The four majors offered within the Bachelor of Fine Arts are Fine Arts, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, and Photo Media. During the first year of the degree you have the opportunity to engage in courses relating to all four majors before moving into your chosen major in year two. This broad initiation into the range of disciplines in the first year increases your appreciation of the arts and helps you make an informed choice of major.
The philosophy underpinning the undergraduate programme is to combine creative research skills with solid awareness of the public and professional requirements of visual arts professions. It's a liberating, exciting and challenging way to learn. Small practical class sizes mean lecturers and students interact at a personal level on a daily basis. The BFA is taught by practising artists, designers, educators and researchers who have a passion for art and teaching that inspires and encourages creativity. You are continually surrounded by lecturers and peers who are talking, breathing and thinking art.
The final year of study involves individual studio-based research under senior faculty supervisors. There is also a strong emphasis on further developing theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The final year culminates in graduating exhibitions by students from Fine Arts, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, and Photography.
Students have the opportunity to experience all areas of specialisation offered at Whitecliffe in Year One before moving into their chosen specialist areas in Year Two. Specialist study is supported at every level by theoretical and professional practice papers. Students are encouraged to exhibit to develop professional skills of planning, executing and presenting work within a critical environment. The programme's philosophy is to combine creative research skills with solid awareness of the public and professional requirements of visual arts professions. It's a liberating, exciting and challenging way to learn.
Lecturers are practicing artists, designers, administrators, therapists, educators and researchers who bring with them their expertise, networks and experience. They are skilled at tapping into student creativity to nurture and expand knowledge and ability. As part of our encouragement of careers in the arts, Whitecliffe also provides comprehensive professional grounding in areas such as business, marketing and ethics.
Small class sizes mean lecturers and students interact at a personal level on a daily basis. This close-knit relationship further enhances learning and the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
NCEA University Entrance or equivalent CIE/IB award (preferably including practical art and/or design and English). Discretionary Entrance is available to students who have gained exceptional marks in NCEA Level 2/Year 12 and wish to embark on higher level study. These students must display a high level of motivation and maturity. Students who do not meet these requirements are advised to undertake the Foundation Certificate in preparation for application to the BFA programme.
Domestic Students must be at least 17 years of age during their first year of study
International Students must turn 18 during their first year of study and have a minimum English language of level 6.0 IELTS level or equivalent
Portfolio (see the Admissions section for advice on this)
(Some of the above requirements may be waived for students over 20 years of age)
The preferential application deadline for all years of the BFA, 31 October. Late applications will be considered, subject to availability.
Find out how to apply for the BFA
Duration: 4 years
National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level: 7
Qualification: Bachelor of Fine Arts