Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts
The perfect opportunity to undertake practical and theory-based guided art research. Develop and display mastery of the professional, technical and conceptual skills through an original exhibition and associated writing. The Master of Visual Arts is a logical extension to this programme if you decide to continue your study journey.
1 Year Full-time
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee
1 Year Full-time
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee
What You Study
This programme provides you with the opportunity to further develop your undergraduate experience of the history and contemporary conventions of your chosen field, within appropriate learning contexts at a postgraduate level.
The Dunedin School of Art has eight areas of studio practice: Ceramics, Electronic Arts, Jewellery & Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture and Textiles. The School of Design has four specialist areas: Communication, Fashion, Interior and Product Design. Postgraduate candidates may evolve unexpected relationships between traditional subjects or create new syntheses from them. As the organisation of your programme is shaped by your own proposal and desired end result, this qualification may be completed in one discipline, or across several.
A studio and a theory supervisor are appointed for each candidate. The Postgraduate Coordinator will help you to interface with staff and other students at the School of Art and the School of Design and with the arts community within Dunedin and elsewhere.
Regular studio critiques and more formal presentations of work during seminars and research workshops provide opportunities for feedback, discussion and debate.
Visiting artists and designers
An international visiting artists and designers programme feeds into your postgraduate studies and contributes to a community of practice, the currency of ideas and valuable contacts.
Studio space and facilities
You are allocated a studio space and have around the clock access to project-related facilities. The Dunedin School of Art has consistently focused on the development of excellence in the material aspects of art-making; it is now one of the best-equipped art schools in New Zealand and is fully supported by fine technical staff. The School of Design is recognised as being at the forefront of design education in New Zealand and features include the best-equipped advanced prototyping facility in Australasia.
Dunedin is a city with many exhibition facilities ranging from small informal galleries to large, public spaces like the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. A number of fine regional galleries offer further exhibition spaces.
The Dunedin School of Art has played a part in visual arts education since its establishment in 1870. It was the first art school in New Zealand and is the world's southernmost college of art. Under the helm of Con Hutton followed by Gordon Tovey, it developed a legacy of academic excellence and artistic individuality. Over the years the school has attracted such students as Colin McCahon, Anne Hamblett, Doris Lusk and Lisa Walker; more recent graduates include Rachel Rakena who exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2008 and Emma Bugden who became director of ArtSpace Auckland in 2008.
Individuals choose the Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic for its resource competitiveness, quality of teaching and supervision and its sense of community. Our points of difference are our interest in an integrated theory/studio learning environment and our ability to retain well-equipped workshops in all technical areas with appropriate technical support. Our position within a supportive Polytechnic enables this.
Our graduates work in all fields of art, often complementing their own practice with curatorial work, teaching, public art projects, design projects or work in the art access field. The skills they learn are transferable to a wide variety of employment situations.
Semester one includes coursework on research methodologies with the completion of a 2,000-word essay relevant to a body of critically-engaged studio work.
Semester two builds on semester one leading to further development of the studio work and the completion of a 3,000-word essay on related contemporary practices.
Further study options
If you achieve an overall grade of B (70%) or higher during your Postgraduate Diploma, you’ll meet the minimum academic entry requirements* for our Master of Visual Arts (another year of study).
Alternatively, you could choose to pursue our Master of Fine Arts (another two years of study).
*entry requirement subject to final approval
You will participate in a weekly public seminar and postgraduate workshop (12.30 pm-5.30 pm) where you will have the chance to interact with your fellow students.
A one-hour weekly meeting with your supervisor(s) will also give you the opportunity to hone your ideas and seek specialist advice in a more intimate environment.
The rest of your time will be spent in self-directed study in your studio alongside your postgraduate peers, producing the necessary work to successfully complete the qualification. The School provides around the clock access to its facilities, allowing you the flexibility to study alongside part-time employment or other commitments.
We will be taking applications for a February 2023 start until 27 January 2023. Please submit all your materials by this date through the application portal.
Postgraduate interview dates
We will schedule in-person interviews on Wednesday 8 February for those in Dunedin. If you can't get to Dunedin, we will organise a time for you.
English Language requirements
If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.
Your application should contain the following:
Annotated portfolio details
You should provide approximately 15 images of work (including images of installations where applicable). Each image should be numbered and correspond with an annotated list including information as to title, date, size, materials and position within your practice. Images should illustrate a range of work as well as development over a period of time. If available, you should attach exhibition catalogues, reviews, articles or any other material relevant to your work.
Sending us your CV, portfolio and project proposal
If you need to send us your documents in a physical format, please send them to:
Dunedin School of Art
Please note: While all reasonable care will be taken, Otago Polytechnic does not accept responsibility for damage or loss of portfolio material.
Want your existing skills recognised?
If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, please ask us about our recognition of prior learning process. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification and could achieve it in a shorter timeframe. Please email email@example.com or call 0800 762 786.
Material costs vary according to individual projects. As an indication, you may borrow up to $1,000 in addition to any student allowance for course-related costs.
The tuition fees shown above are approximate only. There may be a slight fee increase per year once Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) rules and guidelines are applied. These fees also don’t include additional costs or living costs.
Need more info?
If you want to chat before applying or have questions about your portfolio, please contact Alex Kennedy - our Postgraduate Programme Coordinator.
Phone: 03 479 3741 / 0800 762 786
Get in touch
0800 762 786
International +64 3 477 3014