Welcome to
Beaconhouse National University


MA Art & Design Studies [MA ADS]


  • Program Overview

    Duration: 2 Years | 4 Semesters (Time allowed for completion of the program: minimum 2 years, maximum 5 year)

    Credit Hours: 60

    Degree Requirement: Thesis Project: Exhibition and/or Dissertation, depending on selected path from the following options:

    1. Research-Based Studio Practice
    2. Research and Writing
    3. Research-Based Studio Practice and Writing

    Areas of Specialization:

    • Visual Arts (Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Video, Installation)
    • Visual Communication Design
    • Textile, Fashion and Fiber Studies
    • Jewelry and Accessory Design
    • Interior Design/Product Design
    • Curatorial Studies
    • Art Theory/ Art History
    • Art Education

    Career Paths: Artist, Designer, Art Educator, Art Administrator, Art Critic, Curator, Art Historian, Art journalist

  • Admission Process

    Eligibility:Applicants with minimum 16 years of education or equivalent qualification with minimum 45% (2nd division) marks from HEC recognized educational institutions are eligible to apply.
    1. Fill application form online at our Online Admission Portal. Print the form and submit it with your transcripts and processing fee to the registrar’s office.
    2. Submit 10 images of your work (or prior academic papers in case of non- studio background), a short statement of intent (350 words) and a CV via email to acadvisor.svad@bnu.edu.pk.
    3. Appear for an interview. Students from other cities and countries may request for an online interview.
    For any inquiry, email at acadvisor.svad@bnu.edu.pk or call +92 042 381 00156 (ext.261)

  • Program Description

    The School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD) at Beaconhouse National University has taken the lead in implementing an interdisciplinary approach to teaching art and design at the post graduate level. It is the only program of its kind in Pakistan that offers students the option of both studio-based and/or theory-based specializations at the graduate level.

    Our graduates have become active participants of the contemporary international art and design circuits. Contributing to the critical attitudes and refined skills of the next generation of artists and designers, as well as educators, writers, and thinkers, is fundamental to our mission.

    With this vision, the MA in Art and Design Studies (MA ADS) provides a structure that is not only specific to our academic and professional needs in South Asia, but is also at par with the global standards of education, practices, and research in art and design. This program is aimed at intensifying the exploratory and critical energies of our existing studio-based practices at undergraduate levels, and undertakes the task of preparing researchers, scholars, and, educators in these realms at the post graduate level. Students determine the focus of their research and the concentration of their writing and studio components in consultation with their advisors.

    Examining the research questions that usually originate in their art or design practice, grounded in their studio experience, MA ADS students are expected to undertake research projects that address humanistic, ontological, sociocultural or historical issues. In these imaginative and intellectual quests, they broaden their topics of inquiry, through studio practice, writing and reading.

    The faculty members are drawn from a variety of backgrounds, and are well known cultural practitioners, at the forefront of their respective fields. Similarly, the student body is drawn from all the SAARC countries and we cherish this diversity that makes BNU a truly unique institution in South Asia.


  • Courses

    • Integrated Graduate Colloquia | I - IV

      Course Codes: ADS 5300, 5400, 6300, 6400 | Contact Time: 4 hours per week | Credits: 4 | Theory

      This series of seminars facilitates a number of themes through readings, writing assignments, guest speakers, participant presentation to encourage students make a number of critical, historical, philosophical lenses for art and design practices. The diverse disciplinary MA ADS students argue such themes on the same forum to comprehend, debate and share different intellectual perspectives.

    • Research Methods and Academic Writing for Art and Design | I - II

      Course Codes: ADS 5301, 5401 | Contact Time: 4 hours per week | Credits: 4 | Research and Theory

      The objective of these courses is to familiarize students with academic research as a means to understand the context and audience of their work, and in the process to incorporate the needs and demands of such into their design to provide their projects more societal depth and dimension. The course draws the distinction between quantitative and qualitative research and how the latter can be used as a tool not only for collecting information but also for providing inspiration and opening up new avenues to the creative thought process. Central to this understanding is the idea of the researcher as a part of the societal schema and organizations that he / she is researching and that their involvement in the research process and its outcomes is not an inert phenomenon but on the contrary; just like their artistic and design endeavors will be shaped and influenced by their research, their output and involvement with the community and space they choose to research will also influence their resources through this dynamic exchange. Students are exposed to the different tools and techniques that are needed for conducting research and learn to develop, organize, implement and finally present their research in a form standardized within the academia. During two semesters, they conduct individual research: Formulate a thesis question; delineate methodology for the study; maintain field notes and collect research data; write research papers.

    • Strategies and Contexts in Practice

      Course Code: ADS 5100 | Contact Time: 6 hours per week | Credits: 3 | Research and Studio

    • History of Ideas

      Course Code: ADS 5330 | Contact Time: 3 hours per week | Credits: 3 | Lecture

    • Major Project I

      Course Codes: ADS 5200| Contact Time: 6,12 hours per week | Credits: 6, 9 | Research, Theory and Studio

    • Major Project II

      Course Codes: ADS 6100| Contact Time: 6,12 hours per week | Credits: 6, 9 | Research, Theory and Studio

    • Major Project III + Thesis

      Course Code: ADS 6200 | Contact Time: 16 hours per week | Credits: 8 | Research, Theory and Studio + 4 Thesis: Degree show and written paper

    • Strategies and Contexts in Practice, Major Projects I – III, Thesis

      During two-years of MA ADS studies, under studio/research based seminar platform of courses ‘Major Project I, II & III’ students are guided in their studio practices and/or scholarly writings simultaneously, based on specific interest and the direct that a students opt for themselves. Students follow a heuristic and critical framework to evolve studio and/or scholarly research. In consultation with the MA ADS committee and their advisors, the students resolve the ratios for the written and studio components of their theses.

    • Electives

      A selected range of Elective Courses that students can opt from.