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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You may be eligible for preferential entry to the Bachelor of Visual Arts if:
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.
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
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.
n the Bachelor of Visual Arts degree you can specialise in one of three pathways:
Explore the breadth of the expanded field of sculpture in contemporary art. You'll be encouraged to develop individual approaches to your making through experimental and open-ended investigative methods.
There's a strong focus on the exploration of sculptural concepts and ideas driving contemporary art; object making, installation, performance and social art practices.
You'll engage with contemporary scholarship concerning sculpture inclusive of materiality, time, contingent objects, space, site and place, to become a critically informed and socially engaged practitioner who works as confidently with new technologies as with traditional processes.
You'll approach image making as a process that involves the interaction between visual qualities, ideas, technologies and media. Using media and technologies in ways that suit your inventive purposes, you'll then develop a territory of interest for art making.
Participate in workshops and seminars on painting concepts and techniques, printmaking concepts and techniques, studio practice and how to work with ideas and images, and on the critical analysis of works of art.
You'll engage with contemporary scholarship concerning painting and printmaking including:
Develop an independent lens-based direction from a foundation of learning in photographic theory and technical learning.
You'll work with a broad range of high-end equipment and facilities, including large format analogue photography, studio lighting and digital processes that include moving image work. By questioning what photography is and how it operates in the world today, you'll develop a photographic art practice that is critical and current.
You'll engage with contemporary scholarship concerning photographic representation, portraiture and documentary; the relationships between moving image and installation practice, photography and video's relationship to ideas of time, race, colonial histories and decolonisation.
To help you develop a broad range of skills, you study a minor (60 points) as part of this degree:
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. You need to complete 120 points each year and 360 points for the entire degree. In each year you will study and complete core compulsory papers alongside your selected minor.
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 also study one paper from your chosen minor.
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 also study two papers from your chosen minor.
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 also study one paper from your chosen minor.
Search for a paper (Arion)
Detailed progamme structure and paper outlines (Blackboard)
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.
Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.
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.
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 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.
24 Feb 2020
22 Feb 2021
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.