Admissions Requirements for Bachelor of Visual Arts: Subject Requirements and Applicant Score (AS)

As a Nelson Mandela University Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) student, you will begin with a generic first year of study, the Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year programme.

The Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year programme provides a broad base of skills and competencies that include visual literacy, creative problem solving, design skills, good drawing skills, relevant technical and technological proficiency, the ability to work in an extended range of media, both traditional and non-traditional, and appropriate experience at developing concepts and realising these in both two-and three-dimensional form; the ability to function as part of a team and the ability to articulate concepts both visually and verbally.

On successful completion of the Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year programme, you will apply for selection into a specialised Visual Arts stream:

  • Fashion and Textiles

  • Fine Art (Ceramics, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture)

  • Graphic Design

  • Photography

The Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year is mandatory for students majoring in Ceramics, Fashion and Textiles, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture

This general first year introduces you to aspects of all the courses we offer

The programme aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the creative processes and is designed to develop skills that can be applied to interdisciplinary creative projects in the future. Additionally, during the year, students will create a First Year Interview Portfolio to present to an interview panel at the end of the first year. This will allow you to gain access to the second-year programme of your choice if successful. After completing the Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year programme and the interview process, students can then specialise in Ceramics, Fashion and Textiles, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture.



(Qualification code: 10050 – A1)

Admissions requirements

·      Minimum National Senior Certificate (NSC) statutory requirements for degree entry must be met.

·      An applicant with NSC Grade 12 Mathematics or Technical Mathematics requires a minimum Applicant Score of 350.

·      An applicant with NSC Grade 12 Mathematics Literacy requires a minimum Applicant Score of 365.

·      Admission is subject to Departmental selection.

Online application

Application closing dates

For more information on calculating your Applicant Score (AS)

Fee Estimation

Make sure you have the correct course information:

Bachelor of Visual Arts 10050


PLEASE NOTE: Admission to the Bachelor of Visual Arts second-year programme of your choice is not automatic and is subject to internal selection rules and procedures outlined below.

Prospective Visual Arts students are to inquire with the following staff:

·       Mrs Roxane Van Wyk

·       Programme Co-ordinator, Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year

·       Email: roxane.vanwyk (at)

·       Tel: 041 504 3379

More information on studying and enrolling at Nelson Mandela University:

Progression and selection into Bachelor of Visual Arts second-year programmes

The Interview Process and Criteria for Admission

As noted above, there is an opportunity for selection into any Visual Arts courses by Interview at the end of the First Year.

The Bachelor of Visual Arts programme has limited places in each course we offer. This implies that where the number of applicants to a programme exceeds available positions, a selection procedure must be applied based on the quality of your First Year Interview Portfolio and academic merit. Placement into your chosen programme is subject to the following criteria:

·      You will be requested to indicate two choices of preferred specialisation (for example, Photography or Ceramics) at the second-year level.

·      You must attend an interview with a panel of course lecturers, together with the relevant senior academics.

·      You must submit for consideration at the interview(s) a First Year Interview Portfolio reflecting first-year work appropriate to your chosen course.

·      You may be required to complete a challenge test. This may be a written challenge on a given topic, conducted under controlled conditions, or the production of a creative visual output, according to a prescribed brief, that shows process evidence of the student’s creative ability.

·      During the interview, you are counselled about the course most suited to your abilities. Students not accepted into their preferred specialisation will subsequently be offered a place in a suitable alternative programme according to available capacity.

The Department of Visual Arts reserves the right to accept only students with the appropriate skill and capacity for the intended field of study. Students have the right to appeal the course placement offered through appropriate channels. As mentioned, all placements made due to the interview must be deemed provisional. Applicants will be informed of the results of their interviews once all the interview discussions have been completed and the panels have completed their deliberations. Admission remains conditional until confirmed after the publication of the official first-year results.

Bachelor of Visual Arts: First Year Ceramic Projects

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Contact Us
Mrs Roxane van Wyk
Associate Lecturer & Programme Co-ordinator, BVA First Year
Tel: 27 41 504 3379

Contact information
Ms Buyelwa Gxido
Acting Secretary
Tel: 0415043247