Bachelor of Visual Arts

Passionate about art? Our Bachelor of Visual Arts prepares you for the demands of a career in contemporary art, whether as an artist or in the many other roles within the art sector.

Study visual arts with us and enjoy a student-centred and studio-based programme where you can follow your interests in art – including painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, sculpture, installation, moving image, sound, performance, social practice, multimedia approaches, and new and emerging technologies.

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Start date: 2021

Minimum entry requirements

Portfolio guidelines: applying to study art and design

International student entry requirements

Preferential entry

You may be eligible for preferential entry to the Bachelor of Visual Arts if:

  • You are a current Year 13 student at a NZ secondary school, and
  • You have achieved NCEA Level 2 with Excellence endorsement overall and with an Excellence endorsement in one or more approved art, design or technology subjects, or
  • You have achieved a University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) AS grade A or B in one or more approved art, design or technology subjects.

This means you won’t need to submit a portfolio of art or design work. If you believe you are eligible for preferential entry, apply online and submit your application without a portfolio.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 overall with all bands 5.5 or higher; or equivalent

English language requirements

Useful New Zealand school subjects

Classical Studies, English, History of Art, Media Studies, Ngā Toi, Ngā Toi Ataata, Painting (Practical Art), Photography (Practical Art), Printmaking (Practical Art), Sculpture (Practical Art), Te Reo Māori, Te Reo Rangatira

Transferring to AUT (recognition of prior learning)

You may be eligible to enter Year 2 or Year 3 of our visual arts degree if you have completed all or part of a design or visual arts degree at another approved tertiary institution. Applications for cross-credits will normally be assessed after you receive an offer of place for the Bachelor of Visual Arts.

Email artbox@aut.ac.nz

In the Bachelor of Visual Arts degree you can specialise in one of three pathways:

Minors

You can study the following minors when you are enrolled in the Bachelor of Design or the Bachelor of Visual Arts:

Cinematic Arts

Discover the magic of filmmaking processes. Explore cinematic language and production techniques, then apply your new skills and understanding to create a moving image work of your own.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You'll need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Contemporary Pacific

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Creative Entrepreneurship

Discover business for creative concepts - covering economics, innovation, creative entrepreneurship, strategic thinking, branding and marketing.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You'll need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the papers below, including a Level 7 paper or both compulsory core papers ARDN502 and ARDN702, in addition to 30 points from DESN600, DESN601, MARS501, ENTR501 of which at least one paper or 15 points must be at level 6.

Design for Sustainability

Discover how art and design can contribute to a new future where both people and our planet will prosper. Explore ecological and social aspects of design for sustainability.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You'll need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Digital Fabrication

Use the latest advanced technologies including 3D printing, computer controlled CNC cutting, milling and routing, and laser cutting to produce three-dimensional work. You’ll gain an understanding of how digital fabrication can be a driver for your creative ideas, through to your final product.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You'll need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Enrolment in this minor is subject to approval from the Art & Design Minors, Head of Department.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a mindset and set of creative methods that can be used to interrogate, understand and solve real-life business, social and environmental problems.

Working collaboratively with others, you'll learn to develop an understanding of the needs of the people you're designing for, experiment and explore creative ideas, and create physical and experiential design solutions.

This minor is aimed at students who are interested in developing design thinking expertise to support their major discipline area.

Minor must include

60 points from papers listed below including DESN501 with at least 15 points at level 7

Level 5 papers

Level 6 papers

Level 7 papers

Experimental Surface Design

Explore the language of surface pattern and fabrication, create innovative and experimental fabrics and surface designs. This minor supports the development of work across a range of disciplines and potential applications. Emphasis is placed upon the importance of learning through making and the relationship between the maker, the process of making and the work.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You'll need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you'll study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Enrolment in this minor is subject to approval from the Art & Design Minors, Head of Department.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Motion Capture

Explore a series of MoCap applications in state-of-the-art facilities, including performance capture for pre-visusualisation, 3D animation, visual effects, gaming, virtual reality and experimental practice. Become an expert in a variety of approaches to motion capture with a range of production and post-production tools and techniques.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You'll need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Enrolment in this minor is subject to approval from the Art & Design Minors, Head of Department.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Photographic Practice

Explore fundamentals of digital camera technologies, lighting, post-production and editing, along with implications of photographic representation and communication.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You'll need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Enrolment in this minor is subject to approval from the Art & Design Minors, Head of Department.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Temporary Practices/Temporary Publics

Create multidisciplinary projects that explore social and public contexts to produce temporary events and durational artworks. Be part of a group of artists and designers working together (or independently) to make site-specific works, pop-up events, residencies, installations, interventions, ephemera and publications.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You will need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you will study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Enrolment in this minor is subject to approval from the Art & Design Minors, Head of Department.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Urban Practices

Discover how cities touch and influence nearly everything in contemporary life. Explore and create art and design responses to city situations, including interpreting and understanding urban experience to better intervene into and transform it.

Papers are delivered over one semester and are worth 15 points each. You will need to complete 60 points for the entire minor. In each year, you will study and complete core compulsory papers alongside studio and specialist papers in the minor that you have selected.

Enrolment in this minor is subject to approval from the Art & Design Minors, Head of Department.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following papers:

Additional majors and minors for bachelor’s degrees

Add an additional major or a minor to your bachelor’s degree and study another area that interests you. You can choose from a wide range of additional majors or minors.

Additional majors and minors for bachelor’s degrees

Enrolment in minors is subject to availability (not all minors listed above will be open each year). You also have the option of studying a minor or elective papers from outside the Bachelor of Visual Arts.

Your study is based in the making of art, supported by theory classes along with a mix of one-on-one tutorials, group critiques, seminars, exhibitions, visits from artists and critics, noho marae, and gallery visits.

Bachelor of Visual Arts papers are delivered over either one semester or a full year. If you're a full-time student, you normally complete 120 points each year (360 points for the entire degree). In each year you will study and complete core compulsory papers alongside your selected minor.

Year 1

Explore the fundamentals of visual arts theory and practice. You're encouraged to develop your own artistic interests and approaches to art-making. You'll cover a wide range of materials, media and processes.

You study the following papers

You also study one paper from your chosen minor.

Year 2

You continue doing a mix of studio and theory papers, specialising in sculpture and intermedia, painting and printmaking, or photography and lens-based media. You develop advanced visual, media, method and conceptual skills, and create a coherent body of art, with increasing self-reliance.

You study the following papers

You also study two papers from your chosen minor.

Year 3

At the end of Year 3 of the Bachelor of Visual Arts, you have the opportunity to exhibit your work through the AUT School of Art and Design festival

You study the following papers

You also study one paper from your chosen minor.

More details about papers in this programme

Search for a paper (Arion)

Detailed progamme structure and paper outlines (Blackboard)

Email artbox@aut.ac.nz

Enrolment in papers is subject to meeting all requirements and availability of papers.

AUT Bachelor of Visual Arts alumni are now carving successful careers around the world, as notable artists, curators, arts administrators, academics, teachers and technicians.

Art industries

  • Artist
  • Arts administrator, manager or director
  • Art consultant
  • Art critic, historian, commentator, writer or researcher

Museums and galleries

  • Art gallery manager or owner
  • Curator
  • Gallery technician
  • Conservation

Arts education

  • Teacher
  • Community education
  • Gallery educator

Creative technologies

  • Film industry
  • Commercial photographer
  • Interactive designer
  • Web designer

Community development

  • Community and public art management and coordination
  • Arts advocacy roles

Creative entrepreneur

  • Craft business
  • Art fair developers
Visual-Arts-A4-08-16.JPG

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Visual Arts Careers

Broaden your options by studying double degrees

Double degrees double your knowledge and opportunities but don't necessarily take double the time to complete. If you study double degrees, you apply for and enrol separately in each of the two degrees. If you’re considering doing this, please seek course advice to discuss your plans. You may be able to cross-credit relevant papers from one degree to the other, although the number of cross-credits will vary depending on the degree combinations. Double degrees may be completed either one after the other or concurrently.

Study the Bachelor of Visual Arts and:

Detailed programme structure

By studying both degrees you develop design skills for roles in visual arts and business. This includes the ability to create high value products, services and brands, and to balance creative design and strategic thinking to complement design and business.

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate study will open up even more career opportunities for you. Our 18-month master's degree will enable you to specialise in and research a particular area within your chosen discipline.

Quick facts
Programme code:
AK3352
Level:
7
Points:
360
Duration:
3 years full-time / part-time available
Campus:
City Campus
Starts:

22 Feb 2021

Apply by:
Applications for 2020 are welcome as long as places are still available.
Fees:
Domestic
$6,712 - $6,761
  • This represents the approximate tuition fee range based on a full-time workload of 120 points in 2020. The exact fees will depend on papers selected and may exceed this range.
  • Fees are subject to change year to year. If you are planning for beyond 2020, fees may vary from those stated.
  • There may also be other fees and charges you need to pay. Learn more about fees to study at AUT
  • Check if you're eligible for fees-free study
International
$33,836
  • This represents the approximate tuition fee range based on a full-time workload of 120 points in 2020. The exact fees will depend on papers selected and may exceed this figure.
  • Fees are subject to change year to year. If you are planning for beyond 2020, fees may vary from those stated.
  • There may also be other fees and charges you need to pay. Learn more about fees to study at AUT
  • International students' tuition fees reflect the full cost of tuition. Domestic students' tuition fees are less due to a proportion of the tuition fees being funded by the New Zealand Government.

Scholarships at AUT

Cora-Allan Wickliffe
Kelsi Tulafono
Sandy Xu
Joe Prisk

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.

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