Program Overview

The 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 in one studio area.

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

What will my study involve?

In your first year, you will be introduced to all five available 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.


ChristchurchNew Zealand

  Course Duration

48 Months

  Tuition Fee

NZ$ 33,075



Book your study abroad counselling today !
By submitting you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

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 ‘How do I plan my degree?’ above 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:

  • FINA101 What is Practice?
  • FINA102 Communities of Practice
  • FINA103 Studio Practice
  • Two 100-level ARTH courses

During the second year, you will also need to complete one 200-level course in ARTH (or CINE if majoring in Film 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:

  • Film
  • Graphic Design
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • 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 Film 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 FINA450 Honours Research instead of the usual fourth-year courses in the BFA.

To apply for admission to the Intermediate Year (first year) of the BFA, you need to have met University Entrance requirements, and achieved NCEA Level 3 Visual Arts in one or more subjects (or the equivalent in other secondary school qualifications).

It is also recommended that you have at least 14 credits in each of two other NCEA Level 3 subjects (or equivalent) that are not practical art subjects.

All applicants also 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. We recommend that you complete and supply by 15 November:

  • the Application for Fine Arts Intermediate course form

  • a letter of introduction

  • a portfolio of work.

You are encouraged to apply as early as possible, and to visit Te Kura Kōwaiwai | Ilam School of Fine Arts before making your application. The School welcomes applications from October.

Late applications are still being accepted.

Portfolio of work

Your application should include a portfolio of recently completed art and/or design work.

The portfolio must include 12 examples of work from NCEA (or equivalent) practical arts subjects. The format must be colour, laser printed, and stapled A4 photographs.

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.

This is an indicative fee - total tuition fee will be dependent on your course selection $ 33,075

  • 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.
Book your study abroad counselling today !
By submitting you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.