Whitecliffe is proud to announce the approval of a new three-year BFA degree and a one-year BFA (Honours). Starting in 2017, all students enrolling to begin their studies at Whitecliffe in Fine Arts, Photo Media, Fashion Design or Graphic Design within the Bachelor of Fine Arts will be enrolled in a three-year programme. A four-year journey will see successful students graduating with a postgraduate Honours degree in 2020 and beyond.
In 2016, Whitecliffe engaged in a major rewrite of the flagship four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programme, transforming it into a new, more fluid three-year qualification that leads to a final Honours year. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has given final approval for these new degree programmes, which Whitecliffe believes will provide greater coherence and create better, more clearly articulated pathways through our offerings that will enable students to achieve a flexible creative education.
Whitecliffe has been successfully delivering a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programme for twenty years. It is with great pride that the strengths, and much of the character and culture of the existing programmes and qualifications, which are much valued by staff, students, alumni and industry stakeholders, are carried forward into the future within the new qualifications. President Michéle Whitecliffe comments "we are confident that this significant change will enable Whitecliffe students to continue to be well prepared, both creatively and academically, to take their place as skilled, thinking contributors and leaders within the ever-expanding Creative Industries.”
The programme is creative practitioner-focused and designed to meet the professional needs of the wider arts and design industry. It is structured by three key interrelated strands of content:
1. Studio practice and research are positioned at the heart of the BFA degree programme and taught at every level and across all subject pathways, ensuring all contextual and professional knowledge and skills inform, and are integrated in, the practice of making and designing artworks, creative artefacts, designs and propositions in a wide range of media and forms.
2. Critical and contextual studies are understood as integral but delivered as complementary to the subject pathway's specialist practices and are structured as a 'shared content' course delivered throughout the three-year programme and across all four subject pathways.
3. Entrepreneurship is understood as a shared course alongside
Critical and contextual studies; with content connecting all levels of learning and subject pathways that together, contextualise and professionalise students' performance and practice in the studio.
Fine Arts Advisory Board member, Dr. Derrick Cherrie, formerly the Head of Elam (Auckland University) and now Director of the Queensland College of Arts at Griffiths University, Brisbane: “After three years of study it would be my expectation that Fine Art students are equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience, that will enable them to continue to develop in a self-directed manner as visual artists / creative industry contributors. I do, however, advise students that by doing a fourth year (an Honours year) that they will be even more enabled.”