Master of Fine Arts in fine arts

The design/art MFA is the College of Creative Arts' premier postgraduate qualification for practising designers and artists. The MFA emphasises the production of original creative work that is research-driven, critically engaged, expertly realised and highly innovative. 

How do I benefit?

An MFA from the College of Creative Arts offers:

  • fresh Pacific perspectives within a globally-connected programme
  • the only MFA outside North America to follow the internationally-recognised US model
  • study in Wellington, the coolest little capital in the world
  • unique creative retreats to regional New Zealand
  • self-directed research where transdisciplinary conversations and highly focused subject-specific investigations are open to you
  • easy access to art and design researchers on staff for supervision and mentoring
  • a warm, friendly, high-achieving peer learning community
  • a strong programme of visiting designers, artists and critics (international and local, eg Pasifika artists in residence)
  • international study tours
  • individual studio space configured to suit your needs
  • comprehensive technical expertise and facilities, including an industry-scale green screen studio and Australasia’s first Fab Lab
  • extensive opportunities to exhibit or present work across a diverse range of galleries, spaces and media.

Schedule and application deadlines

Massey offers two ways to do the MFA:

  • Full-time: on campus in Wellington, including postgraduate studio space on site. This takes two years.
  • Low residency: come to Wellington for four intensive one-week blocks per year, with mentoring and supervision in your creative practice by distance. This will take three to four years. The blocks coincide with school holidays. 

The MFA starts with the “Grad Camp” intensive block in the last week of January.

Application deadline for all MFA candidates: November 15 (January start). Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis.


A full-time MFA study load is 120 credits per year. Low residency students generally enrol in 60 credits per year.

The MFA courses are:
197.821 Postgraduate Studio and Seminar (60 credits)
197.822 Thesis Project Preparation (60 credits)
In these courses, students generate and present an advanced body of exploratory work directed towards the articulation of their thesis project. They engage with current ideas, historical precedents, critical perspectives and contexts, pushing their creative practice.
197.811 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 (60 credits)
197.812 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 (60 credits)
The thesis is a studio-based programme of research that results in a significant body of creative work, presented through exhibition, and an exegesis.


CoCA Yellow Book 2018        Your Guide To Creative Arts 2019

  • Where can I go from here?

    The Massey MFA is based on the US model and is the only MFA outside North America to be officially recognised by the US National Association of Schools of Art and Design. It is widely recognised - not only in North America but also in Asia, South and Central America and parts of Europe. MFA graduates go on to diverse careers in the private and public sectors, including design, technology, business, fine art, writing and education.

  • Key facts

    Due date: November 15. Late applications are being accepted subject to available spaces.
    Suitable for: designers and artists with a good Honours degree or equivalent.
    Fees: $6,770.70 - $8,793.70 (indicative full-time), domestic students (further fees information here).
    Location: Wellington
    Full-time: two years
    Part-time option: yes