Welcome to
Beaconhouse National University

Programs of Study

The different programs offered at Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) are listed below. Foundation studies program is compulsory for all students after which they can choose their major. Click on + sign to check relevant about each major:

Degree Duration Credits Focus Areas
BFA Visual Arts 4 Years | 8 Semesters 130 Drawing, Painting, Performance Art, Photography, Print-making, Video Art View Details
B. Des Jewellery & Accessory Design 4 Years | 8 Semesters 130 Jewellery, Accessory View Details
B. Des Textile & Fibre Studies 4 Years | 8 Semesters 133 Print, Weave, Fibre Arts, Fashion Studies View Details
B. Des Fashion & Fibre Studies 4 Years | 8 Semesters 133 Print, Weave, Fibre Arts, Fashion Studies View Details
B. Des Visual Communication Design 4 Years | 8 Semesters 130 Animation, Interaction Design, Illustration, Print Design View Details
M.A. Art & Design Studies 2 Years | 4 Semesters 60 Visual Communication Design, Textile and Fibre Studies, Fashion Studies, Jewelry and Accessory Design, Interior/Product Design, Curatorial Studies, Art Education, Art Theory View Details
M.A. Art Education 2.5 Years | 3 Summer Semesters 36 Art Administration, Education, Curatorial Studies, Research View Details

Foundation Studies

The Foundation Studies program is a seminal year for all students of SVAD. It prepares students to pick their future majors in Fine Art, Visual Communication Design, Jewellery, Textile Design and Fashion Studies. As a dynamic, ever-evolving course that aims to stay relevant to current global trends in art practices, it not only introduces students to practical techniques of art-making but also sets the groundwork for critical and conceptual thinking. Studio courses deal with several mediums and approaches towards art production, while theory courses strive to provide context through historical and contemporary aesthetic philosophies. Students are equipped with methodologies of visually articulating their ideas, individually as well as collaboratively, and encouraged to use art and design as agents of change in their societies.

The first year may be overwhelming for any art student trying to determine a future career path. Keeping this, and the diverse educational backgrounds and learning capacities of our student body in mind, the program is designed to nurture their individual artistic personalities in order to help them identify their own interests, and eventually grow into confident individuals ready to carve out their niche in the real world.


  • Foundation Year – Offered Courses

    • Survey of World Art History I
    • Survey of World Art History II
    • Visual Communication Theory I
    • Visual Communication Theory II
    • Art and Society
    • Writing through Reading (AKA: Reading and Writing)
    • Foundation Drawing I
    • Foundation Drawing II
    • Foundation 2D Studio I
    • Foundation 2D Studio II
    • Foundation 3D Studio I
    • Foundation 3D Studio II
    • Tools and Techniques of Graphic Communication I
    • Tools and Techniques of Graphic Communication II
  • Course Description

    • Histories of Art, Design and Architecture I, II

      Course Codes: V-FD 101, V-FD 111 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 per Course / Theory Lecture

      Histories of Art, Design, and Architecture is a chronologically organized survey course beginning with the Paleolithic era and continuing to the late 20th century. Representative examples of European and Islamic art and architecture (North Africa to India) will be presented, and key features of selected artistic media will be discussed, along with recurring themes in the history of art, e.g. portraiture, landscape, abstraction, realism, the role of the artist in society and patronage.

      Students will develop skills in image recognition, vocabulary formation, and the use of visual evidence in argument and interpretation.

    • Visual Communication Theory I

      Course Code: V-FD 102 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 2 | Theory/Lecture

      This course helps students realize that ‘seeing’ is, as important a form of communication as verbal one. It concentrates on the basic concepts of visual language; elements and principles of design; common to art, design, architecture, film, photography, performance and their application in both graphic and plastic arts. The course discusses composition, space, color and content, through its function, and interpretation in the visual world.

    • Visual Communication Theory II

      Course Code: V-FD 112 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 2 | Theory/Lecture

      An exclusive aspect of today’s culture is that it is more visual than ever. It is through images that stereotypes and conventions of power, race, gender, and class are constructed. Consequently, it is imperative for an artist or designer to understand the way visual narrative is constructed. This course intends to enable students to perceive images with an enhanced awareness and in relevance to society.

    • Art & Society

      Course Code: V-FD 123 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory/Seminar

      The course is an exploration of the multiple definitions of both art and society. It poses many questions, such as: ‘How do individuals and groups come to identify themselves as a ‘society’?’ or ‘How do individuals and groups shape cultural expressions?’ Students will be encouraged to examine issues arising from historical and social histories, formation of identities and ideologies.

      The course will look at gender, consumerism, censorship, human rights, and environment issues alongside media, films and popular culture.

    • Techniques and Technologies of Graphic Communication I

      Course Code: V-FD 106 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 2 | Studio

      The computer has become an indispensable medium for artists. This class introduces the computer as a work tool. While working in a project-based manner, computer-based skills as well as illustration techniques are developed using software such as MS Office, web-browsers, Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign and Flash. Students acquire essential skills in digital imaging and printing.

    • Techniques and Technologies of Graphic Communication II

      Course Code:V-FD 116 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      In continuation of the first semester, this course introduces students to the basic knowledge of typography, photo-manipulation, print design, and animation. Students learn to combine tools the computer offers with traditional drawing techniques. The course explores ways of resolving layout problems, presentation techniques and basic time based software.

    • Foundation Drawing I

      Course Code:V-FD 104 | Contact Time:6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      Drawing is often regarded an intermediary tool, towards creating a finished work of art. Contemporary drawing however, is also considered an autonomous art form. This course approaches drawing both as a preparatory process as well as an end in itself. Students are introduced to a variety of approaches in drawing and to the use of basic tools, through observation; learning to translate the perceptual experience into pictorial language, using varied stimuli such as still life, architectural space and the human body.

    • Foundation Drawing II

      Course Code: V-FD 114 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      This course concentrates on drawing as a process of visual thinking. The studio structure in semester two allows for a more sustained exploration of subjects and strategies of contemporary drawing. In addition to drawing from observation, students will explore drawing as inquiry, through an array of traditional and unconventional drawing tools, and through discussions generated from regular presentations on contemporary drawing practice. Students are expected to maintain sketchbooks consistently to develop analytical, inventive and personal approaches.

    • Foundation 2D Studio I

      Course Code: V-FD 105 | Credits: 3 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      This course aims to develop an understanding of fundamental design principles, and of two dimensional space through line, shape, color, texture, form, and their interaction with each other. Projects encourage multiple solutions to design problems, within the set parameters of medium and time. Students are introduced to basic presentation skills and documentation of their work.

    • Foundation 2D Studio II

      Course Code: V-FD 115 | Credits: 3 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      In this semester, students are encouraged to find more personal design solutions, stretching the imagination, introducing an element of play, integrated with technical knowledge acquired in semester 1. Along with it, the study of more advanced principals of design students are encouraged.

    • Foundation 3D Studio I

      Course Code:V-FD 108 | Credits:3 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits:3 | Studio

      This is an introductory, hands-on course that explores issues of Three Dimensional Space through a diverse range of materials, tools, methods and concepts. Students develop technical proficiency, while learning the fundamentals of scale, texture, weight, tension, movement and context through projects in the studio. This is supported by visits to workshops and markets in the city, concurrently developing the students’ vocabulary of methods of fabrication and problem solving.

    • Foundation 3D Studio II

      Course Code: V-FD 118 | Credits: 3 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      This course emphasizes the integration of acquired technical knowledge with interpretive skills, pushing the boundaries of the familiar. Students develop an understanding of conceptual and material manipulation. They learn how to transform ideas into innovative works of art. Discussion is encouraged through group critiques, and presentations on works of historical and contemporary significance. Students are encouraged to maintain sketch books in order to record and observe the evolution of ideas into personal works in the studio.

    • Tools & Techniques of Graphic Communication II

      Course Code: V-FD 124 NA


  • Completion Requirement

    The Foundation Studies Program provides each student the opportunity to investigate the possibilities that the degree programs at SVAD offer. While candidates must indicate their special area of interest on the application form at the time of admission, they may opt for another program at the end of the foundation year. The decision is based on the strength of the portfolio they produce in the Foundation Year.