1 year full time.
Delivery mode:
Face to Face
Start date:
24 February 2020
Application due dates:
Applications for this course are currently being accepted.


Study a wide range of techniques to extend your visual arts practice with a Diploma of Visual Arts at Victoria University Polytechnic.

You’ll explore a variety of classical, contemporary and digital techniques in painting and drawing. You’ll learn to combine your technical, creative and conceptual skills to develop a body of work in one or more arts forms. This course will give you a sound understanding of art theory and history.

Taught by established and practising artists, this course also includes guest speakers who will talk about their work and art practice. Gallery visits will form part of your studies.

You’ll also gain valuable industry knowledge about developing sustainable professional practice and providing freelance services.

Everything you learn at Victoria University Polytechnic has direct links to the real world.

Develop practical skills through hands-on learning. Learn and work in newly refurbished visual arts facilities which include printmaking and life drawing studios. You’ll also get your own personal studio space; a dedicated workspace for you to build up your body of art work.

Studying at Victoria University Polytechnic means you’ll have unique opportunities to engage with the creative arts community and industry. VU at MetroWest is a new facility in the heart of Footscray that hosts exhibitions, craft markets, festivals and events. It includes The Centre Space, a white-walled open plan public area that is used as a gallery and exhibition space.

You’ll also benefit from VU’s links to the creative community through a calendar of events and functions that run year round.

VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.

Our students can attend Learning Hubs at one of five VU campuses.

We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Our programs include:

  • workshops
  • drop-in sessions
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available for all students.

Need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our experienced Victoria University Polytechnic course advisers to get your questions answered.

Request a call back

Careers in visual arts

A Diploma of Visual Arts from Victoria University Polytechnic will give you a solid grounding to work as a visual artist. Your creative practice may include:

  • digital art
  • drawing and illustration
  • painting
  • photo media
  • printmaking.

You may work in your own arts practice or in a wide range of contexts across the arts, government, community or commercial organisations.

You’ll have the skills for a range of potential career options including:

  • presenting your work directly to the public
  • supplying your work to retail outlets
  • working in an art business.

Course structure

To be awarded CUA51115 Diploma of Visual Arts, a student must successfully complete a total of fifteen (15) units of competency, comprising of:

  • six (6) core units, and;

  • nine (9) elective units, of which:

  • three (3) units must be selected from Group A;

  • two (2) units must be selected from Group B;

  • four (4) units may be selected from the remaining electives listed in the CUA51115 Diploma of Visual Arts qualification or any other training package qualification or accredited course at Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma Level.

Elective units must be relevant to the work environment and the qualification, maintain the integrity of the AQF alignment and contribute to a valid vocational outcome as well as be approved by the Polytechnic.

This qualification reflects the role of individuals who combine specialised technical, creative and conceptual skills to plan and realise a body of work in one or more art forms. Mediums may include ceramics, drawing and illustration, painting, photomedia, printmaking, public art, sculpture, textile design, wood design, digital art and glasswork.

Practice at this level is underpinned by application of arts theory and history and the ability to critically analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources. Discourse around complex ideas is also required. Visual artists may work in their own practice or in a wide range of contexts across the arts government, community or commercial organisation.

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type: VET

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full-fee paying place.

If you enrol in a:

  • Government subsidised place, you’ll pay a VET tuition fee and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee and course materials contribution. This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding.
  • full-fee paying place, you’ll pay the full-fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).

Calculate your course fees.

Find out:

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.

Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have the technical and organisational skills to conceptualise and create works in selected medium.
Skills and knowledge may have been acquired through experience in creative practice or through formal study such as the completion of VCE Studio Arts, the Certificate IV in Screen and Media or the Certificate IV in Design.
Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.

Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.

How to apply

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

Before you apply

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

  • Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
  • Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.

Apply direct to VU

Apply direct to VU using our admission centre submit applications for one or more courses, track and save your progress and upload additional information. Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

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Please note that if changes to this course occur, VU will notify students as soon as possible.

At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.