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About this institution
AT NAFA, GENERATIONS OF TALENT BEGAN THEIR JOURNEY HERE
In 1938, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) began as an academy with 14 Fine Art students. Today, we’ve grown to become Singapore’s premier arts institution, renowned for our exemplary curricula, innovative teaching approach, and diverse artistic creations.
We embrace creativity in all its forms, conducting a range of full-time diploma and degree courses in 8 departments: 3D Design, Arts Management & Education, Design & Media, Fine Art, Fashion Studies, Dance, Music and Theatre. Here, we make it easier for you to move from diploma to degree through our partnership programmes with reputable universities in the United Kingdom. Our courses are taught by art practitioners with internationally recognised qualifications and a deep-seated passion for imparting lifelong skills in the arts.
Apart from developing important technical know-how at a disciplined and structured pace, we also encourage our students to think critically, creatively and independently. Our curriculum empowers them to pursue interests in other disciplines, and is constantly updated to match the needs of the industry.
NAFA thrives on diversity and has a culturally diverse student population from Asia and beyond. Our learning environment reflects Singapore’s multicultural outlook. With three purpose-built campuses in the arts belt, we are within walking distance from major performing venues, museums and arts groups—giving us a major catalyst for artistic discourse and learning.
It just makes sense to join us.
We embrace creativity in all its forms and conduct a diverse range of full-time diploma and degree courses in 8 departments:
- 3D Design
- Arts Management & Education
- Design & Media
- Fashion Studies
- Fine Art
We take you where you want to go.
Here, we’ll make it easier for you to move from diploma to degree. This means that upon completing your GCE ‘O’ or ‘A’ Level, you can immediately start working your way towards a degree. Our degree courses are offered in partnership with renowned universities in the United Kingdom.
You learn beyond the classroom.
We encourage you to think critically, creatively and independently - a habit that keeps you relevant to any field you choose. You will master the technical know-how of your chosen path and be given the opportunities to showcase your ideas through nation-wide projects and competitions. Our curriculum enables you to pursue interests in other disciplines, and is constantly updated to match the needs of the industry.
Teaching is a lifelong art.
Courses here are led by art practitioners with internationally recognised qualifications. You will learn from people passionate about imparting lifelong skills in the arts to you. Dedicated to setting high standards and sharing invaluable knowledge, over 65% of our full-time lecturers have a Master’s Degree or higher.
Expect great things ahead.
NAFA alumni can anticipate a brilliant head start in their career. In a survey conducted in 2012, 86% of our diploma and degree holders gained employment within three months of graduation. 85% of our graduates also secured jobs in their preferred fields relevant to their course of studies.
With a low lecturer-to-student ratio in our diploma courses, you can benefit from our undivided attention:
3D Design 1:15
Arts Management & Education 1:24
Design & Media 1:23
Fashion Studies 1:23
Fine Art 1:8
Take on the world here.
With your newly acquired skills and qualifications, you will be welcomed wherever you go. This wide acceptance stems from a solid education provided by renowned international art practitioners who conduct regular lectures and demonstrations for our students. In fact, Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) recognises our proven teaching approach by sending aspiring teachers to our Art and Music Teaching Diploma Courses.
Our location is as diverse as your interests.
The learning environment at NAFA reflects Singapore’s multicultural outlook. Our three purpose-built campuses in the arts belt are within walking distance of major performing venues, museums and arts groups. As an academy that thrives on diversity, we welcome students of all cultural backgrounds, from Asia and beyond.
Be part of something greater.
NAFA is registered with the Council for Private Education and is funded at polytechnic-level by the MOE, Singapore. Talented students with exceptional academic results and achievements are eligible for scholarships. The Tuition Grant Scheme, offered by MOE to subsidise the cost of tertiary education in Singapore, is available to international students based on merit during admission.
Campus One (5,078sqm)
• A Library spanning 2 floors with comprehensive collection of books, periodicals, online databases, audio-visual materials and music scores for art research
• 3 spacious Art Galleries equipped with cutting edge lighting and exhibition facilities, featuring a total exhibition area of 850sqm
• High-Definition Studio with full HD editing direct from server (via fibre channel connection) and colour grading stations with the capability of previewing full HD clips on 24” HD broadcast grade monitors
• Creative Media Studio with cutting-edge technology for 3D animation and special effects, and sophisticated audio-video production facilities
• Classical Animation Studio
• 21 Computing Laboratories with relevant hardware and software
• 6 Skylight Studios which allow painting in natural, evenly-distributed daylight
• 2 Master Painters’ Studios
• Dark Room and 2 Photography Studios with advanced studio flash systems
• 2 Jewellery Workshops with casting, processing and setting facilities
• Interior Design Materials Resource Room
• Drafting Studios and 3D Model Workshops
Campus Two (1,169sqm)
• CAD/CAM system for computerised design and drafting
• 5 Textile Workshops with batik printing, textile development, embroidery design facilities
• 4 Quality Control Workshops complete with sophisticated steamers and specialised garment machines
• Workshops that provide ideal spaces for drafting, draping and project work
Campus Three (2,384sqm)
• Plush 380-seat Lee Foundation Theatre with a rotating central platform on stage,
an adjustable orchestra pit with superb acoustics and two Steinway Model D grand pianos
• Studio Theatre or “Black Box” with 196 retractable seats
• Recital Hall equipped with Steinway Model B, Yamaha S6 grand pianos, recording and video conferencing facilities
• Rooftop Amphitheatre with tiered seating for outdoor performances
• 5 Dance Studios
• 22 soundproof Music Practice Studios
• Television Production Studio
• Percussion Studio
• Gamelan Room
NAFA offers a wide range of diploma programmes across eight departments: Department of 3D Design; Department of Arts Management & Education; Department of Dance; Department of Design & Media; Department of Fashion Studies; Department of Fine Art; Department of Music; Department of Theatre
The following are the different courses offered by each department:
- Diploma in Design (Landscape and Architecture)
- Diploma in Design (Interior and Exhibition)
- Diploma in Design (Furniture and Spatial)
- Diploma in Design (Object and Jewellery
Arts Management & Education
- Diploma in Arts Management
- Diploma in Dance
Design & Media
- Diploma in Advertising
- Diploma in Graphic Communication
- Diploma in Illustration Design with Animation
- Diploma in Screen Media
- Diploma in Fashion Design
- Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing
- Diploma in Fine Art
- Diploma in Music
- Diploma in Theatre (English Drama)
- Diploma in Theatre (Mandarin Drama)
NAFA also offers the following Bachelor degrees and BA (Hons) courses:
- BA (Hons) 3D Design: New Practice (Top Up)
- BA (Hons) Spatial Design (Top Up)
- BA (Hons) Graphic Communication (Top Up)
- BA (Hons) Fine Art (Top Up)
- BA (Hons) Theatre Arts (Top Up)
- BA (Hons) Fashion (Top Up)
- BA (Hons) Fashion and Marketing (Top Up)
- BA (Hons) Creative Industry Management (Top Up)
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance
- Bachelor of Music (Hons)
The Office of Academic Affairs oversees the above departments and provides academic leadership on new initiatives. Over 60 per cent of the lecturers have Master’s Degree or higher qualifications with a lecturer to student ratio of approximately 1:20 for visual arts courses and 1:12 for performing arts courses.
Upon completion of GCE ‘O’ or ‘A’ levels, students could work towards a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in four years. NAFA’s three-year diploma courses integrate seamlessly with the Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours programmes offering an exciting and rewarding artistic career.
Admissions to NAFA are based primarily on applicants’ scores in the NAFA Admission Test/Audition, their educational qualifications and English proficiency. Special consideration may be given to those who fail to meet marginally some of the requirements but fare well in the NAFA Admission Test/Audition.
The requirement is Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level or equivalent with an aggregate score of 25 points or better in 4 GCE ‘O’ level subjects, excluding English, or International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Candidates with full GCE ‘A’ Level results or IB Diploma may apply for module exemptions for selected courses hence allowing them to complete the Diploma in less than 3 years.
Exemption of a NAFA diploma module may be granted to new students who have taken and passed identical or equivalent module(s) in another institution. The granting of exemption may be subject to passing a portfolio interview, audition or test. No more than 60 modular credits can be exempted for any student. Applicants must submit their applications for module exemption together with their applications for admission.
English Proficiency Requirements
The requirement for admission to all NAFA diploma courses, except the Diploma in Dance, Diploma in Music and the Diploma in Theatre (Mandarin Drama) is one of the following:
-Grade C6 or better in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level English Language
-TOEFL 500 or better
-IELTS Band 5 or higher
- Qualifications equivalent to any of the above
International applicants who can only submit their full results in mid-2014 can use their school examination results or trial results for registration. Applicants must furnish letters from their school to verify that these results are true and are also required to sit for the NAFA English Placement Test.
Students from India must have a Secondary School Certificate (Year 10) or Senior School Certificate (Year 12), including a passing grade of 50 and above for English from The Central Board of Secondary Education Examinations (CBSE) or The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (ISCE).
International students residing overseas are required to apply for admission to NAFA through the appointed education counsellors when applicable. Applications made through non-NAFA education counselors will not be accepted.
View the staff directory.
NAFA’s diploma programmes are publicly-funded by Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE). The Academy may offer Tuition Grant, a tuition subsidy provided by MOE, to international applicants with outstanding Admission Test/Audition results, subject to availability.
Applicants will be informed if they are eligible for Tuition Grant in the Letter of Offer from the Academy. International students who accept the subsidy are required to execute a Tuition Grant Deed (TGD) with the Government of Singapore. Under the terms of the TGD, students are required to work in Singapore for three years upon graduation from their course. However, graduates are required to execute job searches themselves.
All awards and schemes help to cover the Tuition Fee only; these financial assistance schemes will not help to pay for re-take modules and cost of living in Singapore.
All scholarships, awards and financial assistance schemes are valid only for one academic year unless otherwise stated. Students are required to apply annually in order to be qualified for any of schemes.
There are three modes of financial assistance at NAFA:
Academic Scholarships are awarded to students who have outstanding academic records and an excellent track record of achievements in the arts industry. These are prestigious awards and are given out only to top students in each of the programme.
Merit Awards are given to students who have performed well academically and have some track record of achievements in the arts industry. These awards aimed to recognize the student’s achievement academically and in the arts industry. The criterion for selection could vary and subject to donor’s requirement. Bursaries are awarded to students who require financial assistance to continue their course of study in NAFA. Although financial need is a criterion, satisfactory academic performance is also a pre-requisite for selection.
The Student Relief Fund aims to help local full-time NAFA diploma/degree students whose families are in sudden financial crisis. The Relief Fund is available the whole year round.
Le Van Giang, from Vietnam, Diploma in 3D Design (Interior Design) 2010
Back in 2006, I was working for a small design firm owned by a German boss in Ho Chi Minh. It was a good experience to work under a foreigner boss and I did not realise at that time it would change my life. After a year, as well as to this day, I realised that it is important to think worldwide. I was not satisfied with just working in a small firm but wished to go to other countries to work and get exposed to different challenges and opportunities that will come by on the way.
I was thinking how to reach this goal. If I want to work internationally, I definitely need to equip with an international education. NAFA was among the first few search results I got from the Internet. Recommendations from friends affirmed my decision to choose NAFA as the first step to reach my goal. In order to overcome the language barrier, I began to work hard to improve my English for the course and I pulled it off. Eight months later, I was on the plane flying to Singapore after passing the admission test.
Students of various nationalities converged in NAFA and each spoke with different English accents. I had a hard time communicating with my classmates, especially during the lectures. I really needed to concentrate in the first few months to understand what my lecturers were conveying for each module. That was crucial as I had to comprehend what they expect from the assignments. Apart from that, the heavy amount of schoolwork really stressed me out. It took me one full semester to blend into this new environment and culture.
After the tough first semester, things got easier, school was becoming more vibrant and fun for me. It was exciting to get to know more friends from different countries. We studied together to understand our cultures and to view art from different perspectives. All these made the course more competitive and interesting. Exchanging of ideas during group discussions and project meetings really enhance my knowledge in arts and design. I realized that by playing a different role in different cultures, I would open a new horizon of possibilities.
Lecturers in NAFA play a vital role in my course of study. They taught me to think deeper and wider through a simple process of questioning and answering. As we search for the answers, we spent hours in the school library looking through books and the Internet. Researching is an important skill, which I get to learn to discover, generate and develop ideas. It is a never-ending process to reach higher level of aesthetic and practicality in our design work.
It was never just work alone, work hard and play harder is the motto that I keep to. After assessment period, I participated in social activities and sport meets organised by the student welfare department of NAFA. I can still remember how excited I was for my first Sports Day at Sentosa with the whole school. It was fun playing games at the beach and at the same time, competing with each other. After spending three years studying in NAFA, I was able to acquire a strong foundation and understanding of art and design, especially for my course in interior design. During my Graduation Show, I was given a few job offers and I went for some interviews. Now I am working in an architecture and interior design firm as an interior designer. Currently, I am part of a group working together on a major project designing for a big brand to occupy 14 floors in a high-rise office building in Singapore. As a fresh graduate, I consider myself lucky to be able to work in such a major project.
I think that everything pays off despite the heavy workload and long working hours. I am still learning everyday from my seniors, my boss, clients and people whom I come across in my line of work. It is really wonderful to work and experiment with what you like.
Vania Yulita, from Indonesia, (Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, 2010, BA(Hons) in Fashion Design 2011)
My three years of studies in NAFA had been a pleasant journey. The environment was very condusive for learning and lecturers guided me through difficulties to ensure I understood the subjects. They were very open to our ideas, and promoted creativity in our work. The equipment available supported my process of designing as well.
I strongly believe that NAFA graduates are of high demand in the global fashion industry and especially felt that way during my internship at p.t. Musa Atelier, owned by one of Indonesia’s top designers. I was accepted for the internship program, and they were very pleased with the work I produced.
I often had to sacrifice my personal time so as to complete assignments, but had fun even so. There were some sleepless nights and tiring days during my studies, but it was worth the price when my group won two awards, Best Ready-to-Wear and Best Concept, at the Fashion Design graduates’ fashion showcase
As time goes by, you will learn how to manage your time well. Overall, I am very happy to be a student of NAFA. It just takes passion to enjoy the things you do and excel in them.
Fransiska Maryono, from Indonesia (Diploma in Fashion Design 2010, BA(Hons) in Fashion Design 2011)
My three years at NAFA have been a fruitful experience and the lecturers had been very helpful in both technical and design approaches. NAFA widened my perspective on fashion, of which I initially thought to be only of beautiful frocks – I learnt that there are many other interesting aspects of fashion.
NAFA has allowed me to work on par with professionals in the competitive fashion industry. This opportunity came in the form of my internship with CLEO magazine (Singapore) in my 2nd year. Being a student at NAFA, I had access to advanced facilities which gave me the chance to explore and experiment with ideas.
Despite the ups and downs in my course of study, I enjoyed even the sleepless nights and projects because I had proven to myself that everything can be achieved with passion and determination. Above all, it has been a precious journey for me to study in NAFA; a journey that I would never have had anywhere else.
Michelle Elizabeth, from Indonesia (Diploma in Fashion Design 2010, BA(Hons) in Fashion Design 2011)
Studying in NAFA has been a real-life Project Runway experience for me. All the blood I drew when pricked from sewing needles, all the sweat from running to libraries and sourcing for fabrics in heels, and eventually, my tears of gratitude when accepting the Best Graduate Award of my batch.
At the Diploma level, I felt that the lecturers had taught me endless approaches in exploring creative ideas, while trying to discover my individual style along the way. Technical skills and availability of technology are also very crucial in the execution of garments and NAFA allowed us access to equipment such as laser cutting tools, Gerber, and textile printing machines which have helped us produce exciting collections throughout the years. The school provided extensive opportunities and encouraged us students to join competitions and event collaborations which provided much needed exposure to the industry. When I did my internship with Catalog Magazine, I realized the importance of teamwork, responsibility, and the ability to work effectively. This truly enhanced my overall learning experience.
I appreciate most that students in NAFA are professionally trained to enter the demanding fashion industry, and the way they are able to cultivate a positive attitude amidst schooling.
Jennifer Tjhin, from Indonesia (Diploma in Fashion Design 2010, BA(Hons) in Fashion Design 2011)
After my course of studies, I am sure that I have chosen the right institution to enchance my passion and skill in fashion design.
One of the perks of studying in NAFA is the school’s arrangements of field trips to big companies in the local fashion industry, such as FJ Benjamin, which is influential in the local fashion scene, and Tangs, one of the biggest department stores in Singapore. This really opened our minds and helped familiarise students to the real world.
The school has also held many competitions and collaborations which provides opportunities for the students to gain recognition in the industry.
In addition, the campus is well-equipped with facilities to support our learning process. Moreover, all the lecturers are very helpful and encouraging to the students.
100% of reviewers recommend Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA)
Selection process and gaining admission
This is the place where you will experience to bring out your hidden talents.
The students at the Nanyang Academy of Fine arts are highly motivated. This contributes to the overall learning experience. The course has been brilliant.
I belive that for any fashion design program the industrial interface to which a student is exposed is very important. At NAFA the industrial interface is particularly good. This is one of the key postive attributes of t...read full review
MA contemporary practice
NAFA was a great experience; it made a big impact on my life. I love how quickly I received my degree and feel I will be able to go far in my career. I was impressed and liked NAFA because they do not use a rubber stamp ...read full review