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Ceramic Design

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 Studio 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: Ceramics- Full-time 

The National Diploma programme (year 1- 3) serves to equip students with applied technical skills, theoretical knowledge and hands-on training to ensure their professionalism in:

  • working as a ceramic designer and developing a small ceramic studio business that concentrates on product design and production of
  • handmade wares for the national and international market;
  • working for a potter who mass produces handmade ware;
  • teaching ceramic design skills in a small school situation to part-time enthusiasts;
  • finding employment in a factory producing ceramic ware - either as designer or production manager

Subjects inlude:

  • Ceramic Practice II
  • Design Management II
  • Design Technology: Ceramics II
  • Design Technology Ceramics II: History Module I
  • Design Technology Ceramics II: Science Module II
  • Drawing for Design II 

YEAR 3: Fine Art Undergraduate Diploma - Full-time


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

Subjects include:

  • Ceramic Practice III
  • Design Management III
  • Design Technology: Ceramics III
  • Design Technology Ceramics III: History Module I
  • Design Technology Ceramics III: Science Module II
  • Drawing for Design 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 and do thorough investigation into the process.


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


This programme allows the student to pursue an independent study within a selected area of interest. The student will use the skills developed in the Diploma programme to develop a body of work for final assessment. The investigative and interpretative skills acquired in the Diploma programme will be utilized for the written component. Through this process, the student will identify a role in the field of professional ceramics either as an artist, craftsman or designer.

Subjects include:

  • Ceramic Practice IV
  • Design Management IV
  • Theory of Art & Design IV