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    • 2014

Bachelor of Fine Arts BFA


The Bachelor of Fine Arts is a prestigious qualification that will give you a broad knowledge in visual arts, multimedia and design before you specialise in your major of choice. As a graduate, you can work in a range of creative professions as a photographer, designer, illustrator, artist and art teacher, in industries including film, television, and in art galleries and museums.

Features of the BFA at UC

  • Four-year professional degree
  • Prestigious qualification
  • First art school in New Zealand and one of the oldest in the English-speaking world
  • Teaching staff are artists, designers and curators of international standing
  • Purpose-built environment
  • On-campus art gallery
  • Students benefit from being exposed to a rich variety of creative arts within the Centre for Fine Arts, Music and Theatre

Entry requirements

Entry to the Intermediate Year (first year) of the BFA degree is limited. Intending applicants need to complete a separate application form in addition to the Application to Enrol and send it with a submission of their work to the School of Fine Arts. If possible, prospective students are encouraged to obtain an application form well in advance of the due date and to visit the School of Fine Arts prior to making their application.

The form is available on the School of Fine Arts website or from the School of Fine Arts from August. Students must send it with the submission of their work to the School of Fine Arts by 15 November 2013.

From school

To apply for admission to the Intermediate Year of the BFA directly from school, students need to have met the requirements for University Entrance and achieved the achievement standard Visual Arts 3.3 (NCEA Level 3) in preferably two of the following practical art subjects: design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture (graphics is not a practical art subject).

At least 14 credits in each of two other NCEA Level 3 subjects (not practical art subjects) is strongly recommended.

Applicants should also provide 12 A4 colour photographs or colour photocopies from each NCEA folio. They should include three examples of work from each of the folio panels plus images of three additional works – preferably in drawing – which will relate to the other examples.

Students who have achieved only one practical art subject at NCEA Level 3 will need to provide an equivalent portfolio of work in a second subject area.

By submission of work

Those who have University Entrance but have not achieved two NCEA Level 3 practical art subjects (eg, an adult student) are required to make a submission of work.

For more information on entry requirements and the application process see the School of Fine Arts.

Degree structure

The BFA requires a total of 480 points made up as follows:

  • Fine Arts Intermediate,
  • Your specialist studio subject,
  • Courses from the BA or other degrees.

The Fine Arts Intermediate Year consists of FINT 103 Drawing and Methods and 30 points of Art History and Theory. FINT 103 provides an introduction to the six advancing studio courses offered in the School and includes two studio electives in the second half of the year.

In the second, third and fourth years of the BFA degree students specialise in one of six studio subjects. On passing the Fine Arts Intermediate, most students are able to gain places in one of their two studio electives. The choice of some students may be limited, however, by their overall grade in FINT 103.

Some students choose to build on the 30 points of Art History and Theory taken for the Intermediate and others choose to pursue a variety of courses, such as languages, Management, Sociology or Philosophy.

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (University Regulations website).

BFA degree structure diagram

Double degrees

It is possible to combine the study of a Fine Arts degree with the study of another degree, such as Arts or Science. Students considering a double degree should seek advice from a College of Arts Student Advisor.


Further study

Postgraduate and graduate options include:

Career opportunities

For further career information, please go to


For more information email or freephone in NZ 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact a College of Arts Student Advisor (advancing students) or Liaison Office (new students) or visit the Liaison Office's course planning page (new students).