PhD (Visual Arts)

Specific admission requirements

Candidates have to be in possession of an MA degree in Fine Arts or MA degree in Visual Studies (or an acceptable equivalent qualification regarded by the Senate as adequate for admission to the programme) that provides evidence of the ability to conduct advanced independent research.

Details of the selection process for the doctoral programme is available from the Department.

Programme structure

Doctoral degrees in the arts are research degrees culminating in a dissertation. The study as a whole can consist of theoretical work or it can be the results of an integrated study of the creative processes and theoretical work which are reported in a dissertation. The unique nature of the integrated option is derived from the coherence and interdependency of the study of the creative process and theoretical dimensions of the research leading to an original contribution to knowledge and insight into the arts.

Students must present their research for comment on a regular basis. From time to time it may be required of students to present papers dealing with their research at seminars for informal discussion.

Assessment and examination

Dissertation and oral examination. The dissertation is examined according to the procedures of the University for advanced degrees. The dissertation must comprise a minimum of 50 000 words. All the material presented for the dissertation, including the creative work where applicable, is assessed as a single whole by the examiners.


Programme Coordinator: Prof Stella Viljoen

Tel: +27 (0)21 808 9087