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2014 2015
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    • 2014 2015

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 studio subject of choice.

The four-year degree is based within purpose-built facilities that include on-campus art galleries, dedicated studios and workshops. Students enjoy being part of a supportive community of practitioners.

Features of the BFA at UC

  • 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
  • On-campus art gallery and studio spaces
  • Enjoy a welcoming community of like-minded students, enthusiasts, professionals, staff and alumni

Entry requirements

To apply for admission to the Intermediate Year (first year) of the BFA directly from school, students need to have met the requirements for University Entrance and 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.

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 as part of their application (see 'How to apply' section). 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.

For those who have University Entrance but have not achieved two NCEA Level 3 practical art subjects (eg, a mature student) you should make a submission of work as part of your application (see below).

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

How to apply

Entry to the Intermediate 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 do this well in advance of the due date and to visit the School of Fine Arts before 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 2014.

Degree structure

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

  • Fine Arts Intermediate (120 points)
  • your specialist studio subject (270 points)
  • Art history courses (45 points)
  • courses from the BA or other degrees (75 points).

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 advancing studio specialisations and includes two studio electives.

In the second, third and fourth years of the BFA, students specialise in one subject. On passing the Intermediate Year, most students are able to gain a place in one of their two studio electives. However, your grade in FINT 103 will influence this.

Some students choose to build on the Art History and Theory taken in first year and others choose to pursue a variety of courses as they continue their study.

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 a BA or BSc. Students considering a double degree should seek advice from a College of Arts Student Advisor.

Studio Specialisations

Further study

Postgraduate and graduate options include:

A UC Fine Arts degree is accepted as an entry qualification to postgraduate studies in other tertiary institutions in New Zealand and overseas. UC graduates have been accepted into the best graduate programmes in Britain, Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, the United States and Australia.

Career opportunities

Numerous exhibitions are organised by the School throughout the year, allowing students to showcase their work to multiple audiences.

Recent UC graduates have gained employment as professional artists, art gallery directors, photojournalists, commercial photographers, film directors, designers, consultants, art conservators, illustrators, fashion designers, curators, art critics, art historians, graphic designers, lecturers and art teachers.

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).