Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts – GDipFA

Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts is for skilled graduates who want to gain new knowledge and skills in fine arts.

Type of qualification

Graduate diploma

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

NZQF level 7

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
Note: Selected entry qualification

Study a Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts – GDipFA

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

You’ll be studying with other fine arts students in courses at 200, 300 and 400-level.

In the large art studio courses you’ll have the support to work in any media in an interdisciplinary studio environment. This includes sculpture, painting, drawing, performance, installation, moving image, photography, printmaking, site-responsive work, curatorial activities and art writing.

Other study could include a range of studio courses that develop your practice further. Critical and contextual studies also help expand your knowledge of art and design discourse.

 Get the full picture

A GDipFA is a good fit if you:

  • are creative or artistic
  • enjoy the arts.

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 be admitted to the Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, or
  • have demonstrated equivalent practical, professional and/or scholarly experience.

You will also need to:

  • take part in an interview at which you demonstrate readiness to undertake your desired course of study
  • submit a satisfactory portfolio of work to show you are at the standard necessary to undertake work up to 300-level and beyond
  • provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities.

Application closing date

If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this qualification close on 30 November 2021 (for Semester One start).

English language requirements

To study this qualification 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 Graduate Diploma in Fine 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

  • Part A compulsory courses – 90 credits
  • Part B electives from Part B – 30 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.

Part A: Compulsory courses (Choose 90 credits from)

Choose 90 credits from
Course code: 197388 Creative Communities 15 credits

In this course, students from a broad range of creative practices will work together to explore conceptual and strategic dimensions of professional practice through encounters with external partners. Students will develop an understanding of their position as creative citizens within a broader community, and produce strategic, innovative offerings that reflect this relationship.

Prerequisites: 75 Credits at 200 Level Restrictions: 198481, 212425, 221382, 222382, 223425, 224382

View full course details
Course code: 213341 Art Studio IIIA 30 credits

In this studio practice course students will expand content, context, methodology and the role of critical dialogue in the production of contemporary art. Study will be undertaken through a series of studio projects, media workshops, and a programme of gallery visits and guest speakers.

Prerequisites: 213242 or (213251 or 213201) Restrictions: 213300, 213351

View full course details
Course code: 213342 Art Studio IIIB 30 credits

In this studio practice course students will further expand content, context, methodology and the role of critical dialogue in the production of contemporary art. Study will be undertaken through a series of studio projects, media workshops, and a programme of gallery visits and guest speakers.

Prerequisites: 213341 Restrictions: 213300, 213351

View full course details
Course code: 213357 Introduction to Fine Arts Research Methods and Practices 15 credits

An introduction to a range of methods and practices for undertaking research in a fine art context.

Prerequisites: 213352 or 237330

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Course code: 237330 Creative Cultures & Ideas 15 credits

In this course students will explore and appraise a range of ideas that support the critical positioning of creative practices. The selected ideas will be explored through interdisciplinary engagement.

Prerequisites: 237230 or 237231

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Course code: 237331 Creative Cultures & Display 15 credits

In this course students will critically engage with a range of curatorial concepts in order to investigate modes of representation, collection, archiving, display and distribution. The course will overview key historical developments in 19th, 20th, and 21st century museum practices and examine selected cultural and ethical concerns for both community and institutional contexts.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 200-level

View full course details

Part B: Elective courses

Course code: 213211 Fine Arts Special Topic II 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

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Course code: 213254 Drawing in Practice 15 credits

In this studio course students will be guided by experts, each with a focus on particular approaches and technologies of drawing. Students will experiment with these different methodologies, and critically reflect on the role of drawing within their own practice.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 213255 Drawing the Body II 15 credits

A creative response to representation of the human body through a prescribed project. Students apply a range of drawing practices and media to the development of individual work.

Prerequisites: 213155 or 197101 Restrictions: 197200

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Course code: 213256 Contemporary Art Projects A 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 213257 Contemporary Art Projects B 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 213258 Contemporary Art Projects C 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts

View full course details
Course code: 213259 Contemporary Art Projects D 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 213260 Fine Arts Special Topic IIB 30 credits
Course code: 213261 Contemporary Art Projects F 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100-level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 213262 Contemporary Art Projects G 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100-level from College of Creative Arts

View full course details
Course code: 213263 Contemporary Art Projects H 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100-level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 213264 Contemporary Art Projects I 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100-level from College of Creative Arts

View full course details
Course code: 213265 Contemporary Art Projects J 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100-level from College of Creative Arts

View full course details
Course code: 213311 Fine Arts Special Topic III 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

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Course code: 213355 Drawing the Body III 15 credits

The development of an individual drawing project using the body as subject. A degree of innovation and experimentation is expected in both the practice of drawing and applied understanding of the representation of the human body.

Prerequisites: 213255 or 197200 Restrictions: 197301

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Course code: 213356 Contemporary Art Projects E 15 credits

An investigation into new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 200 level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 213358 Fine Arts Internship 15 credits

A negotiated programme of study that provides students with the opportunity to gain experience and practice by working alongside visual arts professionals. Students work through self-directed inquiry and collaboration (as appropriate) towards the development of a project and assigned tasks within the professional environment. Prior approval by the course Coordinator is required.

Prerequisites: 60 credits at 200 level from the College of Creative Arts Restrictions: 213412

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Course code: 213359 Contemporary Art Projects K 15 credits

Engagement with new thinking in contemporary art research through a specific lecturer-led project.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 200-level from College of Creative Arts

View full course details
Course code: 213360 Fine Arts Special Topic IIIB 30 credits

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.

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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