Te Tohu Paetahi o Toi Ataata – Bachelor of Visual Arts

Passionate about art? Our 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 and enjoy a student-centred and studio-based programme where you can  follow your interests in art - including drawing, printmaking, digital art, sculpture, moving image, analogue and digital photography, installation, sound, painting, performance, art and technology, social and community-based art practices.

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Start date: 2023

Minimum entry requirements

Portfolio guidelines: applying to study art and design

International student entry requirements

Preferential entry

You may be eligible for preferential entry 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 an A grade in three subjects at AS level, and an A or B AS grade in one or more approved art, design or technology subjects in the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).

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, Computing, Construction and Mechanical Technologies, Design (Practical Art), Design and Visual Communication, Digital Technologies or Hangarau Matihiko, English, Geography, Hangarau, Hauora, Health, History, History of Art, Mathematics/Pāngarau, Media Studies, Music Studies, Ngā Mahi a Rēhia, Ngā Toi, Ngā Toi Ataata, Ngā Toi Puoro, Painting (Practical Art), Pāngarau, Photography (Practical Art), Physics, Printmaking (Practical Art), Processing Technologies, Psychology, Pūtaiao/Science, Sculpture (Practical Art), Technology/Hangarau, Te Ao Haka, Te Reo Māori, Te Reo Rangatira, Technology, Visual Arts

Don’t meet the entry requirements?

Consider starting with our Certificate in Science and Technology.

Certificate in Science and Technology

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 Te Tohu Paetahi o Toi Ataata – Bachelor of Visual Arts.

Email artbox@aut.ac.nz

In the visual arts degree you can specialise in one of three pathways:

Minors

You can study the following minors when you are enrolled in AUT’s design or visual arts degree:

Explore the process and materiality of animated drawing as a means for ideation and creative expression.

The minor has a studio lab component where you'll examine different animated drawing practices, including life drawing, and produce short animated films, installations, motion graphics, comics, graphic novels and picture books.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following courses:

Cinematic Arts

Discover the possibilities of filmmaking through analogue and digital cinematography, sound recording and audio design, editing and post-production, storytelling and industry workflow, to make a short narrative, experimental or documentary film.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following courses:

Contemporary Pacific

Develop your creative practice drawing on contemporary and traditional Pacific concepts, contexts and material culture. Pacific concepts and stories are explored in relation to pattern, movement, and spatial systems.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following courses:

Creative Entrepreneurship

Build your creative business confidence and capability by combining your creative strengths with business skills and understandings to transform your ideas and concepts for the future.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the courses below, including a Level 7 course or both compulsory core courses ARDN502 and ARDN702, in addition to 30 points from DESN600, DESN601, MKTG501, ENTR501 of which at least one course or 15 points must be at level 6.

Level 5 courses

Students usually take ARDN502 in their first year, and one of the other two level 5 courses listed above in their second year of study.

Level 6 courses

Level 7 course

Design for Health

Tomorrow's health and wellbeing will be driven by those who can apply creative and practical problem-solving skills to complex problems. This minor offers a fresh perspective through collaborative and cooperative tools, skills and mindsets. You'll design for positive social impact and lead transformative change in health and wellbeing.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following courses:

Design for Social and Environmental Justice

Discover how design can make a difference. Explore strategies for social innovation and environmental impact and how these can contribute to towards a more resilient, sustainable and just future.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following courses:

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. You'll develop an understanding of the needs of the people you're designing for, experiment and explore creative ideas, and create design solutions.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

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 courses listed below including DESN501 with at least 15 points at level 7

Digital Fabrication

Explore how digital fabrication can facilitate art and design creative practices, through the utilisation

and application of a range of current and emergent technologies.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses 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 courses:

Experimental Surface Design

Get involved in the experimental development of surface practice across a range of disciplines and potential applications. This minor emphasises the importance of learning through making and the relationship between the maker, the materials, the process of making and the work.

Students develop conceptual and technical surface design knowledge through applied materials practice.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses 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 courses:

Extended Reality

Explore extended reality technologies - XR, VR, AR and MR - as tools for design and ideation for creating immersive user experiences across a range of design and creative practices.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following courses:

In Print: Publishing Practices

Experiment with traditional and contemporary publishing practices using a range of media, conventions and technologies. Explore and design with text and image to develop personal, professional and community voices through the published artefact.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses in the minor that you have selected.

Available as a minor only.

Minor must include

60 points from the following courses:

Motion Capture

Explore motion capture (mocap) technology that records human movement as 3D data for use in a range of design and creative disciplines.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses 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 courses:

Photographic Practice

Discover visual conventions and develop technical competencies to include DSLR camera fundamentals, exposure and lighting control, composition principles and image making strategies for project outcomes.

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses 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 courses:

Temporary Practices/Temporary Publics

As artists and designers, we are interested in practising by making – doing projects that have currency and real-world capacity. We work through ideas of site, collaboration and publication in order to create events. Temporary Practices is an experimental, creative field of making. This minor supports the development of work across a range of disciplines and potential applications by using AUT facilities (3D Lab, WetLab, Bindery, Risograph printer).

Courses are delivered over one semester for each course 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 courses alongside studio and specialist courses 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 courses:

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 courses 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.

Visual arts courses 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 courses 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 courses

You also study one course from your chosen minor.

Year 2

You continue doing a mix of studio and theory courses, 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 courses

You also study two courses from your chosen minor.

Year 3

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

You study the following courses

You also study one course from your chosen minor.

More details about courses in this programme

Search for a course (Arion)

Email artbox@aut.ac.nz

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

AUT 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 courses 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 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.

Vanessa Crofskey
Liam Mooney
Kalisolaite ‘Uhila
Caitlyn Manning
Sandy Xu
Quick facts
Programme code:
AK3352
Level:
7
Points:
360
Duration:
3 years full-time / part-time available
Campus:
City Campus
Starts:
27 Feb 2023
Apply by:
30 September 2022
Fees
Domestic
$7,835 - $7,885 (for 120 points)
($6,901 - $6,951 tuition fees + $934 student services levy)
International
$36,834 (for 120 points)
($35,900 tuition fees + $934 student services levy)
  • Fees shown are based on a full-time workload for the points indicated next to the fee. The exact fee charged will depend on which courses you select at the time of enrolment.
  • Fees are subject to change year to year. If you are planning for study beyond the current year, fees may vary from those stated.
  • There may also be other fees and charges you need to pay.
  • 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.
  • Fees-free study may be available for domestic students

Scholarships at AUT

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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