Introduction to Studio Arts programmes

We offer full-time Undergraduate Diploma and Bachelor Degree qualifications within the Studio Arts programmes, as well as Postgraduate Master's degrees. In order to obtain a degree you must first complete the Diploma programme (3 years) or already hold a similar qualification.

NB! All students wishing to study Fine Arts (Painting, Sculpture, Stained Glass, Printmaking, Ceramics) at the NMMU must complete a compulsory first year programme which is known as Introductory Studies.

What is Introductory Studies?

Introductory Studies is a first year programme that must be successfully completed in order to access any Studio Art programme.

The number of seats are limited and therefore access from Introductory Studies (first year) is not automatic. All first year students who apply for enrolment into Studio Arts are required to present a portfolio, at the end of the first year,showcasing all their first year work to an interview panel. Students who have not passed ALL first year subjects will not be considered. Students from other institutions who wish to study Studio Arts subjects at the NMMU are interviewed in the same way.

YEAR 1: Introductory Studies - Full-time

Introductory Studies subjects:

  • Drawing I
  • Art Theory I
  • Communication I
  • Two-dimensional Studies I
  • Three-dimensional Studies I

View Introductory Studies.

YEAR 2: Fine Art- Full-time

In the second year of study the student is required to select three subjects out of the five optional major subjects. Each major subject is completed and examined in a consecutive, timetable rotation. If a student fails to gain a pass in any one of the major subjects, they may, subject to departmental regulations, submit portfolio work for re-examination during the November examination period.

Optional major subjects (choose 3 of 5)

  • Painting II
  • Photography Fine Art II
  • Printmaking II
  • Sculpture II
  • Stained Glass II

Compulsory major subjects

  • Art theory II
  • History of Art II – Module I
  • Techniques and Methods II – Module II
  • Communication II
  • Communication II – Module I
  • Professional Practice – Module II
  • Drawing: Fine Art II

During the second year, stained glass students will explore traditional Stained Glass materials and techniques such as glass cutting, leading, acid etching, oxide painting, staining, sandblasting and engraving. Because Stained Glass links the creative demands of the fine artist with elements relating to pure design and architecture, great emphasis is placed on the design process. Students will also be required to do research in the field of colour theory and projects are set in this regard.

YEAR 3: Fine Art Undergraduate Diploma - Full-time


In the third year of study the student is required to confirm a career direction by selecting one major subject from the three major subjects complemented and passed on the second year level.

NOTE: To qualify for a Fine Art Degree students have to obtain 15 credits made up as follows:

  • All 5 first year subjects
  • Three second year compulsory subjects
  • Three third year compulsory subjects
  • Three second year subjects and one third year elective subject

Optional major subjects (choose 1 from 3 chosen in 2nd year)

  • Painting II
  • Photography Fine Art II
  • Printmaking II
  • Sculpture II
  • Stained Glass II

Compulsory major subjects

  • Art theory III
  • Communication III
  • Communication III – Module I
  • Professional Practice – Module II
  • Drawing: Fine Art III

In the third year of study, students are expected to motivate their own direction with a Statement of Intent. This should include details of approach to both the technical and formal (conceptual) aspects of their proposed direction. It is also expected at this level that they will begin to experiment with contemporary approaches to glass design and do thorough investigation into the process.

YEAR 4: Fine Art Undergraduate Degree (Bachelor of Technology) – Full-time


Optional major subjects (choose 1)

  • Drawing IV
  • Painting IV
  • Photography: Fine Art
  • Printmaking IV
  • Sculpture IV
  • Stained Glass IV

Compulsory major subject

  • Art theory IV
Contact information
Ms Jannet Kato
Senior Manager: Faculty Administration
Tel: 27 41 504 4226