New Zealand Education - Think New Logo


University of Canterbury
University of Canterbury logo

Master of Fine Arts in Painting

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree

Next start date



The Master of Fine Arts provides a development opportunity for students who have an interest in establishing themselves as professional artists or scholars, or career designers, film makers or photographers. This master's encourages participants to explore the latest trends, develop their own ideas, and build their confidence in the public realm.

The Ilam School of Fine Arts provides opportunities to gain valuable exhibition experience through an ongoing professional relationship with the Christchurch Art Gallery. There is also an artist-in-residence programme and the School enjoys a busy schedule of visiting international artists who share their expertise with postgraduate students.

MFA students document all their work and are expected to exhibit their work publicly at the conclusion of their degree.

Advancing courses in Painting begin with project work specifically designed to introduce students to painting, the rationale which lies behind the medium and the basic formal issues which guide it. Advanced studies are conducted through personally constructed courses of study and founded on clearly defined teaching and learning agreements. These agreements are subject to constant monitoring by lecturers and to critical review. These agreements help students to become aware of, and to locate, the areas of their greatest interest.

Students are also encouraged to develop effective and appropriate forms of critical discourse about their own work, the work of other students and of current art practice in general.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate Fine Arts study at UC exposes students to many facets of the art world outside of university. It helps to build an artist's confidence, and preparation for the exciting and open-ended career of a professional artist.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Entry criteria

You will need to have completed:

  • a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours or equivalent degree with good grades in relevant subjects or
  • significant professional practice or teaching experience.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

Applicants submit a proposal outlining the direction their practice will take for that year to Ilam School of Fine Arts. These can be made at any time.

Studying in NZ

Register nowSign in

Share this course

Share this course