Welcome to
Beaconhouse National University





BA (Hons) IEDA programme is actively engaged in redefining what it means to be a cultural and creative practitioner today. This is happening in two simultaneous and related ways: firstly, the notion of art and design practices is expanded laterally to consider alternative skills, strategies and ways of knowing and secondly, the program positions itself in a multidimensional network of disciplines outside of art and design with which it forms fertile and unusual complexes e.g. a student may offer a design solution based on something they learnt in a science course, or they may create poetry out of a mathematical concept. Disciplines with which BA IEDA may converse include humanities, social sciences, creative technologies and scientific inquiry.

Located at the precipice of the future, BA IEDA strives to impart critical thinking and adaptive skills to its students. The program structure is highly customisable to the extent that students are free to determine their extent of engagement with a variety of disciplines as well as their studio to theory ratio. A student succeeding in this major is expected to be an independent thinker with broad interests.

Program Overview

Specialization/Areas: Options of Art, Design and overlaps with other disciplines

Duration: 4 Years | 8 Semesters

Credits: 131

Concerned Department: Department of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies

Career Paths: Independent Creative Practitioner, Policy Makers, Social Interventionists, Art Writers, Art Historians, Entrepreneurs, Communications Specialist, Strategist, Environmental Consultancy, Conservationist, Art & Design Journalism, Academic and Educator, Researcher, Curator, PhD Candidate, Consultancy in diverse sectors, Activist and others.

  • Admission Requirement & Eligibility Criteria

    You are eligible to apply for admission if you have successfully completed your FA/FSc. with 45% marks or have an A level pass in three subjects (IBCC equivalence certificate is required), or an equivalent national or international qualification. All applicants can find guidelines for admission process, online application form and dates for Entrance Test and interviews on the BNU webpage: www.bnu.edu.pk

  • Application Process

    Choose a degree programme

    After confirming your eligibility, you must choose a department from within SVAD. Regardless of your choice of department, all successful applicants are admitted to the Foundation Studies programme. The Foundation Studies programme provides each student the opportunity to investigate the possibilities offered by all degree programmes at SVAD. You must indicate the programme of your preference on the application form, which will be your major for the duration of your degree. In special cases, you may be able to apply for another programme at the end of the Foundation Year. The faculty, who are not obligated to entertain a change of department application, on rare occasions may approve requests at their discretion.

    Application Form

    You can find the online application form at BNU's online portal:
    You must complete the application form online, following all the instructions. Once you submit it, you will receive a confirmation. You must then submit all required documents (mentioned in the application form) to the Admissions Office on campus. When the Office receives your documents, they will hand over instructions for the Entrance Test to you.

    Entrance Test

    The admission test for the School of Visual Arts and Design is an online, open-book test that can be completed from home. Students will be given 24 hours to complete all the tasks. Candidates will be tested for reading comprehension, visual comprehension, general knowledge, research etc. Further details about the test will be provided to you upon application submission.


    After the Test, you will be interviewed by a panel of SVAD faculty members. The interviews will be conducted online on Zoom, for which candidates are encouraged to be familiar with.

    At SVAD, we look for motivated, observant, curious individuals, with visual intelligence and an interest in reading. The Entrance Test and interview act as a catalyst for us to assess your strengths and aptitude. We will evaluate your potential for development in the programmes that SVAD offers, as well as your research into your desired area of study. The interview is also your chance to ask us questions about SVAD. A portfolio is encouraged, and will help us recognize your passion and commitment.

  • Courses

    • Semester I - Year 1 (Foundation Year)

        Course Title Course Code  Credit Hrs.
       1. Elective (SVAD Foundational Studio or Other Schools)   3
       2. Elective (SVAD Foundational Studio or Other Schools)
       3. Elective (SVAD Foundational Studio or Other Schools)
       4. Contextuality: Theory & Practice
       FDY-104 3
       5. Visuality: Form and Content
       FDY-105 3
       6. Memory: Visual Culture Through Time
       FDY-106 3
       7. English Language and Writing
       FDY-107 0
        Total   18
    • Semester II - Year 1 (Foundation Year)

        Course Title Course Code  Credit Hrs.
       1. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)
       2. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)
       3. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)
       4. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)
       5. Research Methods in the Arts
      Tools & Techniques of Graphic Communication II


       6. History of Art
      History of Communication Design
      History of Textile, Fashion and Accessory Design



        Total   18
    • Semester III - Year 2

        Course Title  Course Code Credit Hrs.
       1. Integrated Studio
       2. History of Ideas
       3. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)

       4. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)

       5. Elective (Non Art & Design)

       6.  Pakistan Studies SLA-102 1.5
        Total   16.5
    • Semester IV - Year 2

        Course Title Course Code  Credit Hrs.
       1. Integrated Studio: VA & VCD or TFA
       2. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)

       3. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)

       4. Elective (Non Art & Design)

       5. Research Methods I
      IDE-204 3
       6. Islamic Studies
        Total   16.5
    • Semester V - Year 3

        Course Title Course Code  Credit Hrs.
       1. Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art Major Project I
       2. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)

       3. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)

       4. Elective (Non Art & Design)

       5. Research Methods II
      IDE-205 3
        Total   18
    • Semester VI - Year 3

        Course Title Course Code  Credit Hrs.
       1. Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art Major Project II
       2. Elective (SVAD or Other Schools)

       3. Elective (Non Art & Design)

       4. Elective (Non Art & Design)

        Total   15
    • Semester VII - Year 4

        Course Title Course Code  Credit Hrs.
       1. Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art Major Project III
       2. Independent Study
       3. Current Discourse in: VA, VCD or TFA

        Total   15
    • Semester VIII - Year 4

        Course Title Course Code  Credit Hrs.
       1. Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art Major Project IV
       2. Professional Practices in: VA, VCD or TFA

        Total   15
  • IEDA Mandatory Courses

    • History of Ideas | Semester 3

      Course Code: IDE-201 | Contact Time: 3 Hours Per Week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      This course is an introduction to progression of change in human thought and modes of being. It focuses on developments beginning in the late 1700s till present, although the content often cuts across linearity. The course foregrounds intellectual development mentioned above but in conversation with social, political, economic and technological shifts which influence the creation of new world orders. It is proposed that such intellectual threads may be grasped from the territories of many disciplines thus providing a deep but flexible grounding of theory to practice.

    • Integrated Studio | Semester 3

      Course Code: IDE-202 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      From the shifting coordinates of art, design and other creative fields, what does it mean to be “practicing” today? What are some actions and indications of it? This course tackles these questions from an interdisciplinary context, borrowing from poetics, functionality, and research. Students begin to define the idea of practice for themselves through rigorous coursework in which they are asked to consider this question from varying lenses. As a result, they are expected to understand production as having relevance in more than one arena including aesthetic, cultural, social, utilitarian and political.

    • Integrated Visual Arts & Visual Communication Design Studio | Semester 4

      Course Code: VFD-221 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      In this course, students are encouraged to explore basic themes, ideas and practices that are common to Visual Art and Design. The formal and conceptual parameters provided to students are a springboard for the formulation of their own ideas and interests, expressed through mediums of their own choice. Through short, experimental assignments emphasis is laid on strengthening execution skills as well as perceptual and conceptual abilities. The main objective of this course is to familiarize students with current/re-current themes, critical ideas and lenses such as semiotics phenomenology. Thus, they are expected to become informed readers and makers of images in a variety of visual art and design formats.


      Integrated Textile, Fashion & Accessory Design Studio | Semester 4

      Course Code: TFA-230 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      In this course, students from Textile, Fashion and Accessory work on open-ended projects. Tasks are designed through identifying meaningful ideas which help students to respond to complex notions such as identity, communication and others. The multidisciplinary nature of this course actively engages students, allowing all textile, accessory and fashion students to interact with each other. This leads to a unique dialogue that encourages sharing of ideas and culminates in diverse design trends. Idea and concept development are the focus of this course to develop an individualized signature style.

    • Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art Project I | Semester 5

      Course Code: IDE-300 | Contact Time: 6 Hours Per Week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      In this course, students build upon the introduction to different approaches to practice in Major Studio I. It is a transitory course between guided and independent projects and thus, students begin to formalize their areas of interest and ideological alignments while remaining self-reflective about the different modes of practice available to them. Moreover, Major Project II is also expected to borrow heavily from across disciplines which students are engaging with through other courses.

    • Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art Project II | Semester 6

      Course Code: IDE-301 | Contact Time: 12 Hours per week | Credits: 6 | Studio

      Major Project II is a student-led course whereby the nature of the investigation proposed by each student begins to foreground the course structure. Over the duration of this course, it is expected that students will condense their ideas into a focused inquiry that will lead to their thesis. These inquiries are expected to be located in the generative nexus between seemingly disparate perspectives or in the expanded field of one perspective. Students are also expected to begin defining outcomes, timelines and working ethos of their projects independently.

    • Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art Project III | Semester 7

      Course Code: IDE-400 | Contact Time: 18 Hours per week | Credits: 9 | Studio

      The first of two thesis courses, Major Project III is a rigorous conduction of the student investigations. This is done in light of the consistent vein of ideas featuring throughout the Major Project courses. In addition to reflections on the nature of practice beyond the symbolic and the poetic, students also consider the following: the nature of the present world(s); the conditions in which they operate; their specific positioning and the ways in which they participate or withdraw from discourse; and the directions in which they expand or create knowledge.

    • Interdisciplinary Expanded Design & Art Project IV | Semester 8

      Course Code: IDE-401 | Contact Time: 24 Hours per week | Credits: 12 | Studio

      In this course, students conclude their independent thesis project begun in the previous semester. They are expected to arrive at a shareable point of completion through diligent self-discipline. Moreover, they must define for their projects the ways in which they may be diffused, published, displayed or otherwise circulated. Such choices are extensively discussed and conceptually considered in a way that they form a part of, or further the thesis inquiry of each student.

    • Research Methods I | Semester 4

      Course Code: IDE-204 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      This is an intermediate level research methods course. It considers the philosophical and ideological roots of different perspectives on knowledge and reality. In light of this, they particularly examine the potentials, challenges and ethics in the specific way that knowledge is produced. Simultaneously, it is a practice-driven course focusing on qualitative and mixed methods. By the end of this course, students are expected to design, critique, conduct and interpret reflexive research methodology.

    • Research Methods II | Semester 5

      Course Code: IDE-205 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      In this course, students apply and complicate the learnings of Research Methods I. They are expected to move from conceptualization to operationalization of research through the lens of their questions and hypotheses. Additionally, they examine the theoretical underpinnings of their projects through engaging with and critiquing existing literature and practices. Students are also led through the methodical stages of the language, tone, formats and logical stipulations of research writing. Lastly, alternative ways of presentation and dissemination are considered.


  • IEDA Studio Electives

    The following applies to all advanced level courses: These advanced courses are independently constructed according to the individual need of students specializing in one of these chosen areas. Third level courses are designed in consultation with teaching faculty. Evaluation is through regular tutorials, critiques and presentations.

    • Evidence in Creative Inquiry

      Course Code: IDE-206 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      It is typically assumed that creative inquiry is free from the burdens of proof and evidence. The currency for such practices is traditionally rooted in illusion and representation as opposed to reality. This course subverts this premise and considers formats of evidence-based expression. It conceptually considers what kinds of proposals and production requires the support of evidence to be fully realized. Some formats that students will consider include index, trace, testimony, presence as witness, forensics, archives, mechanic sight and recording, tracking and other evidentiary means.

    • Visual Production Through Invisibility

      Course Code: IDE-207 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      This course considers the wide spectrum of physical and material reality that is invisible to the naked eye. However, by virtue of being a physical condition, these realities retain the property of visuality which is a conceptual category. In this course students produce works in conversation with the history of enhancing and defeating sight through mechanics. They will look particularly at the invention of the microscope and its influence on imaging biological ultra-structures. Some strategies under consideration will thus include magnification, miniaturization, obstruction, camouflage, scanning, and other imaging and erasing techniques.

    • What is the Protagonist?

      Course Code: IDE-208 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      This course borrows from literature to re-purpose the question of the protagonist in creative works. Building on the theories of centrality, students examine what it means to anchor their work around a literal and metaphoric ‘character’. In light of this investigation, they explore themes such as first-person experiences, singularity, viewpoint, narrative arcs, biography, authorship and the inevitable selective framing through which a protagonist is brought forth into the world. They also examine the ways in which viewer empathies are engendered in figures and their fates.

    • Philosophising Zero

      Course Code: IDE-209 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      The idea of zero has captured imaginations for centuries. It is an impossibility in the real world and yet, without this abstraction, the foundation of mathematics collapses. In this course, students attempt new experimental ways in which the nature and measure of zero are investigated. They will be introduced to the history of the concept, the competing paradigms within it, and its various incredible applications. Students may also produce work in conversation with these ideas as opposed to re-evaluating them.

    • Mathematical Logic and Imaging in Creative Arts

      Course Code: IDE-210 | Contact Time: 6 hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      From the simplicity of a grade school geometry textbook to fractals and complex data visualizations, this course introduces students to the ways in which mathematical logic can be utilized in creative art. The abstraction of mathematics has always found visual manifestation. However, this course moves beyond simply imaging through math to complex ways in which mathematical logic and structure can be used in a variety of formats including time-based formats, performance, research sampling and others. Lastly, the conceptual implications of specific log.

    • Landscapes: Ecology

      Course Code: IDE-211 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      The natural world is inextricably linked with the cultural world. In this course, students produce cultural objects in response to natural worlds and their underlying conditions. Through a research-driven approach, students may apply a variety of formats including observation records, field notes and recordings, samples, secondary data and others as approaches to production. The course focuses on site-specificity to encourage complex and unusual understandings of immediate natural worlds.

    • Other Intelligence: Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence, Animals

      Course Code: IDE-212 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      Creative industries have typically been human-centric, imagining both the creator and consumer as being human. This course flips this assumption and imagines what other kinds of intelligence exist in the world and are speaking among themselves without human witnesses. In particular, the course looks at surveillance systems, artificial intelligence and animals. Students learn to produce works in response to these conditions. Some possibilities exist in abdicating authorship to generative and unmanned technologies such as algorithms and drones, life, sentience and physical force of animals and others.

    • Sleep and Leisure

      Course Code: IDE-213 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      Sleep and Leisure are usually considered as unproductive activities. This course examines the ways in which they are not just personal activities but valuable cultural activities too. Students engage with a variety of conceptual threads that have influenced these areas including modern work, industrial society, global economics and others. They are expected, in turn, to create responses that may range from sleeping artefacts and arrangements; performances; leisurely objects and activities; architectural interventions including guerrilla architecture and others..

    • Foraging and Food Cultures

      Course Code: IDE-214 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      This course is premised on the idea that creative action may be found in the everyday. Food cultures are microcosmic in the ways that they reveal larger truths about tastes, society and politics. Students will examine the latent and declared meaning of preferences, rituals, lifestyles, hospitality and power dynamics around food. They will also investigate existing food economies, natural food chains, and lines of demand and supply. Lastly, students examine the conceptual dimensions of consumption, edibility and consider food foraging and innovative sourcing as an urban technique of sustenance and subversion.

    • Translations

      Course Code: IDE-215 | Contact Time: 6 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Studio

      How does one become another without incurring a loss? The laws of energy conversions in physics will tell you that this is an impossibility. However, the principles of translation often demonstrate otherwise when the act of translation itself becomes an act of creation. In this course, students utilize this device on existing objects, and cultural products and translate these into forms that become independent works. These may be linguistic translations or other kinds. The challenge lies in creating works that are not dependent on the ‘original’ while remaining faithful to it.

  • IEDA Theory Electives

    • Human Mobility

      Course Code: IDE-216 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      This course considers the historical and contemporary ways in which the human body is rendered still or mobile. Students consider both choice-based mobility and forced movement. Ideas such as nation-state, citizenship, trade, migration, refuge, urbanization and others are discussed. The course also investigates the implications of this mobility and its possibilities. What is the difference between ‘global citizen’ and ‘stateless citizen’? Students examine these ideas in light of case studies such as the Subcontinent Partition, the Great American Migration, Syrian refugees, the migration from the ‘old’ to the ‘new’ world, nomadic people and others.

    • Mapping Unfolded: Perspectives, Practices and Potentials

      Course Code: IDE-217 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      The word “map” repels fixed definitions and flits between noun and verb. Is it “cartography” or an all-encompassing term for the pasts, presents and futures of recording, exploring and understanding the worlds we inhabit? The course is designed as an interdisciplinary investigation into the evolution of mapping and the varicolored theories that it invites. With Lahore as the site and/or medium, students test ideas drawn from the course on various spaces, places and networks in the city.

    • Utopías

      Course Code: IDE-224 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      This course unpacks the longing for utopian thinking through human history. Despite its seeming impossibility, the idea of utopia continues to hold us captive, particularly as it allows the expression of radical base desires for a perfect society. In that sense, the course examines the fine balance between utopia and dystopia. Moreover, it examines the contribution of this form to disciplines as varied as architecture, literature and political science. Students examine case studies of utopian proposals through history, assessing and challenging these on their propositions and assumptions.

    • History of Medicine & Disease

      Course Code: IDE-218 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      The history of medicine and disease allows a unique perspective on the history of science and its intersection with the history of the world. As medicine and disease transition from the realm of enchantment, superstition and religion into the disillusion of modern medicine, this course investigates the kinds of answers that are provided and the kinds of mysteries that remain opaque. It also considers the impact of global forces in disease and medicine such as that of the Plague, Anthrax panic, the discovery of penicillin and the discovery of vaccines. Students are deeply familiarized with the political and economic aspects of seemingly objective science.

    • Investigating Silence

      Course Code: IDE-225 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      Silence has had various associations including those as divergent as comforting and eerie. In this course, the possible meanings of silence are examined from the mystic to the nonchalant to the nihilist. Students explore whether communicative silences can exist within and beyond creative arts, and how does one stand witness to silence. Moreover, power dynamics through which silences are affected and sustained are examined, thus expanding on the differences between the voiceless and the unheard.

    • Theory of Comedy

      Course Code: IDE-219 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      This course is serious. It assumes that it is possible to rationalize laughter by unpacking how we arrive at this largely helpless reaction when faced with a subjectively compelling stimulus. It considers how the genre has evolved culturally and historically to find its purpose from self-expression to insult to protest. It examines the sub-genres of comedy including slapstick, deadpan, black humor, satire, parody, irony and absurdity. Moreover, in addition to cultural aspects, it also considers the psychological and biological aspects of comedy, assessing the need for this seemingly evolutionary trait.

  • IEDA Integrated Theory Electives

    • Objecthood and Internet of Things

      Course Code: IDE-221 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      This course introduces students to the history and philosophical foundations of ‘smart’ objects. Using the Internet of Things as a point of departure, students inspect conceptual strains such as autonomous objects with agency, if not sentience. They also consider ideas such as privacy, surveillance, automation, inanimate communications, anthropomorphism, diversity and facial recognition. In light of this, the nature of Objecthood is reassessed in terms of whether it means a continuation with the surrounding world or a distinct condition separate from it.

    • Travels in the Third Space

      Course Code: IDE-227 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      The phrase ‘Third Space’ has a number of associations depending upon disciplinary orientation, though most of these suggest the area of hybridity between a seeming binary as suggested by Homi K. Bhabha. Media theory posits ‘Third’ space as the networked one between the ‘real’ and the ‘remote’. In other contemporary understandings, it has variously been proposed as the specific transformational space between the private and the civic, according to E. Soja, whereby the physical and social interactions merge. The course examines these and other understandings in turn to suggest the possibilities for action and creation in each.

    • The Archive

      Course Code: IDE-220 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      This course examines the archive as format, tool and idea. In an age where the proliferation of information increases exponentially, the dams seem to have burst open. What does an archive mean in the contemporary context? From sagging hand-written records in state libraries to the latest backup on one’s time machine, the archive becomes any retention of information however permanent or transitory it may be. The course moves through these many manifestations while drawing attention to the impossibility of a complete archive and the politics of exclusion and classification that inevitably characterize this format.

    • Contemporary Pedagogy in Art & Design

      Course Code: IDE-222 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      This course briefly surveys the historical and philosophical foundations in art and design education before circling back to the present. Taking a panoramic view of the current moment and its contexts, the course examines the differing ideas, structures, institutions and practices involved in contemporary art and design pedagogy across the world. A section of the course is also dedicated to direct observation of current educational practices in the field. Students will also be required to perform a practical component with the presence and participation of peers.

    • The Book: History, Form & Idea

      Course Code: IDE-223 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      Papyrus to codices to printing-press and e-readers, the history of books is a rich palimpsest by itself. The format remains remarkably adaptive to the changing needs of the world. In this course, students will investigate the formal aspects of a book such as surface, binding, containment, closure, printing processes, illustration and others from the lens of ideas such as sequence, linear progression, and the relationship between word and image. In addition to history and form, students will learn about the book as an idea particularly as it is synonymous with knowledge in religions and cultures. They will also examine the implications of the format for notions of authorship and the kinds of literature produced.

    • The Studio: History, Site & Idea

      Course Code: IDE-226 | Contact Time: 3 Hours per week | Credits: 3 | Theory

      The studio remains the site for art and design production in the popular imagination. However, does the original conception of the space, if ever there was one, survive today? This course examines the shifting conditions and spaces under which artists and designers have produced work over time. From the crevices of royal courts and workshops to modern corporate offices and desolate landscapes, this course surveys the conceptual implications of the site upon which the work is produced.

  • Degree Requirement

    Foundation: 36 credits | 12 courses

    3 Mandatory Courses: 2 Theory +1 Studio-Theory Hybrid + 1 Zero Credit course through advisement.

    9 Elective Courses: 2 Theory + 7 Studio or Theory courses from SVAD foundation or other schools

    Post-Foundation: 96 credits | 26 Courses

    13 Mandatory Courses (51 credits): 6 Major Studio + 7 mandatory Theory Courses

    13 Elective Courses (45 credits): 1 Independent study + 12 Studio or Theory (5 Non Art & Design Electives)

    TOTAL: 131 | 38 Courses + Project Report and Documentation

The Beaconhouse Group
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