This degree will teach you how to become a creative maker, thinker and active agent in a local, national and global
Bachelors in Visual Arts in Dunedin in New Zealand. Looking for a way to translate your creativity into a career? Want to gain experience in a range of specialty subjects and discover where your artistic talent truly lies?
This degree will teach you how to become a creative maker, thinker and active agent in a local, national and global context. A qualification in the Visual Arts will allow you to find employment in a diverse range of professions such as practising artist, curator, art educator or researcher. A variety of roles within the digital and film industries would also be possible.
Gain technical, academic and personal skills which will be transferable to a wide variety of fields including education, design, management and marketing. This qualification provides a perfect bridge into further learning as you select from a range of subjects initially and then move into full specialisation, focusing your talents in your chosen field. Study at New Zealand's most established school of art and benefit from the nationally-unique range of workshop facilities and the excellent studio-based teaching. Flourish under the guidance of highly experienced lecturers who have national and international profiles and represent a diverse range of approaches and understandings.
International fee: NZD 20,750 (first year)
Creativity and imagination.
The ability to think laterally and independently.
The ability to accept criticism and be open to new ideas.
All applicants must submit a portfolio (15MB file size limit if you are applying online).
International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet degree-level entry requirements and must have achieved the equivalent of Year 13.
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no band score less than 5.5.
Applications welcome from students who have passed the Certificate in Creative Studies programme.
Portfolio and writing requirements
We require examples of your artwork and the ways that you develop your ideas. Your examples need to show us your working processes and your ability to use a range of materials.
If you have been working in the NCEA system, please send us twelve (12) examples of your finished works and of your working processes from your folders.
If you have not been working in the NCEA system, please send us six (6) examples of finished work and six (6) pages of sketches or workbook pages.
Please submit your portfolio digitally (15MB file size limit if you are applying online) or in an A4 folder. Please do not submit originals as we do not return application folders.
Please include with your portfolio:
1. An essay or written text (at least 300 words). You may include writing produced for any of your NCEA subjects or you may write a new piece on any topic of your choice.
2. A double-spaced letter of not more than one page (300 words) explaining why you want to come to art school and what your experiences of art may have been to date. This may include all or some of the following:
- Why art is important to you, the community and the wider world
- Your expectations for your own future after your studies
- Art galleries you may be familiar with
- Artists whose work you may know
- Art skills you may have already gained.
You must supply certified copies of proof of identity, academic records, proof of residency (where appropriate) and a curriculum vitae.
All submissions are viewed by a panel of academic staff and applicants are accepted on merit based on an evaluation of a portfolio of art practice and evidence of academic skills. An interview may be required. Where the number of successful applicants exceeds the places available, a waiting list will be kept and applicants will be offered vacant places in waiting list order.
The cost of materials, on top of those provided, vary according to individual projects.
Further study options
This programme perfectly prepares you for further learning and you may go on to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts, a Master of Fine Arts or a Master of Visual Arts.
Programme specific risks
You will complete Health and Safety checklists for specific hazards in your courses. During your study, you will use a range of technical equipment and chemical substances. If you have known allergies or reactions to materials, please indicate these in your application.
A full-time programme entails five full working days (or the equivalent) for 32 weeks. Studios are open for extended hours for senior students.
What is the minimum/maximum age to apply?
There is no maximum age to apply, provided that you are a genuine student. Usually, students beginning their programmes are at least 18 years of age.
How long will my study take?
Undergraduate degrees are three years, diplomas are usually two years and certificates are one year. Graduate and postgraduate qualifications can take one to two years to complete.
What about international recognition?
All of our qualifications are recognised internationally. You are able to take your Otago Polytechnic undergraduate degree and apply to other national and international tertiary institutions for graduate and postgraduate study.
How much can I earn as a student?
Those students who are eligible to work while studying may get causal jobs in areas like hospitality or other service industries. Your hourly wage is likely to be between NZD$13-15.
What do I need for my student visa?
Your Otago Polytechnic Offer of Place letter. This letter means you have been accepted to study. It also states your course fee, which you must pay first to your nearest New Zealand embassy, consulate or immigration office. You will then receive a receipt of payment from us. You must submit these two documents (your Offer of Place and your receipt of fees), along with evidence that you have sufficient funds for living expenses, and a return international air ticket or evidence of sufficient funds to buy one, to your nearest New Zealand embassy, consulate or immigration office.
For programmes longer than 24 months, you will also need to provide very recent medical and x-ray certificates. If you are over 17 years of age, you will need a police certificate to show that you are of good character. See the New Zealand Immigration website for more details.
Streamlined visa applications now open!
If you are an international student who will apply for your student visa from outside of New Zealand, you might be eligible for the streamlined visa process offered by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). This allows your visa application to be processed faster by INZ because Otago Polytechnic nominates you as a suitable candidate (INZ will decide the outcome and the processing time).
Once you have received your Offer of Place from Otago Polytechnic, you may apply for a streamlined visa nomination letter from us. For more information and to submit an application, click here.
What happens when I finish my degree?
Students who have completed their degree in the normal time and have a job offer related to their studies can apply for a work visa for another two years. This entitles you to work in the job you have been offered, and may help you qualify for residence.
What about applying for New Zealand residency?
If you meet the requirements of the current immigration policy in New Zealand, it is possible for you to apply for residence at any time. Immigration policy encourages students who have completed their degree in New Zealand to apply for permanent residence.
Is there an application fee?
How long does it take to apply?
We suggest you apply at least three to four months before your programme starts so that you are organised to arrive on time.
What do I need to include in my application?
Your English language test results: IELTS, TOEFL or TOIEC. We also require certified copies of any academic results you have from your overseas high school or university. We may also require your curriculum vitae or a portfolio, depending on your programme entry requirements.