A New Zealand institute recently launched a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) qualification stream as part of a graduate diploma of creative technologies. So far, the Media Design School (MDS) offered streams such as 3D animation and VFX, graphic design or web development within the diploma programme. Now, it has not only created a separate track in these technologies but also introduced opportunities across degree programmes for students to develop concepts and prototypes for VR and AR.
The syllabus will be structured similar to the school’s other graduate diploma streams comprising learning methods, research and production. “With all MDS programmes, the practical elements and learning are built into the syllabus. This means students experience on-site training along their academic learning so they are able to put into practice what they are learning,” said Darryn Melrose, chief executive officer.
“With the potential of the emergent industry which is predicted to be $205 billion globally in the next five years, the addition of VR/AR is a next natural step for MDS to be able to offer students,” he said. “Today, we have a situation where we have VR/AR employment and work, without any dedicated graduates available. Therefore, we need to move fast to provide industry with the talent it needs.”
Talking about the career options, he pointed out, VR and AR have many applications across a wide range of sectors. The field received a boost when the AR/VR Garage, a collaborative R&D facility, opened in Auckland in 2016. The facility’s partners include Microsoft and Datacom, among others. “It already has a number of live projects ready and waiting for skilled graduates to work on. Further out, we expect that VR/AR graduates will be highly sought-after as these technologies make an impact on the design, retail, marketing, education and media entertainment industries,” said Melrose.
Duration: One year
Eligibility requirements (for students from India): Entry into the graduate diploma of creative technologies requires a Bachelor’s degree, academic IELTS of 6.0 with no band less than 5.5 and a portfolio
Tuition fee for 2017: $25,600 per year; no scholarships on offer currently