WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$2,884 /year
Applications Begin:April 2021
Final Award:Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Start Date:February 2022
Academic Unit:Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture
Campus:Bunting Road Campus
Application Deadline: 30 September 2021
Programme Overview

The purpose of the BA (Visual Art) Degree is to develop students’ creative, imaginative and critical knowledge, skills and academic research capabilities to practice as artists within the domains of the visual-cultural industries, and/or to engage in postgraduate study in visual art.

The BA (Visual Art) Degree programme will equip students with a thorough knowledge of visual art practices, discourses, theories and research methodologies. The programme facilitates the creation of meaning through art; research within art history and criticism; contemporary artistic production; civic agency; visual identity and visual technologies.

The programme will focus on creative and critical thinking according to ethical and professional standards, in order to explore experimental, transformative and inter-disciplinary approaches to the making, reception and analysis of art within pan-African and international contexts.

In keeping with the University’s focus on promoting African scholarship, the BA (Visual Art) programme addresses the need for academically adept, discipline-sophisticated and civic-minded graduates who are able to respond to the challenges of visual culture in a globalized environment.

The programme is accessible to students in the Faculty of Humanities who wish to study Art History and Theory up to level three. The Department of Visual Art may recommend Visual Art students access to certain cognate modules offered in the Faculty of Humanities.


First Year

Art History and Theory 1A

Art History and Theory 1B Studio Practice 1

Drawing 1

New Media Studies 1A and

New Media Studies 1B

Second Year

Art History and Theory 2A

Art History and Theory 2B

Studio Practice 2

Drawing 2

Third Year

Art History and Theory 3A

Art History and Theory 3B

Studio Practice 3

Drawing 3

Admission Requirements

– Senior certificate or equivalent qualification with the minimum APS or M-score
– Attendance of an entrance assessment and submission of a portfolio at the assessment
– Completion of the National Benchmarking Test (NBT) for Academic and Quantitative Literacy (AQL)
Average Point Score (APS)
A minimum APS of 23 with Mathematics or 24 with Mathematical Literacy is required to apply for the programme.

Application Process
Application Fees for South African Students: $12
Application Fees for SADC and African Students: $12


Please note the following:

— No application fee will be charged for online applications.

— If you have previously applied and have a UJ student number, please call the UJ Call Centre (011 559 4555) to ensure that your cell number and email address are captured on our student database. This will ensure you receive a PIN number to complete the online application process.

An applicant must go to and select online web application.


Paper application forms are available on request at a fee of R200. Please note, there is no payment required for online applications.

NB: If you receive a conditional acceptance letter, your matric results will determine final admission into the programme you have applied for. Only then will you be allowed to register.

Candidates meeting the minimum requirements  for the BA (Visual Art) Degree will be invited to an entrance assessment opportunity comprising the following:

  • A portfolio submission including the two compulsory works as described overleaf
  • An interview
  • A written component

Portfolio Requirements

  • Your portfolio of artworks should consist of between 6 and 10 pieces of your best work. These may be drawings, paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures or good quality reproductions (photographs, or digital images on CD ROM).
  • All portfolios, as well as individual pieces of work, should be clearly labelled with your name and contact details. A note from your parent, guardian or teacher, verifying the authenticity of all your work, must accompany the portfolio.
  • At home, you must also complete two compulsory projects (See below) designed to assess your drawing ability, imagination, sensitivity to colour, proportion, design skills and a general ability to communicate visually.
  • These two compulsory projects will form part of your portfolio submitted at the entrance assessment and will help the department to assess your overall potential as a Visual Art student.

Project 1: Drawing of a wooden chair (approximately 1/2 – 3hrs to be completed at home)

  • Subject: Produce an accurate drawing of a wooden chair against a plain background. The whole chair must be represented.
  • Medium: Pencil on white cartridge paper.
  • Size: A2 (420mm x 594mm) in vertical format.
  • Consider the following:
  1. Do a number of sketches to explore the best composition before attempting the final drawing.
  2. Carefully consider the placement of the chair within the defined drawing area.
  3. Keep line work fresh and spontaneous.
  4. Ensure that the pencil is always sharp and use the eraser sparingly.
  5. Do not make use of mechanical drawing equipment such as rulers, compass sets, etc.
  6. Avoid large and illegible signatures – print your name in the lower right-hand corner.
  7. Be aware of the factors that will aid in rendering the form of the chair, such as light, shadow, background/foreground contrasts, texture and context.
  8. Remember that irrelevant detail and decorative pencil smudging will not improve a poorly constructed drawing.

Project 2: Self-portrait in colour (approximately 9 hrs to be completed at home)


  1. Produce a self-portrait with favourite objects using colour.
  2. The portrait must be naturalistically rendered but may also include expression.
  3. Any objects included in the composition should help to provide insight into your personality.
  4. The portrait should be the most important and largest visual element in the picture.

– Medium: Any water-based paint e.g. watercolour, poster paint or acrylics.
– Good quality cartridge paper or board may be used.
– Size: A2 (420 mm x 594 mm).
– The project will be assessed on drawing and painting skills, composition, sensitivity in the use of colour and imaginative interpretation of the theme.
NB: Submission of a portfolio must only take place once you have officially applied to the university and have been invited by the faculty to participate in the selection process.

Career Opportunities

Graduates could work in many areas of the visual art industries, including:
– Professional artist
– Art education and training
– Art gallery and museum curating and management
– Art consulting
– Arts writing
– Art criticism, research and journalism
– Printmaking and print studio management
– Paper-making and paper product design
– Community and arts project management
– Visual events management General and graphic novel illustration
– Aspects of digital photography, video production and editing

Tuition Fees Details
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Tuition Fees for South African Students: $2,884
Tuition Fees for SADC and African Students: $3,067

*The normal Tuition Fees for South African Students is R‭47,820‬

35% of the tuition fees need to be paid by April, and 100% by July.

All students must pay at least R3,870 before they begin their studies while students residing on campus will need to pay at least R6,470 before the begin.

*In addition to normal tuition fees, students from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries and other African Countries pay a non-refundable ICT levy, a registration fee, and a non-refundable international levy of R2,000.

*In addition to normal tuition fees, students from the rest of the world (outside Africa) pay a non-refundable ICT levy, a registration fee, plus a non-refundable international levy of R17,000

International Levy Amount:
-SADC & Africa – R2,000
-Rest of the World – R17,000

ICT Levy – R430
Registration Fee – R610

The SADC member countries are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

For International Students:
International Student Tuition Fees = Normal Tuition Fee (R‭47,820‬‬) + International Levy (R2,000) + ICT Levy (R430) +Registration Fee (R610) = R‭50,860‬
-an upfront payment of 30% of tuition fees should be paid at registration.
-then 35% of the tuition fees should be paid by next 30 April.
-and the final 35% of the tuition fees should be paid by 31 July.
The University will offer a 5% discount should all fees be paid at registration.
Fees generally increase between 5 and 15 percent per year. Please contact the University in December to obtain the approved fees for the 2021 academic year.

Relevant Contact

Prof. Karen van Keh
Head of Department
Mrs Elda Majola
Departmental Secretary