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Bachelor of Fine Arts

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Mar 2025


University of Auckland


Find your voice at Elam School of Fine Arts and secure the skills you'll need to develop a meaningful creative practice.

Programme overview

Artists are storytellers, change-makers, disruptors and creators who shape our culture and enrich our society.

At Elam, you will develop skills in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and entrepreneurship. These skills will prepare you to make an impact in businesses and other organisations, in all areas of the creative industries and in the wider community.

The BFA gives you the freedom to bring your ideas to life by exploring, researching, and experimenting in a wide range of creative mediums and technologies. Our teachers and specialist technicians will support and guide your making, allowing you to refine your skills and produce artworks of high calibre.

Browse contemporary art projects by our Fine Arts students.

You can also study the BFA alongside another discipline as part of a conjoint degree, which means you can take two undergraduate programmes at the same time. You can do a conjoint with Advanced Science (Honours), Arts, Commerce, Communication, Design, Engineering (Honours), Global Studies, Health Sciences, Law (including Law (Honours), Music or Science.

Programme structure

Because our programme is flexible, you'll build a pathway of study that feels right for you. But whatever you choose, you'll learn in three key areas:

Creative artistic practices

Research themes

Creative careers

Study in these three areas makes up your artist toolkit and sets you up for a lifetime of creative thinking and making.

While studying, you'll have opportunities to explore a range of practices such as art writing; ceramics; curatorial practices; digital media; drawing; installation; moving image; nga toi taketake; painting; performance art; photography; print sculpture; social and public art; sound art and more.

In your final year, you will complete a capstone fine arts project and associated research essay.

The broad structure of the programme is:

Seven core courses: FINEARTS 110, 111, 112, 113, 320, 321, 322 (165 points)

Two elective courses from FINEARTS 220–236 (30 points)

Two elective courses from FINEARTS 240–250 (60 points)

Two General Education courses (30 points)

Additional elective courses from this degree (up to 75 points)

Additional elective courses from other bachelors degrees (up to 45 points)

Where could this programme take you?

Businesses and organisations hire creatives to address challenges, discover opportunities and bring new possibilities to life. The job market is constantly changing, and the diversity of career opportunities available to graduates is growing. Success as a creative practitioner extends beyond the world of contemporary art, with graduates finding employment in advertising, communication design, marketing, fashion, filmmaking, architecture, business, journalism and many more areas.

Jobs related to this programme

Art Director


Creative Project Lead

Creative Strategist



Visual Designer


Further study options

Master of Fine Arts

Doctor of Fine Arts

Doctor of Philosophy

Entry criteria

Secondary school qualifications

You need to have one of the following:

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum total score of 24.
  • General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level. You must have completed a minimum of three A-Level subjects.

GCE ‘A’ Level requirements apply to ‘A’ Level qualifications examined by bodies such as AQA, OCR, Edexcel, WJEC, CCEA and Pearson Education Limited taken outside of New Zealand.

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). You must have completed a minimum of three A-level subjects.

IELTS (Academic): Overall score of 6.0 and no bands below 5.5; Internet based TOEFL (iBT): Overall score of 80 and a written score of 21; Paper-based TOEFL: Overall score of 60 and a writing score of 21; Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE), Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE): Overall score of 169 and no bands below 162; Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP): Grade of C-; Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: Overall score of 50 and no PTE Communicative score below 42; Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 80.

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