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Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours

Key facts

  • Available at Wellington
  • Four years full-time
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

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Details you need to know about the structure, courses and requirements for this programme.

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Entry requirements

We are looking for creative, enthusiastic and dedicated students who demonstrate skill and passion for design and the visual arts. There are no required school subjects, but students who do well in NCEA Level 2 art, design or technology (or equivalent) may be granted automatic entry to the programme without having to submit a portfolio. The requirements for automatic entry are: NCEA Level 2 with Merit or Excellence, including a Merit or Excellence endorsement in an approved art, design or technology subject.

Entry to the University is confirmed once you have achieved University Entrance.

Full details of the application process and portfolio requirements are here.

Application Due Date

Applications for the Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours starting in Semester One of the following year should be submitted by 1 October of the preceding year, but later applications will be considered. The due date for a Semester Two start is 15 July. However late applications will be considered subject to available spaces.

Please contact 0800 MASSEY to discuss your options with an Academic Adviser.

For general entry requirements see Massey University entry requirements.

Credits and prior learning

Cross credit applications can be made for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours). Students will need to supply verified copies of academic transcripts as well as a portfolio of creative work (if applicable to the study that is under consideration for credit). It is recommended that students apply for credit at least six weeks prior to their intended study start date. 

Planning your programme

All fine arts degree students in the college initially enrol in a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours.

The degree is made up of separate courses, the size of which is defined by the credit value. In the first year you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits. You should aim for 60 credits per semester and make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study. To complete your degree you will need a total of 480 credits, which corresponds to four years of full-time study.

  • 15 + 15 + 15 + 15 = 60 credits = one semester
  • 60 + 60 = 120 credits = two semesters = one full-time year
  • 120 + 120 +120 +120 = 480 credits = four full-time years = one Massey Fine Arts Degree!

Everyone starts off in the Honours programme. Towards the end of Third Year the College of Creative Art assess whether you will continue with the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) or complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts, which is less research-focused.

Students who start in Semester Two will require specific course planning. Please discuss your options with an Academic Adviser.

Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours structure

In first year, you will be in mixed studio classes with design students, getting the fundamentals of creative thinking and making. In second year and beyond, your art studio classes will be made up of 2nd, 3rd and 4th year BFA students working with two art lecturers. You can stay in the same studio class throughout your degree, or move around.

You will continue to interact with other creative students through shared critical and contextual studies and other courses; interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged.

To find out how to plan your study and to see the courses that are necessary to complete the programme, please check the regulations or contact 0800 MASSEY to discuss with an Academic Adviser.

If you would like to find out more about individual course requirements, please use our Course Search.

These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates


This section outlines the courses for First Year Fine Arts. More information is available in the College of Creative Arts ‘Yellow Book’.  You can also use Massey’s course search.

Core studio courses

You must enrol in four core studio courses.

To get into the second year of the BFA, you must do at least one of:

  • 213.157 Art Lab (either this, or Art Place, required for BFA)
  • 213.158 Art Place (either this, or Art Lab, required for BFA)

Then select others from this list to make up your total of four:

  • 198.157 Object (required for Industrial Design major)
  • 212.157 Dress (required for Fashion Design major)
  • 221.157 Lens (required for Photography major)
  • 222.157 Screen (either this, or Type, required for Visual Communication Design major)
  • 222.158 Type (either this, or Screen, required for Visual Communication Design major)
  • 223.157 Material (required for Textile Design major)
  • 224.157 Space (required for Spatial Design major)
  • 296.157 Imagine (required for Concept Design major)

Can’t decide?

View the video trailers for each Year One studio course

Critical & Contextual Studies courses

These are compulsory and core to the degree programme. You must enrol in both:

  • 237.130 Communication in Creative Cultures
  • 237.131 Conversations in Creative Cultures

Elective courses

Your choice of two courses from a wide range, covering topics in art, design, creative media, creative writing, expressive arts, business, marketing, communication and beyond.

How much will it cost?

We can't tell you the exact cost until you have chosen your courses, as the tuition fees you pay each year vary depending on the courses you choose. There will also be compulsory non-tuition fees you have to pay in addition to your tuition fees. For some courses there may be other charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

To get an approximate idea of tuition costs for typical study areas, you can use our quick guide to programme fees.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our Fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Financial assistance

You might be eligible to apply for a scholarship or award. You can use our scholarship search to see what is available. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

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