University of South Africa, better known as UNISA, was founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope. It is one of the few that continued to provide tertiary education to all races even during the dark days of formal racism. The University has regional centers across South Africa’s nine Provinces and is composed of eight academic Colleges.

The College of Human Sciences has three schools, which are composed of different departments, including the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology. It is situated at the corners of Justice Mahomed and Steve Biko Streets in Sunnyside, Pretoria. It offers both art and music education to students who meet the University’s minimum entrance requirements. The department offers a range of qualifications such as the bachelors of Multimedia, Digital Art, Musicology, Art History and Visual Arts.

Drawing, painting and sculpture in both traditional and non-traditional media are the foundation modules for the Visual Arts degree. It is a public Open Distance Learning institution, which offers both job-related and academic certificates, diplomas, and degrees up to doctoral level. Distance education means that teaching happens through tutorial letters, which set out objectives and structure of the course. To help bridge the gap of distant learning, compulsory workshops are hosted at UNISA centers in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town to equip students with technical assistance and one-on-one training sessions where possible. Part of the teaching encourages students to experiment with various materials and concepts while pushing boundaries of what is possible. The South African painter, Walter Battiss is one outstanding alumni of the department. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in 1973.  

To study for a Bachelor of Musicology potential students are expected to have a grasp of basic theory and the practical aptitude that equals grade 12 (matric) level. The fields of Composition Studies and Music in History and Society are covered as part of the degree. The Department of Musicology was integrated with Visual Arts and Art History to form the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology in 2002. The study of music as an academic subject has been taught at UNISA for some time now. One of the University’s leading alumni is the choral composer, Michael Moerane. He obtained Bachelor of Music in 1942, when two of South Africa’s presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma were born. This makes Moerane the first Black person in the Country to achieve this milestone.

The department continues to equip its students with both practical and theoretical training to sharpen their intellect and competitiveness. It produces and often co-publishes journals such as the bi-annual De Arte and Muziki whose primary purpose is the research of music theory and practice. 

"UNISA is the largest University on the African Continent and the first to teach by distance learning the World over!"

-25° 46' 3.5774", 28° 11' 57.12"