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Bachelor of Media Arts (Visual Arts)


  • Semester 1 starts February 2018
  • Semester 2 starts July 2018
  • Winter School starts June 2018
  • Duration - 3 years full-time or part-time equivalent 
  • Fee Guideline - $6,978* (per year) + material costs (domestic students) (International students: Please click here for fee information)
  • Campus - City Campus, Hamilton

If you want to develop skills and knowledge to prepare you for a career in visual arts and design, then this programme is right for you. You can choose to specialise one of the following endorsements, and with our flexible structure you'll also be able to tailor your degree with modules from other areas.

  • Painting and Sculpture You’ll study a range of contemporary art and illustration styles, and learn practical skills such as painting techniques and plastic, metal and wood fabrication for sculpture. You’ll also be setting up installations and learning the professional practice of designing and curating exhibitions.
  • Photography  Your study will include practical camera technique, on-location and studio lighting, digital workflow and post production. You’ll learn to use critical thinking to apply these skills to a range of industry and art based projects. 

If you're interested in Graphic and Digital Design or Moving Image, check out the Bachelor of Design.

Key Features

Your Study Environment

Students have 24/7 access to industry standard computer labs with Adobe Creative Suite, production studios, gallery space and AV rooms. The study environment closely models professional studio working practice. View the state-of-the-art facilities and RAMP gallery.

Learn From Industry Specialists

Your tutors are active researchers and experienced designers. They regularly exhibit, present at conferences and are members of professional organisations relating to their fields.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Your study in Media Arts will be project driven and involve collaboration with students from outside your field. You will gain insight, skills and techniques from other Media Arts disciplines and graduate with the ability and networks to apply those collaborative methods to your professional practice.

Real World Learning

You can gain real-world professional experience through internships, and receive module credit for it. The third year Internship module offers you direct experience with highly regarded practitioners in the industry.

Career Opportunities

The Bachelor of Media Arts may lead to employment as an Art Director, Art Educator, Editorial Photographer, Environmental Designer, Freelance Photographer, Illustrator, Photojournalist, Public Artist, or Studio Artist.

  • Check out what some of our graduates are doing here

Programme Content

You will study 24 modules (or equivalent), in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Media Arts (minimum of 360 credits in total):

  • 13 Core Modules – compulsory practical and theoretical modules
  • 3 Stream Electives – explore your specialised area of interest with a selection from the Bachelor of Media Arts schedule of modules
  • 2 Contextual – theoretical modules to develop your understanding of the arts. You choose from a wide range of modules covering topics such as critical thinking, cultural influences and history.
  • 3 Intermedia modules – although you will regularly collaborate with students from other media arts disciplines, these modules will have a very particular focus on working across disciplines.
  • 3 Free Choice Electives that you can choose from any Media Arts discipline (eg: photography, moving image, music, graphic design etc)






IntermediaFree Choice
Year 1321  
Year 241111
Year 34  22



In your first year of study you will focus on content and process common to the Visual Arts endorsement.

Core modules (you will do all of the following)

Visual Arts Practice 1

Visual Arts Practice 2

Word, Image, Sound

Electives (choose 2 of the following listDesign: An Introduction

Photography: An Introduction

Painting and Sculpture: An Introduction

Moving Image, An Introduction

Contextual modules (choose 1 from the following list)

History and Meaning of Fashion

History and Theory in Visual Arts and Design

New Zealand Cultural Identity and the Media

Storytelling, Myth and Ritual

Film Analysis and Criticism

Perspectives on the Media

Interpreting Visual Culture

History of Popular Song




Second and Third Years - Painting And Sculpture

Specialising in Painting/Sculpture is primarily studio-based and focuses on developing your practical and theoretical knowledge of contemporary art practice. You will study conventions of contemporary sculpture, painting, illustration and intermedia-based practice and their related theoretical issues.

Second and Third Years - Photography

Specialising in photography provides students with a balance of technical/studio classes, research projects and critical discussion. Students will study the currency and conventions of photography practice with technical skill-based modules. You will be encouraged to use these skills to further your individual projects for varied interests and outputs.

Entry Criteria


NCEA Level 3 comprised of 60 credits at NCEA Level 3 or above and 20 credits at NCEA Level 2 or above, including:

  • 14 credits each at NCEA Level 3 in three approved subjects including a Language Rich* subject; and
  • Literacy (10 credits at NCEA Level 2 or above made up of 5 credits each in reading and writing); and

    Numeracy (10 credits at NCEA Level 1 or above).  


    60 credits at NCEA Level 2 in four subjects including 12 credits in a Language Rich* subject, or equivalent; or

    a total score of 16 or less in four Sixth Form Certificate subjects including a Language Rich* subject, or equivalent; or

    New Zealand University entrance or equivalent.

*(History, Classics, Media Studies or English)

English Language Requirements

Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International Language Test Score (IELTS) of 6.0 across all bands or equivalent.

Special Admission

Candidates who do not meet those entry requirements may be considered for provisional entry (if aged under 20) or special admission (if aged 20 or over): In such cases entry will be dependent on candidates demonstrating a reasonable likelihood of success in the programme. 

Don't Meet Entry Criteria?

If you do not meet the entry criteria for this programme, you may wish to apply for the Certificate in Media Arts programme which is designed to prepare you for the Bachelor of Media Arts.

Application Process

  1. Check that you meet the entry criteria
  2. Submit your application to enrol form as well as:
    • a verified copy of your academic results
    • a 250 word personal statement outlining why you would like to study the programme
    • a character reference from someone (not related to you or living with you) who knows you well, stating your suitability for your chosen field of study
    • a one page curriculum vitae (CV) - click here for an example of how to build a CV
    • a portfolio of your work - more info here about building a portfolio
    • an essay of approximately 400 words analysing your submitted work, including the successful aspects, where your ideas came from, how you developed them and how you might develop them in the future. We are particularly looking for your ability to engage critically with a wider visual culture, and your understanding of where your work 'fits' in the wide range of art and design practices in the world. This may include art, but you might also like to refer to movies, magazines, online work etc.
  3. Receive acknowledgement of your application
  4. Application assessed by the Bachelor of Media Arts review panel
  5. Interview with one of our tutors - This is an opportunity to review your study plans and discuss opportunities within the School. You may be asked to write a short essay on a current event at your interview
  6. Application outcome - You will receive a letter advising you of the outcome of your application
  7. Confirmation of entry - Letter confirming placement to be returned to the School

Your Portfolio Should Contain:

A selection of work that forms a cohesive series. From this we want to understand that you are capable of developing a body of related work, and the way your ideas were investigated and developed. As a guide, we would expect around 15 pieces, or a moving image work with supporting material, i.e.:

  • A short film or documentary and its developmental notes, sketches and story board, or
  • A series of paintings and their related drawings, or
  • A series of sculptures / carvings with drawings, or
  • A series of photographs

If you have completed NCEA level two or three in a visual arts or materials/ design technology subject, we encourage you to include images of those NCEA submissions in your application portfolio.

You may submit your work in digital or analogue format.

Your Essay Should Be:

Approximately 400 words analysing your submitted work, including the successful aspects, where your ideas came from, how you developed them and how you might develop them in the future. We are particularly looking for your ability to engage critically with a wider visual culture, and your understanding of where your work 'fits' in the wide range of art and design practices in the world. This may include art, but you might also like to refer to movies, magazines, online work etc.

Any Questions?

Let us know if you have any questions about the application process, phone us on 0800 294 6832.

Still a Secondary School Student?

Want to experience communication for a day? Talk to your STAR Coordinator or Careers Advisor about doing one of the following Wintec Tasters.

  • Developing Photoshop Skills (one day)
  • Developing Screenwriting Skills (two days)
  • Introduction to Editing for Moving Image (two days)
  • Introduction to Illustrator (two days)
  • Introduction to Life Drawing (two days)
  • Short Video Production and Development (one day)

​​​About the Faculty

This programme is offered by the School of Media Arts who provide innovative, interdisciplinary education that prepares students for careers in the creative industries.

Experienced staff and state-of-the-art facilities help you develop a unique range of skills and the ability to apply them in the professional world. Check out examples of student work, some of our successful graduates, Media Arts' Industry connections, all the latest news and events, and more.

Find Out More

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