Diploma of Visual Arts

Course Code CUA51115
Locations Warrnambool
Study Mode Full-time, Part-time, On Campus
Length Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 2 years
Commencement July 2019 (Warrnambool Campus only)
Timetable Warrnambool full time: 3 days a week - Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
Warrnambool part-time: 1-2 days a week - Monday, Tuesday or Thursday
Course Overview

This course is ideal for people with an interest in developing practical, conceptual and interpretive skills as well as exploring the use of personal imagery. Students at the diploma level will investigate themes and refine their work into a cohesive body of work which will be exhibited at the end of year exhibition. Graduating students of the diploma are eligible for the Peter Lucas Award. Winners of this award receive a free exhibition at the Warrnambool Art Gallery.

The Diploma of Visual Arts is project based with students participating a  range of industry competitions, project and exhibitions. Studio areas include drawing, painting, digital photography and printmaking. The program in Colac has a textile focus.

The Diploma of Visual Arts is offered for full-time or part-time study at the Warrnambool campus.

What will I Learn?

Through working on a number of community and arts industry projects, competitions 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
  • developing a body of work

Course Outcomes and Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program will use their highly developed technical, creative and conceptual skills to plan and realize a body of work in one or more art forms. They will utilize their understanding of arts theory and history to critically analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources. Graduates may work in their own practice or in a wide range of contexts across the arts, government, community or commercial organisations.

Outcomes may include:

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


This course offers a pathway into Deakin University, Warrnambool Campus.


There is no formal placement for this course but students will work closely with local arts organisations

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

To apply you must have the technical, creative and organisational skills to conceptualise and create works in selected mediums. Those skills and knowledge may have been acquired through experience in creative practice or through formal study.

You will be required to provide a portfolio of art work and complete an interview with a member of the arts team. During this interview, you will be asked questions about concepts in your work, artists who inspire youm, expectations of the course and your future career goals in Visual Arts.

Course requirements

To be eligible to be awarded this qualification you must successfully complete 15 units: 6 core and 9 electives.

Students will need to provide

    • USB storage device
    • Art materials for each studio, list to be supplied/outlined per studio.
    • General kit: pens, pencils, ruler, eraser, sharpener, workable fixative, masking tape, fine liners
    • PPE

Students attending the course in Colac may occasionally be required to travel to the Warrnambool campus for artist talks, exhibitions and to use equipment that's not available in Colac.


Below is a list of units offered at our Warrnambool campus.

Click here for a full list of units delivered at the Colac Campus.

Units offered

Core Units

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Unit Code Unit Name Unit Hours Unit Consumables
CUAACD501 Refine drawing and other visual representation tools 70 $42.00
CUAPPR501 Realise a body of creative work 80 $66.00
CUAPPR502 Develop own sustainable professional practice 35 $0.00
CUAPPR503 Present a body of own creative work 60 $0.00
CUAPPR505 Establish and maintain safe creative practice 30 $0.00
CUARES503 Analyse cultural history and theory 70 $70.00

Elective Units

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Unit Code Unit Name Unit Hours Unit Consumables
BSBDES501 Implement design solutions 60 $66.00
CUADRA502 Investigate drawing materials and processes 70 $42.00
CUAEVP403 Install and dismantle exhibition elements 20 $0.00
CUAIND502 Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge 50 $0.00
CUAPAI501 Refine painting techniques 80 $66.00
CUAPAI502 Investigate painting materials and processes 70 $66.00
CUAPPR602 Collaborate in professional creative projects 50 $0.00
CUAPRI502 Investigate printmaking materials and processes 80 $66.00
CUASCU501 Refine Sculptural Techniques 80 $0.00
Pre-training review

The pre-training review assists SWTAFE staff to determine whether this course is the most suitable for you at this time, and also identify any support needs you may require once you commence your studies. It takes about an hour to complete. Once you apply for your chosen course a link to the pre-training review will be emailed to you.

Skills Recognition

Your current skills, knowledge and experience can contribute to help you get a qualification. Learn more about skills recognition and how it may benefit you here.  

Unique Student Identifier

If you are studying nationally recognised training in Australia, you are required to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). Your USI links to an online account that contains your training records and results for training completed from 1 January 2015 onwards. One of the main benefits of the USI is the ability to provide you with easy access to your training records and results throughout your life and this will assist you when applying for a job or enrolling in further study. You are required to have a USI at the time of enrolment – especially if you want to use VET Student Loans to defer your fees. To apply online or get more information go to www.usi.gov.au.


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.

Course Fees

Everyone has different circumstances that can affect what you pay and how much you pay. Your fees each year are made up of 2 different elements:

  • Tuition fee
  • Consumables/material fee

There are 3 different rates of Tuition fees. Only one will apply to you depending on your eligibility and circumstances. The 3 categories include:

  • Government subsidised
  • Government subsidised (concession)
  • Full fee

The fees listed below are indicative only and may be subject to change without notice and given individual circumstances. Your actual fees will be calculated based on your individual circumstances at the time of enrolment. Funding made available to eligible individuals by State and Commonwealth Governments. If funding is utilised, this may affect future opportunities to access additional funding in the future. 

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Student type Indicative Course Fee
Government subsidised rate (if eligible) $9,470.00
Full fee rate (if not eligible for govt subsidy) $12,925.00
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Fee type Indicative Course Fee
Maximum Consumable/Materials Fee $940.00
Maximum Consumables/Materials Fees

Maximum Consumables/Materials Fees are made up of course consumables, core unit consumables and the maximum elective units you will pay. Final costs will be determined at enrolment.  

Which fee applies to me?

Skills First Exemptions
Government eligibility exemptions for TAFE via Skills First funding gives you greater access to study with TAFE at an affordable price.

The good news is, that there are now a reduced number of criteria for you to meet in order to be eligible for a Government subsidy. If you don’t meet those criteria you will be a full fee paying student.

Government Subsidised Fee
You meet all Skills First eligibility criteria but DO NOT hold a current healthcare or pension card, OR you are eligible for a Skills First exemption.

Concession Fee
You meet all eligibility criteria AND hold a current healthcare or pension card, that you can provide at enrolment. It’s important to

note that the concession rate is only applicable for Certificate l to Certificate lV courses and students who have declared their ATSI origin.

Full fee
Full fees only apply to the few students who do not meet the Skills First eligibility criteria, do not qualify for an exemption or are enrolling in course that is not government subsidised.

Check your fees eligibility here.

How do I pay my fees?

Unless an alternative fee payment method is approved, your course fees are required to be paid upfront and in full at the time of enrolment.  If your personal circumstances mean that payment in full is not possible, then you may be able to pay your fees by

  • Payment Plan
  • Centre Pay
  • VET Student Loan (Diploma & Advanced Diploma only)

SWTAFE offers a range of scholarships each year which you may be eligible to apply for to assist with enrolment fees.

Next Steps
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.

Careers and Course Advice

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

Our Pathfinders 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. Call, email or drop in.

Call 5564 8515 or email skillsandjobscentre@swtafe.edu.au

Apply Now

Apply now for a place in our next course intake. Places for courses are limited, so it’s best to get in soon so you don’t miss out. You’ll need to complete an application form  which you can do online here or by speaking with our Customer Service team.  We invite you to come and see us at one of our campuses in Warrnambool, Colac, Portland or Hamilton and a team member will ensure you are taken care of.

If you have any questions regarding the application process please chat to our Customer Service team on 1300 648 911.