Diploma of Visual Arts

Course Code CUA51120
Locations Warrnambool

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Study Mode Part-time, On Campus
Length 18 months
Commencement Expressions of interest
Timetable Three days a week on campus in Warrnambool (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) plus one day a week of self-directed studio time
Course Overview

Looking to expand on your existing visual arts skills and build on your portfolio of work?

The Diploma of Visual Arts will give you the opportunity to refine your visual arts skills, knowledge and techniques. The course will also prepare you for further study in related qualifications to have your knowledge and skills formally recognised, adding to your current employability skills. 

During this course you will also be marketing, preparing, installing, and managing an art exhibition where you can display and sell the products you have created.

You will often work independently during the course with mentoring and guidance from your teacher. You will be required to complete studio work and assessments in your own time. 

What will I Learn?

Through working on a number of community and arts industry projects and exhibitions you will learn:

  • sustainable practice
  • work health and safety
  • history and theory of art
  • how to present and exhibit a body of work
  • painting
  • printmaking
  • photography
  • sculpture
  • drawing
  • ceramics
  • work for public spaces
  • installation work
  • developing a body of work
  • arts industry knowledge

Course Outcomes and Career Opportunities

Upon completing this qualification, you will use your highly developed technical, creative and conceptual skills to plan and realize a body of work in one or more art forms. You will utilise your understanding of arts theory and history to critically analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources.

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

Career opportunities may include:

  • studio artist
  • community artist
  • public artist
  • assistant curator
  • gallery assistant
  • arts officer
  • teacher


After completion of this course, you can progress to the Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts. 


There is no formal placement for this course but you will work closely with local arts organisations throughout your course, gaining hands-on practical experience.

Information Session

Why don’t you come along to our next course info session to find out everything you need to start your learning journey? You can chat with our teachers, tour our facilities, learn more about the course, find out about the application process and get your questions answered by our course experts. 

Find the next info session near you

Course Requirements
Entrance requirements & pre-requisites

You must provide evidence of your technical and organisational skills to conceptualise and create works in a selected medium. Skills and knowledge may have been acquired through experience in creative practice or formal study. You will be required to provide your portfolio, prior qualification records or work samples to enrol in this course.

Course requirements

To be eligible to be awarded this qualification you must successfully complete 15 units: 5 core and 10 electives.

You will need to provide the following during the course:

  • Laptop
  • Art materials for each studio, list to be supplied/outlined per studio.
  • General kit: pens, pencils, ruler, eraser, sharpener, workable fixative, masking tape, glue stick, fine liners
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Units offered

Core Units

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Unit Code Unit Name Unit Hours Unit Consumables
CUAACD531 Refine drawing and other visual representation tools 80 $0.00
CUAPPR511 Realise a body of creative work 80 $0.00
CUAPPR512 Develop sustainability of own professional practice 50 $0.00
CUAPPR513 Present a body of own creative work 60 $0.00
CUAPPR515 Establish and maintain safe creative practice 40 $0.00

Elective Units

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Unit Code Unit Name Unit Hours Unit Consumables
CUADRA502 Investigate drawing materials and processes 70 $0.00
CUACER511 Refine ceramic techniques 60 $0.00
CUAIND512 Enhance professional practice using creative arts industry knowledge 60 $0.00
CUAPAI511 Refine painting techniques 90 $0.00
CUAPAI512 Investigate painting materials and processes 80 $0.00
CUAPRI511 Refine printmaking techniques 85 $0.00
CUAPRI512 Investigate printmaking materials and processes 90 $0.00
CUAPUA511 Create works of art for public spaces 90 $0.00
CUARES412 Conduct research 30 $0.00
CUASCU511 Refine sculptural techniques 80 $0.00

This course involves accredited units.  You will be required to complete assessment tasks to demonstrate your underpinning knowledge, skills and attributes to meet the course outcomes.  A combination of written, oral and practical assessment strategies will be used in either a classroom, online or workplace environment. 

Where units require demonstration of skills in a workplace environment, you will have the opportunity to do this either in your own workplace (where appropriate), through a practical placement, or by using one of the Institute's simulated workshops/classrooms.  Detailed information about the types, conduct and dates of assessments will be provided in advance.  You will also be provided with information about the opportunity for reassessment and appeal.

After applying

Once you have applied for your chosen course, you will receive a thank you email from South West TAFE with a few steps to help process your enrolment.

Complete a Pre-Training Review
You will receive an email to complete a Pre-Training Review online evaluation. This evaluation helps us tailor your training to suit your needs.

Create or provide a Unique Student Identifier (USI)
A USI is a nationally recognised reference number that provides an online record of your training qualifications gained in Australia.
Create your USI
Already have a USI but can’t remember it? Find your USI

Skills recognition
If you have experience or prior qualifications, you may be eligible to apply for recognition of prior learning and gain credits. You will be asked to provide any relevant Statement of Attainment to support identified credits.

Course Fees

Here's an outline of fees and costs associated with your course.

Your fees each year can be made up of 3 different elements.  Everyone has different circumstances that can affect what you pay and how much you pay. :

  1. Tuition fees - charged as an hourly rate that varies from course to course. A large portion of the tuition is subsidised by the Victorian Government for eligible students.
  2. Resource and/or materials costs - covers the cost of materials and other incidentals. This fee will vary according to the course being undertaken.
  3. Booklist items - such as textbooks, equipment and stationery recommended for your course

Tuition fees

There are 4 different rates of tuition fees. Only one will apply to you (depending on your eligibility and circumstances). 

  1. Government Subsidised Fee - you could be eligible for a government-subsidised rate under the Skills First funding depending on your age, educational history, and citizenship or residency status. If you are eligible, the government will contribute to the cost of your training.
    Find out more about subsidised training

  2. Government Subsidised Concession Fee - If you are eligible for a Skills First government-subsidised place and hold a current healthcare or pension card, that you can provide at enrolment, you may be eligible for the concession rate. Note, the concession rate is not applicable to Diploma level courses.
    Find out more about concession rates

  3. If the course is a Free TAFE course or part of the Free TAFE Pathways Program - Eligible students will not pay course tuition fees for the duration of their enrolment in this course, however, there may be some consumable/material fees for the course (find out more below). Any resource or material costs, or booklist items for this course are listed in the table below.
    Find out more about Free TAFE
    Find out more about Free TAFE Pathways Programs

  4. Full fee - If you are not eligible for a Skills First government-subsidised place, exemption, concession or are enrolling in a course that isn't government-subsidised, you may be required to pay the full fee rate.


The fees listed below are indicative only. The course fees published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Course fee funding is made available to eligible individuals by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments. If funding is utilised, this may affect opportunities to access additional funding in the future. An accurate quote for this course will be provided during the enrolment process.

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Course fees by student type Indicative Course Fee
Government subsidised rate (if eligible) $13,295.00
Full fee rate (if not eligible for govt subsidy) $18,150.00
Resource and/or materials costs

Some courses require specific resources or materials necessary for your study eg: tools of the trade, excursions, etc. Final costs will be determined upon enrolment.

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Additional course fees Indicative Course Fee
Course consumable/materials (approximate) $615.00
How do I pay my fees?

Once we have processed your enrolment form, you will receive an email with your invoice.

You have three options when organising your payment:

  1. Upfront payment - can be made over the phone with EFTPOS
  1. Payment plan - can be directly debited from your bank account, debited from your Centrelink payments or via a VET Student Loan (for diploma or advanced diploma courses only)
  1. Paid by employer, school or job network agency - if your fees are being paid by your employer, school or job network agency, you will need to complete an Authority to Invoice form.

Payments will need to be arranged within five(5) business days of receiving the email containing your invoice.

We also offer a range of scholarships each year which you may be eligible to apply for to assist with course fees.

Next Steps
How to apply

There are five simple steps to apply for a course with us.

  1. Apply - complete a short online application form. Once this form is submitted we'll send you a thank-you email.
  2. Literacy and Numeracy Assessment - we will assess whether you need to undertake a Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) assessment and email it to you if required.
    If you are not required to undertake this assessment, you will skip to step 3.
  3. Chat to our team - your teacher or course specialist will contact you to discuss the course in more detail and ensure the right units of study are selected for you.
  4. Enrol – you will be sent an email to accept your offer for the course. By accepting, you will be directed to verify your details and submit your enrolment for processing.
  5. Pay - once we’ve completed your enrolment, we will send you an invoice to arrange payment of your course fees.

If you need any assistance with applying, contact our team on 1300 648 911 or visit your nearest campus.

Careers and Course Advice

Not sure which course is right for you? South West TAFE will help you find your way.

Our Careers Coaches at the Skills and Jobs Centre is here to support you. Whether you’re exploring career options, transitioning from school to the workforce or looking to study after school we’re here to help you.

Student Support

As a SWTAFE student, you can access a variety of support services that will enhance your study experience and help you complete your studies successfully. For more information about any of these services, visit our student page.