Study Communication (Graphic) Design at University of Johannesburg (UJ)

Do you want to Study Communication (Graphic) Design at University of Johannesburg (UJ)? Find below details such as Admission Requirements for the Communication (Graphic) Design, Career Opportunities and many more.

Communication (Graphic) Design

Communication designers are creative thinkers and problem solvers who use a range of design methods, processes and techniques to create professional communication designs, such as posters, books, magazines, corporate identity programmes, packaging and web sites, both individually and as members of teams.
The Department of Graphic Design offers a Bachelor of Arts in Design specialising in Communication Design. The Department’s facilities include a number of studios and a centrally located Apple Macintosh computer studio.

Career Opportunities

Graduates will be able to enter a communication design career by working in design studios, marketing consultancies, branding and advertising agencies, and for newspapers, magazines and book publishers as:

  • Graphic and communication designers
  • Art directors
  • Typographic designers
  • Layout artists
  • Illustrators

In addition, employment can be found as an in-house designer for companies or state-supported institutions, or graduates can choose to freelance or start their own graphic design business.

Admission Requirements for the BA (Design) (Communication Design)

  • Senior certificate or equivalent qualification with a minimum APS or M-score
  • Submission of a prescribed portfolio
  • Completion of the National Benchmarking Test (NBT) for Academic and Quantitative Literacy (AQL)
Average Point Score (APS)
A minimum APS of 23 with Mathematics or 24 with Mathematical Literacy is required to apply for the programme. The Life Orientation score is divided by 2 when calculating the total APS.
Languages Maths or

Maths Literacy

Life Orientation Subjects 1, 2 & 3
Language of teaching and learning Other recognised language



(60 – 69%)


(50 – 59%)

Maths: 3 (40 – 49%)


Maths Lit: 4

(50 – 59%)


(50 – 59%)

4 (50 – 59%)

4 (50 – 59%)

3 (40 – 49%)


This scoring system is used if the applicant completed school prior to 2008 or A/O levels, old curriculum IEB, etc.
A minimum M-score of 12 is required to apply for the programme with at least a D symbol for English First Language, Higher Grade; or a C symbol for English Second Language, Higher Grade; or a B symbol for English, Standard Grade.

Symbols A B C D E
Points Higher Grade 5 4 3 2 1
Standard Grade 4 3 2 1 0

Applicants meeting the minimum entrance requirements (APS or M Score) for the BA (Design) (Communication Design) will be invited to submit a prescribed portfolio.

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants are selected through the assessment of a prescribed portfolio as described in this pamphlet. Please note that University of Johannesburg applications close at the end of September.
  • Portfolios can be submitted on the last Friday of each month from June until the end of October 2017. Applicants are informed of the outcome in an official letter, and the portfolios must be collected by the last Friday of January 2016. The portfolio must be delivered to the address on this pamphlet or post it to: Department of Graphic Design, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 524, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, 2006.

Portfolio Requirements

You are required to prepare a portfolio of work in which you compile your response to the tasks outlined. The portfolio must adhere to the following:

  •  It must be A2 in size and neatly made of rigid, protective material such as cardboard or rigid plastic sheets. However, avoid heavy materials such as metal or wood for the cover.
  • Your name, telephone number, postal address, the programme you are applying for, and the Graphic Design Department’s address must appear on the cover.
  • It must include certified copies of your ID and your latest results in the National Senior Certificate examination or equivalent qualification as well as a certified and signed declaration that the portfolio is your own work.
  • It must include all the set tasks as outlined below, and in addition you may include examples of your best existing work in the form of photographs, photocopies, digital prints, or on compact disk.
  • You are advised to give serious attention to the quality of your portfolio as only a restricted number of students can be accepted.


  • The tasks are constructed to assess your creativity, visual communication skills as well as your technical ability, and presentation, drawing and writing skills
  • The tasks must be completed in 16 hours or less.
  • Following submission of the portfolio, the Department might require you to complete further assessments at the University of Johannesburg to test your vocabulary, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, comparison, and spatial visualisation ability.
  • Read through the tasks carefully and ensure that you adhere to all the instructions.
  • Remember that there are no right or wrong ways to complete the assessment, only different ways of addressing the tasks.

Task 1: Chair drawing

Set up a wooden chair and place an object that you feel communicates something about your personality on or next to the chair. Produce an accurate drawing in pencil of this set-up on an A2 paper. The whole chair must be represented and the drawing must be done free-hand – you may not use a ruler, compass, or any other technical drawing instrument or object to help you do the drawing.

Assessment criteria: Creativity, visual communication skills, technical ability, presentation skills, drawing skills, attitude.

Task 2: Lettering

Divide an A2 piece of paper into a grid consisting of 16 rectangles. Letter the word “plus” differently in each rectangle. A variety of mediums must be used, from the traditional, such as pencil, to the non-traditional, such as tea.

Assessment criteria: creativity, visual communication skills, technical ability, presentation skills, attitude.

Task 3: Comic strip

Create a five-panel comic strip using only pictures to show how you prepare for and celebrate a family tradition. The main character must be you and the drawing can be in any style appropriate to the tone of the story. Any appropriate drawing medium may be selected, such as pencil or pen, on good-quality A3 paper or board.

Assessment criteria: creativity, visual communication skills, technical ability, presentation skills, attitude.

Task 4: Logo conceptualisation

Imagine that you were asked to develop a new logo for one of the following brands: Coco Pops / Fruit Loops
Write the name of the brand you have chosen in the middle of an A3 page. Then make a mind-map showing your thought process in coming up with an idea for the logo.  Come up with as many ideas as you think are possible and write down and visualise the ideas as the mind-map grows.  Try also to show connections between your ideas.  Once you are finished indicate on the mind-map which is your favourite concept.

Assessment criteria: creativity, visual communication skills, attitude.

Task 5: Telling stories

Arrange the following three frames so that they make two completely different stories. Write the basic plot for each story you have made.

Task 6: Essay

Write a two-page essay on the following topic: “I think I am creative because…”

Assessment criteria: creativity, writing skills, attitude.

Task 7: Visual analysis

Choose any image, for example a painting, poster, or photograph, and explain in writing what the image depicts.

Assessment criteria: writing skills, attitude.

Articulation possibilities

The Graphic Design Department offers a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Design and a Masters of Arts in Design

All images in this brochure are of student work from the Graphic Design Department, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg.

Contact Details

Department of Graphic Design

Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA)

University of Johannesburg

Auckland Park Bunting Road Campus

Johannesburg, 2006

FADA Information Centre

011 559 1117/1098 I or