Master of Fine Arts


The Master of Fine Arts provides a development opportunity for students who have an interest in establishing themselves as professional artists or scholars, or career designers, film makers or photographers. This master's encourages participants to explore the latest trends, develop their own ideas, and build their confidence in the public realm.

UC offers the MFA in Film, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography and Sculpture.

The School of Fine Arts provides opportunities to gain valuable exhibition experience through an ongoing professional relationship with the Christchurch Art Gallery. There is also an artist-in-residence programme and the School enjoys a busy schedule of visiting international artists who share their expertise with postgraduate students. 

On-campus facilities include ample studio space, well-equipped workshops, digital labs, darkrooms and extensive film and video facilities. In addition there is an onsite gallery, and one of the country's top fine arts collections.

A number of scholarships and awards are on offer for talented students.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard. You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification specific requirements

Candidates must normally have completed:

Applicants submit a proposal and as special application by 1 November – see 'How to apply' section below.

For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Fine Arts or use the admission requirements checker

Qualification structure and duration

This degree involves a submission of work in one of the areas of practice, or a combination of courses and submission of work. For the course options and requirements, visit the University Regulations website.

MFA students document all their work and are expected to exhibit their work publicly at the conclusion of their degree.

The Master of Fine Arts is normally completed over one year full-time. Part-time applicants are welcome, and can complete the degree in two years.

Subjects and courses

Major subjects for the MFA are:

How to apply

Applicants submit a proposal outlining the direction their practice will take for that year. A special application to the School of Fine Arts must be made by 1 November of the year preceding entry.

Find out further information on how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate Fine Arts study at UC exposes students to many facets of the art world outside of university. It helps to build an artist's confidence and preparation for the exciting and open-ended career of a professional artist.

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful resources:

More information

For full requirements and regulations for this qualification see the Regulations for the Master of Fine Arts.

For study planning help contact the School of Fine Arts:

School of Fine Arts
University of Canterbury
History Building, Level 4
Private Bag 4800
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 364 2159
Email artsdegreeadvice@canterbury.ac.nz

Mikaela Marshall

Mikaela Marshall

'Being able to apply these things in my everyday life is rewarding and makes it all worthwhile...'

Clara Wells

Clara Wells

'Filmmaking combines so many things that have been a part of my life so I get a real sense of satisfaction from my work...'