Short Course

Glaze Theory and Practice

Discover the secrets of what happens during the transformational process of firing and take the opportunity to research finishing processes that interest you.

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20 February 23 –
03 November 23

About the course

Study the impact of heat on materials used in the production of ceramic glazes. This course is delivered online.

Studio ceramic practitioners are challenged with a need to find an appropriate finishing process for their work. This inevitably means the application of a glaze or glazes. These glazes start their life as collections of materials either dug from the earth’s surface or refined in industrial processes. They are applied as powder to the surface of clay objects then fired in a kiln to temperatures up to 1300 degrees Celsius.

This course reveals the secrets of what happens during the transformational process of firing. The study of the simple chemistry of materials and the impact of heat opens up possibilities of manipulation and control leading ultimately to the design of glazes for specific needs.

Course delivery

This course is delivered online and is worth 15 credits. It is delivered in two stages over two years (150 hours per stage) (can be completed in a shorter timeframe if necessary). 

Course intakes

You can start this course at the beginning of semester one, in February. 


  • Domestic: $917 (per stage)
  • International: $2,973 (per stage) 

Please note that you are not eligible for Studylink (a student loan) for this course.

Entry requirements

Open entry but you must have access to a PC, the internet and a mid-high fire ceramic kiln.

You will study 

During the first stage, the emphasis is on the basic chemistry of raw materials and their firing. The second stage focuses on patterns in the chemistry of well-known historical glaze types and you will also have an opportunity to research finishing processes which interest you. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. 


For more information

Please phone 0800 762 786 (domestic) or +64 3 477 3014 (international). 

We are part of Te Pūkenga

When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people, and you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative only. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.