Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts – BMVA

Unique to Massey University, the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts encompasses contemporary Māori art, Māori language, Māori culture, and tikanga.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

More about study levels

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

4 years full-time (480 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students
Note: Selected entry programme

Study a Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts – BMVA

Massey is the only university to offer degrees in Māori visual arts. The BMVA has a strong Māori kaupapa, with te reo, tikanga, and manaakitanga at its core.

At Toioho ki Apiti we recognise that language, culture, tikanga and art are inseparable. We cater for all levels of proficiency in te reo, and you can learn at the rate that’s right for you.

The Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts (BMVA) will provide you with:

  • a culturally based education in design
  • two and three-dimensional art theory and making
  • discussion on art issues relating to the development of Māori art
  • development of your perceptual and conceptual skills
  • a cultural foundation for visual communication
  • interaction with the broader Māori community through exhibitions and community programmes.

Over time you will develop your own art practice that is deeply grounded in your culture.

As well as Māori, we have students of Pākehā and international indigenous heritage who want to explore a kaupapa-driven approach to contemporary art.

Toioho ki Apiti has a strong relationship with the Te Manawa gallery in Palmerston North. The gallery regularly hosts exhibitions of work by students, staff and alumni. We also offer opportunities to visit art galleries, museums and cultural events in other centres.

Get the full picture

Visit the Toi Rauwhārangi website.

Further study

Explore your personal practice and critical engagement with Toi Māori further with the Postgraduate Diploma in Māori Visual Arts or the Master of Māori Visual Arts.  

A BMVA is a good fit if you:

  • want to explore what it means to be Māori today and seek a supportive whānau environment for learning
  • want to express your identity through art and enjoy making and thinking creatively
  • want to be mentored by respected contemporary Māori artists.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

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

To enter the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts you will need to:

  • provide a portfolio of your work, in the form of slides, photos or actual artworks
  • provide a statement (of around 100 words) of why you want to join the BMVA
  • take part in an interview.

Application closing date

Applications close on 30 November 2022.

Late applications are welcome.

English language requirements

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

Portfolio requirements

The portfolio requirement has the following options:

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.

Portfolio entry: Submit a portfolio showing a selection of your creative work that demonstrates your creative potential with your application to study.

See more information about portfolios and how to arrange a portfolio pre-approval session.

Selection interview

Once we have received your application, we will invite you to an interview so that we can get to know you better. Although your academic history is important we also look at and consider your:

  • creative ability
  • commitment to Māori creative expression
  • commitment to Māori art and scholarship
  • maturity
  • communication skills

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

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

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

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 qualification 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 qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

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

Structure of the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts

The BMVA is divided into three main areas:

  • Studio (this is the practical and the largest component dealing with two and three-dimensional art practice)
  • Māori visual arts (art history)
  • Māori language.

The degree is made up of four years as follows:

Year One

Year One of the degree gives a basic introduction to the theory of customary Māori art practice, Māori language, two and three-dimensional studio practice, and electives. In studio practice, students are introduced to Māori concepts and research into Māori concepts. Overall, the year lays the foundation for development of contemporary Māori art.

Year Two

Year Two brings a higher level of technical and conceptual awareness in studio practice with a stronger emphasis on research. Te reo Māori is also continued at a higher level and the art theory courses support the development of concepts in studio practice.

Year Three

Year Three concentrates on contemporary issues and research, closer observation of contemporary Māori art developments and encourages the implementation of thematic approaches to art production. Language study continues. An exhibition for studio work is held towards the end of the second semester.

Year Four

Year Four is devoted to studio practice. Independent work on approved projects using a variety of media is encouraged. The focus for practical work is on an end-of-year public and external exhibition.

See all the courses for your degree in the Yellow Book.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Courses
Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Credits
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Specialisations
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

480 credits

  • Part One compulsory courses – 90 credits
  • Part One electives from the Part One of the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Part Two compulsory courses – 90 credits
  • Part Two electives from Part Two of the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Part Three compulsory courses – 120 credits
  • Part Four compulsory studio courses – 120 credits

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

Course planning key

Prerequisites
Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Part One (Choose at least 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose 90 credits from)

Choose 90 credits from
Course code: 150106 Nga Hanga Whakairo: Traditional Māori Visual Art 15 credits

An introduction to the scope of Māori art with a view to recognising traditional elementary forms and their significance. Social and cultural dimensions will be considered and Māori art forms from pre-contact times to the present will be examined within the context of a dynamic and changing society.

View full course details
Course code: 150107 Mata Puare: Studio IA 30 credits

An exploration of the principles and elements of design and their application within two-dimensional contexts. The cultural significance of Māori design processes will be examined in order to understand interrelationships between form and content.

View full course details
Course code: 150108 Mata Puare: Studio IB 45 credits

An exploration of the principles and elements of design and their application within three-dimensional contexts. The cultural significance of Māori design processes will be examined in order to understand interrelationships between form and content.

View full course details

Plus either

Course code: 300110 Te Reo Whakahoahoa: Socialising in Te Reo 15 credits

An introduction to elementary Māori language structures, Māori terminology and the correct pronunciation of the Māori language.

View full course details

Or

Course code: 300111 Te Reo Kōnakinaki: Developing Te Reo 15 credits

Ko tēnei whakaakoranga reo Māori hei mahinga mā te tauira kua tīmata kē ki te ako i te reo Māori. Ko tōna tino kaupapa, ka whakamahia te reo hei reo whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro, hei reo kōrerorero i waenganui i te tangata. This course extends listening, speaking and writing competency to enable students to express themselves in Te Reo on a wide range of topics at an introductory level. Emphasis is on spoken and written Māori as a language of communication and interaction.

View full course details

Elective courses: Any one of the following courses or another course approved by the Head of School

Course code: 146101 Understanding Cultural Difference 15 credits

An introduction to key contemporary topics and concepts in the discipline.

View full course details
Course code: 150114 He Tirohanga Taketake: Māori Perspectives 15 credits

An analysis of Māori knowledge, custom and economic foundations. Customary lifestyles will be examined within a context of ritual, philosophy, technology, economic principles, and social organisation in order to understand Māori culture.

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Course code: 154101 Introduction to Media Studies 15 credits

An introduction to theories of the media and communications. Particular attention will be paid to the concepts of representation and audience, the political economy of media products, and the social and cultural context in which they occur.

View full course details

Part Two (Choose at least 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose 90 credits from)

Choose 90 credits from
Course code: 150206 Ngā Momo Whakairo: Contemporary Māori Visual Art 15 credits

An interpretation of the design structures that constitute Māori art from a bicultural perspective together with an examination of the factors that determine stylistic change.

Prerequisites: 150106

View full course details
Course code: 150207 Mata Oho: Studio IIA 30 credits

An examination of the significance of Māori visual culture with a view to understanding the interrelationships between form and function within 'traditional' and 'contemporary' contexts. Advanced development of media and processes within two-dimensional frameworks.

Prerequisites: 150107

View full course details
Course code: 150208 Mata Oho: Studio IIB 45 credits

An examination of the significance of Māori visual culture with a view to understanding the interrelationships between form and function within 'traditional' and 'contemporary' contexts. Advanced development of media and processes within three-dimensional frameworks.

Prerequisites: 150108

View full course details

Plus either

Course code: 300111 Te Reo Kōnakinaki: Developing Te Reo 15 credits

Ko tēnei whakaakoranga reo Māori hei mahinga mā te tauira kua tīmata kē ki te ako i te reo Māori. Ko tōna tino kaupapa, ka whakamahia te reo hei reo whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro, hei reo kōrerorero i waenganui i te tangata. This course extends listening, speaking and writing competency to enable students to express themselves in Te Reo on a wide range of topics at an introductory level. Emphasis is on spoken and written Māori as a language of communication and interaction.

View full course details

Or

Course code: 300210 Te Reo Kōrerorero: Discussing in Te Reo 15 credits

Nei rā te reo kōrero, te reo tuhituhi hei reo whakawhitiwhiti i roto i roto i te nohotahitanga a te tangata. Ka tirohia te takotoranga o te reo, ngā kupu kei te hāngai ki ngā kaupapa maha, otirā, ka tirohia ngā kīpeha pēnei i te kīwaha. Taught in te reo, this course emphasises the use and understanding of spoken and written Māori, focusing on the structure of the language, expanding vocabulary and using figures of speech such as colloquialisms.

Prerequisites: 300111

View full course details

Elective courses: Any one of the following courses or another course approved by the Head of School

Course code: 139362 Oceanic Literatures of Aotearoa: Ngā Tuhinga Kōrero o te Moana nui a Kiwa 15 credits

A study of contemporary Oceanic (Māori and Pasifika) literature in English contextualised in relation to customary and pre-colonial Oceanic literatures, narratives, and storytelling methods.

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Course code: 148309 The New Zealand Wars 15 credits

A study of the New Zealand Wars, focusing on the causes, campaigns, historiographical interpretations and consequences, including the investigations of the Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty Settlements.

Restrictions: 148204

View full course details
Course code: 150303 Mana Wahine: Māori Women 15 credits

A theory and research based examination of issues that concern Māori women in all contexts, including the roles that Māori women assume both within a Māori social framework and beyond. Theories of mana wahine and the ways mana is maintained, enhanced or lessened will be examined.

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Part Three (Choose at least 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose 105 credits from)

Choose 105 credits from
Course code: 150201 Te Kawenata o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand Society 15 credits

A study of the Treaty of Waitangi background, texts, principles, and application to contemporary New Zealand. There is a particular focus on land, legislation, court decisions, social policies, the environment, constitutional matters, claims to the Waitangi Tribunal and Treaty settlements. Differing perspectives of hapū/iwi/Māori and the Crown, as well as opportunities for resolution, are explored.

Restrictions: 269274

View full course details
Course code: 150307 Mata: Studio IIIA 30 credits

Advanced development of 150.207 in selected areas. An approved, individually conceived programme with content related to personal strengths and interests within two-dimensional frameworks.

Prerequisites: 150207

View full course details
Course code: 150308 Mata: Studio IIIB 60 credits

Advanced development of 150.208 in selected areas. An approved, individually conceived programme with content related to personal strengths and interests within three-dimensional frameworks.

Prerequisites: 150208

View full course details

Plus

Course code: 300210 Te Reo Kōrerorero: Discussing in Te Reo 15 credits

Nei rā te reo kōrero, te reo tuhituhi hei reo whakawhitiwhiti i roto i roto i te nohotahitanga a te tangata. Ka tirohia te takotoranga o te reo, ngā kupu kei te hāngai ki ngā kaupapa maha, otirā, ka tirohia ngā kīpeha pēnei i te kīwaha. Taught in te reo, this course emphasises the use and understanding of spoken and written Māori, focusing on the structure of the language, expanding vocabulary and using figures of speech such as colloquialisms.

Prerequisites: 300111

View full course details

Note, if 300.210 has already been passed, a course approved by the Head of School

Part Four (Choose 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose 120 credits from)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 150407 Matatau: Studio IVA 60 credits

Advanced conceptual development of 150.307 in selected areas. An approved individually conceived programme with content related to personal strengths and interests within two-dimensional frameworks.

Prerequisites: 150307

View full course details
Course code: 150408 Matatau: Studio IVB 60 credits

Advanced conceptual development of 150.308 in selected areas. An approved individually conceived programme with content related to personal strengths and interests within three-dimensional frameworks.

Prerequisites: 150308

View full course details

Fees and scholarships

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.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts can lead to a number of rewarding and interesting careers:

  • teaching Māori art at secondary or tertiary levels
  • gallery work
  • museum work
  • work in design-related industries
  • work in iwi and Māori cultural development
  • work as an artist.

What our students say

“The amazing lecturers have open minds about different whakaaro, different types of work and you’re appreciated for your ideas. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the BMVA… the skills to express myself and the confidence and passion I’ve gained in my art and in where I come from, in my pepeha.”
Puawai Taiapa

Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Kauwhata, Rakahanga (Cook Islands)

Postgraduate Diploma in Māori Visual Arts student

Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts

“I came to uni so that I can find out more about myself as a wahine Māori and I think this degree is helping me do that.”
Rosie Koko

Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Art & Design

College of Creative Arts – Toi Rauwhārangi ranks in the global top 150 for art and design by QS World University Rankings.

Learn more

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