Art Schools in New Zealand

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Want to study art in New Zealand? This article contains a comprehensive list of education providers (such as universities, polytechnics, institutes of technology and private training establishments) that offer art and art-related courses for high school graduates in New Zealand. All of the schools listed here have been accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and offer approved qualifications, such as Masters, Bachelor Degrees, Diplomas and short courses in Fine Art, Architecture, Photography, 3D Design, Graphic Design, Game Design and other creative disciplines. This article also contains further information for international students and outlines what you might expect when enrolling to study an art-related qualification in New Zealand.

If you are choosing where to study, we recommend visiting the school websites below, requesting enrolment information and attending open days, to see if they are a good fit for you!

A list of New Zealand art, design and architecture schools

ANIMATION COLLEGE, Auckland

AORAKI POLYTECHNIC, Timaru, Christchurch, Ashburton, Dunedin, Oamaru and Aoraki

ARTMAKERS COMMUNITY ARTISTS TRUST, Hamilton

AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, Auckland

BAY OF PLENTY POLYTECHNIC, Tauranga

CANTERBURY SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS, University of Canterbury, Christchurch

CHRISTCHURCH POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Christchurch

COLLEGE OF CREATIVE ARTS, Massey University, Wellington and Palmerston North

DESIGN AND ARTS COLLEGE OF NEW ZEALAND, Christchurch

EASTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne

ELAM SCHOOL OF FINE ART, The University of Auckland, Auckland

HUNGRY CREEK ART AND CRAFT SCHOOL, Puhoi and North Shore

DIGITAL MEDIA SCHOOL, Lifeway College, Snells Beach

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Christchurch

MANUKAU INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Auckland

MEDIA DESIGN SCHOOL, Laureate International Universities, Auckland

NELSON MARLBOROUGH INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Nelson and Blenheim

NORTH TEC, Tai Tokerau Wananga, Whangarei, Kerikeri, Kaitaia and Rawene

OPEN POLYTECHNIC, Online

OTAGO POLYTECHNIC, Dunedin, Central Otago and Auckland

SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, The University of Auckland, Auckland

SCHOOL OF DESIGN, New Zealand School of Education, Auckland

SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING, The University of Auckland, Auckland

SOUTH SEAS FILM AND TELEVISION SCHOOL, Auckland

SOUTHERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Invercargill

TAI POUTINI POLYTECHNIC, Auckland, Christchurch, Greymouth, Hokitika, Reefton, Wanaka, Westport

THE LEARNING CONNEXION, Wellington

UNITEC INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Auckland

UNIVERSAL COLLEGE OF LEARNING, Palmerston North and Whanganui

UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO, Hamilton

VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON, Wellington

WAIARIKI INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Rotorua, Taupo, Tokoroa and Whakatane

WAIKATO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Hamilton

WELLINGTON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Wellington

WESTERN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, New Plymouth

WHITECLIFFE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND DESIGN, Auckland

WHITIREIA NEW ZEALAND, Porirua, Kapiti, and Auckland

YOOBEE SCHOOL OF DESIGN, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch

 

International Students: A Guide to Art Student Life in New Zealand

New Zealand is a beautiful country, situated in the lower Southern Hemisphere. Geographically isolated from the rest of the world, New Zealand maintains a rich culture, with a mix of Maori, European and Pacifica influence, along with pride for its clean, green environment and natural wonders. The climate offers warm summers, with temperatures of 20-30°C, ideal for taking advantage of the picturesque beaches, with mild winters around the 10-15°C range. If you are keen to experience all that New Zealand has to offer, there is a wide range of outdoor activities available, from surfing at the world renowned beaches to snowboarding on the pristine mountains. With breathtaking scenery and vast natural, untouched landscapes, New Zealand is the perfect setting to nurture your creativity.

Want to study art in New Zealand?
New Zealand art students often use the surrounding landscape as a source of inspiration. These photos show students from the Design and Arts College of New Zealand competing in a Sand Sculpture Competition as part of Orientation activities. Photo credit: Kyle Williams.

The above two photographs show students from the Design and Arts College of New Zealand creating sand sculptures on local beaches.

 

NCEA Level 3 Artwork (below) completed by Daniel Price from Lindisfarne College (Daniel’s work is also part of the Top Art exhibition touring New Zealand):

NCEA Level 3 Photography - golf theme
Art students often base their projects around personal interests or hobbies. For the keen exerciser or adventurist, there is the opportunity to combine a love of the outdoors with artistic pursuits. In this example, a high school student’s passion for golf has been used to create a contemporary photography submission.

 

A university architectural project by Amiria Robinson:

Thinking of studying Architecture in New Zealand?
Those who study Architecture in New Zealand often have stunning urban and rural sites to locate their theoretical projects, drawing from existing structures, patterns and organic forms.

 

New Zealand is similar in land mass to the UK, with a much smaller population of 4.3 million. Do not be fooled by the small size, however, as New Zealand qualifications that are well respected; the Legatum Institute in London recently rated New Zealand’s education system as number one in the world. With education providers all around the country equipped with state-of-the-art resources, you can live amongst the hustle and bustle of one of the main cities or find a piece of paradise to base yourself, putting yourself within easy driving distance of beaches, native bush or the magnificent Southern Alps.

An NCEA Level 3 Photography submission by Mitchell Slade, from John Paul College

A great New Zealand NCEA Art project
New Zealand has vast tracts of breathtaking forests and native bush. These raw and unflinching images are part of a dramatic high school photography project exploring the tracking and slaughtering of deer, with images taken during a family hunting trip.

 

An NCEA Level 3 Scholarship Photography project by Rosa Woods from Wakatipu High School

Thinking of studying Art in New Zealand?
Most New Zealanders have grown up within an arm’s reach of a lake or sea. These haunting images are the result of cutting a human silhouette from a photograph of lake Wakatipu and then rephotographing the image, so that the cut edge and its shadow become a permanent part of the final piece.

 

New Zealanders, colloquially known as ‘Kiwis’, are a friendly, welcoming people. As an international student, you will not be alone. There are around 90,000 international students studying in New Zealand, with this number predicted to increase in the future, creating a rich melting pot of cultures. This is particularly evident on campuses nationwide, where like-minded students come together from all corners of the earth, with a desire to learn. The Global Peace Index rates New Zealand as the fourth most peaceful country in the world, making it a great destination for students and providing a stress-free environment for you to study.

One of the many sculptures from Gibbs Farm

Huge cartoon-like steel sculpture by Neil Dawson
New Zealand is home to many fantastic outdoor sculptures and installations, such as Neil Dawson’s enormous welded and painted steel sculpture, ‘Horizons’. The scale of the napkin fluttering to earth can be gauged from the people standing at its foot – it is 36 metres in length! Attending sculpture trails can be a great way for students to understand how the New Zealand environment has shaped and inspired other artists before them.

For information about enrolling as an international student in New Zealand, we recommend that you research the visa and application requirements issued by the Ministry of Education and Immigration New Zealand. You may also wish to search Study in New Zealand for scholarships for international students.

If you found this resource helpful, you may also wish to read: 150+ Art Careers – the ultimate list!

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