Top Art Universities in South Africa in 2024: Requirements, Fees, Process

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art universities in south africa

South Africa, a land of diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes, attracts aspiring artists from around the world seeking education in the discipline. The country offers a unique and enriching environment for creative minds to blossom with its renowned art schools, artistic communities, and flourishing art scene. In this blog, we’ll explore the top art universities in South Africa for 2024 and why this dynamic nation should become your artistic haven this year.


Also Read: Study in South Africa: Application, Colleges, VISA & More

Why Study Art in South Africa?

Beyond the sun-kissed beaches and captivating wildlife, art universities in South Africa offer plenty of reasons to pursue your artistic journey here :

  1. SA has a thriving dynamic art scene seen in its contemporary galleries, bustling street art, and lively festivals like the renowned Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.
  2. You can draw inspiration from South Africa’s diverse cultures, ethnicities, and languages, reflected in art forms like beadwork, basket weaving, and traditional music.
  3. You gain a globally recognized qualification from prestigious universities equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and renowned faculty.
  4. Compared to other Western countries, South Africa offers high-quality art education at a more affordable cost.
  5. You can also seek inspiration in South Africa’s breathtaking landscapes, from towering mountains and golden beaches to vast deserts and lush vineyards.

List of Best Art Universities in South Africa

Now, let’s explore some of the top art universities in South Africa, each offering a unique learning experience:

University of Witwatersrand (Wits)

Source: Wikipedia

Nestled in the heart of Johannesburg, the University of Witwatersrand boasts a School of Arts renowned for its innovative approach in the field of Art. From fine arts and graphic design to music and filmmaking, Wits provides students with a dynamic learning environment fueled by critical thinking and artistic exploration. Notable alumni include Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer and renowned artist William Kentridge.

University of Cape Town (UCT)

Source: University of Cape Town

Perched against the majestic Table Mountain, UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art is a powerhouse in the South African art scene. Moreover, offering a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, UCT emphasizes interdisciplinarity and critical engagement with contemporary art practices. Its graduates have gone on to become major players in the international art world.

University of Pretoria (UP)

Source: World Universities Network

Situated in the capital city of Pretoria, UP’s Faculty of Arts is a leading centre for arts education in South Africa. With a strong focus on research and innovation, UP offers programs in visual arts, performing arts, music, and design. Its facilities include the acclaimed Prinsloo Hall of Fame, showcasing South African art treasures.

Stellenbosch University

Source: IOL

Nestled in the picturesque town of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch University‘s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences houses the esteemed Department of Visual Arts. Offering programs in fine arts, graphic design, and multimedia, Stellenbosch emphasizes a holistic approach to art education, nurturing individual artistic voices within a supportive community.

Cost of Studying in South Africa

For an undergraduate degree, your tuition fees will most likely range between R35,000 and R110,000 each year. In addition, a postgraduate degree will normally cost between R20,000 and R75,000 each year. Fees for specialist degrees, such as medicine or MBA, are likely to be higher.

Entry Requirements

Students applying to Art universities in South Africa must fulfil the following entry requirements. These criteria are general as the specific requirements are different for each course and the university offering it:

  1. High school diploma with good grades in relevant subjects like art, design, English, and mathematics. Some universities may also require specific minimum grades or subjects.
  2. A portfolio containing your best work in a variety of media, like drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, or graphic design.
  3. Moreover, English language proficiency through tests like IELTS or TOEFL (minimum score varies for every university and program).

Also Read: MBA in South Africa

Documents Required

Students need to have the following documents ready when applying to Art universities in South Africa:

How to Apply for Art Universities in South Africa?

Here are the steps to apply and secure a seat at any of the art universities in South Africa for international students:

  1. Research universities based on their art programs, faculty, facilities, and location. Narrow down your choices based on your artistic interests and career goals.
  2. Then, carefully read the specific requirements for your chosen program on the university website. Ensure you have all the necessary documents and meet the eligibility criteria.
  3. Fill out the application form accurately and completely, providing all mandatory information and attaching the required documents.
  4. Later, pay the application fee (if applicable) and submit your completed application package according to the university’s deadline and instructions online or through post.
  5. Some universities may conduct interviews or portfolio reviews for shortlisted applicants. Be prepared to discuss your work and motivations in detail.
  6. If accepted, you’ll receive an offer letter from the university. Follow their instructions for accepting the offer and securing your place. 
  7. Obtain a student visa from the South African embassy or consulate in your home country.


Q1. What are the admission requirements for studying art in South Africa?

Ans. Generally, you’ll need a high school diploma, a portfolio of your artwork, and good grades in relevant subjects. Some universities may also require you to take entrance exams.

Q2. What is the cost of studying art in South Africa?

Ans. Compared to other Western countries, South Africa offers art courses to international students at the following prices:
Undergraduate programs – R1500-R3850 per semester 
Postgraduate programs – R720-R12,800 per semester 

Q3. What are the job prospects for artists in South Africa?

Ans. The job market for artists in South Africa is competitive, but there are opportunities in various fields like education, advertising, design, and the fine arts industry. International exposure through exhibitions and collaborations can also open doors to wider career paths.

Q3. Is it safe to study in South Africa?

Ans. Like any other country, South Africa has its challenges. However, most universities are located in safe areas and offer various resources to ensure student safety. It’s always advisable to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.

Relevant Reads:

Here’s a List of Important Documents Required to Study AbroadHow to Get an Application Fee Waiver?
How to Find a Pocket-Friendly University?What is a Gap Year? Pros and Cons
Education Loan for Abroad Studies by Indian GovernmentHow to Study Abroad Amid the Havoc of Coronavirus?

We hope that you are now familiar with the best art universities in South Africa for international students. Keep following Leverage Edu to explore more destinations to study abroad. Thank you for reading!

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