AFDA Courses Requirements
AFDA Courses Requirements

In the vibrant landscape of South Africa’s creative arts education, one name stands out, illuminating the path to excellence: AFDA. Short for the Academy of Film, Design, and Arts, AFDA is not just an institution; it’s a haven for passionate individuals seeking to unleash their creative potential. Established in 1994, AFDA has left an indelible mark on the world of higher education. In this post, I will go into the essence of AFDA, exploring what makes it a unique and highly regarded institution in South Africa.

Table of Contents

An Overview of AFDA University

AFDA Courses Requirements
About AFDA

In the realm of creative arts education, AFDA stands as a beacon of innovation, creativity, and excellence. With its industry-focused curriculum, cutting-edge facilities, diverse student body, and network of successful alumni, AFDA paves the way for aspiring artists and creators to shine in the competitive world of creative industries. If your heart beats to the rhythm of creativity and you aspire to make a mark in the world of film, television, performance, radio, podcasting, creative writing, or business innovation within the creative realm, AFDA is not just an option; it’s your pathway to excellence. Choose AFDA, and together, let’s paint the canvas of your dreams with the vibrant colors of creativity and success.

A Legacy of Creativity and Excellence

AFDA, with its four distinct campuses in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth, has been a torchbearer in the realm of creative education for nearly three decades. The institution’s unwavering commitment to nurturing artistic talent has propelled it to the forefront of the South African creative industry.

A Multifaceted Offerings Portfolio

AFDA offers a diverse array of undergraduate and postgraduate programs that cater to a broad spectrum of creative aspirations. Whether your heart beats for the silver screen, the thrill of live performance, the magic of radio and podcasting, the world of words and storytelling, or even the dynamism of business innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative realm, AFDA has a program tailored just for you.

Accreditation and Quality Assurance

One of the cornerstones of AFDA’s credibility is its commitment to excellence through accreditation. All its programs are accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). This means that when you choose AFDA, you are not just investing in your passion; you are investing in a recognized and reputable qualification.

Building Legends: AFDA’s Impact on Alumni

AFDA is more than just a conduit for education; it’s a launchpad for success. Its distinguished alumni, now luminaries in their respective fields, are a testament to the institution’s dedication to producing industry-ready graduates.

Industry-Focused Curriculum

At the heart of AFDA’s success is its curriculum, meticulously crafted to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the competitive creative industries. The emphasis is not just on theoretical learning but also on practical experience. Students have the privilege of learning from seasoned professionals and engaging in real-world projects, setting them up for success from day one.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

The pursuit of excellence requires the right tools, and AFDA recognizes this. Its campuses are veritable wonderlands of state-of-the-art facilities, boasting cutting-edge film and television studios, world-class recording studios, and dynamic performance spaces. Here, students aren’t just observers; they are hands-on creators, learning and honing their craft using the latest equipment and technology.

A Tapestry of Diversity

AFDA’s allure extends far beyond South African borders. The institution has a magnetic pull that attracts aspiring artists and creators from all over the world. This melting pot of cultures and perspectives creates a vibrant learning environment where students can glean insights and experiences from a diverse array of peers. This is where creativity truly knows no bounds.

A Lifelong Network

Your journey at AFDA doesn’t end with graduation; it’s the beginning of a lifelong journey. AFDA prides itself on nurturing a robust alumni network comprising highly successful professionals across various creative industries. This network becomes your invaluable resource, offering mentorship, collaboration opportunities, and a support system as you embark on your creative odyssey.

What Courses Does AFDA Offer?

In the ever-evolving landscape of the creative industries, education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of aspiring artists and professionals. AFDA, the South African School of Motion Picture Medium, and Live Performance stands at the forefront, offering a diverse range of courses that pave the way for students to embark on successful careers in film, television, radio, and the performing arts.

LevelProgram Title
Higher CertificatesHigher Certificate in Film, TV & Entertainment Production
Higher Certificate in Performing Arts
Diploma in Radio and podcasting
Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Arts in Motion Picture Medium
Bachelor of Arts in Live Performance
PostgraduateBachelor of Arts Honours in Motion Picture Medium
Master of Fine Arts in Motion Picture Medium
Distance LearningDiploma in Creative Writing
Diploma in Film Production
Diploma in Radio & Podcasting
what Courses Does AFDA Offer

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Elevate Your Creativity with AFDA

AFDA boasts an impressive array of programs that cater to diverse artistic interests and career aspirations. With a commitment to excellence and innovation, AFDA prepares its students to shine in the competitive world of the creative industries.

Higher Certificates

1. Higher Certificate in Film, TV & Entertainment Production

Are you fascinated by the magic of filmmaking? The Higher Certificate in Film, TV & Entertainment Production at AFDA provides a comprehensive introduction to the captivating world of film and television production. This course equips students with a broad understanding of the entire production process, from concept to screen. You’ll gain insights into the various roles that come together to create cinematic masterpieces, along with the technical and creative skills required for each role.

2. Higher Certificate in Performing Arts

If your passion lies in the performing arts, AFDA’s Higher Certificate in Performing Arts is designed just for you. This program is a stepping stone to a career in acting, singing, and dancing. Here, you’ll not only learn the fundamentals of performing but also discover how to nurture and showcase your unique talents. Unleash your creativity on the stage under the guidance of experienced mentors.

3. Higher Certificate in Radio & Podcasting

For those with a penchant for the airwaves, AFDA offers the Higher Certificate in Radio & Podcasting. Dive into the world of radio and podcast production, where you’ll acquire the skills needed to excel in this dynamic field. From writing and editing to hosting and presenting, this course covers it all, ensuring you’re ready to make waves in the world of audio broadcasting.

Undergraduate Degrees

4. Bachelor of Arts in Motion Picture Medium

Embark on a comprehensive filmmaking journey with AFDA’s Bachelor of Arts in Motion Picture Medium. This undergraduate degree program provides students with a holistic education in the art and science of filmmaking. From crafting compelling scripts to directing, cinematography, and editing, you’ll master every facet of the filmmaking process.

5. Bachelor of Arts in Live Performance

The Bachelor of Arts in Live Performance program at AFDA is tailored for those aspiring to thrive in the world of live entertainment. Whether your dream is to be an actor, singer, or dancer, this program hones your skills and equips you to excel in a professional setting. It’s your ticket to the spotlight.

Postgraduate Degrees

6. BA Honours in Motion Picture Medium

Take your filmmaking expertise to the next level with the BA Honours in Motion Picture Medium. This postgraduate program allows you to specialize in a specific area of filmmaking, such as directing, cinematography, or editing. Dive deep into your chosen discipline and emerge as a master of your craft.

7. BA Honours in Live Performance

The BA Honours in Live Performance is your gateway to an advanced understanding of the performing arts. This program is designed for those who wish to go deeper into acting, singing, or dancing. Under the mentorship of industry professionals, you’ll refine your skills and prepare for a promising career in live entertainment.

8. Postgraduate Master of Fine Arts

For students with aspirations beyond the ordinary, AFDA offers the Postgraduate Master of Fine Arts program. This MFA program is ideal for those who envision careers in academia or the professional arts industry. You’ll have the opportunity to specialize in either film or performance and will produce significant creative work as part of your degree.

Short Courses and Workshops

In addition to the core courses mentioned above, AFDA also offers a selection of short courses and workshops that cover an array of topics, including acting, filmmaking, screenwriting, editing, and sound design. These short, focused programs provide valuable insights and hands-on experience in specific areas of the creative industries.

Campus Locations

AFDA has established its presence across South Africa with campuses in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Gqeberha. This expansive network ensures that aspiring creatives from various regions can access AFDA’s world-class education.


It’s worth noting that all of AFDA’s courses are accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), assuring you of the quality and recognition of your educational journey.

What Subjects Do You Need to Study Film?

Are you captivated by the magic of the silver screen? Does the world of cinema beckon you with its allure? If so, embarking on a journey into the realm of film studies might be your ideal academic pursuit. In this section, I will go into the diverse subjects and areas you’ll encounter as you journey through the captivating world of film education.

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Understanding the Foundation: Film History

To truly appreciate the art of filmmaking, one must first understand its history. Film history courses serve as the bedrock of your cinematic knowledge. They trace the evolution of cinema from its inception to the modern era. You’ll explore how the medium has evolved, the groundbreaking films that shaped it, and the pioneers who paved the way for today’s filmmakers. With this historical context, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry and innovation behind every frame.

Analyzing Cinematic Expression: Film Theory

Once you have a grasp of film’s history, it’s time to dive into film theory. This field of study introduces you to various lenses through which you can analyze and interpret films. From classic theories like auteurism to contemporary approaches like feminist film theory, you’ll develop critical thinking skills that enable you to dissect the themes, symbolism, and artistic choices within films. Film theory is your key to unlocking the layers of meaning hidden beneath the surface of every cinematic masterpiece.

Bringing Stories to Life: Filmmaking

Do you dream of standing behind the camera, directing your films? Filmmaking courses are your gateway to turning that dream into reality. These classes cover the technical and creative aspects of filmmaking, from scripting and storyboarding to cinematography and directing. You’ll learn the nuts and bolts of production and gain hands-on experience, making your vision come to life on the screen.

Crafting Compelling Narratives: Screenwriting

The screenplay is the blueprint of any film, and screenwriting courses teach you the art of crafting compelling narratives. Whether you aspire to write the next Hollywood blockbuster or an indie masterpiece, these classes will guide you in developing engaging characters, creating captivating dialogue, and structuring your story for the screen. With the power of the written word, you’ll breathe life into unforgettable stories.

Capturing Visual Poetry: Cinematography

Cinematography is the marriage of art and science in filmmaking. This discipline explores the visual aspects of film, including camera techniques, lighting, and framing. Cinematography courses empower you to transform ordinary scenes into visual poetry, using composition and aesthetics to convey emotion and meaning. Through the lens of a camera, you’ll paint pictures that speak to the soul.

Weaving the Narrative: Editing

Editing is where the magic happens in filmmaking. It’s the process of assembling raw footage into a cohesive, compelling story. Editing courses teach you the intricacies of cutting, pacing, and sequencing to create seamless narratives. You’ll learn how to manipulate time and space, crafting a story that engages and resonates with the audience.

The Symphony of Sound: Sound Design

Sound is a silent hero in film, and sound design courses shed light on its pivotal role. From dialogue recording and sound effects to music composition and mixing, you’ll explore every facet of audio in film. These courses equip you with the skills to immerse the audience in the auditory world of your cinematic creations, enhancing the emotional impact of your films.

Expanding Your Horizons: Related Subjects

While the core subjects provide a strong foundation, don’t limit your learning. Consider venturing into related areas to enrich your understanding of film:

1. Media Studies

Media studies provide a broader context for film within the media landscape. You’ll examine how film interacts with other forms of media and explore the societal impact of cinema.

2. Art History

Art history deepens your appreciation of the visual aspects of film. By studying various art movements and styles, you’ll gain insights into the aesthetics and symbolism in cinema.

3. Literature

Literature courses help you understand the art of storytelling. Discover how great literary works have been adapted into iconic films, and learn to appreciate the synergy between these two forms of storytelling.

4. Philosophy

Philosophy courses encourage critical thinking about the ideas and themes presented in films. You’ll engage in thought-provoking discussions on the moral, ethical, and existential questions posed by cinema.

Choosing Your Path

Colleges and universities across the globe offer film studies programs, which can lead to either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. Some institutions even provide graduate programs for those seeking advanced knowledge in film studies.

Selecting the right program is crucial to your cinematic journey. Research different institutions, review their curricula, and consider your aspirations and goals. Find a program that aligns with your vision for a future in film.

Tips for Aspiring Filmmakers

As you embark on your film studies adventure, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Watch a Variety of Films: To truly understand the craft, immerse yourself in cinema. Watch films from diverse genres, periods, and cultures. Pay close attention to storytelling, cinematography, editing, and sound design.
  2. Read Widely: Expand your knowledge by reading books and articles about film. Explore resources on film history, theory, and filmmaking. Dive into film magazines and online publications to stay updated on industry trends.
  3. Enroll in Film Studies Courses: Take your passion for film to the next level by enrolling in film studies classes at a local college or university. Learn from experienced professors and connect with like-minded peers.
  4. Create Your Films: The best way to learn filmmaking is by doing it. Start small with short films and gradually work your way up to more ambitious projects. Practical experience will be your greatest teacher.

Studying film is a journey filled with discovery and creativity. It’s an opportunity to explore different cultures, perspectives, and ideas while honing your critical thinking skills. If your heart beats to the rhythm of cinema, then film studies is your path to unlocking the secrets of this mesmerizing art form. As you embark on this educational voyage, remember that every frame, every script, and every edit is a step closer to realizing your cinematic dreams.

AFDA Entry Requirements

Are you aspiring to embark on an exciting journey in the world of film, television, or performance arts? AFDA, the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, could be your ticket to a fulfilling creative career. However, before you start envisioning your name in lights, you need to meet certain admission requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential prerequisites for gaining entry into AFDA. Whether you’re a local student or an international applicant, read on to discover the key criteria and tips to secure your spot at this esteemed institution.

1. AFDA Higher Certificate Program

One of the primary routes to eligibility at AFDA is the successful completion of the AFDA Higher Certificate program. This comprehensive program equips students with fundamental skills and knowledge in the fields of film, television, and performance arts. It serves as an excellent foundation for those looking to pursue further studies at AFDA.

2. National Senior Certificate (NSC) with University Entrance

If you’ve obtained a National Senior Certificate (NSC) with university entrance, you’re well on your way to meeting AFDA’s admission criteria. This certificate demonstrates your academic prowess and eligibility for higher education, making you a strong candidate for AFDA’s degree programs.

3. National Skills Certificate / National Certificate (Vocational) (NCV) on NQF Level 4

For those with a National Skills Certificate or National Certificate (Vocational) (NCV) on NQF Level 4, AFDA has specific requirements. You should have scored above 60% in three fundamental subjects, including English, and achieved over 70% in four vocational subjects. This combination showcases your proficiency and readiness for the challenges of AFDA’s curriculum.

4. Technical N5 Certificate

Students holding a technical N5 certificate with a pass in four subjects, including Mathematics and English, are eligible for AFDA’s programs. This technical qualification demonstrates your competence in core subjects essential for creative studies.

5. ACE School of Tomorrow

For those who have completed the ACE School of Tomorrow program with an achievement level similar to matric exemption, AFDA offers an exciting opportunity. Your unique educational background can open doors to a creative education at AFDA.

6. First-Year Accredited Program on NQF 6 or 7

If you’ve successfully completed the first year of an accredited program on NQF 6 or 7, such as a diploma or degree, AFDA recognizes your dedication to higher education. This prior academic experience positions you as a strong candidate for AFDA’s programs.

7. International Students

International students who do not possess a matric equivalent have an option to take the AFDA Entrance Exam. This exam holds recognition from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), and admission decisions are made at the discretion of the AFDA Senate based on the exam results.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the aforementioned entry requirements, AFDA may also consider the following factors when making admissions decisions:

a. Relevant Work Experience

If you have relevant work experience in the film, television, or performance arts industry, this can work in your favor. AFDA values practical knowledge and skills, and your experience can bolster your application.

b. Portfolio of Creative Work

A standout portfolio showcasing your creative talents can greatly enhance your chances of admission. Whether you’re a filmmaker, actor, or designer, your portfolio is a reflection of your potential.

c. Audition Performance

For Acting applicants, audition performance plays a critical role in the admission process. Be prepared to showcase your acting skills and leave a lasting impression on the selection panel.

d. Personal Interview

In some cases, AFDA may conduct personal interviews to assess your passion, dedication, and suitability for their programs. It’s an opportunity to express your enthusiasm and commitment.

Applying to AFDA

Applicants are strongly encouraged to initiate the admission process at AFDA as early as possible. It’s important to note that places at AFDA are limited, and applying early can give you an advantage in securing a spot at this prestigious institution.


In the world of creative industries, where innovation and talent reign supreme, AFDA is your ally in nurturing your artistic potential and preparing you for a successful career. Whether your heart beats for filmmaking, performing arts, radio, or podcasting, AFDA’s comprehensive programs and experienced mentors provide the perfect launchpad for your dreams. Embrace your creativity, explore your passions, and let AFDA guide you on your journey to artistic excellence. Your future in the creative industry begins here.


By Amara

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