• Duration

    3 Years

  • Qualification

    NQF 7 Degree

  • Class fee


  • Registration fee

    R9 500

  • Starts

    06 February 2023

About this Degree

Creative thinking, and everything it facilitates is the most important skill of the future. We will teach you how to harness and develop your individuality, while preparing you for a competitive, dynamic and tech-dominated future. With a Red & Yellow education, you’ll always have a competitive edge, thanks to our strong industry connections which we’ve been building since 1994. Explore your uniqueness, develop new skills and evolve into the optimal you. In an increasingly visual world, visual thinkers and communicators thrive. Our BA degree in Visual Communication is a 3-year full time, face to face programme where you’ll walk away with an internationally recognised qualification and a highly competitive portfolio that will grant you access to higher levels of learning or open the doors to the industry. Unlike a typical graphic design degree, the course is highly practical and you’ll be exposed to all disciplines of Art Direction, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Digital Design, from first year which gives you a strong background in each and enables you to confidently choose a major and one minor subject in second year followed by just focusing on a your major in third year, creating a highly specialised portfolio. The theoretical subjects are there to arm you with strategic and critical thinking skills relevant to staying ahead in the ever-changing business landscape.

Key learning outcomes

  • Get equipped with the design thinking and skills to be a Graphic Designer, Art Director, Illustrator or Digital Designer
  • Learn the necessary software (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and more of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite), illustration, presentation and time-management skills
  • Apply these skills in the execution of a series of digital and print design media
  • As you work through your projects, you will compile an interactive PDF portfolio, which will help you get the creative career you’re looking for


This course is perfect for:

  • Creative Director
  • Art Director
  • Digital Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Product Designer

Application requirements

A valid National Senior Certificate with degree endorsement / a Bachelor’s pass, Visual Art and/or Design as a subject are advantageous but not required.

Practical Component

You will work hard, have fun and make lasting friends. You’ll gain a wealth of real-world, practical experience, and the theory and practical skills to back your creative genius. Industry-relevant practical projects coupled with theory and skills-based learning is what you’ll work on with one-on-one interaction with experienced lecturers. Guest speakers from the industry and a work-integrated learning component (internship) in the final year will give you the practical experience you need to develop a highly sought-after skill set. You’ll be industry-ready and firmly ahead of the pack.

Theoretical Component

3 years of Marketing Communications and Visual Studies provides the logic (strategic and critical-thinking) component of the programme. We’ll test your abilities via recognised academic assessments of research, referencing, essay writing, presentations and formal examinations. This ensures that you’re a strategic and critical thinking force to be reckoned with, and gives you a solid academic backing that will grant you access to Honours-level programmes upon completion of the course.

The learning journey

First Year

Creative Subjects

  • Graphic Design
  • Art Direction
  • Digital Design
  • Illustration

Support Subjects

  • Photography

Critical Thinking Subjects

  • Marketing Communications
  • Visual Studies

Second Year

Pick your Major and Minor

  • Graphic Design
  • Art Direction
  • Digital Design
  • Illustration

Critical Thinking Subjects

  • Marketing Communications
  • Visual Studies

Third Year

(Focus on your Major)

Critical Thinking Subjects

  • Marketing Communications
  • Visual Studies

Practical Experiences

  • Workplace Learning (Internship)
  • Brand Challenge

Our knowledge partner

Marnell Kirsten

Senior Lecturer Visual Studies

Marnell was initially trained as a designer, but prefers to apply her creative thinking to academic reasoning, research, and writing. This blend of skills allows her to think like a designer, but to encourage critical conceptual thinking in herself and her students. She has 10 years’ experience in curriculum development, lecturing, research supervision, tutoring, and mentoring on tertiary level.

Her research strengths and interests include media and communication studies, the semiotic analysis of cultural artefacts, science communication, and data visualisation. Holding an MA in Visual Studies (cum laude) and an MPhil in Science and Technology Studies (cum laude), her next academic step is to enroll as a PhD student in Science and Technology Studies, focusing on interdisciplinarity in all her research.

Stephanie Simpson

Illustration lecturer 

Steph has been in the realm of visual arts education for the past decade while practicing as a freelance illustrator. She completed her Hon. in Illustration (cum laude) in 2014 and has been diligently chiseling away at a masters while lecturing full time.

She has many hobbies but above all, she sees herself as a storyteller because illustration is all about storytelling. Her mantra for her students is to Play until something happens, urging them to make mistakes, take chances and experiment. She hopes to encourage her students to make drawing a daily habit, like brushing your teeth or putting on underpants.

When she isn’t lecturing or crafting away in her home studio, she likes watching crime documentaries with her husband and their cat, Mowie. (Steph is a real homebody so if you ever see her out and about, please put her in an Uber and send her home because she’s probably lost.)

Heloise Bottomley

Head of Year BAVC3 & Lecturer 3rd year Illustration & 2nd year Art Direction

Heloise has been in the creative industry her entire life. Before becoming a lecturer, she worked in the advertising industry as an Art Director, Designer, Illustrator & Stylist. She has worked for agencies both here and in the U.K. and has won both local and international creative awards for her work. Even after 19 years of lecturing, there is still nothing that excites her as much as a great idea. In her free time she has her own illustration and ceramics practice.

Jo Glanville-Shein

Visual Studies Lecturer

Jo Glanville – Shein is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and lecturer exploring applications of creativity, research and design to various problems. This includes collaboratively designing and building a park for children at the Johannesburg Autism School, designing an organic waste management system as part of a research initiative for the South African government and starting a production company to facilitate womxyn students participating in the theater industry.

She recently graduated cum laude from UCT with a Masters degree in Theatre and Performance. Her eclectic mix of interests means her approach to teaching tends to be inter-disciplinary with a focus on fostering the relationships between creativity and critical thinking. She is passionate about exploring, interrogating and challenging how visual language and imagery both reflect and create our various contexts.

Sizwe Taele

Marketing Lecturer in BCom Marketing and BA Visual Communication

From an aspiring marketer to being a lecturer. Sizwe somehow knew that his calling was somewhere in between the two. Having graduated with a BA Communication Science degree (Unisa) and BA Hons in Strategic Marketing Communication (UJ) and currently pursuing his MA in Communication Science (Unisa) titled “Place branding as a tool to create emotional resonant brand experience”, his first love was always advertising.

Apart from Sizwe’s obsession with brand communication, he is an ambitious soul who is goal driven and passionate about life and the world of entrepreneurship. Sizwe possesses 6 years experience in lecturing coupled with 3 years industry knowledge ranging from strategy consulting, public relations and marketing. He is inspired by ordinary people who create innovative things from nothing. He loves being in spaces wherein he meets people from different places. A news maniac by DNA. An extrovert at heart. Lastly, his newly found love in livestock farming brings so much joy in his life.

The application process

Please have the following ready to complete your online application

Frequently bought together


Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing in association with Unilever


3 Years



Start date:

06 February 2023


Why choose Red & Yellow


Degrees, Diplomas, National and Higher Certificates that cater for everyone and the high employability of our graduates have earned us close to 142 awards

15 K

Education that combines knowledge and practical skills, providing our 15 392 alumni with traits they can use in all aspects of their lives

87 %

87% of our students find employment on graduating due to a combination of experiential learning and know-how.

100 %
Unmatched Creativity

For 28 years we have had a single minded approach to teach students how to harness a skill that will stand the test of time and the metaverse. That skill is creativity.


Frequently asked questions

What sets this degree apart from others?

The notion of choice is what sets us apart from the rest. In your first year, you delve into all the disciplines, which informs your choice of major and minor for your second year. In your final year, you focus on your major subject choice only, allowing you to enter industry with an individualised, industry-applicable portfolio.

Will this be recognised internationally?

Some of you might want to work or study further overseas, we get that. Our accreditation will be recognised internationally – so all you need to ascertain is how this aligns with the particular requirements of the school you want to study at.

Will this lead to meaningful career success?

Creative thinking is the way of the future – it’s going to become the most important skill for the 21st Century. Don’t think of ‘design’ as only about expertise, it’s about a way of thinking. One that industry sectors across the board are starting to incorporate into cross-disciplinary teams.

What are my career options?

If you’re talented, you’ll have many choices – from agencies, to in-house corporate brand teams, to starting your own small business.

Describe the on-campus experience

We have a great, centrally-located campus that is designed to ensure students have constant access to staff and our industry-guests. Class-sizes are small to ensure personal attention, and our dedicated lecturers spend inordinate amounts of one-on-one time with students, who are treated as individuals.

Make your mark while studying

Our students enter their work into highly-respected national awards, and to date, have amassed outstanding wins – from Loeries, to Ad Focus, to Pendorings and more.