Change the world

Art and Design

The new Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) degree at NMMU is a one-of-a-kind qualification for South Africa and offers aspiring artists and designers the chance to pursue their dreams in the visual arts. The rigour and support offered by an intimate learning environment, provided by the oldest art school in the country; the School of Music, Art and Design, and underpinned by the only foundation programme that leads to degrees in Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, Graphic Design and Photography, is what makes this programme special. 

The generic foundation year (BVA first year) is the keystone that supports creative, intellectual and skill development whilst exposing students to a broad range of learning opportunities, sampled from the four discipline streams. By the time second year comes along students have explored widely and have developed awareness of the interconnected nature of learning pathways in art and design. The shift into the appropriate discipline stream is therefore an informed decision, carefully considered and based on individual aptitude.

Besides the obvious skills and knowledge required for an art or design practitioner, the programme also encompasses understanding of culture and complexity in South Africa, the role of creative people as opinion formers and the importance of interdisciplinary development. To further these ideals, liberal arts inputs from philosophy, cultural studies and psychology, among others, provide a basis for the exchange of ideas and the understanding of one’s role as a change agent in broader society.

The curriculum of the BVA was created specifically to provide students with sound and rich academic development, the building of vocational and crafting skills and to allow for solid exposure to entrepreneurial practice. Moreover, engagement with industry professionals and collaborative projects with sister institutions and organisations maintain a freshness and real-world exposure to the future working world of our graduates. Through exhibitions of work, fashion shows and events, participation in competitions and on-campus exchanges students face creative, cultural and professional challenges.

Significantly, the BVA is the platform upon which graduates are able to grow as academics towards postgraduate study and research or as professionals and self-styled entrepreneurs. Whether it is Fine Art, Fashion and Textiles, Graphic Design or Photography, the BVA is the best formative opportunity for a future in the visual arts.