Foundation Certificate of Arts and Design

Certificate of Arts and Design (Foundation)
National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level: 4
NQF Credits: 60
EFTs: 0.5
Exit qualification: Certificate of Arts and Design (Foundation) and a portfolio
Qualification Code: PC3446
Duration: 18 weeks, Full Time
Intakes: February / July
Preferential Applications by
For February intake: Mid Feburary
For July intake: Mid July

Parnell: 24 Balfour Road, Parnell, Auckland

Get Started

Left school and working hard? If you haven't studied at tertiary level before or tried arts and design before, Check out the Certificate of Arts and Design (Foundation).

This Certificate provides the chance to explore your potential in arts and design through a practical studio-based programme. You gain the confidence to step beyond your boundaries while learning basic art skills. Developing an extensive portfolio you can use when applying for higher levels of study such as the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is the aim.


The course provides an opportunity to experiment and learn under the practical guidance of dedicated art lecturers who encourage students to develop skills over a range of mediums in order to express themselves. Successful students will achieve an arts qualification and portfolio through the Foundation Certificate. Life experiences often enrich a students ability to interpret assignments and produce work in unique and varied ways. This Foundation Certificate enables them to develop a portfolio and experience what it is like to become part of the arts community at Whitecliffe College.



All students must complete Introduction to Design, and Introduction to Drawing and Painting, as well as an Orientation Workshop and Folio Preparation Workshop. Students also select elective modules from a range of disciplines. Students learn to critique each others works. Students are expected to spend 25 to 30 hours at Whitecliffe each week, followed by 5 to 10 hours of work at home. Class sizes are limited to a maximum of 20 students per class so that lecturers can offer personalised student contact and critique.


By the end of the 18 weeks, every student is required to exhibit a folio of studio work. Although successful completion of the Certificate of Arts & Design (Foundation) does not guarantee automatic admission into the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree programme, it does enhance the students chances of continuing to a more advanced level.

Find out how to apply

Applications for admission can be submitted anytime. Applications received after this date will be considered for entry subject to places being available.

Click here to view work by Foundation students.