Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication
The Stellenbosch Academy has a unique educational offering that aims to deliver creative, innovative and socially responsible tech-savvy graduates. This means our graduates leave with a combination of creative, business and theoretical skills and knowledge. As such, the curriculum has four interrelated components: Visual Studies (theory), Marketing (business-related theory), Discourse, and our Creative Majors.
In this context the five majors (Art Direction, Graphic Design, Applied Illustration Design, Photography and Multimedia Design Studies) focus on creative and industry-related practical knowledge and skills, with the remaining three components delivering vital context and theory that set our graduates apart in the South African job market.
Visual Studies develops students' understanding of how historical and contemporary world events have shaped the production of specific images, photographs and designs. They are exposed to European, African and South African forms of visual communication practice and theory, the intention of which is to enable informed decision making in our students' own creative practice.
Marketing engages with the world of modern marketing where students are introduced to the essential theories and concepts of marketing that are critical to managing profitable customer relationships in an ever-changing marketing and business environment.
Discourse is concerned with design and socially responsible design practice. In this context students are made aware of the power and responsibility that visual communicators have in shaping the way they treat humanity and the earth.
Our tried and tested approach to teaching creative disciplines results in graduates we can be proud of; people who can hit the ground running, while expertly facing the challenges in their new working environments.
The first year of our degree programme serves as a foundation year, allowing students to have a hands-on experience of all possible majors. In semester one, students do a combination of all five majors. In semester two, they choose two to explore further. This equips them creatively with more than one skill, but most importantly allows them to make an informed choice on their major subject in second year.
Course Diagram: Year 1
VISUAL COMMUNICATION 1
ART DIRECTION 1
GRAPHIC DESIGN 1
VISUAL STUDIES 1
VISUAL STUDIES 1
Choose two majors
One major is chosen at the beginning of second year from the two majors chosen in the second half of first year. This allows individual students to make decisions according to their strengths and interests, which can help define a rewarding and successful career path.
Course Diagram: Year 2
Choose one major
Students choose one major
As this is the final year, emphasis is placed on creating a highly individualised industry-ready portfolio based on the major discipline of the students. This prepares them to find the job of their dreams after they graduate.
ART DIRECTION 2
GRAPHIC DESIGN 2
VISUAL STUDIES 2
ART DIRECTION 3
GRAPHIC DESIGN 3
VISUAL STUDIES 3
Course Diagram: Year 3
Students continue with their chosen major from second year
A little more on the major disciplines we have to offer at the Stellenbosch Academy
Art Direction is the ability to visually depict an idea in such a way as to strengthen the message a piece of communication is trying to convey.
Our Art Direction major prepares students to enter the advertising industry. Conceptual thinking is the cornerstone of Art Direction and students learn to produce advertising as a creative marketing tool and the development of "the big Idea". These creative thinking skills are used to produce a large variety of advertising applications - from a single print advertisement to a fully integrated campaign with multiple media touch points.
Graphic Design is a way to communicate visually using typography, space and imagery.
Our Graphic Design course equips graduates with the skills to review, consolidate, extend and apply Graphic Design knowledge, communication strategies and technical skills to professional contexts. These include branding, digital media design, education, illustration, packaging, publishing, research, as well as other niche communication design fields.
Illustration is a specialised field that solves problems through image making.
Images can tell stories, convey ideas and beliefs, change behaviour and entertain an audience. Illustration stands separate from fine art because of its commercial core that focuses on mass media. Mediums that illustrators may use include drawing, painting, digital, printmaking, collage, photomontage and mixed media.
Our Photography major aims to deliver well-rounded industry-ready photographers with a solid fundamental knowledge of the photography field, coupled with a specialisation in a specific photographic field.
An extended knowledge of photography is developed through theoretical and applied principles of photographic practice. This incorporates aspects such as project development, self-management and independence, and responding to research and project development.
Multimedia Design Studies
Multimedia Design is the discipline of developing communication that lives online or on mobile, using the multitude of tools available to do so.
Multimedia Design Studies provides learners with the essential knowledge and experience that centre on the design and development of new-media content and digital practices that include animation, user experiences, user interface design, web design, mobile application design, film & video production, and motion graphics.
Our Multimedia Design Studies students combine graphic design, animation, film & video, sound and computer programming skills to design meaningful media applications and digital communication through employing the latest industry methods and practices.
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Registered with the Department of Education as a private higher education under the Higher Education Act, 1997 Certificate no 2004/HE07/002.