Otago Polytechnic

Diploma in Ceramic Arts (Level 6)

Think art is just about drawing and painting. Think again.

If you're a hands-on kind of person who has been searching for a way to express your creativity, then the tactile field of Ceramic Arts may be just what you've been looking for. This is New Zealand's only specialised tertiary programme in Ceramic Arts, and the Ceramics department at Otago Polytechnic is the largest in the country. Become a successful practising artist, with the ability to understand and use your creativity to contribute significantly to your community. The transferable skills you gain during this programme will also be highly valued in a variety of fields in the art sector, education and design.

Benefit from an emphasis on exploration and experimentation and develop individual projects which study ceramics as a medium with its own formal language, skills and history, within a broader context of fine arts and crafts.

Study Ceramics Theory and undertake practical classes at locations in Dunedin, Auckland, Hamilton, Otaki, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Christchurch, or alongside an established master potter. A part-time programme is available if you wish to balance your study with other commitments.   

Don't have time to complete the full qualification?

Don't worry, you can now study the 15-credit Glaze Theory and Practice ceramics course online over two years. Click here for more information.  

Please note: All certificate and diploma qualifications are currently being reviewed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Qualification titles and content may be altered as a result of the review but any changes will be introduced and communicated over a transitional period so that there is minimal impact on students. 

Skills required
  • Creativity and imagination.
  • The ability to think laterally and independently.
  • To be motivated and have a good work ethic.
  • Confidence and the ability to accept criticism.
  • To be adaptable and open to new ideas.
Entry requirements
  • Four years of secondary school education, with a minimum of 48 NCEA Level 2 credits across four subjects OR equivalent qualifications and experience.
  • You must demonstrate an interest in art.
  • You must undertake an interview and submit a portfolio. This must be no larger than 15MB if you are applying online.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they have an acceptable level of secondary school achievement.
  • If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no band score less than 5.5.
Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identity, academic records, proof of residency (where appropriate) and curriculum vitae

Selection procedure and portfolio requirements

Early applications are preferred as some areas have limited placements.

Portfolio Requirement

We require examples of your artwork and the ways that you develop your ideas. Your examples need to show us your working processes and your ability to use a range of materials.

If you have been working in the NCEA system, please send us twelve (12) examples of your finished works and of your working processes from your folders.

If you have not been working in the NCEA system, please send us six (6) examples of finished work and six (6) pages of sketches or workbook pages.

Please submit your portfolio digitally (15MB file size limit if you are applying online) or in an A4 folder. Please do not submit originals as we do not return application folders.

Thank you. We are looking forward to seeing your artwork.

Writing Requirement

Please include with your portfolio:

  1. An essay or written text of at least a page (300 words). You may include writing produced for any of your NCEA subjects or if you don't have these, you may write a new piece on any topic of your choice.
  2. A double-spaced letter of not more than one page (300 words) explaining why you want to come to art school and what your experiences of art may have been to date. This may include all or some of the following:

    > Why art is important to you, the community and the wider world
    > Your expectations for your own future after your studies
    > Art galleries you may be familiar with
    > Artists whose work you may know
    > Art skills you may have already gained

If you have any questions regarding your portfolio, or need any advice, please contact artoffice@op.ac.nz

Additional costs

Material costs in addition to those provided vary according to individual projects. As an indication, you may borrow up to $1,000 in addition to your student allowance for programme-related costs.

Further study options

Develop your skills with the Diploma in Ceramic Arts (Level 7). Choose to undertake further study within the Art department by applying for the Bachelor of Visual Arts, Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts, Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts, Master of Visual Arts or Master of Fine Arts.

You will study

Distance: 
A distance option is offered, where suitable arrangements can be made, for you to study in your own area with supervision from an appropriate approved local ceramist. You are required to have access to an appropriate computer, as well as the operating skills to access our online services, as we monitor the course and deliver the Glaze Technology, Theory and History of Art and Drawing courses from Otago Polytechnic.

On-site location:
Dunedin School of Art - Phone: 03 477 3014 or 0800 762 786

Off-site locations:
Auckland Studio Potters - Phone: 09 634 3622
The Busy Finch (Christchurch) - Phone: 021 805 330
Nelson Craft Potters - Phone: 03 544 5172
Hawkes Bay Keirunga Potters - Phone: 06 877 5294
Otaki Jailhouse Pots - Phone: 06 364 0688
Waikato Society of Potters (Hamilton) - Phone: 07 838 1950 

Studio Practice 1

(Level 5, 75 Credits)

To complete a full-time year of the Diploma Studio Practice paper, you must complete six units of work (three hand-built, two wheel work, one self-directed). You will complete three units per year if studying part-time. The order of these units will be at the discretion of the supervisor in each centre who will consult with Otago Polytechnic staff.

In all instances, the self-directed unit will be the last as it is intended to indicate your skill and developing mode of production, personal direction and style. This unit also forms the final grade for the Studio Practice paper and is the grade entered into your academic record. Examples of each of your completed units are included in this assessment.

For each unit of work, you will be introduced to the correct techniques by demonstration or video, where appropriate. You are required to keep a workshop diary which will collate module directives, lecture notes, research material and personal development ideas and drawings, and is an important component of the assessment process.

Units one to five are given formative assessment grades and unit six is given the final grade for the paper. Formative grades are grades and comments which indicate progress and achievement but are not recorded on your academic record.

During the year, you will be required to have access to kilns to fire your work and complete the firings for your glaze projects. Technical theory to support your workshop practice will be acquired under the supervision in your local area and may be supported by material distributed by Otago Polytechnic.

The programme is divided into contact time, when you have organised supervision, and studio time, where you are free to practise and produce work towards completing your unit.

Glaze Technology  
(Level 5, 15 Credits)

Delivered from Otago Polytechnic, you will require access to a PC computer and internet access. We require this paper to be completed in your first year of study as it is fundamental to supporting your studio practice.

Theory and History of Art 1
(Level 5, 15 Credits)

This introductory course is delivered from Otago Polytechnic and access to a computer is required. This paper is taken in your second year if you are studying part-time.

Drawing and Design 1
(Level 5, 15 Credits)

The Drawing course is completed via a manual delivered from Otago Polytechnic and a computer with internet access is required. If a suitable level 5, or higher, course is available in your local area for the Drawing or Theory papers it may be taken and credited to your academic record on completion. There is a small charge for this accreditation.

Your workload

A full-time programme entails five full working days, or the equivalent, for 32 weeks. Where you are working at a contracted provider, the rules of the local area facility will apply.

Full-time qualification structure

 

Course Title

Level

Credit

YEAR ONE

 

 

Studio Practice 1

5

75

Glaze Technology 1

5

15

Theory and History of Art 1: An introduction

5

15

Drawing and Design 1

5

15

Year One total

 

120

YEAR TWO

 

 

Studio Practice 2

6

75

Glaze Technology 2 

6

15

Theory and History of Art 2: Special Topic Ceramics

6

15

Drawing and Design 2

6

15

Year Two total

 

120

Overall total

 

240

Part-time qualification structure

 

Course Title

Level

Credit

YEAR ONE

 

 

Studio Practice 1A

5

40

Glaze Technology 1

5

15

Year One total

 

55

YEAR TWO

 

 

Studio Practice 1B

5

35

Theory and History of Art 1

5

15

Drawing and Design 1

5

15

Year Two total

 

65

YEAR THREE

 

 

Studio Practice 2A

6

40

Glaze Technology 2

6

15

Year Three total

 

55

YEAR FOUR

 

 

Studio Practice 2B

6

35

Theory and History of Art 2

6

15

Drawing and Design 2

6

15

Year Four total

 

65

Overall total

 

240

Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification. 

Links to useful websites

 Connect with School of Art students, graduates and staff on our very active Facebook page.

Disclaimer

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.

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