Programme list > Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts

Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts


Tihei Mauri Ora!

Unique to Massey University, the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts encompasses contemporary Māori art, Māori language, Māori culture, and tikanga.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Manawatū
  • Credits

  • 480
  • Duration

  • 4 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • Other

  • Selected entry programme

Note: This programme may have an on-campus or in-person requirement and therefore requires that students submit a current My Vaccine Pass on enrolment.

Massey is the only university to offer degrees in Māori visual arts. The BMVA has a strong Māori kaupapa, with te reo, tikanga, and manaakitanga at its core.

At Toioho ki Apiti we recognise that language, culture, tikanga and art are inseparable. We cater for all levels of proficiency in te reo, and you can learn at the rate that’s right for you.

The Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts (BMVA) will provide you with:

  • a culturally based education in design
  • two and three-dimensional art theory and making
  • discussion on art issues relating to the development of Māori art
  • development of your perceptual and conceptual skills
  • a cultural foundation for visual communication
  • interaction with the broader Māori community through exhibitions and community programmes.

Over time you will develop your own art practice that is deeply grounded in your culture.

As well as Māori, we have students of Pākehā and international indigenous heritage who want to explore a kaupapa-driven approach to contemporary art.

Toioho ki Apiti has a strong relationship with the Te Manawa gallery in Palmerston North. The gallery regularly hosts exhibitions of work by students, staff and alumni. We also offer opportunities to visit art galleries, museums and cultural events in other centres.

Get the full picture

Visit the Toi Rauwhārangi website.

Careers and further study


The Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts can lead to a number of rewarding and interesting careers:

  • teaching Māori art at secondary or tertiary levels
  • gallery work
  • museum work
  • work in design-related industries
  • work in iwi and Māori cultural development
  • work as an artist.

Further study

Explore your personal practice and critical engagement with Toi Māori further with the Postgraduate Diploma in Māori Visual Arts or the Master of Māori Visual Arts.  

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.   

To enter the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts you will need to:

  • provide a portfolio of your work, in the form of slides, photos or actual artworks
  • provide a statement (of around 100 words) of why you want to join the BMVA programme
  • take part in an interview.

Application closing date

If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this programme close on 30 November 2021.

Late applications are welcome.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Other requirements

Portfolio requirements

The portfolio requirement has the following options:

Portfolio pre-approval entry: You can show work in progress to a Massey College of Creative Arts staff member during a school visit, Massey Open Day or other University event, or video call. They’ll look at examples of your work with you and if it shows the creative potential we’re looking for, they’ll sign a portfolio pre-approval letter. Then you won’t need to submit a final portfolio with your application.

Portfolio entry: Submit a portfolio showing a selection of your creative work that demonstrates your creative potential with your application to study.

See more information about portfolios and how to arrange a portfolio pre-approval session.

Selection interview

Once we have received your application, we will invite you to an interview so that we can get to know you better. Although your academic history is important we also look at and consider your:

  • creative ability
  • commitment to Māori creative expression
  • commitment to Māori art and scholarship
  • maturity
  • communication skills

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

480 credits

  • Part One compulsory courses – 90 credits
  • Part One electives from the Part One of the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Part Two compulsory courses – 90 credits
  • Part Two electives from Part Two of the Schedule – 30 credits
  • Part Three compulsory courses – 120 credits
  • Part Four compulsory studio courses – 120 credits

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

Courses for this programme

Part One (At least 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses

90 credits
150106 Nga Hanga Whakairo: Traditional Māori Visual Art 15
150107 Mata Puare: Studio IA 30
150108 Mata Puare: Studio IB 45

Plus either

300110 Te Reo Whakahoahoa: Socialising in Te Reo 15


300111 Te Reo Kōnakinaki: Developing Te Reo 15

Elective courses: Any one of the following courses or another course approved by the Head of School

146101 Understanding Cultural Difference 15
150114 He Tirohanga Taketake: Māori Perspectives 15
154101 Introduction to Media Studies 15

Part Two (At least 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses

90 credits
150206 Ngā Momo Whakairo: Contemporary Māori Visual Art 15
150207 Mata Oho: Studio IIA 30
150208 Mata Oho: Studio IIB 45

Plus either

300111 Te Reo Kōnakinaki: Developing Te Reo 15


300210 Te Reo Kōrerorero: Discussing in Te Reo 15

Elective courses: Any one of the following courses or another course approved by the Head of School

139362 Oceanic Literatures of Aotearoa: Ngā Tuhinga Kōrero o te Moana nui a Kiwa 15
148309 The New Zealand Wars 15
150303 Mana Wahine: Māori Women 15

Part Three (At least 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses

105 credits
150201 Te Kawenata o Waitangi: The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand Society 15
150307 Mata: Studio IIIA 30
150308 Mata: Studio IIIB 60


300210 Te Reo Kōrerorero: Discussing in Te Reo 15

Note, if 300.210 has already been passed, a course approved by the Head of School

Part Four (120 credits)

Compulsory courses

120 credits
150407 Matatau: Studio IVA 60
150408 Matatau: Studio IVB 60

Planning your programme

Planning overview

The BMVA is divided into three main areas:

  • Studio (this is the practical and the largest component dealing with two and three-dimensional art practice)
  • Māori visual arts (art history)
  • Māori language.

The degree is made up of four years as follows:

Year One

Year One of the degree gives a basic introduction to the theory of customary Māori art practice, Māori language, two and three-dimensional studio practice, and electives. In studio practice, students are introduced to Māori concepts and research into Māori concepts. Overall, the year lays the foundation for development of contemporary Māori art.

Year Two

Year Two brings a higher level of technical and conceptual awareness in studio practice with a stronger emphasis on research. Te reo Māori is also continued at a higher level and the art theory courses support the development of concepts in studio practice.

Year Three

Year Three concentrates on contemporary issues and research, closer observation of contemporary Māori art developments and encourages the implementation of thematic approaches to art production. Language study continues. An exhibition for studio work is held towards the end of the second semester.

Year Four

Year Four is devoted to studio practice. Independent work on approved projects using a variety of media is encouraged. The focus for practical work is on an end-of-year public and external exhibition.

See all the courses for your degree in the Yellow Book.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • want to explore what it means to be Māori today and seek a supportive whānau environment for learning
  • want to express your identity through art and enjoy making and thinking creatively
  • want to be mentored by respected contemporary Māori artists.

Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

Art & Design QS Ranking

Massey University's College of Creative Arts is ranked as one of the Top 100 art and design schools in the world by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds).

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships