Admissions Process

Whitecliffe College is all about people exploring their potential as artists and designers - and doing so with spirited commitment. Admission criteria is designed to select students who show that commitment and who demonstrate creative potential. Students are advised to forward their application form as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing applications and entry visa requirements.

Language Entry Requirements

Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design expects all students to be proficient in English to an academic level. All applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide satisfactory evidence of their proficiency in English in the form of a recent IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score from an accredited organisation/ institution. Both IELTS and TOEFL are standard. For a list of testing station locations visit: or contact the Admissions Office.

In addition to IELTS or TOEFL testing Whitecliffe can arrange for applicants who are located in Auckland  to sit an English language test with one of our local partner English language schools.

  • BFA: 6.0 IELTS or equivalent

Language Support

Two electives, Writing for Academic Purposes and Advanced Writing for Academics Purposes, are offered to any student in year one requiring additional academic writing support. English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is required for students in years two to four who are identified as requiring ongoing one-to-one academic writing support.

Whitecliffe, however, does not take responsibility for anyone who fails a course as a result of their lack of competence in English.



Portfolio Requirements

If you are applying from your home country you can send your portfolio by courier post along with a completed application form, IELTS or TOEFL results and transcripts. You may also send your portfolio by email as an attachment in digital image format to the Admissions Office. If you are already in New Zealand you will be invited to present and discuss your portfolio in a personal meeting with a faculty member.

Meeting options

Most applicants are invited to a meeting that generally takes place in New Zealand. However, sometimes exceptions are made; then decisions on acceptance are based on submission of an acceptable portfolio of artwork, the necessary academic transcripts and evidence of language proficiency (IELTS).

Whitecliffe welcomes and encourages applications from overseas. We aim to make the application process as clear and easy as possible. Whitecliffe has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students published by the Minister of Education.

Copies of the Code are available on request from Whitecliffe or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website at: Please contact the Admissions Office for specific details about overseas applications.

Study Requirements

All students must attend a minimum of 80% of their classes in accordance with their visa requirements. Students are expected to spend 20 to 25 hours contact time (in class) per week plus another 15 hours per week studying and doing assignments.