Diploma in Visual Arts – DipVisualArts

You’ll study with art and design degree students in a range of studio and lecture-based courses covering everything from critical and contextual studies, to social media, painting, and digital fabrication.

Type of qualification

Diploma

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

NZQF level 5

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year(s) full-time (120 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Wellington campus

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Study a Diploma in Visual Arts – DipVisualArts

It’s a flexible programme of study with lots of choice. You’ll be introduced to the basics of art and design:

  • creative thinking
  • visual communication
  • specialist skills
  • critical awareness.

No portfolio is required, just passion.

The Diploma in Visual Arts is made up of eight courses from the first year of our Bachelor of Fine Arts,  Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Creative Media Production and Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts qualifications.

Further study

Studying courses in the Diploma in Visual Arts can be a good way to develop your portfolio for entry to the Bachelor of Design with Honours or Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this programme, outside of university admission regulations. No portfolio is required.

English language requirements

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

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 Diploma in Visual Arts

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

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

120 credits

  • Courses from the Schedule – 105 credits
  • Elective – Up to 15 credits

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.
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.

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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.

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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.

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Course code: 197119 Coding for Creative Practice 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to the fundamentals of computer programming as an art and design tool. Students will acquire basic knowledge and fundamental techniques for the creative uses of coding across a range of art and design contexts.

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Course code: 197122 Digital Fabrication 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to open source and consumer software as a means to produce objects with digital fabrication tools. Through an iterative making process, students will develop an understanding of design considerations, workflows and new methods of creating using contemporary digital technologies.

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Course code: 197123 Visual Identity Systems 15 credits

Develop a visual expression for an organisation or event that can be adapted across a range of mediums. Acquire techniques, skills and processes of synthesis, reduction and abstraction.

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Course code: 197191 Art and Design: Special Topic I 15 credits

This course focuses on a specific aspect of art and design. Offerings change from year to year and may not be offered in a particular year.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

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Course code: 197193 Contemporary Design Project 1A 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary design research and production through a specific lecturer-led project.

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Course code: 197194 Contemporary Design Project 1B 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary design research and production through a specific lecturer-led project.

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Course code: 198124 Modelling and Prototyping for Product Design 15 credits

In this studio course students will investigate strategies and methods for exploring and modelling the form and function of tangible products. Through the development of skills, techniques and workflows, students will model and prototype three-dimensional design concepts and design resolutions.

Restrictions: 198221

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Course code: 212100 Fashion Pattern Making 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to fundamental patternmaking methods through an applied 3D- 2D developmental process. Students will acquire basic skills for the creation of garment patterns for contemporary fashion design.

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Course code: 212101 Fashion Construction 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to specialised apparel industrial machinery, techniques and applied processes of apparel manufacture through construction sampling and prototyping. These industrial methods will enrich understanding of design solutions for garment and product assembly and creative exploration.

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Course code: 213150 Painting 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to aspects of contemporary painting focusing on colour, surface and structure and developing an awareness of the diversity of painting mediums and techniques. While working to a brief, students are expected to undertake independent investigations and develop individual responses.

Restrictions: 213203

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Course code: 213151 Contemporary Sculpture 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to aspects of contemporary sculpture with a focus on object making, the exploration of physical materials and applied processes. While working to a brief, students are expected to undertake independent investigations and develop individual responses.

Restrictions: 213204

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Course code: 213154 Contemporary Drawing 15 credits

In this studio course students will be introduced to the potential for drawing to become more than a traditional practice of representation. The course will focus on expanding students' observation skills, and modes of expression and representation, in an expanded field of contemporary art and design practice.

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Course code: 213155 Drawing the Body I 15 credits

In this studio course students are introduced to the fundamentals of drawing the human body. Students undertake a project of drawing exercises using various techniques and media.

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Course code: 221100 Photography as an Agent of Change 15 credits

In this studio course students from all disciplines will gain a grounding in photographic technologies and how they can be utilised in contemporary photographic practice. Students will explore the ongoing relationship photography has with social and political issues.

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Course code: 222103 Social Media Culture 15 credits

In this studio course students will focus on issues and design considerations particular to social media. They will begin to acquire specific techniques, skills and processes for exploring and producing engaging content for network media, emerging technologies and digital culture.

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Course code: 222104 Printmaking 15 credits

In this studio course students will focus on issues and design considerations particular to printmaking. Students will acquire specific printmaking techniques, skills and processes to gain competence in this hands-on medium.

Restrictions: 222209

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Course code: 237117 Māori Art and Design Studio I - Toi Atea 15 credits

An introduction to the development of personal forms of expression though an engagement with the values, concepts, traditions, art/design forms and structures of the whare whakairo.

Restrictions: 197117

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Course code: 237130 Communication for Makers 15 credits

This course introduces students to academic writing and oral communication skills in the creative arts with a focus on stylistic characteristics and critical thinking. The course is underpinned by a basic overview of historical epochs from the 18th century to the present day.

Restrictions: 237101, 237114

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Course code: 237131 Conversations in Creative Cultures 15 credits

This course introduces students to the concept of world views, to key issues and debates concerning cultural identity in Aotearoa New Zealand and their implications for creative practices.

Restrictions: 237102

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Course code: 289100 Introduction to Creative Media Production 15 credits

Students will be introduced to the challenges and responsibilities facing a new practitioner of the production of film, television, animation, visual effects, games, augmented reality, and emerging media. Through the lenses of intention, ethics, and reception, students will critically investigate their course work methodologies and products, gaining a greater understanding of their own values and processes as a creative practitioner.

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Course code: 289101 Introduction to Web Development 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to industry standard web platforms and authoring tools. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of media concepts and production processes essential for the production of interactive media on multiple platforms.

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Course code: 289102 Visualisation for Media Production 15 credits

In this studio course students develop visualisation and rendering techniques to enable them to give visual form to abstract ideas and concepts. These visualisations will be applied to a range of formats including storyboarding, concept visualisation and character development.

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Course code: 289103 Introduction to Computer Animation 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to industry standard digital tools for 2D and 3D computer animation. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of character, movement and rendering processes essential for the production of computer animation.

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Course code: 289104 Introduction to Visual Effects 15 credits

In this studio course students will develop and apply digital special effects techniques to a range of disciplines within visual effects production. Students will acquire fundamental skills with a range post-production tools including dynamics, particles, fluids, lighting and rendering.

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Course code: 289105 Introduction to Digital Video Production 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to industry standard digital video production tools and environments. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of camera, lighting, editing and post-production processes essential for the creation of moving image formats.

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Course code: 289106 Introduction to Game Technologies and Mechanics 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to industry standard digital tools for games. Students will gain a basic creative and technical knowledge and understanding of game mechanics, concepts and production processes essential for the production of games platforms.

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Course code: 289107 Introduction to Audio Production and Sound Design 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to industry standard digital audio production tools and environments. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of sound design concepts and audio production processes essential for the production of sound and music for multiple media and platforms.

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Course code: 289108 Introduction to Animatronics and Modelling 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to basic electronics and animatronics modelling. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of animatronics and modelling and physical computing required for the production of computer-controlled objects and physical effects.

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Course code: 289110 Introduction to Time-based Editing 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to industry standard digital tools for time-based editing. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of approaches and methodologies essential for editing material for film, television, animation, game, augmented reality and emerging media.

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Course code: 289111 Introduction to 3D Modelling and Texturing 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to industry standard digital tools for the creation of 3D assets. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of approaches and methodologies essential for the production of 3D assets for computer animation, visual effects, games, augmented reality and emerging media.

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Course code: 289112 Introduction to Scripted Film and Video Production 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to industry standard techniques for scripted film and video production. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of lighting and digital recording processes essential for the creation and development of externally-based (non-studio) scripted productions.

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Course code: 289113 Introduction to Prototyping for Creative Technologies 15 credits

This course introduces students to industry standard prototyping techniques for creative media projects. The content covers hardware and software development, which includes basic electronics design, manufacturing processes, and micro-controller programming. Students can create software and hardware for a range of emerging media.

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Course code: 289114 Intro to Programming for Interactive Projects 15 credits

In this course students extend their programming skills in a creative context. Students will gain a creative and technical knowledge of programming methodologies essential for the development of software, hardware, creative media production pipeline tools, and other emerging technology.

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Course code: 289115 Introduction to Producing and Directing 15 credits

In this course students will be introduced to techniques and practices in producing and directing for creative media. Through practical and critical engagement, students will gain a creative and technical knowledge and understanding of approaches and methodologies essential for producing and directing for film, television, animation, visual effects, games, augmented reality and other emerging media.

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Course code: 289116 Introduction to Immersive Media 15 credits

Students will be introduced to industry standard digital tools for immersive media. Students will gain a basic creative and technical knowledge and understanding of immersive production technologies and concepts, and a critical understanding of a wide range of immersive applications.

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Course code: 289120 Working with Scripted Material 15 credits

Students will be introduced to the processes of reading, interpreting, and working with scripted content with the intent of realising the material through various creative media production practices. Students will work with scripts and student-created material for film, television, animation, game, augmented reality, and other emerging media, engaging with them through lenses of production, interpretation, self-reflection, and indigenous making.

Restrictions: 289220

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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.

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