The Graphic Design course begins with the Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year.

Click here for more information about the First Year.

The Bachelor of Visual Arts Graphic Design programme stimulates your creativity and ideas into a portfolio that is suitable for a design business. Curiosity, imagination and human relationships are a vital part of design. With award-winning graduates, the course gives you the best balance between essential technological skills, conceptual ideas and sound theoretical understanding through teaching, research and reflection. We are a guide to placing design into both professional design spaces and a socio-cultural context, developing your personal talent into the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in a rapidly changing society.

The course is delivered in a studio-like environment, which is very similar to what you would experience in the design and advertising industry. With opportunities for interdisciplinary projects, we seek to develop your unique sense of authorship into design that has meaning and impact. Attracting students from both local and international backgrounds, the programme is a lively opportunity to develop strong friendships and a team spirit.

The Graphic Design programme will expose you to the following areas of design:

  • Creative thinking
  • Corporate Identity (logos and logo systems)
  • Publications (typography and book/magazine layout)
  • Promotion and Packaging
  • Branding
  • Social design
  • Advertising
  • Digital Media

Graphic Design Studio by Sivuyisiwe Guzana ©

Our educational goals focus on:

Skills development
The development of design communication, conceptual and design layout skills, drawing and illustration skills, visual techniques, design software skills (Adobe Creative Suite), academic research skills, knowledge of processes and business skills.

Creative development
The development of conceptual creative thinking and aesthetic understanding, including experimentation, problem identification and solving, grounded in practical application and theoretical knowledge.

Entrepreneurial development 
The development of professional business ethics relevant to a chosen career in the visual and tactile arts, including the economics of business, finance, marketing, advertising and self-promotion.

Personal development
Each student’s concerns, talents and authentic responses to the world are interwoven into the demands of the design industry. We provide you with new tools, new areas of expertise and a broader set of design and research skills. 

Enrol in our dynamic Bachelor of Visual Arts programme and enjoy a great university experience that you will remember forever.

Unathi Dyani - The Graphic Designer (2018) from Liam Chellew on Vimeo.


Career opportunities

Graduates in Graphic Design have a wide range of career opportunities. They can work across a variety of industries, including advertising, marketing, publishing, and web design. Depending on their interests and specialisations, they can focus on print or digital design, brand identity, motion graphics, or illustration. In today's world, many graphic designers are also finding success in creating visual content for social media platforms, mobile apps, and user interfaces. They can work for an advertising agency or as freelancers, providing services to clients in various industries. As art directors, their services are valuable wherever design concepts and layouts are required, including advertisements, books, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, leaflets, brochures, posters, web design, package designs, signage or logo creation.


Nelson Mandela University Graphic Design Graduate Alumni Links:


Pola Maneli, Graphic designer/illustrator

Simon le Gras -Design Agency

Design agency established

Keith Vlahakis, Graphic designer/typographer

Jonathan Jones, Graphic designer/illustrator

Stuart Miller, Art director

Travys Owen, Graphic designer/photographer

Magdalena Van Wyk, Graphic designer/illustrator

Nick van Renen, Graphic designer/photographer

Matthys Ras

Michael Stallenberg

Reino Erasmus

Tim Jones, Art director

Luzuko Witbooi, Art director

Simon Kuhn, Publication specialist

Jedd McNeilage, Art director


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Contact information
Mr Nii Commey Botchway
Lecturer - Art & Design Introductory Studies
Tel: 5043951

Ms Buyelwa Gxido
Acting Secretary
Tel: 0415043247