Our one-year intensive Honours degree offers you the opportunity to produce a self-directed body of creative practice work majoring in Photography, Illustration, Graphic Design, Multimedia, or Art Direction. In addition to Creative Practice, your degree also includes Visual Studies and Contextual Studies. Contextual Studies offer insight into the complexities of society and how to create responsible communication to meet the social and sustainability challenges we face. Visual Studies puts African subjectivity and creativity in critical conversation with the West. The theoretical subjects are there to help inform your creative work and demand a critical engagement with contemporary ideas and innovations.
A key component to our Honours degree is the Creative Exchange where we substitute the classroom with an African city and enable students to undertake a creative learning journey. This curated excursion pairs students with a creative agency, artist, or hub to work on a week-long collaborative project. By exposing students to different contexts, perspectives, and creative practices, our Honours program produces not only skilled professionals but creative change agents who can navigate and adapt to the global creative industry.
Our Honours program purposefully taps into networks we have established with African creative spaces and institutions. We have ongoing relationships with Zeitz MOCAA, Norval Foundation, Anima Design Studio, Stellenbosch Triennale, and numerous other creative spaces and institutions across Africa. Through guest lectures, class visits, and live projects we keep you on the pulse of the creative industry.
If you are someone who wants to develop and extend your professional creative practice or explore how to grow a possible creative business venture, our Honours is for you. Get in touch to explore your options.
Why study Honours?
This year-long Bachelors of Arts Honours in Visual Communication offers students the rare opportunity to produce a self-directed body of creative work that develops skill level matched with theoretical and contextual understanding. The degree comprises three subjects: Creative Practice, Contextual Studies, and Visual Studies.
An exciting and enriching component that students participate in is a Creative Exchange in a neighboring African country. Students are placed within a creative agency or organization to work on a short-term collaborative creative project. The value of the Creative Exchange is evident in the altered perspectives and insights that inform their future creative production. The culmination of this exchange is presented at a collaborative feedback session in the host country and later in the year at the Creative Dialogues forum at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography.
Additional engagements with local creative spaces and institutions take place throughout the year with visiting lecturers and class outings. We firmly believe that learning has to extend beyond the classroom and by taking students to spaces they would not usually have access to, we endeavor to mold engaged and informed creatives.
What you will graduate with
At the end of the year, all students are required to have an exhibition showcasing their work. In addition to the exhibited work, students also produce a professional portfolio.
An important part of the Honours degree is the reiterative creative cycle that students engage in as part of their practice-led research project. This creative process aims to equip students with the skills to work independently where they are able to critically reflect on and improve upon their work. A process book, blog, or film that documents the whole year’s creative process is also a degree requirement.
The outcomes of the two theoretical subjects comprise a range of written responses and a Visual Studies thesis. The aim of the theoretical subjects is to inform the creative work that the student produces. We firmly believe that students who have had to grapple with ideas and contemporary thinking develop stronger work because they are critically engaged.
With these skills, we intend that our Honours graduates will enter the industry with a strong portfolio that reflects their thinking as well as their creative capabilities.