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Bachelor of Maori Visual Arts

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Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree

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

Massey is the only university to offer degrees in Maori visual arts. The BMVA has a strong Maori 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 Maori 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 Maori art
  • development of your perceptual and conceptual skills
  • a cultural foundation for visual communication
  • interaction with the broader Maori 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 Maori, we have students of Pakeha 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.


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

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

Further study

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

Entry criteria

Students must have successful completion of a qualification equivalent to the New Zealand Year 13 - NCEA Level 3 University Entrance. International students need to check the equivalency of their secondary school qualification by reviewing the Academic Admission Requirements by Country.

To enter the Bachelor of Maori 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 programme
  • take part in an interview.

Students from a country where English is not the first language, must obtain a minimum English Language competency level.

  • IELTS score of 6.0 (no band less than 5.5)
  • TOEFL iBT score of 80 overall (min 19 in Writing)
  • PTE Academic score of 50 Overall (min 42 in communicative skills)
  • Cambridge English score of 169 overall and all bands 162 or better

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