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Diploma in Jewellery Design

Focus on design process and techniques of jewellery making in this programme. Develop your ideas about body adornment.    LEVEL 5

This programme is changing in 2017 to the New Zealand Diploma in Jewellery (Level 5), which is currently subject to NZQA approval. Please check back soon for updated programme content.

Programme Overview

Level 5 programme

The Diploma in Jewellery Design focuses on jewellery techniques and design, in particular contemporary design and making, and is an exit quaification from the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Visual Arts and Design).

Areas of study combine specialist jewellery techniques and studio practice with Visual Arts Level 5 units in design, art history, communication and business to equip you with a practical knowledge of design, materials, techniques and skills in producing jewellery.

The programme includes week-long studio-based intensive workshops where international and nationally renowned artists teach their unique skills. Jewellers who have taken intensives include Warwick Freeman, Belinda Hager, Andrea Daly, Lisa Walker, Octavia Cook, Renee Bevan, Spring Rees and Neke Moa. Additionally, we host a number of lectures from renowned visiting artists and experts during the academic year.

See examples of student work on the Jewellery page of the Whitireia Media gallery or PDF versions of past jewellery exhibition catalogues.



Study contemporary jewellery 


Programme Outline

Learning new techniques and developing ideas is spread over four terms:

Term one students explore parts of the extended jewellery discourse, including drawing, introductory techniques, and a research project. ‘The ring’ is the main focus and by the end of the term, students have produced a well developed ring or series of rings, finished to a professional standard. The students then design and organise a group exhibition showing these pieces.

Term two is exploratory, with a special focus on different metal and non metal materials, exploring design processes, surface techniques; such as enamelling, colouring, etching and texturing, finishing techniques; including brooch clasps and other findings, two gift exercises and a second group exhibition.

Term three focuses on extending techniques (eg stone cutting and setting, hollow form workshop - in particular box making) and a research project that is based on the student’s origins (which also continues in term 4).

Term four concentrates on implementing the research project by producing work to be exhibited in a public gallery. The site for the exhibition is Pataka Museum, Porirua.  For the last five years the jewellery students from all three levels have produced their own well developed and professionally printed catalogue as a way to promote themselves.

This course offers students a great set of skills in an environment where both the fellow students and staff are encouraging and supportive, and where creative people can collaborate and develop to their full potential.

All staff are professionally engaged in their own studio practice, and it is true to say "they are what they teach".

Hours, extra costs, facilities

The basic materials and consumables are provided with a total maximum cost of $200 per term.

Our jewellery studio has recently been refurbished and we have a well equipped, professional workshop with all the tools students require.

The Whitireia library has an impressive collection of up to date specialist jewellery books and magazines, as well as a great selection of both art and contextual books.

Whitireia offers extensive extracurricular support with the goal of providing a positive learning environment for all students.​

Entry Requirements

Whitireia Degree Requirements


NCEA Level 3 awarded, with at least three approved subjects of 14 credits each at Level 3

Literacy: 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing (from NZQA specified list)

Numeracy: 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of specified achievement standards or unit standards 26623, 26626, 26627 (all three required)




A minimum of 72 credits at Level 2 including a minimum of 14 credits in each of four subjects and a minimum of 30 credits with merit or excellence, including degree entry standards for numeracy and literacy

International Baccalaureate (IB): award of the full IB Diploma (24 points or higher), including English A1 at either Higher or Standard Level and any mathematics subject

Cambridge International Examination (CIE)

A minimum of 120 points on the UCAS Tariff at A or AS level; including grade D or better in at least three subjects (from the NCEA approved list); minimum grade E in AS English and minimum grade D in IGCSE mathematics or any mathematics passed at AS level

Alternative entry

Evidence of successful completion of high school studies overseas or recent tertiary study at Level 4 and/or relevant work experience (paid or unpaid); application considered on a case-by-case basis with entry granted at the discretion of the Faculty Dean

English language competence

Minimum IELTS 6.0 (no lower than 5.5 in any band), or equivalent

Campus Starts on Duration
Porirua 2017: 13 February One year, full-time

Domestic Fees: $6,852

International Fees: $19,950 NZD


Entry Requirements

Domestic students

Whitireia degree entry requirements - (See Full Course Details); evidence of suitability based on interview and portfolio

International students

Proven equivalence to domestic entry requirements and IELTS 6.0 (no band lower than 5.5)


Career Opportunities:

Graduates can move on to the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Level 6), allowing the possibility of a further two years study to degree level, with jewellery as a speciality.

Related Careers

Related Areas of Interest

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