Where to study graphic design in South Africa

posted in: Study Design | 296

So you want to be a graphic designer and don’t know where to start? Well back in the day when I decided to study graphic design there weren’t many design schools to choose from, but today you have a choice of independent schools, colleges, universities and universities of technology. You can do a short course, diploma or even a degree.

Graphic design is a great occupation! So to help you begin, here is a list of design schools in South Africa. To assist future students I have added a school rating system. Please give the schools listed a fair and honest rating.

Independent Schools & College

AAA School of Advertising

Artshub Institute

Cape Town Creative Academy (CTCA)


CTI Education Group

  • See Website for locations
  • BA Graphic Design (MGI)
  • www.cti.co.za


Design School Southern Africa (DSSA)

friends of design

Greenside Design Center

Inscape Design College

  • Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town
  • Graphic Design Diploma or Degree
  • www.inscape.co.za

Prestige Academy

Red and Yellow Graphic Design

Rosebank College

Style Design College

Vega School of Brand Leadership

  • Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town
  • BA Degree in Brand Building and Management
  • www.vegaschool.com


Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

North West University

University of Johannesburg

  • Johannesburg
  • Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
  • www.uj.ac.za

University of Pretoria

University of Stellenbosch

Universities of Technology

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Central University of Technology

Tshwane University of Technology

Vaal University of Technology

  • Vanderbijlpark
  • Department of Visual Arts and Design
  • www.vut.ac.za

Short Courses


Pixel Craft

296 Responses

  1. Gameda Benefeld

    Hi Erica
    My daughter has graduated with a degree in Education from CPUT.She now wants to do a graphic design course but not for 3 years.UCT is offering a short course.Is that advisable and what can you do with it in her situation?

  2. Hello Erica
    Im in a dilemma here, Im considering the e-learning option of Style Design college, it all sounds wonderful, only problem is How do i know for sure if it’s accredited by South africa? I found an article where their Accredited status was stripped a few years ago. This is what their site says :

    Accreditation is an ongoing process as colleges such as SDC strive to improve and add new programs to meet the needs of industry. SDC enjoys accreditations and affiliations with the following bodies below. South African applicants are required to contact these bodies for information on the program accreditation status before applying.

    How am i supposed to contact the SA bodies to verify? I’d really appreciate any help you can offer

    • Hi Danny, sorry I am only getting back to you now. Unfortunately I don’t know much about Style Design College, but to find out if they are accredited have a look at the Council on Higher Education website.

    • Grant Kauffman

      Hi Danny
      Qualification and site accreditation or in this case re-accreditation is ongoing (Annual). I concur with Erica with regards to verifying accreditation status at Council on Higher Education. Remember that international accreditation is also an important consideration.

  3. My name is Malcolm I’m 38 years old and would love to get into graphic design. Am I too old and how do I go about doing it. I did a course in 1995-1997 did not pursue it as I went into something else .I am currently residing in Gauteng and I am unemployed.(Where can I get an internhip)

  4. Hi Erica,

    I am currently residing in JHB. I have experience and a diploma in photography, but when applying for jobs most need graphics experience as well. I would like to do a course in graphic design and was wondering where are good colleges in JHB?

  5. Mondina Ngandwe

    Hi, I want to does a graphic designing course. I have a full time job staying in Mpumalanga. I did a short course for 3 months. but I am still struggling with coral draw. I do all my designs in Adobe photoshop. I want to upgrade myself. I don’t mind going to joburg everyweekend. I need weekend classes. pls help.

  6. Hi Erica,do youby any chance know if the cityvarsity campus is any good?

  7. I have a question ,do you have a one year course for Graphi Design, how much the deposit, how much all in all?, how do you pay. I want to start by January 2015.

  8. Hi..
    My name is caroline. Am 18.from Kenya…
    am kindly requesting if you know any best graphic design colleges.
    and their requirements to enter the school as well..

  9. Hi Erica

    I want to study graphic design but unfortunately I cannot do a full 3 year program, Please advise on where I could go and inquire, that will not cost me fortune. What I was thinking is doing all the adobe creative suite courses and apply for an internship, will that be enough to apply and get a proper internship? Alicia

  10. Hi Erica

    I would like to know how an organisation (vega) could be included in the ranking system which you have in place?

    I look forward to your response.

    kind regards

    Grant Kauffman

    • Hi Grant, so sorry I am only getting back to you now. The ranking system was faulty, but I have corrected it now.

  11. Hello. Do I need an art portfolio for graphic design? I’m getting mixed answers from a lot of universities. I’ve taken Chemistry, English Lang, maths and computer studies in AS.

    • Hi Muneeza, thanks for your comment. Each university will specify their own portfolio requirements. Exact briefs of portfolios and entrance assessments will be forwarded to you if your application has met the University’s minimum admission requirements.

  12. Hey erica

    I would love to go to the other schools for graphic design but finances are not on my side is rosebank college any good ???

    • sensibly terrible

      1) graphic design is by no means cheap. You will need to meet requirements. Average cost for said course is around R17k to R20k. 2) get a job; study part time. That could help you pay off your fees over the viable period. Otherwise, get someone to loan you money for the course, or, if possible, get a scholarship. Nuff said.

  13. Hi Erica my name is aviwe i want to know when should i apply if i ddnt apply for graphic design this january?

    • sensibly terrible

      dear aviwe,
      Its a simple case of go-back-to-the-institution-of-choice-and-ask-for-their-future-dates-of-admission. A simple phone call or a quick visit to their web site should suffice.

  14. Hi am Ndumiso am 18 years From Durban in South Africa. I want to study the Graphic Design and I’m lost I don’t know where to study Graphic Design. The Graphic Design school that I know they don’t do “games” which is what i want to study i don’t Mind full time or part time if I’m studding what i want.

    • sensibly terrible

      pixelcrafttraining is a good place, i guess. Be careful not to underestimate an institute’s degree of relevance when considering their influence in helping you towards your goal. Graphic design is a simple term with far-reaching capabilities.

  15. Hi I’m interested in the Style Design college graphic design course , I was wondering if you have had any reviews from others about the college , I have emailed them to ask about the accreditation and they say they are not accredited in South Africa as they are an international college. Does that mean that I should do a National degree instead of a international one. Really like that its all online, as I work Fulltime and would still like to get a degree.

    Thanks you for your time

  16. Hi,what’s the best places to study graphic design in durban?

    • sensibly terrible

      not a hard question to get answered. Google ‘graphic design courses durban’. Voila

  17. Hi am 16 years old and am in grade 11 and i want to become a graphic design so my problem is that i dont know that which course should i study for to become a graphic design

  18. hi.yes I wanna study graphic designing but at moment I m still weighing my option.

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