Undergraduate & honours qualifications

Bachelor of Visual Arts

Qualification code: 02224
NQF level: 7
Total credits: 480
SAQA ID: 20924
APS/AS: 20
Prospective students must obtain prior permission from the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology on 0124296798 before registering for the degree. In addition to the normal study fees, a studio fee is payable for each module in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Visual Arts. Students are expected to attend two workshops at one of the university's approved centres. Workshops are normally conducted at least twice a year, for a period of approximately three to five days each, in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria. Further details are sent to students early in the year. Students are strongly advised to attend all the days of each workshop presented for their particular modules as these are important modes of tuition. Please note: these practical subjects demand much of a student's time and the equipment and materials required are expensive. The university will not be responsible for any loss or damage to a student's work. The Department reserves the right to retain the student's practical and written work for study material, teaching purposes and/or for exhibitions. ENN103F has been replaced by ENG1503, students who have already passed ENN103F may not register ENG1503. VAR2601 and VAR2602 have been replaced by VMA2601 and VMA2602, students who have already passed VAR2601 may not register VMA2601, students who have already passed VAR2602 may not register VMA2602. VAR4801 and VAR4802 have been replaced by VMA4801 and VMA4802, students who have already passed VAR4801 may not register VMA4801,students who have already passed VAR4802 may not register VMA4802.
Purpose statement:
The purpose of this qualification is designed to provide BVA graduates with professional training in the visual arts in order to practice as professional artists or in art-related professions. Secondary purposes: The BVA degree provides the local and global communities with leaders in the field of the visual arts who understand the crucial role they have to play in society and who can make a significant contribution to the cultural life of local and global communities through skills and strategies of facilitation, administration and partnerships in the visual arts. Since the BVA enables students to continue with post-graduate studies in Art History and Visual Arts as well as in other art-related fields, its base of scholarly activity is wide. The BVA degree provides the South African, African and global communities with graduates who will meet the requirements to register for a variety of professional qualifications with a relevant statutory body.
This qualification will be presented using both online and distance learning modes.
Qualification offered until 2024, and ONLY for students previously registered for this qualification.

Who can register?

  • Applicants may only register once they have received confirmation from Unisa that their application for admission has been accepted. Unisa reserves the right to not process and / or to cancel your registration if it is found that you were incorrectly admitted to a qualification. Admission to the alternative qualification is not automatic. It will depend on whether you comply with admission requirements and if space is available.
  • Re-registering students may register for the 2020 academic year once the registration period opens.

Please note:

  • Should you wish to start a new qualification, please apply online for the alternative qualification.
  • All communication sent to you after the initial study package (with the exception of study guides) will be sent electronically to your myLife e-mail account (eg follow-up tutorial letters, examination timetables and results, financial statements). You will no longer receive such communication in printed format.

How to choose your modules

Each Unisa qualification is structured in such a way that you need to pass a certain number of modules and NQF level credits within a certain amount of time in order to graduate. You must pass a minimum number of credits / modules annually so that you are able to re-register and continue with your qualification:

  • At least 36 NQF credits (3 modules of 12 credits each) in your first year of study.
  • At least 48 NQF credits (4 modules of 12 credits each) in your second or further years of study.

You may not register for more than the allowed maximum number of credits / modules per semester:

  • At least 60 NQF credits (5 modules of 12 credits each) in a semester.
  • At least 120 NQF credits (10 modules of 12 credits each) per year for year modules.

The maximum number of credits do not include supplementary and / or aegrotat examinations from a previous semester. Modules taken for non-degree / non-diploma purposes also count towards the maximum number of credits allowed.

You must take your available time into consideration when choosing your modules, as this will impact your academic performance. You need approximately

  • 6 to 8 hours per week for semester modules.
  • 4 to 6 hours per week for year modules.

Click here for more information on managing your studies.

Curriculum for this qualification

As you are deciding on the modules you will be registering for, remember to write down the module names and codes so that you have something that you can refer to when completing your registration.

First level

Second level

Module Pre-requisite/Co-requisite/Recommendation
Group A. Compulsory
ARH2601 - The Arts and Ideology I
ARH2602 - Introduction to Art History in Africa
ARH2603 - Visual Culture I
ARH3705 - The Arts and the (Post)Colonial
GAR2601 - Graphic Processes Pre-requisite:GAR1501& (TDM1501 & FRM1501) or (TWF1501 &THF1501) (GAR1501 not applicable to 02305 MMD)
VMA2601 - Studio Practice 1 Pre-requisite:GAR1501& (TDM1501 & FRM1501) or (TWF1501 &THF1501) (GAR1501 not applicable to 02305)
VMA2602 - Studio Practice II Pre-requisite:GAR1501& (TDM1501 & FRM1501) or (TWF1501 &THF1501) (GAR1501 not applicable to 02305)
Group B. Select 2 from the following:
COM2602 - Integrated Organisational Communication
CST3706 - Music Technology II: Digital Audio
WLL2602 - Film, Literature and Society

Third level

Module Pre-requisite/Co-requisite/Recommendation
Group A. Compulsory
ARH3701 - Art and Ideology II
ARH3702 - The Arts in Africa
ARH3703 - Visual Culture II
ARH3704 - Modernism and Postmodernism
PAT3701 - Professional Art Practice I Pre-requisite:(VMA2601 or VAR2601) AND (VMA2602 or VAR2602)
Co-requisite:(VMA3701 or VAR3701) AND (VAR3702 or VMA3702)
VAR3701 - Visual Arts III Pre-requisite:(VMA2601 & VMA2602) or (VAR2601 &VAR2602) (VMA2602 or VAR2602 not applicable to 02305 MC1)
Co-requisite:(PAT3701 or PMP3701) & VAR3702 (VAR3702 not applicable to 02305)
VAR3702 - Visual Arts IV Pre-requisite:(VMA601 & VMA2602) or (VAR2601 &VAR2602)
Co-requisite:(VMA3701 & (PAT3701or PMP3701)

Fourth level

Module Pre-requisite/Co-requisite/Recommendation
Group A. Compulsory
ARH411R - Contemporary International Art Pre-requisite:ARH3701, ARH3703 & ARH3704 or ARH311N & ARH313Q & ARH314R
ARH412S - Contemporary South African Art Pre-requisite:ARH3701, ARH3703 & ARH3704 or ARH311N & ARH313Q & ARH314R
PAT4801 - Professional Art Practice II Co-requisite:VAR4801 & VAR8402
VMA4801 - Studio Practice V Co-requisite:PAT4801 & VMA4802
VMA4802 - Studio Practice VI Co-requisite:VMA4801 & PAT4801