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Otago Polytechnic
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Postgraduate Certificate in Visual Arts

This course is available


Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma


6 months

Next start date



Advance your art study without committing to a lengthy qualification.

If you are seeking initial engagement in postgraduate research, this full-time, one semester Postgraduate Certificate in art is for you and will allow you to study in a structured learning environment. A postgraduate qualification in the Visual Arts can lead to an exciting and diverse range of professions and the skills you develop are transferable to a wide variety of employment situations. Use this programme as a bridge into further postgraduate studies to increase your career prospects; successful completion of this qualification will allow you to staircase into the second semester of the Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts.

Embrace the opportunity to develop and produce a body of critically-engaged studio work and to write a set essay on an aspect of related research methodology. Enjoy the chance to work within Otago Polytechnic's nationally unique range of workshop facilities and benefit from the Dunedin School of Art's focus on individual supervision and student-centred learning, supported by an active community of artists, to enhance professional development.

Further Study Options

If you enjoy this programme and want to continue your study after successfully completing it, you can transfer into the second semester of our Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts (another six months of study). Alternatively, if you achieve an overall grade of B (70%) or higher, you’ll meet the minimum academic entry requirements for our Master of Visual Arts (another year of study).

Skills required

  • The ability to think laterally and independently.
  • Motivation and a good work ethic.
  • Confidence and the ability to accept criticism.
  • Adaptability and open mindedness.

You will study

Further develop your undergraduate experience of the history and contemporary conventions of your chosen field, within appropriate learning contexts at a postgraduate level. Create a systematic proposal supported by studio evidence that forecasts a projected exhibition project. Your proposal will be reinforced by relevant research methodologies.

Qualification structure

This semester-long study includes course work on research methodologies with the completion of a 2,000 word essay relevant to a body of critically-engaged studio work.

Entry criteria

You must have completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Level 7) OR equivalent qualification at a bachelor's level, OR any other undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline.

Exceptional applicants not meeting the entry requirements but with appropriate documented professional experience may also be considered.

Selection for admission includes an interview. If you do not hold the above qualifications, you must demonstrate appropriate ability through a portfolio and associated writings which will be approved by the Postgraduate Admissions Committee.

International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet the entry requirements.

If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in any band.

TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT): Score of 590 (with an essay score of 5.5 TWE)

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT): Score of 79 (with a writing score of 21)

Cambridge English Qualifications: C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a score of 176. No less than 169 in each skill;

PTE (Academic) score of 58 with no band score lower than 50

Language Certificate: C1 Expert IESOL (LRWS) with HIGH PASS and no less than Pass in each skill or C2 Mastery IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill

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