MA (Visual Studies)


It is widely understood that visual communication plays an increasingly important role in our fast-paced, globalised milieu. The Master's degree in Visual Studies equips students to decode and understand visual phenomena from a variety of contexts, including popular culture, media, film, the music industry and Fine arts. As an innately interdisciplinary subject, Visual Studies incorporates a broad range of critical theories from a variety of fields, including feminism, postcolonial studies, critical race and whiteness studies, psychoanalytic theory, museum studies and philosophy, to enable students to write and speak critically about visual images, objects, institutions and practices.


  • To produce graduates who are able to apply a range of theoretical tools to a wide array of visual phenomena.
  • To inculcate in graduates responsiveness to the particular sensitivities surrounding visual representation in South Africa's fraught postcolonial context and to cultivate a responsible and self-reflexive approach to students' own research and academic inquiry.
  • To produce graduates capable of filling posts in a variety of contexts, including academia, museums, galleries, education and journalism.

Entry requirements

The Master's in Visual Studies entails the production of an independent research thesis (100% of the total mark) under the supervision and guidance of a suitable promoter. An Honours degree in Visual Studies or Art History (or an acceptable equivalent qualification that is deemed adequate for admission to the programme by the Senate) that provides evidence of the ability to conduct advanced independent research. Selection for the programme relies on academic qualifications, professional experience and an acceptable study proposal.

Information and application

The deadline for application is 30 November for South African candidates and 31 August for international candidates.


Programme Coordinator: Prof Lize van Robbroeck

Tel: +27 (0)21 808 3048