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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

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Master of Arts with Endorsements in Design, Music, Visual Arts and Communication

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024




This programme provides students with postgraduate study leading towards professional and higher academic practice. Students will learn within a research-focused learning environment, and will extend their domain of practice through research in their chosen area.

Students will extend their domain of practice through undertaking a body of sustained, independent research. This in-depth investigation is in the student's chosen area of communication, design, music or visual arts practice within a research-focused learning environment. The programme will prepare students for high level investigation of, and intervention within their chosen academic or professional field.

Masters students will receive supervision for both practical and theoretical components of their study. Additional supervision from both external representatives of a student's professional field and / or for students wishing to utilise Kaupapa Maori methodologies in their research are available. Students will have frequent formal and informal meetings and critiques with other staff and students to discuss their work, helping them to analyse, evaluate and articulate their research practice. The learning environment is supportive, positive, varied and active, encouraging input from staff and students equally.

Facilities in Media Arts are made available to students as determined by the nature and requirements of their project. Individual studio spaces, fabrication workshops and industry standard digital environments are provided for Masters students. Various test spaces, exhibition sites, tutorial and critique rooms are used for scheduled classes and for formative and casual review of work. Technical staff maintain the operation of facilities and equipment and are available to assist students in practical and logistical issues in their study.

What You'll Learn

You will study one module:

Research Project

This module is designed to allow you to advance and refine selected domains of visual arts, design or music practice through an extended research project. This research project consists of studio-based practice and a written dissertation. You are required to develop and implement a research methodology which synthesises and amplifies previous and concurrent experience. Research proposals are developed that account for your research project. These make reference to specialised bodies of contextual discourse and which test selected models of practice appropriate to your field of enquiry. Projects occur within a structured supervisory framework to facilitate the planning and implementation of original research and scholarship in your selected field.

Career/Further Opportunities

The Master of Arts provides pathways to further higher degrees or careers in the Arts, such as Professional Studio Artist, Musician, Sound Designer, Composer, Song Writer, Filmmaker, Digital Designer, Educator, Advertising Creative and Interactive Design, Advertising Creative, Copywriter, Freelance Journalist, Events Coordinator, Marketing Communications, Public Relations, Educator.

Graduates may be able to move into further tertiary study at Doctorate level.

Entry criteria

  • a Bachelor with Honours degree in a relevant field; or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in a relevant field with a minimum of a B grade average or equivalent; or
  • work related experience equivalent to a corresponding Bachelor with Honours degree. Candidates will be required to demonstrate a high order of knowledge of their principal subject of study, including analytic writing, and a disposition towards original research; or
  • a tertiary qualification (degree or diploma) completed in no less than three years, and have achieved sufficient standing as a practising artist, designer or musician, or in the field of communication. The Media Arts Postgraduate Programme Committee will determine whether the work submitted by applicant candidate in support of their application is of a standard equivalent to Bachelor with Honours degree level. Candidates will also be required to submit a curriculum vitae confirming they have achieved a substantial record of exhibitions, publications or performance in public venues or formats; or have gained professional experience, demonstrating advanced knowledge or performance, in their chosen specialisation; or
  • a corresponding Bachelor degree and have completed four or more years of successful art, design, music or communication teaching at tertiary or secondary level.

Candidates may be required to study a pre-requisite module in Research Methodology prior to admission should they not be able to demonstrate having acquired research skills to the appropriate level.

Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5, with no individual band score lower than 6.0; or TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) score of 79 (with a writing score of 21); TOEFL Paper-based Test (pBT) score of 590 (with an essay score of 5.5 TWE); Pearson Test of English (Academic) score of 58 with no band score lower than 50

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