- Creativity, imagination and motivation.
- The ability to think laterally and independently.
- A good work ethic.
- Confidence and the ability to accept criticism.
- To be adaptable and open to new ideas.
- You must demonstrate practical, professional or educational experience equivalent to a bachelor's degree OR other Level 7 qualification.
- As the majority of this programme is taught at Level 7, you must demonstrate studio skills beyond year one level to enter this programme.
- 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 meet the entry requirements.
All students (international and domestic) for whom English is not a first language:
- must demonstrate English Language skills with an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5 OR
- must provide acceptable alternative evidence of English language proficiency depending on the visa decline rate of the country you are from. See here for acceptable evidence and visa decline rates by country.
Please note: All scores must be achieved in a single test completed in the preceding two years. You cannot combine scores from multiple tests. If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance you are not required to provide evidence of English Language skills.
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.
Please include with your portfolio:
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com
You must supply certified copies of proof of identity, academic records, proof of residency (where appropriate) and a curriculum vitae.
All applicant submissions are viewed by a panel of academic staff and applicants are accepted on merit based on an evaluation of a portfolio of art practice and evidence of academic skills. Skills must be at second-year level in your chosen subject area as the Graduate Diploma requires completion of third-year (level 7) courses in the studio subject. For this reason an interview may be required. Where the number of successful applicants exceeds the places available, a waiting list will be kept and applicants will be offered vacant places in waiting list order.
The cost of additional material varies according to individual projects. As an indication, you may borrow up to $1,000, in addition to your student allowance for course-related costs.
Further study options
Choose to enrol in our Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons), Master of Visual Arts or Master of Fine Arts to further your artistic practice.
Programme specific risks
You will complete Health and safety checklists for specific hazards in your courses. During your study, you will use a range of technical equipment and chemical substances. If you have known allergies or reactions to materials, please indicate these in your application so we can help you into appropriate courses.
You will study
A team of advisors will help you work out a pathway of art study customised to your requirements. It is likely that you will choose a specialty from within a particular field, however a programme of multi-disciplinary study may also be considered. To complement the development of studio skills, you also take Theory and History of Art, Drawing and Independent Studio, depending on your entry level and prior experience
Specialist Studio Disciplines
Study Ceramics as a contemporary art practice at Otago Polytechnic - the largest ceramics department in New Zealand. You will benefit from an emphasis on hands-on experimentation in clay making workshops. Develop individual projects which explore ceramics as a medium with its own language, skills and history. The department has wood, salt, electric and gas kilns, electric wheels and online research facilities.
Our internationally renowned Printmaking Department is well established and is one of the leading departments of its kind in New Zealand. You will work and learn in its spacious studios and well-equipped workshops, designed to enable students, staff and professional artists to study and practice a comprehensive range of printmaking processes and related techniques. Experienced and award-winning staff members monitor these programmes, which help you research, explore and develop creative concepts.
Develop a sculptural language through studio workshops focusing on drawing, form and spatial analysis. This department is equipped to international standards with separate workshops for wood, metal and plastics fabrication, a modelling and casting studio and specialist facilities for ceramic shell bronze casting, metal forging, vacuum forming and spray painting. An emphasis is placed on the philosophical understanding of historical approaches and the means of the development of different formats in individual mediums.
Study Electronic Arts
Specialise in Electronics, which inhabit a constantly shifting location in art and media practice. You may choose to explore 2D and 3D animation, film, installation, electronics, projection and online media and audio/video production. Through the study of contemporary practice, you will engage with media arts and reflect on their historical and contemporary position in the art world.
Major in textiles in a visual arts context, examining the value of cloth and its relationship to the body, different genders and classes and material culture. The field of textile practice can encompass many approaches such as sculptural, 2D and site-specific artworks. We specialise in print and construction processes that employ a variety of surface treatments, such as screen-print methodologies using pigment ink, dye, discharge and burnout applications, manual and digital embroidery and 3D sewing.
Gain a solid foundation in the practical and theoretical components of black and white, colour and alternative photographic processes. Use and explore a range of equipment and techniques in our well-designed facility. Understand the principles and history of photography as you study different photographic approaches, such as the antiquarian, formalist, documentary, fabricated or manipulated. The learning environment is both supportive and challenging, incorporating discussion, dialogue and critical debate.
Here is an opportunity to develop your artwork so it is relevant to today's society and to international and national contemporary practice. That is the focus of this specialty, although you will also be encouraged to investigate painting discoveries and methodologies in recent centuries. Each stage of the Bachelor of Visual Arts and the Diploma in Arts (Painting) programme present an organised and measured understanding of the techniques, theories and approaches available to the artist today.
Study Jewellery-making and Metalsmithing
Develop your artistic eye and practical skills with the understanding that the fundamental reference for jewellery is the human body. Jewellery uses a visual language based on interaction, communication and contact, and may be expressive and intimate or aggressively provocative. Art, objects and adornment for the body use an unlimited palette of materials from precious metal and stone to recycled waste.
You are expected to work a full week in your studio and other subjects. Learning occurs through a mixture of personal consultations, group seminars and taught coursework.
The course is structured so that 75% of your time is spent in studio, 12.5% in Art History and Theory (semester one) and 12.5% in Professional Practice (semester 2). If you enter the programme mid-year, you will reverse that sequence.
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.
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.