Start main page content

BA (Fine Arts)

The BA Fine Arts degree is a four year  programme which combines studio practice in all aspects of contemporary Fine Art with a high level of academic study in Art History, Theory and Criticism. Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Print-making, Video, Installation and Digital Media form the core of the studio programme supplemented by a course in Professional Practice and Curating with a number of elective interdisciplinary options from other areas in the School of Arts.

The degree equips students for a career as an artist and any field requiring practical/intellectual expertise in visual culture e.g. digital multimedia, museums, gallery administration, teaching (all levels), curating, general arts administration, creative work in the theatre, electronic media, art education in primary, secondary and tertiary as well as special needs settings, art publishing, professional fine and commercial art, photography, computer graphics, art criticism and writing.

The purpose of the qualification is to produce a graduate who is professionally and academically qualified for entry into visual cultural practice. The qualification will enhance the career of the graduate by enabling him/her to use higher order and lateral thinking and specialist knowledge in a particular discipline, profession or field of enquiry within the visual arts, and more broadly, within visual culture, and who can contribute to the economy of South Africa through Art and Culture.

General Information about the BA (Fine Arts) degree

The degree is a general Fine Arts qualification and covers four years of study.

In the first two years of the degree we focus on the development of conceptual and technical skills through carefully structured, project-based teaching. In the final two years students are encouraged to work more independently, and focus is more emphatically on individual creative and intellectual development.

The studio-based component for the degree involves a wide range of contemporary practice including Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Photography, Performance, Installation, Video/Film, and Digital Media. The academic component consists of three consecutive years of History of Art and an Art Criticism academic course offered at the fourth year level. This course is taught at Honours level and focuses on contemporary art theory and practice. New courses in Professional Practice and a personal Research Project round out the final year of the Degree. Students who achieve satisfactory results in their final year may proceed directly to a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. In the BA (FA), two additional first or second year level academic courses offered within the Arts Faculty are also required. The additional subjects offered by the University cover a large and diverse field of interest and you may choose any one on offer provided there are no timetable clashes.

While students learn a wide range of techniques and skills in the Fine Arts disciplines, we actively encourage an interdisciplinary approach to art making. In the first two years, the focus is on the development of conceptual and technical skills through carefully structured, project-based teaching. In the final two years, students are encouraged to work more independently and focus is more emphatically placed on individual creative and intellectual development.

History of Art is required as a major within the Fine Arts degree, but is also offered as a major within straight BA degrees. Details of these courses are in the handbook.

Admission Requirements

  • Matric with University exemption, and the required points on the Wits rating system. Access additional requirements.
  • In addition to gaining entrance into the Faculty of Humanities you will need to attend an admission interview where you are required to present a portfolio of your work.
  • There are no pre determined criteria for the portfolio. You must show your creative and intellectual work off to their utmost – you decide!
  • Please note that student intake is limited.