Home > Higher Certificate In Design: 2d Illustration & Motion Graphics Nqf5

Higher Certificate in Design:2D Illustration & Motion Graphics, NQF5

SAQA ID: 97900, 120 Credits, NQF 5, Higher Certificate in Design Thinking

GDC offers a Higher Certificate programme in Design Thinking with a focus on 2D Illustration & Motion Graphics.

This programme is specifically designed to equip learners with the fundamental toolkit to problem solve and develop 2D design solutions while developing expertise in 2D Illustration and Motion Graphics. Students will be exposed to 2D illustration concepts and animation techniques with the help of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Toon Boom’s Storyboard Pro and Toon Boom’s Harmony. This course aims to improve the students understanding of characters and their environments, the creation of such worlds and the effective communication of them through 2D art and animation.

In depth emphasis is placed on Toon Boom and its modules as a popular tool used in industry. Taking students from concept to creation, the programme will introduce them to the development and production of design solutions through a practical, hands-on curriculum.



Skill sets acquired in this higher certificate programme seamlessly transitions the students into one of our BA Degree programmes. Another plus is, that students graduate with a standalone qualification at NQF level 5


Features and Benefits

  • Learn critical industry-required skills plus the industry-standard software suite including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe IllustratorAdobe InDesign, Toon Boom and Sketchbook with a 1-year student license.


  • Learn to do sketching the modern way with Autodesk Sketchbook.


  • Get a free Office 365 Education A1 license, valid for the duration of your studies. 


  • Online students, get support by our technology and our support and lecturing staff. The focus is on a blended learning approach. It is a combination of flexible Virtual Class online, at home exercises, activities and project-based.

  • Job placement assistance through our industry network and online recruitment  portal, exclusively available to The Greenside Design Center 

  • Shared industry skills such as Project Management was added to further maximum employment success. 


  • Involvement in our institution-wide community engagement project known as 10 percent. Our students across all levels of study and all disciplines, come together to form new multidisciplinary teams, and apply their design expertise to work with a real community.


  • Access to local and international student award entries

  • Industry exposure from top industry key players

  • Access to our on-campus specialised labs. This programme incorporates our MakersLab and VRLab


  • Specialized LabMakersLab
  • Specialized LabVRLab

The MakersLab gives students the chance to see their designs, ideas and innovations become a reality.

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An interactive space that helps students explore the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality in the visualizing and presentation of data.

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Admission Requirements


Hardware Requirements

Please note that you are required to have your own computer for this qualification. GDC, in partnership with Dell and TripleH committed to supplying every student with a Dell laptop to support our DigitalCampus initiative. Available exclusively to GDC students, devices can now be financed with your tuition fees. We provide two models:



  • MEDIUMMedium Spec, Dell Latitude 5510, i7, 16GB
  • HIGHHigh Spec, Dell Latitude 5510, i7, 32GB

R19 000.00 (OUT OF STOCK)Learn More

The foundation for intense graphic and processor heavy tasks.

11th Generation Intel Core i7-11370H(12M cache, up to 4.8GHz), 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Narrow Border WVA Display, Camera & Microphone, Power Button without Touch Fingerprint Reader, 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 Non-ECC RAM, M.2 256GB PCIe NVMe Class 35 Solid State Drive, Nvidia GeForce MX450 w/2GB GDDR6 Graphics Memory, 4 Cell 54Whr Express Charge Capable Battery, Windows 10 Pro (64 Bit), 1Y Collect and Return Service

R21 500.00 (OUT OF STOCK)Learn More

Same foundation, more memory...for those who want to get a little more serious.

11th Generation Intel Core i7-11370H (15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED Backlight Non-Touch Narrow Border WVA Display, Camera & Microphone, Power Button without Touch Fingerprint Reader, 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 Non-ECC RAM, WLAN, M.2 256GB PCIe NVMe Class 35 Solid State Drive, Nvidia GeForce MX450 w/2GB GDDR6 Graphics Memory, Windows 10 Pro (64 Bit), 1Y Collect and Return Service

Salaries & Skills

* All statistics are derived from

  • Pricing & Payment Options

  • Duration

    Full Time 

    • Full Time, Contact Learning (Hybrid), 12 Months
    • Full Time, Online Learning ,12 Months
    • Classes from Monday to Friday, +- 20 hours/week



    • Part Time, Flexi Online Learning, min 12 Months, Max 24 Months
    • Classes conducted after hours over 2-3 sessions/week (on selective Saturdays)

    * Class structures are subject to change without notification. 

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  • Career Options

    • Character design
    • Life drawing techniques
    • Digital animation
    • Digital video
    • Stop motion animation
    • Web animation
  • Study Kit

    Your study kit is included in your fees and will contain:


    • Free Unlimited WIFI (Unlimited, On Campus only) 
    • Autodesk student license valid for 1 year
    • Adobe student license valid for 1 year.
    • Orientation kit



What you get

On completion the student will earn:

  • NQF level 5 Higher Certificate in Design Thinking.
  • Internationally recognized Toon Boom Certificate.
  • Show-reel stills and animation.
  • Interaction and classes with industry professionals .

Additionally you also get

  • Portfolio of Work (world-class portfolio that can be used for job applications)

Our Learning Methods

Our learning methods is a technology mediated delivery model, focused on flexibility, accessibility, and academic support to provide the ultimate learning experience without compromising teaching time and quality.





Full Time - Contact/Hybrid

A modern twist on traditional face-to-face, full-time learning. Our contact classes are delivered via Hybrid learning, providing students with the flexibility to attend on campus, virtually, or both.

Full Time, Online

Extending our reach with online only, full time learning. Our progressive technology platform and people-supported academic journey giving students access to our classes from anywhere in the world.

Part Time, Flexi Online

Designed for the working professional, our part time programmes provide you with the flexibility to manger your own schedule and pace of learning. Sessions are conducted after hours on selected weekdays, and on alternate Saturdays.

Career Video

Watch this video to understand a day in the life of a Concept Designer. 

Throughout the year, the Higher Certificate Programme equips students with the fundamental design skills necessary to progress in any design discipline. But the final twelve weeks of the programme allows students to complete elective projects where they get the opportunity to focus on 2D Illustration and Motion Graphics.



  • Design Thinking and the Design Process
  • The Design Elements and Principles
  • Visual Communication Methods, Tools and Techniques
  • Freelance Working Environment
  • Workplace Readiness




Composition, Presentation and Storyboards

This module will introduce the student to the principles of composition and storyboarding and will cover the following topics:


  • Cinematic Composition and blocking principles.
  • Effective Storyboard and pacing principles




Rigging and Animation

Students will be exposed to the principles and workflows of creating rigging for animation using ToonBoom

The module will cover the following topics:

  • Theory and Principles of animation and motion.
  • Rigging for animation.





Dynamics and Simulation

Students will be taught how to create dynamic simulations in ToonBoom as well as employ particle system for special effects in their scenes.
The module will cover:

  • Simulation of Physics and Particles using ToonBoom.






Students will be introduced to the process and techniques of illustrations in both traditional and digital media
The module will cover:

  • Sketching and Illustration with traditional media.
  • Sketching and Illustration with Autodesk Sketchbook.
  • Sketching and Illustration with Adobe Photoshop.





Basic Colour, Light and Perspective Theory

Students will be introduced to the basics and principles of perspective drawing, colour and light theory and digital painting.
The module will cover:

  • Cinematic Colour and Light theory for Illustration.
  • Introduction to perspective drawing.
  • Digital Painting with Autodesk Sketchbook.
  • Digital Sketching with Adobe Photoshop.
  • Matte painting with Adobe Photoshop.




Character, Prop and Environment Design

This module will introduce student to the process of creating believable and endearing characters and designing worlds with depth and consistency.
The module will cover:


  • Creating characters and developing their personalities
  • Expanding their worlds and designing their aesthetics.




Freelancing for Creatives, Designers and Digital Artists, Making Money in the Gig Economy

This module will introduce the student to the exciting, tumultuous and ever changing world of freelancing in the creative industry and the burgeoning gig economy.
The module will cover the following topics:


  • Introduction to freelancing and exploring different freelancing services
  • Exploring freelancing supporting sites and finding the right one for your skillset
  • Explore crowdsourcing and finding the right one for your skillset
  • The importance of a High-Quality Portfolio Website
  • The Importance of a professional online personal and social profile and building of your PERSONAL BRAND
  • International Job Hunting/Jobs Hunting, your market is bigger than you think


  • Campus
    Registration Close Date
    Start Date
  • 11 July 2022
    Late Registration In Progress
    18 July 2022
    Full Time, Contact
  • 13 February 2023
    20 February 2023
    Full Time, Contact
  • 11 July 2022
    Late Registration In Progress
    18 July 2022
    Full Time, Online
  • 13 February 2023
    20 February 2023
    Full Time, Online
  • 11 July 2022
    Late Registration In Progress
    18 July 2022
    Part Time, Online
  • 13 February 2023
    20 February 2023
    Part Time, Online

Include a Laptop? Yes No   Read more