BFA Year Three

Students continue to focus on their chosen major as well as further developing theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

They work closely with lecturers to develop a hands-on understanding of industry expectations and professional networks. Subjects include art and design history and theory as well as management studies. 

Programme Outcomes

The third year in the BFA continues the development of expertise and creativity within a students' major (Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Fine Arts, and Photo Media). Students must also complete courses in Art and Design Disciplines, Art History and Management studies. The remainder of the programme is made up of four one week intensive workshops and an internship with an external organisation within the students field of study.

Minimum Requirements

There are three options for entry into year 3 of the Bachelor of Fine Arts programme:

  • Successful completion of the Whitecliffe year two BFA.
  • Successful completion of the Advanced Diploma in Digital Media from Natcoll Design Technology.
  • Advanced Standing/Recognised Prior Learning (RPL).

The preferential application deadline for all years of the BFA is 31 October. Applications for admission can be submitted at anytime. Applications received after 31 October will be considered for entry subject to places being available.

Yoobee School of Design


Whitecliffe in association with Yoobee School of Design (Yoobee) in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland have developed an articulation agreement that provides Yoobee Graduate Diploma graduates with an opportunity to stair-case into year 3 of the 4-year BFA programme at Whitecliffe.

Whitecliffe will accept enrolments from eligible students who have successfully completed a Graduate Diploma in Digital Media at Yoobee. The programme offers students two academic years (that is, four(4) Semesters) of study at Whitecliffe. This slightly modified programme is only available to suitably qualified Yoobee graduates. Successful students will be awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or advanced standing may be granted to students with experience of prior tertiary training or professional experience in arts and/or design. The Admissions Board may recommend transfer credit, credit waivers and/or eligibility to matriculate based on RPL. RPL must be requested at the time of application and/or no later than two weeks prior to the commencement of the course/s for which this is sought. Students may be required to enrol in other courses of equivalent credit value to maintain a full-time load (EFTS) when necessary. RPL can be based on verifiable, certified documentation, appropriate industry experience, an outstanding portfolio, demonstration of intellectual and academic development or other cause.

Applicants wishing to be considered for advanced standing, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), or cross-crediting of previous studies from other New Zealand or overseas tertiary institutions, must provide certified copies of academic transcripts. The Associate Dean of Instruction and Undergraduate Studies or the Associate Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies, in consultation with the relevant faculty member, evaluates transfer credits. This may also be done through the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).Transfer credits are granted only if the applicant's portfolio or previous study or experience is equivalent to work produced at Whitecliffe at the same level. Whitecliffe participates in the NZQA programme for Recognition of Prior Learning and recognises units recorded in the Record of Learning.

Creative potential is a very important entry criteria for the Bachelor of Fine Arts programme which is why all applicants must submit a portfolio, whether they have had formal training in art and design or not.

National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level: 7
NQF Credits: 360 (120 per year)
EFTS: 3.0 (1.0 EFTs per year)
Duration: 3 years, full time
Next Intake: February
Preferential Applications by: 31 October
Places Available: 70
Main Campus, 24 Balfour Road, Parnell, Auckland
St Georges Bay Road Studios, 130 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell