Fine Arts students at UC work in purpose-built studios, workrooms, darkrooms, and computer labs, and have access to technician workshops and the Ilam Campus Gallery. Fine Arts programmes revolve around basic teaching disciplines which are divided up into five specialisations:
There is strong competition for places in the Intermediate Year (first year) of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) – see the degree page for information on entry requirements and how to apply.
- The School of Fine Arts | Te Kura Kōwaiwai at UC provides a stimulating environment that will allow you to flourish creatively. The first art school in Aotearoa New Zealand, it is one of the oldest in the English-speaking world. School staff are a highly qualified and experienced community of artists, film-makers, and designers of international standing.
- UC graduates have been accepted into prestigious Fine Arts postgraduate programmes overseas, and many, such as photographer Boyd Webb, artist Bill Culbert, film-maker and screenwriter Vincent Ward, and painters Rita Angus, Shane Cotton, Seraphine Pick, and Dick Frizzell, have made notable contributions to Aotearoa New Zealand's artistic and cultural life, and achieved acclaim internationally.
The Fine Arts Intermediate (first year) consists of:
- FINA 101 What is Practice?
- FINA 102 Communities of Practice
- FINA 103 Studio Practice
- 30 points of Art History and Theory courses
Fine Arts students choose the subject of their advancing studio courses on the basis of experience and grades gained from the Intermediate year. 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 grades.
200-level and beyond
For the next three years of the degree, students specialise in either Film, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, or Sculpture, and also complete a total of six further courses from other undergraduate degrees, including at least one 200-level course in Art History and Theory and at least one further course above 100-level.
Some students choose to build on the 30 points of Art History and Theory taken for the Intermediate Year, and others choose to pursue a variety of courses, such as languages, Management, Sociology, or Philosophy, to gain the broadest possible general education to supplement their practical education in Fine Arts and design.
Alongside the creative and practical skills learned, Fine Arts graduates develop excellent skills in organisation and time management during their four years of self-motivated study. These skills prepare Fine Arts graduates for a wide range of employment opportunities.
In particular, graduates who have taken courses in Photography, Film, and Graphic Design have clear career prospects in rapidly expanding industries in these areas. Other Fine Arts graduates have access to a wide range of vocations within an expanding art world both in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. Numerous exhibitions and events are organised by the School of Fine Arts | Te Kura Kōwaiwai throughout the year, allowing students to showcase their work to multiple audiences.
Recent graduates have gained employment as professional artists, art gallery directors, photo-journalists, commercial photographers, film directors, designers, consultants, art conservators, illustrators, fashion designers, art critics, art historians, graphic designers, lecturers, and art teachers.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Fine Arts.
Fine Arts building, Block 2 – see campus maps
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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