MA (Visual Arts)

Programme description

The Masters in Visual Arts (MAVA) programme offers an opportunity for specialised postgraduate research in studio production within the broader areas of Visual Communication Design, Illustration, Jewellery Design and Fine Art. The programme promotes the development of the student's particular interests, skills and ideas, and it is expected that students conduct independent practical and theoretical research of an advanced and in-depth (postgraduate) standard which reflects an awareness of a contemporary South African context.

Research conducted within the MAVA programme is practice-based in its methodology, thus research in which the relationship between practice and theory is dialogical and interrelated, not only in the research process but also in the final presentation of the research project.

Programme content

The content of the programme comprises the following two integrated components:

  • the production of a practical body of work, and
  • a written component of approximately 50-70 typed A4 pages in its entirety (excluding notes, bibliography, illustrations).

While the programme encourages independent research, a series of lectures, seminars and review sessions regarding both practice and theory are scheduled throughout the year so as to encourage interaction and intellectual exchange amongst students, as well as fostering a sense of a post-graduate community.

Entry requirements

A four-year BA degree in Visual Arts or the equivalent three-year degree and Honours in Visual Arts (or an acceptable equivalent qualification that is deemed adequate for admission to the programme by the Senate ) where evidence is provided of the ability to conduct advanced independent research. Selection for the programme relies on academic qualifications, professional experience and an acceptable research proposal for the practical and theoretical components of the programme. The proposal must be supported by a portfolio (digital, in pdf format) of recent works. Both the research proposal and portfolio must be e-mailed to the programme coordinator.

Information and application

The application deadline is 30 November for South African candidates and 31 October for international candidates and your research proposal and portfolio must be submitted by 31 January of the following year.

The selection process takes place during the first week of February and successful candidates will be notified by 15 February. The formal programme commences in the first week of March.


Programme Coordinator: Prof Lize van Robbroeck

Tel: +27 (0)21 808 3048