MA by Dissertation In Digital Arts

The MA by Dissertation in Digital Arts offers an opportunity for students who are interested in producing research in an academic field.  The degree is aimed at students with a strongly articulated research interest.  Research can be produced as written academic research or as a combination of written research and a creative practice component.

Details of the two research paths:

1)     Purely academic research, in which the candidate is expected to produce only a written dissertation.

2)     A Combination of academic and practice research. in which the candidate is expected to produce a smaller written dissertation along with a body of practical work.  The weighting can be either 50 / 50 or 60 /40, dependent on the scope of the project. The dissertation should provide a theoretical framework as well as an analysis of the practical work produced.  A permanent record of the practical production must accompany the dissertation.

All applications are dependent on supervisor availability, so potential candidates are urged to identify a supervisor and consult with them before making an application. Applicants need to hold an Honours or Four Year Professional degree (NQF Level 8)


Research topics for Animation  include animation history, theory, practice and production systems, animation education as well as various forms of motion studies.

Interactive Media and Creative Technology:

Research topics in Interactive Media and Creative Technology  include both practice and theory in these areas: interactivity and creative / arts practice, interactivity and development, digital innovation, social media, mobile media, user-focused design or South African and African digital media development and theory.

Masters by Dissertation and Creative Practice in this area are supported by a series of short courses. These short courses offer candidates a choice learning technical skills in coding, working with sensors and electronics to enhance their own practice and research.

Game Design and Game Studies:

Research topics for Game Design include explorations of both practice and theory in the areas of game design, games as entertainment, games as artistic expression, games in culture, games in education, and serious games.

Interactive Narrative

Research in Interactive Narrative includes work on Storytelling in Interactive Environments, Visual Storytelling, Hypermedia Narrative, Creative Writing in Interactive Media, and Scriptwriting of Interactive Environments.

Staff Research Areas

Tegan Bristow

  1. Code Development & Technology Development in/as Art Making
  2. Digitally Interactive Artworks for Public Space/ Public Performance/ Architecture
  3. Curating and Collecting of Digital Art
  4. Technology Art and Culture in Africa
  5. Interactive/Media Technology’s Relationship to Nature and Natural Phenomena
Tel: +27 (11) 717 4604

Steve Cloete

  1. Games and Culture
  2. Game Aesthetics
  3. Game Design – Development and design of analogue and digital games
Tel: +27 (11) 717 4687

Christo Doherty

  1. Art, Activism and Social Networks
  2. Social Media:  identity, usage, and implications.
  3. Mobile Devices and Art/Entertainment
  4. Studies of South African/African animation studios and production systems
  5. The impact of digital technology on photographic representation in a South African context
  6. The representation of violence and trauma
Tel: +27 (11) 717 4682

Hanli Geyser

  1. Game Design and Studies Education
  2. Serious and applied games
  3. Interactive Storytelling
  4. Hypermedia – Artwork, Narrative, and Interaction
  5. Game Studies – Critical Engagement with current practices in analogue, digital, and experimental games
  6. Game Design – Design of analogue, digital and experimental games
Tel: +27 (11) 717 4663

Bronwyn Horne

  1. Animation Studies.
  2. Motion Studies.
  3. Animation Practice,
  4. Production and Process.
  5. Animation Education.
Tel: +27 (11) 717 4614

Apply for this programme