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Programme list > Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours

Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours


Create your place in the art world

Discover how to produce work that makes people think and feel, act and react. Whatever your mode of art-making – whether performance, digital, object-based, lens-based, paint, print, installation, or film – we’ll help you find and develop your own creative voice.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Campus

  • Wellington
  • Credits

  • 480
  • Duration

  • 4 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ
  • Other

  • Selected entry programme.

Note: This programme may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

In the Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours – BFA (Hons) – you’ll spend two thirds of your time in the studio, experiencing different approaches to making art, and developing your own unique practice.

The programme isn’t media specific so you can focus on the methods and ideas of contemporary art production, and make bodies of new work that are responsive to a variety of contexts. Work, learn and collaborate alongside with students across disciplines and year levels.

You can work across a range of media, such as:

  • sculpture
  • painting
  • drawing
  • performance
  • installation
  • moving image
  • photography
  • printmaking
  • site-responsive work
  • curatorial activities
  • art writing.

The BFA (Hons) will stretch you, ground you in art theory and immerse you in art-making, with the support of some of New Zealand’s most notable fine artists.

We are looking for creative, enthusiastic and dedicated students who demonstrate skill and passion for design and the visual arts.

Get the full picture

Careers and further study


You will be prepared for any career that requires creativity, resilience, determination, critical thinking, problem-solving and attention to technical excellence.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours can be an entrance to professional fine arts practice, or it may lead to a variety of career opportunities in art-related fields. These can include art education, arts administration. Or you may become involved in creative industries where problem-solving skills are in demand.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.   

To enter the Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours you will:

  • submit a portfolio (if you do well in NCEA Level 2 art, design or technology – or equivalent - you may not need to submit a portfolio. See details below.)
  • attend an interview in person or over Skype.

Application closing date

If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this programme close on 30 November 2021 (for Semester One start). This is strongly recommended for portfolios, but applications are accepted up to 23 February 2022, subject to available space in the programme.

Applications for Semester Two close on 28 June 2022.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Other requirements

Portfolio requirements

  1. Automatic entry: If you achieved NCEA Level 2 or 3 with Merit or Excellence overall and a Merit or Excellence endorsement in an approved art, design or technology subject, you have automatic entry and will not have to submit a portfolio. This also applies for Cambridge International students achieving an AS grade A or B in an approved art, design or technology subject.
  2. Portfolio pre-approval entry: You can show work in progress to a Massey College of Creative Arts staff member during a school visit, Massey Open Day or other University event, or video call. They’ll look at examples of your work with you and if it shows the creative potential we’re looking for, they’ll sign a portfolio pre-approval letter. Then you won’t need to submit a final portfolio with your application.
  3. Portfolio entry: Submit a portfolio showing a selection of your creative work that demonstrates your creative potential with your application to study.

Late applications will be considered if space is available.

See full details of the application process and portfolio requirements

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

480 credits

  • Compulsory core (non-studio) courses – 120 credits
  • Studio courses – 270 credits
  • 400-level elective from Schedule B (or the BDes(Hons) Schedule C) – 15 credits
  • Electives – 75 credits

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • Not more than 165 credits at 100 level
  • At least 90 credits at 200 level
  • At least 105 credits at 300 level
  • At least 120 at 400 level or above

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part I before progressing to Part II, etc

Courses for this programme

Schedule A

Part One

Compulsory courses
237130 Communication for Makers 15
237131 Conversations in Creative Cultures 15
Plus one of
213157 Studio I (Art Lab) 15
213158 Studio I (Art Place) 15
Plus three of
198157 Studio I (Object) 15
212157 Studio I (Dress) 15
213157 Studio I (Art Lab) 15
213158 Studio I (Art Place) 15
221157 Studio I (Lens) 15
222157 Studio I (Screen) 15
222158 Studio I (Type) 15
223157 Studio I (Material) 15
224157 Studio I (Space) 15

Part Two

Compulsory courses
213241 Art Studio IIA 30
213242 Art Studio IIB 30
237230 Creative Cultures & Contexts I 15
Plus one of
197288 Creative Collaboration 15
237231 Creative Cultures & Contexts II 15

Part Three

Compulsory courses
213341 Art Studio IIIA 30
213342 Art Studio IIIB 30
213357 Introduction to Fine Arts Research Methods and Practices 15
237330 Creative Cultures & Ideas 15
Plus one of
197388 Creative Communities 15
237331 Creative Cultures & Display 15

Part Four

Compulsory Courses
213441 Art Studio IV A Research 30
213442 Art Studio IV B 45
213463 Fine Arts Research Seminar 15
Plus one of
197465 Creative Leadership 15
213465 Exhibition 15
237465 Creative Exposition 15

Schedule B

213150 Painting 15
213151 Contemporary Sculpture 15
213154 Contemporary Drawing 15
213155 Drawing the Body I 15
213211 Fine Arts Special Topic II 15
213254 Drawing in Practice 15
213255 Drawing the Body II 15
213256 Contemporary Art Projects A 15
213257 Contemporary Art Projects B 15
213258 Contemporary Art Projects C 15
213259 Contemporary Art Projects D 15
213260 Fine Arts Special Topic IIB 30
213261 Contemporary Art Projects F 15
213262 Contemporary Art Projects G 15
213263 Contemporary Art Projects H 15
213264 Contemporary Art Projects I 15
213265 Contemporary Art Projects J 15
213311 Fine Arts Special Topic III 15
213355 Drawing the Body III 15
213356 Contemporary Art Projects E 15
213358 Fine Arts Internship 15
213359 Contemporary Art Projects K 15
213360 Fine Arts Special Topic IIIB 30
213411 Fine Arts Special Topic IV 15
213464 Art in Context 15

Planning your programme

Planning overview

In the first year, you will be in mixed studio classes with design students. In the second year and beyond, your art studio classes will be made up of 2nd, 3rd and 4th year BFA students working with two art lecturers.

Studio course videos

View the video trailers for each Year One studio course.

More information: ‘Yellow Book’. 

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

If you complete this programme within the stated time limit, you will normally be able to graduate with a class of Honours.

Look for further information under ‘Student Progression’ in the regulations for this programme.

More information

  • Read the regulations for this programme thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • are passionate about art and art-making
  • love experimentation, creative expression, and critical thinking
  • want the freedom to be yourself, with easy access to tutors and excellent technical facilities.

Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

Art & Design QS Ranking

Massey University's College of Creative Arts is ranked as one of the Top 100 art and design schools in the world by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds).

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships