Bachelor of Applied Arts

with majors in Visual Arts or Digital Arts

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Fees-free is available for eligible first-time tertiary learners. Find out if you’re eligible at

Cover: Drawing on Experience: Moving through landscape large scale drawings by artist Geoff Harris

Art has the power to change the world

Unleash your creativity, tell your story and generate new ideas through your study of art. Arts and creativity has the power to change the world – through new thinking, new behaviours, new expression and illustration and combination of ideas and action. The future of work will need creative, lateral-thinking problem solvers.
With NorthTec’s degree, you can see yourself exploring a range of medium, approaches and techniques to create your own style in communicating with the world.

  • Drawing            

  • Intermedia

  • Sculpture

  • Ceramics

  • Printmaking

  • Photography

  • Graphic design

  • Digital arts


Contribute to our future communities

Your voice can be heard. With the application of art and design theory and practice, NorthTec specialises in providing real time opportunities to engage with Te Tai Tokerau communities.  You will also have the opportunity to exhibit at the Geoff Wilson Gallery within our art precinct.  Arts and culture are a legacy and an enabler for all our future communities.

Be part of a constantly innovative, creative and vibrant community.  Share the unique cultural heritage and landscape of Te Tai Tokerau as art and design make our places thrive.

Endeavour Pinhole Photograph - Student work by Chris Dion

Endeavour Pinhole Photograph - Student work by Chris Dion

Express your art and language for life

Arts are a language – they are an expression of life and how we live. The arts provide the world with a universal language as a means towards understanding our history, culture and values.  Learn and live the art that opens windows for all to see we are just humans in one community.


Career opportunities

  • Exhibition Manager

  • Creative Director

  • Arts Coordinator

  • Event Manager

  • Advertising Manager

  • Graphic Designer

  • Film Producer

  • Illustrator

  • Sculptor

  • Art Auctioneer/Valuer

  • Photographer

  • Industrial Design

  • Product Packaging

  • Interior Design

Admission information 

All applicants must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age or over (unless an exemption has been granted) at the commencement of the programme; and

  • Have attained one of the following:

    • NCEA Level 3 with University Entrance; or

    • Successfully completed the New Zealand Certificate in Arts and Design, or an equivalent art/design qualification (60 credits at Level 4); or

    • Has proof of relevant experience equivalent to a Level 4 Art/ Design qualification; and

  • Submit a portfolio that shows skills in drawing and Art/ Design. The portfolio should demonstrate artistic ability in relevant art/ design practice. Including but not limited to: Photography/ Graphic Design/ Digital Media Arts and Design/ Sculpture/ Whakairo/ Raranga/Painting/ Printmaking/ Drawing

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must achieve an IELTS academic score of 6.0, with no band less than 5.5, or equivalent from a recognised alternative English proficiency test.

Courses in this programme

Bachelor of Applied Arts Electives and Pre-requisites

  • Year 1 - 75% electives must be major related each year to get endorsement of either Visual or Digital. Social Media in Practice (51086) is compulsory for the Digital Major

  • Year 2 - 50% electives must be major related each year to get endorsement of either Visual or Digital. It is recommended to complete a year one sculpture paper for the year 2 animation paper

Qualification gained

Bachelor of Applied Arts (Visual Arts) or Bachelor of Applied Arts (Digital Arts)

A Bachelor of Applied Arts is awarded when students have achieved 360 credits with a minimum of 120 credits at Level 5, a minimum of 120 credits at Level 6 and a minimum of 90 credits at Level 7. Plus gain credits for all core papers and meet all pre-requisite requirements for all papers; and meet attendance requirements as per Bachelor of Applied Arts regulations. Work experience, as part of course requirements, is compulsory. Other compulsory activities as part of course requirements include gallery set-ups, exhibitions and attendance at field trips.

Courses and programmes may be cancelled, postponed or have their content or configuration changed from time to time (including during the academic year) at the discretion of NorthTec. Fees are an indication, include GST and apply to domestic students only. View terms and conditions

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Applied Arts Tutors
Lisa Clunie - photograph by Maggie Chen
Lisa Clunie

Lisa exhibits her photographs regularly, both nationally and internationally, and works part-time as a photography and drawing tutor at NorthTec




Full time/Part time


3 years full time

Start Dates

Whangarei: July

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

Domestic: $7,279.20 (Year 1)

Student levy may apply

International: $19,760.00 (per year)

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
Enquire about this programme
NorthTec Arts
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