Design & Contemporary Arts

Ready to push the boundaries of creative practice and challenge conventional thinking? Unitec's Department of Design and Contemporary Arts can give you the skills, experience and guidance you need to realise your creative potential.

Studio practice is at the heart of all of our programmes. In studio, you'll spend many hours on project work where you develop your creative ideas and technical skills with the help of your tutors. You'll have access to digital labs, printmaking studios, darkrooms, photographic studios, metal, wood, glass and ceramics workshops. There'll also be opportunities to collaborate and exchange feedback with your fellow students, display your work at our student galleries on campus or at the end-of-year Grad Fest, and participate in a range of industry-based projects.

Thanks to our international artist in residence programme, you'll get to meet visiting creative practitioners from around the world too. In 2011 they included media and video artists from Taiwan, a sculptor and photographer from Russia, an animator from the USA, and a 3D designer from Slovakia. You can stay up-to-date with the line-up of national and international artists and designers at our snowhite gallery.

Our students and graduates are winning awards like the NZ Best awards, ECC Young Designer of the Year and the prestigious Glaister Ennor graduate art award. They're also fashioning careers in both local and international arenas: as animators, creative directors, curators, fine artists, graphic designers, furniture designers, interior designers, photographers and product designers. Some have even started innovative enterprises and developed their own art and design businesses.

We’re committed to helping every graduate find a great job. That’s why we’re introducing a new teaching model from 2014 with even more industry alignment. Industry professionals will work alongside expert teaching staff to deliver specific projects within a wide range of specialist areas. And from 2015 there will be some exciting new programmes in the mix too. Find out more about the changes.

Design and Contemporary Arts programmes 

If you're just starting out:

Bridgepoint foundation education programmes can get you ready to apply for certificate, diploma or degree level study. Find out more about Bridgepoint programmes on offer.

To prepare yourself for further study in design and contemporary arts:

If you’re interested in graphic design and animation:

 If you’re interested in interior design:

 If you’re interested in photography or printmaking:

 If you’re interested in product and furniture design:

 If you’re interested in visual arts/fine arts (such as painting and sculpture):

Professional development for designers:


Last edited: 25 February 2014  

Programme Brochure
Graduate Profile
  • Amie Holman

    "I really like the learning environment at Unitec. Having access to ...