Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts – PGDipFA

Extend your creative practice and begin your fine arts journey. Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts gives you the opportunity for advanced study in contemporary art.

Type of qualification

Postgraduate diploma

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

More about study levels

NZQF level 8

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

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year full-time (120 credits)
Up to 4 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 Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts – PGDipFA

The Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts gives you the opportunity for advanced study in contemporary art. It is the entry point into fine arts postgraduate study at Massey University.

The qualification combines theoretical inquiry with studio-based practice. It focuses on identifying, exploring and developing research methods that are relevant to current art practices and enquiry.

Particular emphasis is placed on:

  • exploring process as a key component of art making
  • developing advanced research techniques and methodology
  • learning strategies that aim to refine and enhance your working methods
  • building an extensive knowledge base of contemporary cultural history and theory. This will give you the confidence to negotiate your own relationship between theory and practice
  • laying the groundwork for MFA or PhD study.

Get the full picture 

A PGDipFA is a good fit if you:

  • studied art at undergraduate level
  • want to do a Master of Fine Arts but don’t have an honours degree
  • want to develop your research and analysis skills.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts you will:

  • have gained a relevant bachelor’s degree with a grade average that demonstrates an adequate level of preparation
  • be selected into the qualification through an interview and the assessment of a portfolio of submitted work
  • have an appropriate level of English language proficiency.

You will need to submit copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

Application closing date

Applications close on 30 November 2023.

English language requirements

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

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with Distinction or Merit. 

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.

Maximum time limits for completion

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

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 Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate 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 Postgraduate 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

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).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
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

  • Compulsory courses – 120 credits

Course planning key

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.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
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.
Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 197465 Creative Leadership 15 credits

In this course, students from a broad range of creative practices will work together to situate themselves within the spectrum of the creative industries. Serving their communities as creative leaders, students will apply research and innovation theories to business and social-enterprise practices in order to conceptualise, develop, and deliver a strategic offering for a defined audience.

Prerequisites: 198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358

View full course details
Course code: 213411 Fine Arts Special Topic IV 15 credits

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 213441 Art Studio IV A Research 30 credits

In this studio research course students will advance the exploration of content, context, methodology and the role of critical dialogue in the production of contemporary art. In consultation with lecturers, students develop a substantial, innovative research project that engages in critically reflexive practice.

Prerequisites: (213342 or 213351) and 213357 Corequisites: 213463 Restrictions: 213401, 213451

View full course details
Course code: 213442 Art Studio IV B 45 credits

In this studio course students will further advance the exploration of content, context and engaged dialogue in the production of contemporary art. In consultation with lecturers, students produce a substantial innovative body of work.

Prerequisites: 213440 or 213441 Restrictions: 213401, 213461

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Course code: 213463 Fine Arts Research Seminar 15 credits

A programme of advanced study that addresses the application, dissemination and discussion of research practices in contemporary art. Emphasis will be placed on selective investigation and presentation of critical issues in the production of art and culture.

Prerequisites: 213357 or Appraisal Required Corequisites: 213441

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Course code: 213464 Art in Context 15 credits

The course will discuss, critique and apply a range of exhibition, dissemination and publication conventions and practices within the context of contemporary art including art galleries, social practice, temporary and permanent artworks, public art, publishing, screenings and events

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 300-level

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Course code: 213465 Exhibition 15 credits

In this studio-based course students situate their creative practice through exhibition. Students work in a collaborative group to develop and realise an exhibition project. One of the key focus points for the course is students' growing understanding of the reality of public presentation of the creative output. This advanced programme of study will encourage discussion and critical reflection on diverse approaches to the exhibition of creative work and its relevance for a range of academic and/or professional contexts.

Corequisites: (198454 or 198455 or 212454 or 212455 or 213442 or 221454 or 221455 or 222454 or 222455 or 223454 or 223455 or 224454 or 224455 or 296454 or 296455) or Permission Head of School

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Course code: 237465 Creative Exposition 15 credits

In this course students will situate their creative practice through writing. They will extend and hone their critical, analytical and reflective skills through written exposition that focuses on projecting themselves and their practice externally. This advanced programme of study will encourage discussion on diverse approaches to creative research exposition and its relevance for a range of academic and/or professional contexts.

Prerequisites: [237330 and (198358 or 212358 or 213342 or 221358 or 222358 or 223358 or 224358 or 296358)] or Appraisal Required

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.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

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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