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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

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.

Whitireia is proud to include in their programme Intensive Workshops (five day/one week, studio based workshops), where international and nationally renowned artists teach their unique skills. In 2008, award winning jewellers Warwick Freeman, Belinda Hager and Andrea Daly from New Zealand and Lisa Walker from Germany, held week long intensive workshops with the Whitireia students. In 2009, Octavia Cook, Renee Bevan, Spring Rees and Neke Moa also took intensives. 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.

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

A minimum of 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher made up of:

  • 14 credits in an approved level 3 or higher subject
  • 14 credits in a second approved level 3 or higher subject
  • 14 credits in no more than two other approved level 3 or higher subjects

  • 8 credits at level 2 or higher in English or te reo Māori with at least 4 credits in reading and 4 credits in writing
  • 4 credits at level 1 or higher in mathematics or Pāngarau

Discretionary Entrance for students under 20 years of age

  • Students under 20 who have NCEA credits at level 2 or higher but who do not meet the undergraduate degree requirements may apply for discretionary entrance.
  • Supporting recommendation from the applicant's school or workplace is also required. Each application will be assessed on its merits and entrance granted at the Dean's discretion.

Entry requirements for students 20 years of age and over

    • Students will have to either meet the academic undergraduate degree requirements or equivalent or provide evidence of success in recent tertiary level study at Level 4 or above.
    • Previous work and life experience will be taken into account for mature students. 
    Campus Starts on Duration
    Porirua 2015: 16 February One year, full-time

    Domestic Fees: $6,503

    International Fees: $19,950


    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.

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