services. Whether it's academic guidance, career counselling, or personal well-being support, the institute is committed to ensuring that students have the necessary resources and assistance to thrive academically and personally.

State-of-the-Art Facilities: The institute boasts modern facilities that enhance the learning experience. From well-equipped libraries and laboratories to interactive classrooms and advanced technology, Ara Institute provides students with access to cutting-edge resources and technologies necessary for their studies.

Cultural Diversity: Ara Institute embraces diversity and welcomes students from different backgrounds, cultures, and countries. The multicultural environment promotes cross-cultural understanding, global perspectives, and a rich exchange of ideas. Students have the opportunity to engage with a diverse community, fostering a sense of inclusivity and broadening their horizons.

Vibrant Campus Life: Ara Institute offers a vibrant campus life with a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and societies. Students can participate in sports, arts, cultural events, and community service initiatives, enhancing their overall college experience and allowing them to develop their interests and talents beyond the classroom.


  • QS

    QS rank


Campus offering this course
Madras Street Campus - Ara Institute of Canterbury - Ara Institute of Canterbury

130 Madras Street, Christchurch, Canterbury, 8140

View on map About Campus

Our largest campus is located in central Christchurch, the biggest city in the South Island. At the City campus you’ll find a wide range of services and facilities to enhance your student experience. The campus also has a theatre where performances are staged, spaces where exhibitions of student art are held, and attractive outdoor areas where you can meet and relax with friends between classes. Close by there are bars, cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, public transport, the main bus interchange, shops and entertainment. The City campus is also just a short walk from Hagley Park, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, the Christchurch Art Gallery, Tūranga (the city’s new public library) and exciting new precincts like Riverside and Little High.

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