Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design

Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, established in 1982 and located in Auckland, is an award-winning, specialist in tertiary arts and design education. Internationally-recognised programmes at certificate, degree, postgraduate diploma and masters levels are offered in fine arts; photo media; fashion design; graphic design; arts management and arts therapy. Whitecliffe delivers contemporary and internationally relevant programmes taught by practising artists, designers, educators and researchers. Our vibrant community of 480 students is exposed to the contemporary arts and design world through exhibitions, internships, international guests and industry professionals. Students develop creative and critical thinking, research, communication and presentation skills. Independence, creativity and risk-taking are strongly encouraged in all programmes from certificate to postgraduate level. Whitecliffe has won the Eden Arts Art Trust Award as the top art school in Auckland in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Our graduates are recognised by industry and other leading arts and design institutions as being highly-skilled, creative and articulate arts and design practitioners

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Subject overview: Fine arts

Whitecliffe fine arts graduates create compelling and powerful visual expressions of their ideas. By understanding and operating within the ever-expanding field of visual art, they learn to adapt quickly, think critically, and lead in shaping contemporary culture. We explore traditional and contemporary materials, techniques and approaches and engage with the various aspects of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, video, digital media and spatial activation. Special topics classes and workshops are offered throughout each year, focusing on areas such as moving image and 3-D installation. All students have individual studio spaces

Subject overview: Photo media

Whitecliffe photo media graduates are creative, articulate and technically skilled image-makers with a clear understanding of industry standards and the vision and self-belief for effective communication in the contemporary environment. Core studies include both analogue and digital technologies, with an emphasis on the digital workflow, colour management and advanced understanding of lighting techniques. Workshops focus on larger formats of photography and introduce lighting techniques, production of time-based (moving) and sound works. Access is provided to specialist lenses, cameras, sound equipment and high-end moving image equipment. 

Subject overview: Fashion design

Whitecliffe fashion design graduates think creatively, take risks and have a high level of technical skill. They are innovators with a personal vision who build careers as highly respected professionals within the fashion industry. They learn tailoring skills in patternmaking and garment construction, design and concept development, research, pattern drafting and garment construction, fashion technology, fabric manipulation, tailoring, fashion history, theory and illustration, and professional practices. Whitecliffe provides access to WGSN, a Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design leading global fashion trend forecasting website. Sustainability practices and natural dyeing are encouraged. Students intern at New Zealand Fashion Week working alongside local designers and international buyers.

Subject overview: Graphic design

Our graphic design graduates are thinking practitioners with an understanding of both contemporary practice and traditional mythologies of graphic design. Their broad technical skills mean they are well equipped to explore and articulate a diverse range of visual outcomes for design projects, which makes them much sought after. Students explore both traditional and digital media and engage in research, problem solving and visual communication. Tuition across a range of industry standard software is balanced with hands-on projects in illustration, photography and printmaking. Students experiment with print design, web design, motion graphics, brand identity, art direction, corporate communications, design theory, packaging design and advertising.

Whitecliffe programmes of study Bachelor of Fine Arts

The BFA is available to study in fine arts; graphic design; photo media or fashion design. It includes courses in business studies, management studies, PR and marketing to ensure students have a smoother transition from study to work. All students undertake a mandatory internship. 

Postgraduate course options

  • Master of fine arts
  • Postgraduate diploma in arts management
  • Master of arts in arts management
  • Postgraduate diploma in arts therapy
  • Master of arts in arts therapy (clinical)

Foundation certificates

  • Certificate in arts and design
  • Certificate in digital media and design

These are entry-level courses of 18 weeks with July and February intakes each year. Both allow students to build a professional portfolio that can be used to support degree level study in New Zealand or internationally.

International student applications

Each application is assessed on a case by case basis. All applicants are interviewed (international student interviews can be conducted by Skype or telephone). A portfolio of work is required (this can be submitted in digital format if overseas). 

Subject Areas Offered

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