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Visual Arts

The Ceramics course begins with the Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year.
Click here for more information about the First Year.

The Nelson Mandela University’s Department of Visual Arts in the School of Music, Art and Design is one of the few departments in the country to offer a course in Ceramics: Fine Art.

The objective of the Ceramic: Fine Art programme is to prepare the individual for a career in the creative worlds of ceramic art, and ceramic production.

The course is delivered through a balance of teaching and learning strategies that include lectures, group criticisms, seminars, individual tutorials and field trips. Part of the instruction will introduce the student to lively debate and an exchange of ideas within the field of fine art.

The module will provide comprehensive technical training in the field of ceramic fine art where a foundation of techniques will be made available for research to compliment the work done towards the students’ personal portfolio. The training will ensure the attainment of both viable and creative skills for the widest spectrum of artistic employment

Learning outcomes

  • Intelligently explore visual and written data in support of the statement of intent.
  • Develop a mature grasp of the formal dynamics of their chosen medium.
  • Develop ability to acknowledge criticism.
  • Produce a body of work that reflects all the above.

Core content

Each student must formulate a statement of intent describing the direction that will be pursued in terms of material, method and technique. Application of technique and material in the development of independent projects on a negotiated basis utilising any one or combinations of the following:

  • Ceramic sculpture, construction and firing;
  • Mould making and clay slip casting technique;
  • Use of relevant technology regarding glazing, firing and decorating.
  • Participate in cross-disciplinary critiques

The Ceramic prgramme offers a stimulating learning environment. Our studios are equipped with electric kilns, throwing wheels, extruders, slab rollers, as well as raku and pit firing facilities.

Students are encouraged to take part in local public workshops and markets, as well as local and national exhibitions.

Many of our Ceramic graduates have established themselves in either a ceramic, or educational, or creative field of work.

Career opportunities

  • Ceramic fine/studio artist
  • Designer for ceramic manufacturer
  • Business owner – ceramic production studio
  • Interior Designer
  • Professional mould maker
  • Ceramic technician
  • Private ceramic teacher

Mellaney Ruiters and Lelani Souverign in the Ceramics Studio

The three year full-time programme leads to the qualification of Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) in Ceramics: Fine Art, with the fourth year taking the student to the BVA Honours degree.

Nelson Mandela University Ceramic Graduate Alumni Links:



Please come and view our exhibitions throughout the year by joining our events and invitation mailing list

Contact information
Ms Nomsa Xubane
Admin Assistant To departmental HOD
Tel: 041 504 3247

Professor Vulindlela Nyoni
Associate Professor
Tel: 041 504 1059