Career possibilities: As a graduate, you will be well-prepared for employment as an artist, gallery assistant, teaching assistant, community arts programmer and community arts educator. You will have the skills to pursue a career in painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramics, illustration, video, film and more.
NIC’s fine arts program offers a career-focused education that fosters strong problem solving, critical thinking, research and studio practice skills. You will develop critical and theoretical skills in a broad range of mediums encompassing traditional, interdisciplinary and digital arts practice.
NIC’s well-equipped studios and unique setting has extensive resources, both physical and human, to inspire your imagination, allowing you to experiment with different mediums and express yourself individually.
Study in one of the best facilities in BC. NIC's studios are outfitted with up-to-date equipment and technology and many of the instructors maintain national and international practices. Trees, mountains and beautiful natural settings surround the Comox Valley campus and outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking are easily accessible as you learn to define who you are as an artist.
Beginning with fundamentals, for studio-based practice, you will build a comprehensive knowledge of materials, theory and exhibition for a contemporary visual culture. You will learn creative and critical thinking, as well as the hands-on techniques and skills necessary for artistic expression.
At NIC, you will have many opportunities to diversify your talents and explore a variety of mediums such as ceramics, printmaking, photography, sculpture, digital media, drawing and painting. Through a study of art history, you will explore the evolution of visual culture. NIC's creative environment will motivate you to experiment, explore and discover new methods of personal expression. You will be challenged to see the world around you from different perspectives and interpret those experiences originally and creatively.
If you are interested in taking a fine arts course, but do not wanting to apply to the fine arts program, there are often spaces available. Although course spaces are first allocated to program registrants, university studies program students are welcome to select fine arts courses and do not need to submit a portfolio of works to do so. Community members can also sign up to enjoy a fine arts course by registering as a part-time university studies student. For more information, contact an NIC educational advisor.
Your Fine Arts diploma will prepare you to launch your career or transfer to degrees at UVic, VIU or at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
After graduation, you will have conceptual and technical knowledge to apply your skills in a wide range of employment opportunities in the knowledge-based creative economy. You will have a strong contextual understanding of the visual arts across multiple disciplines to successfully pursue a career in painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramics, curating, art education, art therapy, community arts programming, industrial design, exhibit design, fashion, interior design, illustration, theatre, set design, video, film and more.
Transfer your NIC fine arts courses for credit in the ACAD's Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Design
Complete your NIC Fine Arts diploma with an average of C (2.0) or higher) including first and second year liberal studies courses outlined below to be considered for admission to Year 3 of ACAD's Bachelor of Fine Arts degree on the basis of their academic standing and a portfolio review.
As an NIC transfer student you will be given the same priority admission as continuing ACAD students when applying to:
Guarantee your admission to Emily Carr's Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (Critical and Cultural Practices)
Complete your NIC Fine Arts diploma with a cumulative 3.0 GPA (B average) or higher to be automatically accepted into year three of Emily Carr’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (Critical and Cultural Practices) degree. If your cumulative GPA is between 2.0 and 2.99 you will be considered for admission to year three of the BFA on the basis of your academic standing and a portfolio review.
Transfer up to 63 credits. Complete your NIC Fine Arts diploma with a cumulative 2.0 GPA (C average) or higher to be considered for admission to the following programs on the basis of your academic standing and a portfolio review. Note that these programs have competitive entry and therefore your portfolio should reflect work that is consistent with your intended major.
Transfer Seamlessly to UVic's Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) or UVic's Bachelor of Arts (Art History and Visual Studies).
With dual admission you can secure a seat in UVic's Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) or Bachelor of Arts (Art History and Visual Studies). With dual admission you can study for up to two years at NIC while working toward UVic's BFA in Visual Arts or UVic's BA in Art History and Visual Studies.
With guaranteed admission you can secure admission to UVic based on your grades at NIC rather than your high school transcripts. Complete your NIC Fine Arts diploma with a cumulative 2.0 GPA (C average) or higher to be guaranteed admission to UVic's Bachelor of Arts (Art History and Visual Studies)
Transfer your NIC fine arts courses for guaranteed credit in VIU's Bachelor of Arts (Visual Art)
Complete two years (60 credits) of your NIC Fine Arts Diploma with a cumulative 2.0 GPA (C average) or higher to be considered for admission to year three of VIU's Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts) on the basis of your academic standing and a portfolio review. As an NIC transfer student, you will be given the same priority registration as continuing VIU students.
Each degree pathway has its own unique deadlines, portfolio requirements, course prerequisites and transfer requirements.
Portfolio submission deadline is the last week in March for a review that takes up to two weeks. Depending on the number of applicants, a second review may take place in May. Portfolios for the second review will be accepted during the last week of April. An admission essay is to be included with the portfolio submission. Drop off portfolios, along with your admission essay, directly to Student Services at the Comox Valley campus.
The Portfolio of Works is your opportunity to present yourself to the portfolio review committee. Since all portfolio submissions are eligible for scholarship consideration submitting a strong portfolio can be of enormous benefit. For a strong presentation, prepare and submit a portfolio of your works based on the following guidelines:
Submissions may include working studies, research, or technical explorations to illustrate your personal interests and directions. These can be self-initiated works as well as works assigned to you as projects. You should submit your best and most recent work that represents your personal interests and your abilities.
The portfolio committee is looking for demonstrated abilities within a variety of areas, an open, exploratory attitude, energy and a commitment that is consistent with the intense nature of this two-year program.
State in a brief essay, of one typed page, your reasons for wanting to attend NIC’s Fine Arts program. You should discuss the experiences you bring to the college or the reasons that have led you to apply. You may also discuss the skills and information that you hope to gain, where your education might lead, and where you find inspiration or how you presently relate to the world.
It should be understood that the admissions essay is not used to determine your suitability for the program, rather it provides the committee with information that may enhance or contribute to our understanding of your portfolio.
Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC’s supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more
For international language requirements click here.
Fine arts and design students at NIC are dedicated as well as creative. Course work is intense and requires focused effort and commitment.
If you are in the program full time, you will be in class for 22 hours per week with homework and extra studio time requiring almost that amount of time again. You will be challenged to see the world around you from different perspectives and are invited to interpret those experiences originally and creatively.
We encourage you to do much more than simply complete assignments. There is an expectation that you will push the limits and bring more to your assignments than is being asked of you.
Note: FIN-110 is a prerequisite or co-requisite for all 100- and 200-level Fine Arts courses except FIN-100 and 101.
plus 2 courses from the following list:
All students will be required to take:
plus 2 courses from:
plus 2 of the following courses:
plus 2 English courses from the following:
Students who are enrolled in the dual admission program with Emily Carr will select from these English courses.
Students who do not intend on continuing to the Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr at NIC can select from the above English courses, plus
As a full-time student:
A student must complete the program within two years of acceptance.
As a part-time student:
A student must complete the program within four years of acceptance.
Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.
While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.
Masters of Fine Art, Combined Media, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK (1997)
Master of Fine Arts, Visual Arts, (York University, 2005)