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Creative Arts & Design×

University of Melbourne Masters Degrees in Creative Arts & Design

We have 17 University of Melbourne Masters Degrees in Creative Arts & Design

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The Master of Design for Performance is a unique two-year program for designers and visual artists who wish to develop the skills necessary for a professional career in designing scenery, props and/or costumes for live performance. Read more

The Master of Design for Performance is a unique two-year program for designers and visual artists who wish to develop the skills necessary for a professional career in designing scenery, props and/or costumes for live performance.

The intensive program combines theoretical and hands-on training with the core emphasis on gaining the knowledge, skills and creative capacity required to practice your own craft professionally. As collaboration is at the heart of design for performance, your creative ideas will develop through artistic collaborations with directors, choreographers, designers and other performance makers at the VCA, providing a unique opportunity to develop creative partnerships that can lead to future collaborations in the profession.

Through formal classes, workshops and studio-based learning you will develop a deep understanding of the role of design in performance and develop your own unique approach to this process. You are provided with the tuition and facilities to develop advanced skills in a range of 2D and 3D visualisation techniques both by hand and using new technologies. These skills are employed to document and communicate ideas, and produce graphic props and projected image on stage.

You will also be supported to find industry placements in the area of your choice, where you can observe and assist professional designers in the performing arts industry. These placements can be with companies or individual designers locally, nationally or internationally. Through these industry placements and designing productions staged within VCA you will hone your skills and develop a portfolio of work in a variety of performance styles that can include theatre, dance, music theatre, opera and other cross discipline productions.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Gain hands-on experience designing for theatre, dance, music theatre, opera and cross-art productions staged at the VCA and through industry placements in your final year
  • Develop the technical skills, processes and conceptual understanding to design with insight and imagination
  • Take on key roles in the development of artistic works including decision making, implementation of ideas and leadership of teams
  • Gain excellent written, oral and visual communication skills for the successful presentation of your design concepts


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A professional coursework masters that provides you with key skills, knowledge and the experience necessary to work in design for film, television and associated screen-based media, including television commercials, music videos and documentaries. Read more

A professional coursework masters that provides you with key skills, knowledge and the experience necessary to work in design for film, television and associated screen-based media, including television commercials, music videos and documentaries. The course is delivered through formal classes, workshops, studio exercises and practical skills training. The first year is structured to include intensive training and skills development, it is followed by a more flexible second year of primarily practice-based learning that includes placements on films (and other screen-based productions) professionally produced in the industry or with the VCA’s student film productions.

The course also helps you to develop links with the profession through a range of guest lecturers from the industry as well as the option of participating in an industry placement. The program welcomes applicants from a variety of backgrounds including theatre, industrial, textile, interior, fashion and graphic design, architecture, illustration, the film and television industry and the visual arts.

After completion of the program you will have been trained to industry standard, ready to begin work on productions. This course also provides a pathway to a PhD.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • A deep understanding of the discipline of design for screen
  • Ability to take on key roles in the development of artistic works including decision making, implementation of ideas and leadership of teams
  • Learn to research broadly, analyse findings and apply them within the context of designing for screen
  • Excellent written, oral and visual communication skills for the successful presentation of your design concepts
  • Cross-discipline collaboration skills, knowledge about other disciplines and the ability to work alongside others to produce creative works.


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The Master of Art Curatorship has been taught at the University of Melbourne for nearly 30 years. This comprehensive program incorporates theoretical, historical and practical study units that focus on the changing role of art museums and arts organisations in collecting, interpreting and exhibiting art. Read more

The Master of Art Curatorship has been taught at the University of Melbourne for nearly 30 years. This comprehensive program incorporates theoretical, historical and practical study units that focus on the changing role of art museums and arts organisations in collecting, interpreting and exhibiting art. Leading professionals from the Australian art world contribute to teaching programs, as well as the staff of the University’s cultural collections and the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, ensuring all knowledge you gain is relevant and contemporary.

WHO IS IT FOR?

The Master of Art Curatorship is for those who want to focus their career in the arts museum sector. If you have a background in the arts, humanities, art history, studio arts, and collections museum, then this program will get your career to the next stage. The program is niche in that it only looks are the art visual culture, you’ll be looking into the world of the art museum, which is a very vibrant sector within itself.

We will equip you with more than just an education. Learn from some of the country’s most influential teachers, access a network of innovative industry leaders and engage with our exciting internship opportunities.

WHERE WILL IT TAKE ME?

On graduation from the Master of Art Curatorship, you will be ready for work in professional fields including:

  • Art auctioneering
  • Arts policy and law
  • Art publishing and archiving
  • Collection, gallery and exhibition management
  • Freelance curating
  • Artist-run spaces
  • Curatorship and an art museum or art space


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Unearth and connect the shared skills between writer, editor and publisher. With the Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing, you can gain a globally recognised, vocationally viable qualification designed with the changing nature of the publishing industry in mind. Read more

Unearth and connect the shared skills between writer, editor and publisher. With the Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing, you can gain a globally recognised, vocationally viable qualification designed with the changing nature of the publishing industry in mind.

This program has a practical focus aimed at building your knowledge and skill set across a broad spectrum of writing, publishing and editing, including digital writing and publishing, fiction and non‐fiction writing, print production, advanced editing for books and magazines and writing for young adults.

WHO IS IT FOR?

The Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing is for those who currently work in the creative writing, editing and publishing industry, or have recently completed and undergraduate degree. This qualification is for you if you want to build your project management, research and critical thinking in writing, editing and publishing projects, or develop sound knowledge of the commercial impetus of the global publishing industry.

WHERE WILL IT TAKE ME?

On graduation from the Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing, you will be ready for work in professional fields including:

  • Book publishing
  • Freelance writing
  • Journalism
  • Print production
  • Technical writing
  • Writing and editing for digital media


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LEARNING OUTCOMES. Become a registered Music Therapist and understand relevant clinical conditions and the application of music as a treatment/special education modality. Read more

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Become a registered Music Therapist and understand relevant clinical conditions and the application of music as a treatment/special education modality
  • Use and evaluate concepts and principles of music therapy and theories that underpin the practice of music therapy
  • Acquire skills in the assessment, design, implementation and evaluation of music therapy programs in a diverse range of clinical/special education settings
  • Ability to carry out independent research and analysis into music therapy
  • Develop a lifelong commitment to enhancing the well-being of clients

The Master of Music Therapy provides a course of study for those wishing to practice as music therapists in settings such as hospitals, special schools, aged care facilities, community health programs and private practice. The course is open to music graduates and graduates from courses related to health and wellbeing.

The two-year program provides advanced knowledge of the theory, practice and research of music therapy. You learn traditional and ground-breaking theoretical approaches to practice with people across the life span, from preschool aged children through to older adults, with Music Therapy Skills classes covering voice and guitar skills, improvisation, songs and performances with dyads and groups, as well as receptive music therapy. A major component of the course consists of four clinical training placements supervised by qualified music therapists in settings such as hospitals, schools, residential care and the community. You also undertake a minor thesis in which you conceive, plan and execute a small research study.

The course is approved and validated by the Australian Music Therapy Association (AMTA), leading to registration as Music Therapists upon completion.

The Master of Music Therapy is available in two modes:

On-Campus Mode

Taught in the traditional mode of lectures and tutorials for students who live in the Melbourne area. Theoretical and music therapy skills subjects are taught via weekly lectures and intensive teaching periods. You will also participate regularly in clinical placements, amounting to a minimum of 80 days across the two years. 

Blended Learning Mode

The Blended Learning option is delivered online and through intensive learning periods for students living interstate and in rural areas, where approved clinical training arrangements are available. It covers all subjects offered in the traditional on-campus mode. Theoretical subjects are taught online weekly, music therapy skills subjects are via intensive mode twice each semester, your clinical training will be carried out in your home state where suitable supervision from a qualified Music Therapist is available, and tutorials are incorporated into the intensive learning periods. Music therapy skills subjects and tutorials are workshop based, and so attendance at the intensive learning days is essential. 



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A NATIONAL GRADUATE OPERA PROGRAM TRAINING WORLD-CLASS PERFORMERS. Achieve a professional-level standard as an operatic vocalist or repetiteur, with advanced technique in acting, movement, stagecraft, language and diction. Read more

A NATIONAL GRADUATE OPERA PROGRAM TRAINING WORLD-CLASS PERFORMERS

  • Achieve a professional-level standard as an operatic vocalist or repetiteur, with advanced technique in acting, movement, stagecraft, language and diction
  • Gain industry experience via elite training and performance opportunities with Victorian Opera
  • Develop knowledge, skills and abilities in operatic vocal performance and repertoire, role development, concert work, education outreach, stylistic analysis and artistic interpretation 

Delivered in conjunction with Victorian Opera, the Master of Music (Opera Performance) is a professional training program offering elite-level training for opera singers and repetiteurs.

The two-year program includes intensive studies in vocal coaching, Italian, French and German language for opera, ensemble singing, role development, acting and music research, together with the opportunity to work as a practising singer/repetiteur within a nationally renowned opera company.

On completion of this program, you will have achieved a professional level standard in vocal performance or repetiteur skills. For singers, this will include skills in acting, movement and other stagecraft skills as well as the language and diction skills required for professional opera singing.

Repetiteurs will have achieved the keyboard and vocal coaching skills required of a professional repetiteur from the rehearsal stage through to full-scale operatic performance.

Pathways to research master degrees are also available upon completion of the program. 



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Become a highly-skilled and highly-aware ensemble musician, and achieve a professional standard in your orchestral ensemble performance through a practical internship with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Read more
  • Become a highly-skilled and highly-aware ensemble musician, and achieve a professional standard in your orchestral ensemble performance through a practical internship with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
  • Develop the confidence to perform at your peak under pressure in audition, recording, and performance settings
  • Understand and develop the mental and emotional capabilities necessary for consistent skill execution and positive performance experiences
  • Establish the entrepreneurial skills to assist you in your early career as an orchestral musician
  • Learn to identify, prevent, and manage health risks associated with playing your instrument for extended time periods

Delivered through an industry partnership with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), the Master of Music (Orchestral Performance) is the first and only course of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region offering elite-level training for aspiring orchestral musicians.

At the core of this intensive two-year program is Orchestral Experience, a series of intensive learning experiences in which students will engage with the full spectrum of repertoire and performance contexts of the modern symphony orchestra, and be paired with a private instructor for direct one-to-one teaching. This is offered alongside a Performance Practicum, which enables students to gain professional orchestral performance experience with Australia’s oldest symphony orchestra through work-integrated learning experiences with the MSO. Supporting Studies in musicians’ health, audition preparation, outreach and entrepreneurship, orchestra administration, and optimal performance complement the practical components to create a unique, holistic kind of orchestral training, preparing a new generation of highly trained musicians with the experience, skills, knowledge, and insight to transition into sustainable orchestral careers. 



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LEARNING OUTCOMES. Advanced technical development on your selected instrument or voice as required of a teacher of music performance. Read more

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Advanced technical development on your selected instrument or voice as required of a teacher of music performance
  • Professional level of expertise and competence as an instrumental or vocal music teacher
  • Develop a range of teaching approaches for the delivery of instrumental or vocal lessons that foster independent, reflective, motivated and cooperative learning

The Master of Music (Performance Teaching) is a specialist coursework degree, preparing graduates in Western classical and contemporary music as performer-teachers. Our graduates work as instrumental or vocal instructors in schools, studios, community programs, and in private provider and further education settings, both in Australia and overseas. 

The course has two specialisations:

  • The Instrumental Specialisation prepares students for school-based instrumental/vocal teaching, and includes three professional placements and a specific focus on conducting and orchestration.
  • The Studio Specialisation prepares students for private studio-based instrumental/vocal teaching, and includes two professional placements and a focus on instrumental pedagogy.

The course provides advanced music performance tuition, second instrument studies and ensemble participation alongside the pedagogy of performance teaching. Professional practice is completed in a variety of settings including community organisations, schools, studios and Suzuki classes and there is a range of elective subjects in the practical, theoretical and research areas.

The specialist pedagogical subjects, combined with individual lessons, will enable students to acquire a thorough understanding of teaching issues that are specific to music performance and of the various methods and approaches applied to teaching music performance at all levels.

In the final semester students choose between: 

  • Music performance,
  • Music performance research,
  • Conducting, or 
  • Suzuki music education (includes Primary Level Suzuki Teacher accreditation).

Specialist electives may include: Teaching Aural Musicianship, Applied Physiology for Musicians, Piano Pedagogy and Piano Repertoire.

Completing the Instrumental Specialisation in the Master of Music (Performance Teaching) will enable students to obtain advanced standing with a range of education providers, leading to Victorian Institute of Teaching registration after an additional period of study.

This course also offers a pathway into the PhD after completing the Professional Research Project elective.



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The Master of Urban Design at the Melbourne School of Design develops professionals who can understand the city as a spatio-temporally complex system and design for contemporary challenges such as mass urbanisation and changing climate demands. . Read more

The Master of Urban Design at the Melbourne School of Design develops professionals who can understand the city as a spatio-temporally complex system and design for contemporary challenges such as mass urbanisation and changing climate demands. 

Our students become employment-ready through working in interdisciplinary teams, encouraging interaction and appreciation of multiple viewpoints and collegiate working environments. 

Course specialities 

The Master of Urban Design offers the combined educational strength of four design studios alongside Urban Design Theory. Studio projects are approached as speculative design-research explorations where innovation and discovery are combined with advanced geospatial analytics, multidimensional and procedural modelling, and virtual reality technology. Studios emphasise the importance of place and fieldwork, a significant component of the studio work students undertake. 

Professional and wider community involvement is a regular part of the Master of Urban Design studio experience. 

Throughout the program you will:

  • Discover the role of urban design within given spatial, social, economic and political contexts
  • Explore the scope, opportunities, complexities and responsibilities of urban design
  • Uncover urban design issues and methodology for creating best practice responses
  • Develop analytical and design skills for generating and testing alternative approaches to the urban design development of specific sites

You will work closely with fellow students and expert faculty across urban design, planning and landscape architecture, collaborating to come up with innovative urban design solutions.

Accreditation

The Master of Urban Design is accredited by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and undergoes a regular formal review process to ensure the quality and relevance of the program.

Career Outcomes

Upon graduation your skills can be applied in a range of urban design and associated planning roles. Urban design skills are in great demand throughout Australia and the Asia- Pacific region and your expertise in the design of urban public spaces and strategic planning will provide the opportunity to work locally and globally in areas such as:

  • Planning authorities including as city councils
  • Architecture practices
  • Landscape architecture practices
  • Planning practices


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The Master of Dance places a distinctive focus on the integration of performance skills and choreographic practice, both live and screen based, facilitating a holistic physical sensibility underpinned by a commitment to artistic excellence, collaboration and interdisciplinary practice. . Read more

The Master of Dance places a distinctive focus on the integration of performance skills and choreographic practice, both live and screen based, facilitating a holistic physical sensibility underpinned by a commitment to artistic excellence, collaboration and interdisciplinary practice. 

Through laboratory-based workshops, seminars, master classes and theoretical subjects, the 18-month postgraduate degree offers a balance of intensive and practical training across three semesters culminating in the realisation of a range of independent, practice-led projects.

It equips you with a high level of professional skill and expertise as a multi-dimensional dance artist, and provides opportunities for connections with other VCA disciplines via cross-disciplinary subjects, collaborative projects and through a range of encounters with practising artists and organisations.

The program welcomes applications from: dancers, performers, improvisers, dance-makers, choreographers and body-based practitioners. 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Understand corporeal, spatial and temporal relationships in constructing and presenting performances
  • Be able to develop and apply a breadth of choreographic, directing and performance strategies in the creation and performance of artistic work
  • Learn to communicate ideas and aesthetic values in artistic modes involving movement, sound, light and moving image
  • The ability to work with creative integrity and flexibility, both individually and in a team, to organise and create multi-disciplinary work


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In your first year you are introduced to facets of motion picture production within your chosen specialisation, in second year you assume responsibility for the creative and technical production of a major project at a professional level. Read more

In your first year you are introduced to facets of motion picture production within your chosen specialisation, in second year you assume responsibility for the creative and technical production of a major project at a professional level.

The Graduate Diploma of Film and Television is an exit qualification for students who have successfully completed the first 100 points of the course. Applicants holding a Graduate Diploma of Film and Television, or equivalent, may apply for direct entry to Year 2 of the equivalent stream within the course. 

This course can be undertaken in one of two specialised direction streams:

DOCUMENTARY

If you have an enquiring mind and a highly visual outlook then documentary filmmaking is an inspired choice of profession. Documentary at the VCA will challenge you to create critically reflective films that capture a distinct place and time in our society.

NARRATIVE

The Narrative specialisation emphasises the screenwriting, direction and editing of narrative film and television. You are encouraged to be innovative and experimental, explore ideas and develop the expertise to express them to an audience through a visual medium.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Develop advanced, practical filmmaking skills including direction of actors, cinematography, sound recording and editing, production management, assistant directing and other fundamental principles of filmmaking
  • Learn how to research, develop, write and design a narrative or documentary short film
  • Acquire ability to critically and constructively critique your own and peers’ screen production work in the context of the broader history of screen culture
  • Graduate with an industry-standard, narrative or documentary short film.


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The Master of Producing is a practice-based graduate coursework degree that focuses on the creative and business aspects of being a successful producer in the film, television and allied industries. Read more

The Master of Producing is a practice-based graduate coursework degree that focuses on the creative and business aspects of being a successful producer in the film, television and allied industries.

Producers are the managers of film and television projects. This includes the creative aspects of script development and analysis, and the development of your own work as well as the business aspect of the industry including; organising film schedules, budgets, distribution, and management of film shoots and raising funding from private and public sources. 

Producers at the VCA work on undergraduate and graduate films in animation, narrative and documentary developing practical skills and building networks with other students – building a network that will assist you throughout your career.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Extend your creative abilities and business skills
  • Develop a sound understanding of the structure of the Australian film, television and allied industries
  • Demonstrate the capacity to produce a substantial short creative project working with a final year project of a VCA student.


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The Master of Screenwriting is designed for those who have a desire to write audience-engaged stories for a visual medium and for people wishing to work as professional screenwriters. Read more

The Master of Screenwriting is designed for those who have a desire to write audience-engaged stories for a visual medium and for people wishing to work as professional screenwriters.

Semester one is classroom-intensive and is an introduction to the many facets of screenwriting. You take part in ‘Storytelling Workshops’ which analyse the universal essentials of storytelling. You also attend lectures, classes and screenings dedicated to the craft of screenwriting and undertake intensive modules focusing on feature film and television writing.

Semester two focuses on writing a first draft of your major project. You develop your script with the assistance of script tutorials, feedback from your lecturer and peers, and a unique script development hothouse. During this semester you also gain skills in giving and receiving creative feedback on your scripts. A first draft feature screenplay, or a TV Bible plus episode(s) of a script, are the expected outcomes after first year.

In semester three you are expected to implement skills you have learned to focus on redrafting your major project as you complete a second or third draft. Script tutorials plus lecturer and peer feedback is maintained throughout. In this semester, you also learn about the Australian and international screenwriting landscape.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Develop screenwriting skills for national and international screenwriting industries
  • Become confident with writing and rewriting screenplays
  • Grow concepts and ideas into screenplays using research methodology skills
  • Graduate with a third or final draft of a feature length screenplay or television bible and script.


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The Master of Directing for Performance develops your in-depth knowledge and skills of directing and provides a framework to identify and reflect on your own practice as a director, performance-maker, collaborator and researcher. Read more

The Master of Directing for Performance develops your in-depth knowledge and skills of directing and provides a framework to identify and reflect on your own practice as a director, performance-maker, collaborator and researcher. The program opens up a broad range of individual career pathways into contemporary performance practice through directing and performance making, practice-led research, and applied performance in intercultural and community engagement contexts.

The VCA offers a unique environment for you to develop an individual approach to directing live performances and creative leadership in an environment of interdisciplinary and intercultural learning. You will experience a wide range of collaborative opportunities and leadership roles with designers, actors, production teams, writers, dramaturgs and choreographers at the VCA, as well as a range of creative encounters with local, national and international artists, organisations and communities.

The program is delivered through lab-based workshops, seminars, lectures, self-directed exercises, tutorials, practical master classes, and national and international internships. It balances theory and practice across four semesters, to allow for progression from the intensively-taught, skills-based first year, to a more autonomous, project-orientated second year which culminates in an independent, practice-led research performance project or written dissertation. The program actively encourages intercultural and international training and research experiences through fieldwork in the second year of the course.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Develop specialist skills in directing for live performance, including rehearsal processes, dramaturgy, devising, composition and performance making
  • Build collaborative networks from within and beyond the VCA, and gain the knowledge and skills to build future national and international connections through industry placements and internships
  • Understand the interplay between theories and practices of performance direction
  • Learn practical and critical approaches to develop the future of Australian performing arts
  • Be able to creatively and imaginatively engage with textual, visual and performed sources and artworks
  • Become a flexible practitioner, able to work across artistic disciplines and multiple contexts of performance practice


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In this one-year program you will encounter and explore dramaturgy beyond work with written texts and literary play scripts to encompass the contexts of dance, hybrid works, installation, community-based and performance art work. Read more

In this one-year program you will encounter and explore dramaturgy beyond work with written texts and literary play scripts to encompass the contexts of dance, hybrid works, installation, community-based and performance art work. The program provides opportunities for you to develop your potential for artistic leadership and attain in-depth knowledge of dramaturgical thinking and practices.

The course is underpinned by a commitment to the pursuit of artistic excellence, collaboration and interdisciplinarity within established and emerging local, national and international dramaturgical practices. Students collaborate with other VCA postgraduate disciplines and engage with writers, directors, designers, choreographers, performance-makers and actors on a range of projects in an intensive training environment.

The course provides a balance of theory and practice across two semesters through laboratory-based workshops, seminars, lectures, self-directed exercises, tutorials, practical master classes and an independent project. An intensive first semester focuses on skills and research training, including a discrete subject where you will closely engage with the dramaturgical expertise of Melbourne’s diverse theatre industry. The second and final semester allows more independent practice and research, building reflective performance practitioners with a high level of research and practice skills.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

  • Develop your potential for artistic leadership and gain in-depth knowledge of dramaturgical philosophies and practices
  • Creatively engage with textual, visual and performed artworks
  • Work collaboratively in interdisciplinary projects
  • Learn practical and critical approaches to develop the future of Australian performance culture
  • Build skills to work effectively in rehearsals with directors and creative teams


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