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Bachelor's degree

Bachelor of Fine Arts

BFA
06 October 2023

UC's Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is a prestigious degree that will give you a broad knowledge in visual arts, multimedia, and design before you specialise. Find out about studying a BFA through our Te Kaupeka Toi Tangata | Faculty of Arts.

DURATION

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Degree Structure - Duration
4 years full-time

START

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Degree Structure - Start In
Semester 1 (February)

POINTS

480

TUITION FEES

2024 tuition fees estimate per 120 points:

  • Domestic — $7,338
  • International — $35,875

Overview


Bachelor of Fine Arts

Introduction

The BFA is a prestigious degree that will give you a broad knowledge in visual arts, multimedia, and design before you specialise.

The four-year degree is based within purpose-built facilities and you will enjoy being part of a supportive community of practitioners.



Bachelor of Fine Arts

Why Study - Body

What will my study involve?

  • In your first year, you will be introduced to all five studio specialisations, giving you the chance to develop your passion before continuing in one Fine Arts subject from second year.
  • Enjoy 24-hour access to your own personal studio space from second year.
  • Work in purpose-built studios; access technician workshops, workrooms, darkrooms, computer labs, and the Ilam Campus Gallery.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Entry Requirements - Body

Entry requirements

To apply for admission to the Intermediate Year (first year) of the BFA, you need to have met University Entrance requirements.

We prefer students who took arts in high school, but anyone with a good portfolio will be considered.

All applicants need to submit an application form, a letter of introduction, and a portfolio of work.

How to apply

Entry to the first year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts is limited. Send your application materials by 15 November:

You are encouraged to apply as early as possible, and to visit the Ilam Campus Gallery before making your application. You should expect to be advised of acceptance by the end of November.

One a case-by-case basis, we may accept late applications. Please contact the Fine Arts Administrator at creativeartsadmin@canterbury.ac.nz

Portfolio of work

Your application should include a portfolio of 12 image-based examples of your artwork. The format should be in colour and can be submitted in an A4 or A3 folder or as a single file PDF either on a USB drive, attached to an email, or shared via a reputable file sharing service (eg, weTransfer or Dropbox).

This is your opportunity to demonstrate:

  • your competency and ability in artmaking – so please make sure you include your best work. We also need to see aspects of your methodology; examples of preliminary sketches are important here.
  • your best possible presentation of work. There are a number of formatting requirements for the supply of your work portfolio – please see the application form for details.
  • your ability to express your thinking in a written statement. This is your chance to demonstrate a critical understanding of how the work operates, the decisions you made, and what you are trying to address through your work.

For more information on the application process for the Intermediate Year, go to the Department of Fine Arts website.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Subjects and Courses - Body

Subjects and courses

The Bachelor of Fine Arts is a highly flexible degree, allowing studio practice in one area of Fine Arts, introductory courses in Art History and Theory, and courses from subjects within other degrees.

See ‘Planning my degree’ below for an example degree structure diagram.

Compulsory courses

In the first year of the degree, called the Fine Arts Intermediate Year, you will complete the following compulsory courses:

During the second year, you will also need to complete one 200-level course in ARTH (or CINE if majoring in Moving Image or Photography).

Fine Arts majors

UC offers five studio specialisations in the Bachelor of Fine Arts. On passing the Intermediate Year, you will gain a place in one of the following majors:

Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours

Students that achieve good results during the three years of the degree may be approved for entry to the Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours programme at their fourth year.

You will need to include at least one 300-level course in ARTH (or CINE for Moving Image and Photography students) and achieve a B grade or better in your third year courses to be eligible.

Students accepted into the BFA(Hons) will take FINA601 Fine Arts Honours Research instead of the usual fourth-year courses in the BFA.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Further Study - Body

Further study

UC's postgraduate Fine Arts options include:

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

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Career - Body

Career ready

  • Showcase your work during the year through exhibitions and community projects.
  • Gain creative and practical skills in your chosen specialisation as well as organisational and time management skills.
  • Graduates are working as professional artists, art gallery directors, photojournalists, art historians, consultants, and more.

Find out more about what can you do with a degree from UC.

2024 tuition fees estimate (per 120 points):

  • Domestic — $7,338
  • International — $35,875

2023 tuition fees estimate (per 120 points):

  • Domestic — $7,139
  • International — $34,425

SSL estimate (per 120 points):

  • 2024 — $1,100.40
  • 2023 — $992.40

Planning my study


Bachelor of Fine Arts

(1) Students specialising in Moving Image or Photography may take either Art History and Theory or Cinema Studies 200-level courses. All other students take Art History and Theory 200-level courses.

(2) Students must complete 30 points of 300-level ARTH courses (or CINE courses for Moving Image and Photography students) to be eligible for entry into Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours at fourth year.

* Students eligible for Honours will instead take FINA601 in their fourth year.

Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points or more.

This diagram is an example only – other combinations are possible. For specific course requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Degree Structure - Body

How do I plan my degree?

The Bachelor of Fine Arts requires a total of 480 points:

  • 90 points of compulsory Fine Arts courses
  • 45 points of compulsory Art History and Theory and/or Cinema Studies courses
  • 270 points towards a specialist studio subject
  • 75 points from courses in Arts or other degrees.

The first year of the degree is called the Fine Arts Intermediate Year and includes three compulsory courses (90 points), as well as 30 points of 100-level Art History and Theory courses.

On passing the Intermediate Year, you will gain a place in one of you two preferred studio subjects. Your grades in the Intermediate Year will influence your choice of subject.

In the second, third, and fourth years of the BFA, you will specialise in the one studio subject, and complete courses in Art History and Theory or Cinema Studies, and other subject areas.

The degree takes 4 years of full-time study, or can be studied part-time for up to 6 years.

For the full degree requirements, see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours

You may be accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours programme, based on your results in the previous years of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

You must have completed your third year of the BFA, and completed 30 points of 300-level ARTH or CINE courses with a B grade or better, and achieved a B grade or better in their 300-level studio subject course.

If you are eligible, during your fourth year of study you will instead take FINA601 Fine Arts Honours Research.

See the Regulations for the Bachelor of Fine Arts for more information.

Double degrees

It is possible to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts alongside other degrees at the same time, such as the Bachelor of Arts.

Find out more information about Double degrees.

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