Programmes / Post Graduate / MA (Hons.) Visual Art
Visual Art
MA (Hons.) Visual Art

The MA (Hons.) Visual Art Programme provides a unique opportunity to extend beyond the boundaries of art education methodologies available in Pakistan. Whereas the undergraduate programme at the NCA attempts to introduce students to the basics of fine art practice, with an emphasis on the acquisition of technical skills, the MA Programme proposes to emphasize the development of intellectual growth and critical discourse in the context of an already established art practice.

In a time when it is recognized that various disciplines within art practice are converging, it is essential that students are offered the opportunity to understand this change in approach to art practice and discourse so as to locate themselves and their work within a local and a global context. The Programme provides a theoretical and visual infrastructure that will discuss local practice and discourse within the broader contexts of South Asia and the rest of the world. The Programme addresses the issue of exchanges of information, and politico-historical realities that have created the hierarchies that currently exist in the world with reference to the visual arts.The proposed ethos of the course springs from the necessity to understand these dynamics in view of the advent of globalization and multiculturalism.

South Asia is a region that has continuously been in a state of flux and the result has been a potentially rich cultural context for the making of art that is both eclectic and dynamic. This perception of geopolitical reality is a phenomenon which is not simply a part of historical debate but is concurrent with contemporary issues in art. This awareness can exist only if these issues of the local and the global are tackled at the level of postgraduate study, in order to establish a generation of young artists who are cognisant of the realities of discourse, criticism and visual perceptions within the context of their own work and that of others. The Programme has therefore been structured to provide continuous link areas not only between art theory and art practice but also between the historical and the contemporary.

The Programme feels that it is important to recognise the historical and geographical uniqueness of Pakistan within the context of the visual arts, but also to locate the Pakistani artist within the framework of international debate. In view of this, the Programme is structured to encourage students to interact with the wider environment of the city and specifically to make links with traditional practitioners and artists who may fall outside of institutionalised art practice. Consequently the course will raise questions and examine pre-established notions of western hegemony within art practice and discourse. Thereby reclaiming and validating the rich cultural heritage of this region and its contribution to art practice the world over.


Applicants with minimum 16 years of education or equivalent qualification in the relevant field of Visual Arts i.e. Fine Art,Design, Architecture,Film, Theatre etc. are eligible to apply. No age limit.


Four terms of 16 weeks each over two academic years


Two Years


* 4-Terms
* Days/week Monday - Friday


Studios open from 8:00 I 8:30 a.m. - 8:00 I 8:30 p.m.


At the initial interview students who are gauged as having an inadequate command of the English language will be required to start attending a recommended English course.

MA (Hons.) Visual Art

(Duration: 2 Years)


1. A body of work presented for the degree show
2. Extended Essay (8000-10000 words)
3. Coursework: theoretical and practical

60% Practice

27 Credit Hours

40% Theoretical

21 Credit Hours


48 Credit Hours

Year 1

Term 1

1. Art Theory and Criticism

2 Credit Hours

2. Third Space Seminar

3 Credit Hours

3. Research Seminar

3 Credit Hours

4. Art Practice

4 Credit Hours

(a). Course Work

(b). Placement with a traditional practitioner


12 Credit Hours

Term 2

1. Art Theory and Criticism

2 Credit Hours

2. Third Space Seminar

3 Credit Hours

3. Research Seminar

3 Credit Hours

4. Art Practice

4 Credit Hours

(a). Course Work

(b). Placement with a traditional practitioner


12 Credit Hours

Year 2

Term 3

1. Research Seminar (including extended essay)

2 Credit Hours

2. Optional Courses/Elective Courses

3 Credit Hours

3. Third Space Seminar

3 Credit Hours

4. Art Practice

4 Credit Hours

(a). Course Work

(b). Statement of Intent


12 Credit Hours

Term 4

1. Art Practice (Open Studio Practice)

6 Credit Hours

2. Extended Essay (Research Seminar)

6 Credit Hours


12 Credit Hours

A range of mandatory and optional courses will be offered. Students will be required to follow an individual course of study in all the art practice options available within and outside the campus in consultation with their course tutors.
The students of MA (Hons.) Visual Art who do not perform well during the Year 1 according to the rules and regulation will not be promoted to year 2. However with the consent of core faculty / administration the Post Graduate Diploma can be awarded keeping in view overall performance of the student.



The Art Theory and Criticism course will consist of a weekly lecture followed by a seminar. The purpose of this course is to equip students with a greater understanding of the cultural and socio-historical context in which art is produced/practiced. This will enable them to contextualise the emergence of certain movements and trends in art, thereby providing them with a theoretical tool box with which they can engage critically with art practice.
This will include a lecture series on history so that students can ground all future discussion within a chronological historical order. The course will address the development of the philosophical, economic and political base from which art emerges with an emphasis on the last 200 years In addition, other issues such as appropriation, globalization, colonization, nationalism and other more general topics, which are central to this discourse, will be addressed.
These lectures will enable students to draw parallels and acknowledge the visual and conceptual exchanges between western and non-western cultures (with an emphasis on South Asia) and understand the nature of the hierarchies that exist in the world today.


The Third Space Seminar will be conducted as a follow up to the Art Theory and Criticism course. This is essentially a link area between studio practice and the theoretical part of the course; and will be conducted in the form of weekly seminars. The seminars will enable students to understand the relationship between Art Theory and Criticism and Art Practice in order to develop the ability to relate it to the context of their own work and that of others.


The research seminar will be conducted weekly over a period of two years. It aims to develop individual critical ability and articulation skills through a study of the philosophical, structural and formalistic moorings integral to art.
A number of prevalent research methodologies will be a taught component of the seminar.These will enable students to execute the written requirements of the MA(Hons.) programme, including the mandatory extended essay.
A broader understanding of the creative arts will be achieved through Seminars on the Arts of South Asia conducted with a more holistic approach and will discuss dance, theatre, music, film and literature.
Student's ability to conduct research will be assessed by wrrtten exercises and through individual/group presentations.


The Extended Essay is a compulsory component of the Research Seminar.
This comprises a written paper of 8000-10000 words with supporting documentation (audio/visual etc) if necessary.


Optional Courses will run during the third term of the programme. Students will be required to take a minimum of one optional course over a period of two years.

i) Anthropology of Art
ii) Philosophy of Art
iii) The History and Practical Theory of Miniature Painting
iv) Issues in Contemporary Art
All optional courses are subject to change depending on availability of faculty.



The programme provides a structured learning experience in which the theoretical and practical parts of the course are devised in a way that neither operate in isolation but provide a context for each other. Students will be expected to pursue a rigorous course of study during which they design and pursue an individual line of research, and will be required, through active participation, to articulate their concerns both visually and theoretically.

The emphasis of the course is to develop individual ideas and intellectual capabilities particularly with reference to critical, evaluative and conceptual concerns for the production of works of high professional quality. The Programme therefore caters to mature individuals with a high level of commitment to independent art practice.

Art does not happen in a vacuum but occurs within its own social and cultural context. A multidisciplinary approach acknowledges the interconnectedness between disciplines and thereby promotes a non-isolationist view. Part of the ethos of the programme is to breakdown hierarchies in art particularly in the context of Pakistan and the region where historically the boundaries between art and craft did not exist. This programme will encourage students to explore and question these boundaries, which will in turn provide the opportunity for them to go where their research leads them.

As we see It the role of art practice is to create a space for indMduals to realize their self-expression and to communicate their ideas with a wider audience. Multiculturalism, as opposed to singularity in approach, is an integral part of the ethos of this course. It is essential, therefore, that students have access to information and artists from all over the world and not only from Pakistan. By drawing on international resource persons, students will be able to engage with cultures both similar and dissimilar to ours; thereby equipping themselves with a varied conceptual and visual base that will enable a greater understanding of their own visual tools.

The MA (Hons.)Visual Art programme aims to pursue an approach in which students will be expected to find the best means of translating conceptual concerns into visual expression.

The art world has become increasingly aware of the fact that traditional boundaries between disciplines and mediums are being removed to the benefit of art practice. The programme aims to approach art practice through a broad base, in which various disciplines and techniques may be used. Students will be free to pursue an indepth exploration of any discipline of their choice, or to cross interdisciplinary boundaries This allows a maximum amount of flexibility within chosen areas of concern.


Although the emphasis of the programme is not on the development of technical skills, it is felt that there are a number of technical support structures that need to be made available in order to facilitate practice. These are listed below. The list also includes a number of more specialised technical support courses that can be accessed on demand by individuals or by a group of students. These are deemed necessary because they provide the opportunity for students to broaden their technical base when the need arises.

List of Technical Support Structures

1. Grinding and making of pigments
2. Oxidation prevention
3. Papermaking
4. Printmaking
      a. Silkscreen
      b. Lithography
      c. Etching
      d. Woodcut
5. Clay and plaster
6. Fibre glass
7. Ceramics
8. Squirrel brush making
9. Bookbinding, embossing and stamping
10. Basic circuitry
11. Gilding
12. Marbling
13. Egg tempera pigments
14. Encaustic
15. Calligraphy
16. Photography
17. Weaving and Dyeing
18. Geometry
19. Biomorphics
20. Botanical drawings into Design Motif
21. Multi-media Digital Technology


A number of prevalent research methodologies will be a taught component of the seminar. These will enable students to execute the written requirements of the MA(Hons.) programme, including the mandatory extended essay.


The aim of the course is to question existing distinctions between art and craft, and to learn the processes, techniques and methodologies of traditional practices.
All students will therefore be required to complete a 4-6 week placement with a traditional practitioner. This will enable them to extend their studio practice and engage with an alternative cultural and visual experience.
Students will be expected to submit a written paper (800-1000 words) with documentation. All students are required to make a presentation based on their placement experience in addition to the report.
Presentation stemming from this placement may take any form including the production of a piece of work done in a traditional manner to the translation of any aspect of traditional practice into other dimensions.


A 500-1500 word statement of intent is to be submitted prior to the mid course external assessment and then for the final external assessment. The aim of the statement is to encourage students to articulate the intention behind their work thereby bringing focus and clarity to their conceptual concerns and enabling critical analysis of their own work.

  • Prof. Dr. Murtaza Jafri

Prof.Dr. Murtaza Jafri
Principal NCA
Programme Director
BFA National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan
Advanced Drawing, Concordia University, Montreal
M.A. Chelsea College of Arts, London
Ph.D. (Fine Arts) University of East London, UK
Post Doctoral Research Fellow AVA, London

  • Shireen Bano Rizvi
    Shireen Bano Rizvi

Shireen Bano Rizvi
Associate Professor
BFA, NCA Lahore, Pakistan
MA (Hons.) Visual Art,NCA Lahore, Pakistan

  • Muhammad Shahzad Tanveer

Muhammad Shahzad Tanveer
Deputy Registrar Academic
B.A, LLB, LLM (Candidate)

  • Imran Ahmad

Imran Ahmad
Associate Professor
Masters in Art Administration
COFA, University of new South
Wales, Sydney, Australia

  • Ms. Saamia Ahmed

Ms. Saamia Ahmed
Associate Professor
BFA, MA (Hons.) Visual Art
NCA Lahore, Pakistan

  • Mohsin Sarfraz Shafi

Mohsin Sarfraz Shafi
Assistant Professor
BFA, MA (Hons.) Visual Art
NCA Lahore, Pakistan

  • Zobia Yaqoob

Zobia Yaqoob
Assistant Professor
BFA, MA (Hons.) Visual Art
NCA Lahore, Pakistan

  • Shajia Azam

Shajia Azam
Associate Professor
MA (Hons.) Visual Art
NCA Lahore, Pakistan

  • Ayesha Jatoi

Ayesha Jatoi
Assistant Professor
BFA, MA (Hons.) Visual Art
NCA Lahore, Pakistan

  • Ali Baba

Ali Baba
Assistant Professor
BFA, MA (Hons.) Visual Art
NCA Lahore, Pakistan

  • Saadia Hussain

Saadia Hussain
Assistant Professor
BFA, MA (Hons.) Visual Art
NCA Lahore, Pakistan

          Visiting Faculty

  • Prof. Dr. Arfa Syeda
  • Prof. Dr. Marcella Sirhandi
  • Prof. Dr. Aijaz Anwar
  • Prof. Dr. Shakeel Qureshi
  • Prof. Dr. Shaukat Mehmood
  • Prof. Dr. Parvaiz Vandal
  • Prof. Dr. Shahida Manzoor
  • Prof. Dr. Musarrat Hasan
  • Prof. Dr. Tehnyat Majid
  • Prof. Dr. Fatima Zahra Hasan
  • Prof. Dr. Pamella Rogers
  • Prof. Dr. Farida Batool
  • Ms. Elizabeth Dadi
  • Mr. F.S. Aijazuddin
  • Ms. Summaya Durrani
  • Ms. Naheed Siddiqui
  • Ms. Zehra Nigah
  • Mr. R. M. Naeem
  • Ms. Fyza Amir
  • Ms. Beate Terfloth
  • Ms. Durriya Kazi
  • Ms. Naiza Khan
  • Ms. Marjorie Hussain
  • Ms. Nilofar Akhmut
  • Mr. Amin Rehman
  • Ms. Risham Hussain Sayed
  • Ms. Masooma Syed
  • Ms. Huma Mulji
  • Ms. Hamra Abbas
  • Ms. Fatima Husaain
  • Ms. Saulat Ajmal
  • Ms. Hareem Tanvir
  • Ms. Rabeya Jalil
  • Ms. Zohreen Murtaza
  • Ms. Mehreen Murtaza
  • Prof. Salima Hashmi
  • Prof. Kamil Khan Mumtaz
  • Prof. Sajjad Kausar
  • Prof. Sabah Hussain
  • Prof. Quddus Mirza
  • Prof. Muhammad Asif Sharif
  • Prof. Talha Ali
  • Prof. Sylvat Aziz
  • Ms. Laila Rehman
  • Mr. Ali Raza
  • Ms. Indu Mitha
  • Ms. Sara Zaman
  • Ustad Parvaiz Paras
  • Ustad Khurshid Alam Gohar Qalam
  • Ustad Rafaqat Ali Khan
  • Ustad Saif ur Rehman
  • Ms. Sheema Kermani
  • Mr. Taimoor Khan Mumtaz
  • Mr. Imran Qureshi
  • Ms. Ayesha Khalid
  • Mr. Atif Khan
  • Mr. Usman Saeed
  • Ms. Razia Sadiq
  • Ms. Maliha Noorani
  • Mr. Ghulam Abbas
  • Mr. Imran Channa
  • Mr. Ali Kazim
  • Ms. Fatima Saeed
  • Ms. Aisha Abid Hussain
  • Ms. Saba Khan
  • Mr. Murad Khan Mumtaz
  • Ms. Alyssa Phoebus
  • Mr. Ayaz Jokhio
  • Mr. Abdullah Qureshi