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by 30 Nov 2021Alumni, Culture, News & Events

Foundation Semester

The transition from secondary school to tertiary education presents particular challenges, especially in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the delivery of high school education. For this reason, the Creative Academy presents a 6-month long foundation semester to all first-year students, irrespective of their creative field of interest, during which they are prepared for tertiary education in a manner that acknowledges the uncertainties that characterise current global economic, social and environmental conditions.Students, therefore, commence their studies, not with a focus on one particular creative discipline, but rather with an emphasis on developing vital attributes such as creativity, curiosity, agility and resilience that will set them up well, not only for tertiary studies but also for the professional life to come afterwards. This shared foundation across creative disciplines furthermore gives students the advantage of being better informed when confirming their choice of specialisation in the second semester of their first year. During the second semester, students specialise in either Communication Design, Contemporary Art, Interaction Design or Motion Design so as to hone a particular skill set and professional sensibility that relates to that particular sector within the creative economy.


Transdisciplinary approach

The Creative Academy combines the academic rigour of a university with the conceptual development of an independent art school. Add to that the know-how of a technical training college, the acumen of a business school and the experience of internship. By combining various educational frameworks, we ensure that our students develop in a range of areas.

A unique feature of the Creative Academy is that our four registered and accredited degrees in Communication Design, Contemporary Art, Interaction Design and Motion Design collaborate and integrate where relevant. As a result students get the chance to explore a variety of creative fields and gain insight into complementary sectors. What’s more, business management and entrepreneurial studies form part of our courses, so our students are equipped for a range of positions.

What students say:

“The courses the Creative Academy offer are diverse, and cover a wide range of sector/industries that students can go into in the digital space. It has given me the knowledge and understanding to explore various avenues of design, not only that of my major.”

Small classes and one-on-one sessions

Our focus on the creative industries means the Creative Academy is a niche institution. That translates into a more intimate environment: no massive lecture halls, but classes where students know each other. Because student numbers are limited, our lecturers can spend valuable time with each student to develop their unique style and stretch their abilities.

What students say:

“I really wanted to study at a smaller school, where I would not feel lost in the crowds.”

“Because the classes are the size that they are, it is a lot easier to get guidance from the lecturer.”


“The one on one times I had with some of my favourite lecturers were definitely an amazing opportunity that I will cherish forever.”

Practical skills taught

Training in sought-after job skills is one of the reasons students choose to study here. The Creative Academy offers goal-oriented education that empowers students to develop and hone their creative abilities with an eye on the future. Our educators work closely with industry so that our courses answer the continually changing needs of the professional world.

What students say:

“I think the Creative Academy offers a great, practical course that is very industry-related and relevant.”

“The Creative Academy definitely prepares their students for the industry. The preparation includes putting pressure on their students [which] translates to the student being able to work under pressure in the industry. The combination between being book smart and doing practical work is perfectly balanced.”

Nurturing environment

We see our task as no less than unleashing the creative potential of those who will shape the future. Our job is to foster innovative thinking, to stimulate creative discovery and to encourage personal growth. To that end we create a supportive space where students can explore and spread their wings.

What students say:

“It is such a safe and happy learning environment. Everyone gets challenged and pushed to do their personal best. There is always a lecturer who is caring and compassionate, willing to help at any time.”

“[The course] has shown me different ways of thinking and helped me progress a lot – both in my craft and personal life. It’s hard to imagine any other institution with this many passionate individuals doing everything they can to help a student evolve.”

Industry experience

At the Creative Academy we value our close ties with the creative industries. That is to say, our design education is based on industry involvement, from the creative professionals that act as our external assessors to the agency internships that students must complete in their third year. Our experienced educators are master designers in their own right, with a wealth of industry relevant experience.

What students say:

“Loved to study with people that are in the same field of interest as I and also [the fact that] the lecturers have worked in the industry.”

Professional programme

All three-year degree programmes offered by the Creative Academy are accredited by the Council on Higher Education. Our programmes are structured to guide young creatives through the process of refining their abilities, with excellent mentors, facilities and resources preparing the path. The Creative Academy’s amenities encompass computer labs, a photographic studio and workshops for making.

What students say:

“The assignments and term schedules are well thought-through and you notice the Creative Academy cares about its students and their success, professionally and on an emotional level.”

“The attention to detail and overall look and feel of the academy is what stood out to me most. It looked professional and organised.”

Creative setting

Located in a renovated silo at Cape Town’s trendy Old Biscuit Mill, the Creative Academy campus is at the heart of the city’s design quarter. The location is home to several workshops, galleries and studios, so inspiration is never far away.

What students say:

“The Creative Academy is an amazing institution that celebrates design, diversity and innovation. It’s also located in one of the best design hubs in Cape Town.”


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