Certificate in Arts + Design

The semester-long programme (18 weeks) concentrates on developing a portfolio for application to on-going tertiary study at Whitecliffe, elsewhere in New Zealand or overseas.

The emphasis is on practical projects and deepening students' understanding of the visual arts and the principles and application of design, supported by conceptual content and knowledge. Students are enabled to develop the appropriate skills and can manage projects and briefs under broad guidance. Students gain a base of art and design-related knowledge, equipping them with the learning strategies, attitudes, and skills for higher-level tertiary study, or entry-level employment in the field.

Key dates

Feb 2021 Intake 19 • 02 • 21
July 2021 Intake 16 • 07 • 21

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Duration

18 weeks, full-time in Auckland + Manukau

Qualification

New Zealand Certificate in Arts + Design (Level 4) 60 credits

Costs

2021 Domestic $3,486 + $150 Student Services Levy
2021 International $12,000 + $150 Student Services Levy
Fees free applies
All 2021 fees are subject to change and regulatory approval

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Certificate in Arts + Design Course Outline

The programme focuses on developing skills in general Drawing, Painting and Design courses while offering opportunities for more focused sampling and exploration within four areas (Fine Arts, Photo Media, Fashion Design + Sustainability, and Graphic Design) which are the departments within the Bachelor of Fine Arts programme at Whitecliffe.

Graduates will gain skills and knowledge to fill junior assistant and/or support roles in arts and/or creative industries. Successful completion of the programme results in the award of the New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design (Level 4).

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Why Choose Whitecliffe Pre-degree Certificates?

The Certificate programme focuses on developing skills in general Drawing, Painting and Design courses while offering opportunities for more focused sampling and exploration within four areas (Fine Arts, Fashion Design, Graphic Design and Photo Media) which are the departments within the Bachelor of Fine Arts programme at Whitecliffe.

The emphasis is on practical projects and deepening students’ understanding of visual arts and design issues, supported by conceptual content and knowledge. This ensures that students develop appropriate thinking skills and can manage projects/briefs under broad guidance; and gain a broad base of art and design-related knowledge so they are equipped with the learning strategies, attitudes and skills for further tertiary study and/or entry-level employment in the field.

Graduates will produce a portfolio and gain a broad knowledge of art and design-related subjects to ensure they are equipped with the learning strategies, attitudes and self-management skills for further tertiary study and/or entry-level vocations.

Graduates will gain skills and knowledge to fill junior assistant and/or support roles in arts and/or creative industries. Successful completion of the programme results in the award of the New Zealand Certificate in Arts + Design (Level 4).

Fern Bucuga

Certificate Overview

Drawing + Painting

Students are introduced to a range of drawing, mixed media, and painting techniques enabling them to communicate ideas visually, whilst providing opportunities to practice, develop, and refine these skills. Students will be introduced to practical drawing, mixed media, and painting skills and concepts leading to the production of a portfolio of work. They will gain an understanding of mark-making, observational, and conceptual drawing. Students will be introduced to practical painting skills, mediums, techniques, concepts, and colour studies which they will apply to their artworks. Students will also explore collage and three-dimensional art-making.

Design

Students are introduced to principles, elements, and processes of design. They will use design software including the Adobe suites, and they will be encouraged to think about how it can contribute to the art-making and design processes. Students will learn about a range of different media through demonstrations, discussions, studio, and computer lab activities and assignments. They will develop an understanding of composition, colour, and the use of image and text in the design process.

Photo Media

Students will experiment with photographic concepts and processes allowing them to gain an understanding of composition, image capture, and editing techniques. Students will learn about contemporary themes in the photographic medium. The course includes discussions around the many different conceptual approaches to photo media within art and design.

Printmaking

This course includes elementary printmaking processes: block-making, stencil creation, and screen printing. Students develop an elementary theoretical and conceptual understanding of one or more contemporary printmaking processes.

Workshops

Visual Research Workshop

This is a one-week block course with an introduction to fundamental methods of visual recording, critical analysis, and experimental work-making. Students will explore and learn creative processes related to accessing and recording of information from various sources to build a bank of visual reference material as an integral part of their art-making process.

Contextual Studies Workshop

This is a one-week block course with an introduction to critical studies and collaborative work-making related to contextual themes. Students will have the opportunity to explore with the generation of creative concepts from a body of research that translates into a collaborative art and design project developed with their peers.

Portfolio Techniques Workshop

This is a one-week block course with an introduction to portfolio design and exhibition practices. The course aims to provide students with an opportunity to bring together all creative works outputted from the Certificate in Arts and Design programme to be collated into a conclusive showcase in the format of a portfolio design and gallery exhibition.

Whakairo Thompson

Key Information for Students

NZ Government key information link for students, that provides more information to support your decision making for this programme

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Graduate Story: Christina Pataialii

Studying on the Whitecliffe Foundation Certificate course was the beginning of Fine Arts student Christina Pataialii student years at Whitecliffe. Christina attended Mt. Albert Grammar and studied towards her BA at Auckland University before the birth of her daughter and a brief time in hairdressing before applying to study at Whitecliffe. She says she was raised “in various central and western suburbs of Auckland, generally in the lower socio-economic areas. I was raised bi-culturally, Samoan and NZ European, which definitely inspired a lot of my thoughts and interests in creativity.”

Her reason for selecting Whitecliffe: “I had heard it was one of New Zealand’s top art schools by numerous people and it offered a Foundation course, which I needed to get into a BFA as I had never taken any visual arts in high school and therefore didn’t have a portfolio. I was always creative, mostly drawing. I naturally gravitated to creative areas in school, drawing, writing and music. During my Foundation Certificate course, I realized painting was my biggest drive and I knew it was what I wanted to continue with as a career path.”

Christina’s inspiration for her practice comes from “the places I grew up and the people I grew up around. A lot of my inspiration comes from my background and it drives a lot of my work in the studio. The themes I engage are mostly socio-political, socio-economics, cultural politics (particularly low socio-economics), location, relocation, dislocation, nostalgia, traces, left overs. Most of my work will be on a large scale in general- I prefer to work in this way whether I’m painting or working on an installation. I also try to integrate aspects of my cultural background while still having an awareness of much wider conversations.”

Christina has now completed both her BFA and Master of Fine Arts at Whitecliffe and of her time at Whitecliffe says, “I think what I’ve enjoyed the most about Whitecliffe is the people around me. Students and lecturers alike have been very patient and supportive of my endeavors, my ideas and my general temperamental perspectives. There is always someone around to bounce ideas off of or keep you in check when you need it.” Her final word of advice to prospective students is to “take time to understand what you are about. What motivates you or inspires you, it saves a lot of confusion when trying to find your feet during the degree.”

As for plans for the future, she hopes “to be a practicing artist! I am driven by the idea of working with others as a teacher or mentoring, ideally working with local communities. Heading overseas to experience the wider art world is definitely next.”

Christina Pataialii

Graduate Story: Jason Richards

From Foundation To New York and London

Jason Richards is a Foundation Certificate and a BFA Graphic Design graduate who currently works as a designer in London.

While a student at Whitecliffe, Jason was as an in-house designer for two years and had three internships- Bantam NZ, Scizzorface and Stolen Girlfriends Club. “Each one exposed me to different skills and experiences so by the time I graduated I had clocked enough real-world experience that I wasn't intimidated to take on certain roles.“ Then within just one year of graduating with his BFA he had moved to New York and was working as a graphic and print designer for the fashion label Opening Ceremony, specialising in textiles, graphics, illustration and branding projects for the collection.

"I was working my third retail job since leaving high school and although it was managerial, I felt like I had hit a wall. Four years out, I had just turned 21, and I felt like I had achieved nothing. I knew I wanted to study graphics or fashion but I avoided it because it intimidated and scared that I wasn't good enough or I was going to fail.

"It felt less daunting entering an 18-week course. If I weren't to enjoy it or do well, I knew I hadn't wasted much time and could move onto the next idea. I also liked that there was such a diverse range of topics and classes.

"I always wanted to be good enough to study at a degree level. After the first term of the certificate and receiving my grades and feedback, that's when I realised I was capable of that. And besides, 18 weeks simply wasn't long enough for me to express all these ideas that had started to simmer in my mind. As a student that entered set on majoring in fashion, I actually discovered a love for painting, drawing and mixed-media. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed getting hands on. If I had skipped the foundation course and jumped straight into my degree, I think I would have led myself down the wrong track. I needed this warm up to discover what I was capable of and what I enjoyed without the amount of stress and commitment of the Bachelor."

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Where could this programme take you?

Graduates will produce a portfolio and gain a broad knowledge of art and design-related subjects to ensure they are equipped with the learning strategies, attitudes and self-management skills for further tertiary study and/or entry-level vocations.

Jobs related to this programme

Junior Assistant

Arts Support Roles

Design Support Roles

Freelance Creative

Find out more about career opportunities

Talk to our team

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