- PhD: North-West University
- MA: Potchefstroom University of Christian Higher Education
- BA (Hons): Potchefstroom University of Christian Higher Education
Swanepoel is director of the research niche Visual narratives and creative outputs through interdisciplinary and practice-led research. Her academic career set off in 2002 as a junior lecturer in history of art. Her research is focused on art philosophy and critical art theory, with emphasis on Neo-Marxism and postcolonial critical theory regarding identity issues such as das Nichtidentische (the other/otherness) as portrayed in creative outputs. In 2012-2013 she was one of the top ten researchers in the Faculty of Arts at the NWU. In 2014 she was appointed as the top researcher in the Faculty of Arts on the Potchefstroom campus. She is currently working on a research project in collaboration with Polish researcher Dr Anna Szyjkowska-Piotrowska, Chair of Humanities at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland. The project focuses on the experiences of women artists during, inter alia, Apartheid in South Africa and communism in Poland.