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About us
Vision and mission
Why a Visual Arts degree?
Admission and requirements

Visual Arts
Private Bag X1
Matieland 7602

Visual Arts Building
Victoria Street
Tel: 27 (0)21 808 3052
Fax: 27 (0)21 808 3044

Portfolio requirements
Postgraduate and International Office
International Conference: Relevance of Critical Citizenship Education in an African Context
University Museum
Gallery University Stellenbosch 
Annual exhibition of final-year graduates 

About us

The milieu of Stellenbosch offers a unique perspective to visual arts students: the intimate and supportive environment of an historical university town that is offset by the international, cosmopolitan and culturally diverse environment of central Cape Town, only 45 minutes drive away. The Department of Visual Arts occupies an historic, fully renovated building in oak-lined Victoria Street. With a new look unveiled in 2005, we offer custom-designed studio and workshop spaces for study streams in Fine Arts, Visual Communication Design and Jewellery Design, including an industry-standard new media computer lab. In keeping with developments in contemporary art and design, the department's ethos is multidisciplinary, supporting students working in all aspects of new media, including video and digital arts, as well as offering a solid foundation in traditional visual and applied arts practices.

In addition to the expertise provided by full-time staff members, students are continually exposed to industry professionals, either through visiting artists and specialists in the department, or field trips to major exhibitions, events or industry fairs.

Through all study streams, emphasis is placed on the production and critical evaluation of visual culture, rooted in addressing and reflecting all aspects of contemporary South African culture. The department offers postgraduate study in Visual Arts, Illustration, Visual Studies and Art Education.

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Vision and mission
Our vision is to pursue our aspirations as a leading centre of excellence where we strive to encourage a unique and creative interface between art and design that can make a significant contribution to the generation of knowledge in contemporary visual culture both nationally and internationally.

We hope to achieve this by stimulating self-discovery through theoretical and creative enquiry. Through an integrated approach to teaching, research and community interaction, we strive to inculcate in students self-reflection, commitment and respect for the diversity of South African culture.

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Why a Visual Arts degree?
A BA in Visual Arts provides the core technical and conceptual skills for careers as artists, designers, art educators and teachers, curators, art critics or historians. These skills are also much sought after in the broader creative industries, including film production, arts administration, museum and heritage work, publishing and journalism, architecture and interior design consulting, design and advertising industries, jewellery manufacture and so on.

The popular preconception that a BA(Visual Arts) degree is not career-focused is dismissed by the successes of graduates from this school, who have demonstrated that they offer a highly attractive skills-set to potential employers. A BA(VA) graduate is by nature innovative and flexible, and very well-suited to entrepreneurial work.

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We support the bilingual (Afrikaans and English) language option. Students and staff are free to speak and write in whichever of these languages they feel most confident and comfortable using.

Course information is provided in both English and Afrikaans wherever possible. Every attempt is made to ensure that communication remains an open and unprejudiced process that enhances understanding within the teaching, learning and research environment of the Department.

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Admission and requirements
Although it is not compulsory for students applying to the BA(VA) programme to have studied art at school-level, one must have full Matriculation exemption and undergo a thorough selection process.

For entry into the programme, prospective students must present a portfolio based on specific requirements for each of the three study streams.

Information on the portfolio requirements is available from:
Annatjie Moolman | 27 (0)21 808 2508 |
or write to:
Applications | University of Stellenbosch | Private bag x1 | Matieland | 7602

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Departmental chairperson | Dr Elizabeth Gunter | 021 808 3213 |

Academic administrator | Yvonne Broodryk | 021 808 2885 |

Departmental secretary | Ms Yumna Williams | 021 808 3052 | 

Fine Arts | Hentie van der Merwe | 021 808 2824 |
Jewellery Design | Carine Terreblanche | 021 808 3047 |
Visual Communication Design | Marthie Kaden | 021 808 3593|
Masters in Visual Arts | Kathryn Smith | 021 808 2082 |

Doctoral Programme | Dr Stella Viljoen | 021 808 9087 |

Postgraduate Programmes in Visual Studies | Prof Lize van Robbroeck | 021 808 3048 |

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