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Admission into Introductory Studies

NMMU photography field trip to the Karoo 2008 Nina Joubert 

NMMU photography field trip to the Karoo © 2008 Nina Joubert

The Introductory Studies course forms the compulsory first year credit for all students seeking to major in the following disciplines:

  • Photography,
  • Fine Art,
  • Graphic Design,
  • Textile Design

All students wanting to major in one of these Diploma/Degree directions are required to apply for INTRODUCTORY STUDIES – ART AND DESIGN on their NMMU application forms.

A student must be in possession of a National Senior Certificate/Senior Certificate with a minimum of a D-symbol for First Language Higher Grade or a C-symbol for First Language Standard Grade.


All applicants must comply with the minimum NMMU admission requirements. Applications are internally evaluated (National Senior Certificate, Senior Certificate or final Grade 12 trial examination results or final Grade 11 results) by using the following evaluation system.

How to calculate your Admission Point Score (APS)

  • The APS system allocates point values to the levels of achievement obtained for your matric subjects.
  • Write down your relevant Grade 12 subjects and the levels obtained.
  • Allocate points according to the table below.

Add up the number of points you have scored.

    8 90 – 100%
7 80-100% 7 80-89%
6 70-79% 6 70-79%
5 60-69% 5 60-69%
4 50-59% 4 50-59%
3 40-49% 3 40-49%
2 30-39% 2 30-39%
1 0-29% 0 0-29%

Please take note that the table below is only applicable to those learners who have completed a qualification at a Further Education and Training (FET) college.

Grade 12 Symbol A B C D E F
NTC 5 4 3 2 1 0

Nature Valley Field Trip 2008 Graham Thompson

Nature Valley Field Trip ©2008 Graham Thompson

Applicants scoring 25 points or higher will be invited in writing to prepare a prescribed portfolio and make an appointment to attend an interview, present their portfolio and complete a series of placement tests. These tests include a language placement assessment and may include a department-based aptitude assessment. Applicants scoring below 25 points may apply for entrance, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is strongly advised that documentation from an appropriate source eg a guidance counsellor, teacher etc. in support of the application is submitted.

Final acceptance will be based on the National Senior Certificate or the Senior Certificate results as well as the results of the interview and assessment process mentioned above. Applications based on recognition of prior work experience, age and maturity will also be considered.

ADMISSION INTO THE SECOND YEAR: Photography Diploma Course

After successfully completing the Introductory Studies course students are considered for placement in one of the second year disciplines. The final procedure for entrance to any of the 2nd year directions takes place at the end of the academic year. Prior to placement the student is required to indicate a first and a second choice of a preferred study direction at the second year level. The student attends a placement interview with the photography course lecturers, at which a portfolio of first year work is submitted.

During the interview process, students are counselled as to the discipline most suited to their abilities, and are subsequently offered a place in an appropriate course. Departments reserve the right to accept only those students who display the appropriate talent, aptitude, work ethic and skills for the intended field of study. Entrance remains conditional until the date that the Examination Department publishes the official first year results.

Sandy Coffey

“Studying at 40 was a life changing and fascinating experience for me. Most of the lecturers were older than me and I had the privilege of studying with individuals who were twenty years younger or more, than I am. Apart from the tuition, and the access to equipment and information, those three years were an education in life as I never stopped learning from my classmates!”


In addition to the general course fees, students will be required to make financial provision for equipment and materials. This includes text books, camera equipment, drawing equipment and insurance costs. Download the Materials Letter (PDF) for detailed information.

Contact information
Mrs Andrieta Wentzel
Head of Department: Introductory Studies
Tel: +27 41 504 3539