The Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year is a compulsory for any student wishing to major in any of the following courses: Ceramics, Fashion & Textiles, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking or Sculpture.

This general year introduces you to aspects of all the courses we offer. The goal of the First Year is to give you a holistic overview of all the creative processes and to develops skills that can be applied to multi-disciplinary creative projects in the future. In addition to this you will build up a First Year Interview Portfolio that you will present to an interview panel at the end of the First Year. On successfully completing the Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year course and the interview process you will have the opportunity to specialise in either Ceramics, Fashion & Textiles, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking or Sculpture.

NB! Admission to the Bachelor of Visual Arts second-year course of your choice is not automatic and is subject to internal selection rules and procedures that are outlined below.

Potential Visual Arts students are to inquire with:

  • Mrs Roxane Van Wyk

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

  • Email: roxane.vanwyk (at)

  • Tel: 041 504 3379

Information on studying and enrolling at Nelson Mandela University:


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

Zimkitha Dyan
Tel: 041 5043247

Progression and selection into the Bachelor of Visual Arts second-year streams

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

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

  • You will be requested to indicate two choices of preferred specialisation (for example, Photography or Ceramics) at 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 said interview(s) a First Year Interview Portfolio that reflects first-year work appropriate to the course you have selected.
  • 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 process, you are counselled as to the course most suited to your abilities, students who are not accepted into their preferred specialisation will subsequently be offered a place in a suitable alternative course according to available capacity.

The Department of Visual Arts reserves the right to accept only those students who display the appropriate skill and capacity for the intended field of study. Students have the right to appeal the placement offered through appropriate channels. All placements made as a result of the above mentioned interview process must be deemed to be provisional. Applicants will be informed of the result/s of their interviews once all the sets of interviews have been completed and the panels have completed their deliberations. Admission remains conditional until confirmed after the publication of the official first-year results.

Information on studying and enrolling at Nelson Mandela University:


First Year Students