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Fine Art Pathways in South Africa

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Looking for your first degree in Fine Art? See All Bachelors degrees in Fine Art

Alternatively if you are looking for graduate level options? See All Masters degrees in Fine Art

Study a Fine Art Pathways or Foundation Programme in South Africa

Allowing you to explore the practical and theoretical elements of art, a fine art degree will develop your skills and knowledge in a nurturing environment. You will be learning and working alongside other students, meaning you share your passions, and become exposed to other perspectives. You will graduate as a well-rounded artist, ready for your career in the arts industry.

An undergraduate degree in fine art will give you a good foundation of knowledge in the area. You might study modules on the history of art, art practices, business in the arts discipline, and management within the creative industries. These modules will allow you to become a more developed artist, but also have a confident understanding of the business and marketing side as well. You will also be able to add to your professional portfolio throughout your time at university.

Your degree will be delivered through a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as incorporating practical sessions, studio practice, and field trips to art galleries and other venues. You might be presented with the opportunity to take part in a work placement module, which will aid the development of your professional practice. Depending on your institution, you may be able to attend masterclasses with experienced artists.

Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation could influence the area in which you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:

  • Visual Art
  • Contemporary Art
  • Arts Management
  • Creative Analysis
  • Literature, Philosophy and the Arts

If your degree course requires you to write a dissertation, or take part in a degree show at the end of your final year, this will give you the chance to further explore a favoured area of fine art.

The accreditation of a fine art degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).

Depending on your career path post-graduation, you may be able to earn further professional or academic certifications and qualifications.

Generally, an undergraduate degree in fine art will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.

On successful completion of your fine art degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.

Most art and design courses will require that you submit a portfolio of work as part of your application process. This may be accepted as an online submission, or they may prefer you to present it as part of your interview. Your institution will be able to provide more information about what to include in your portfolio, and how to submit it.

Graduates of a fine art degree will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. You may choose to work in a role directly related to your degree, such as a fine artist, an exhibition designer, or an art gallery manager.

You will have gained a wide range of skills throughout your degree. These skills will be applicable in a variety of industries, not limited to arts and design roles. Skills might include critical analysis, time management, teamwork, and project management.

South Africa

The southern most country on the African continent, South Africa is referred to as the ‘rainbow nation' due to the diversity of its 58 million inhabitants. The higher education system underwent a complete reform in 2004, and universities have only be improving since then. Almost 50,000 international students choose to study in South Africa each year, taking advantage of the many universities that are included in the QS World University rankings top 1,000.

See our detailed guide to studying in South Africa for international students.

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