Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services (Costume for Performance)


Turn your costume-making talent into a career. Our Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services - Costume for Performance stream prepares you for freelance costume-making work or employment in a costume workroom. Create the look and feel of costumes - articulate your designs into visual expressions on the stage.

Costume Design courses | Melbourne Polytechnic

See your costumes take shape and be worn by actors

In this practical, hands-on course, you will spend the year designing, constructing and making costumes. Develop your abilities in manual pattern drafting, costume construction, alteration and fitting, novelty costume making and period costume underwear. You’ll also gain expertise in male and female period millinery, male tailoring, male and female period costume making, costume history, costume design and film and television location wardrobe.

A highlight of the year is cutting, draping and making period costumes for theatrical performances and productions. To do this you will work closely with other student groups in the Diploma of Theatre Arts who are involved in performances at the Prahran campus and the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA).

Industry connections and resources

There is a large purpose-built costume studio at the Melbourne Polytechnic’s Prahran campus, which has

  • Individual work stations equipped with modern sewing machines
  • Wet area for costume dyeing
  • Designing and cutting tables
  • Materials and costume storage

Your teachers have specialised skills in the industry and as a result you will have the opportunity to work on industry related events. In the past, Live Production and Technical Design Costume for Performance students have been invited to design and make costumes for a wide variety of theatre in the public forum. This includes exciting, time-critical costume making such as a children’s theatre performance during the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Employment outcomes

When you satisfactorily complete this course you will be able to set up your own business as a costume-maker. You will be qualified to work in the theatre, film and television industries, as well as in retail outlets making and design costumes and evening/day wear.

Work placement

You will be expected to complete a certain number of hours of industry related experience throughout the year. You can organise this yourself or Melbourne Polytechnic staff will help you organise it. Alternatively, you can collaborate with the staff to set up your work placement. Details of industry hours will be determined at the commencement of the course.


You will be assessed through a combination of course based assignments, industry placement and written work.

Recognition of Prior Learning

You can seek RPL where your work or qualifications of an advanced and related nature have been undertaken. Academic Credit is granted on a case-by-case basis, according to our Academic Credit policy and associated procedures. Applications for Academic Credit will be assessed by relevant Melbourne Polytechnic academics and where appropriate, industry experts.


For additional information on this course, or if you want to take your enquiry further, please contact a Melbourne Polytechnic Education and Career Advisor (ECA), on 03 9269 8400, or by email.

Local Students




Prahran 6900810194




Performing Arts
03 9269 8400


Full-time: 12 months
1270 hours

Part-time: available

Class Schedule: *

Mon - AM and PM
Tue - AM and PM
Wed - AM and PM
Thu - AM and PM

*Classes run across these days and times. Detailed timetable information is available from an Education and Career Advisor

Modes of Delivery




The student tuition fees as published are correct at time of publication and subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. All enrolments excluding RPL/RCC and Higher Education incur an Amenities fee with a maximum cap of $250

Find out more on fees and charges

Assessment Methods

Assessment is by a combination of course based assignments, industry placement and written work.


All materials are provided by Melbourne Polytechnic as part of tuition fees.

Entrance Requirements

Pathways to further study

You may wish to take your theatre/costume performance studies further and pursue a career in Creative Arts. For further study options, discuss with Melbourne Polytechnic teaching staff

Career Pathways

The knowledge and experience you gain in this course provides opportunities for you to be self-employed, freelance or employed as a sewer/technician in a live theatre, film or television company. You could be wardrobe assistant, costume maker, millinery assistant, assistant curator or maker of wearable art

Enrolment Intake

  • February
  • July

Units Of Study

The Units of Study listed below have been approved for VET FEE-HELP. You may be required to undertake additional Units of Study in order to obtain the qualification. You will need to determine your particular combination of Units of Study with the department.

The hours displayed are nominal, actual classroom hours delivered may differ. Please contact the department for the latest student contact hours information.

Code Subjects Hours
BSBCOM501 Identify and interpret compliance requirements 20
BSBWHS501 Ensure a safe workplace 60
BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team effectiveness 60
CUACOS402 Make costume accessories 60
CUACOS403 Develop expertise in costume component construction 80
CUACOS405 Develop expertise in pattern development for costume 80
CUACOS501 Make period costumes 150
CUACOS502 Make character costumes 80
CUACOS507 Construct costume corsetry and undergarments 100
CUACOS508 Cut and drape complex period costumes 100
CUACOS509 Design costumes 100
CUACOS510 Realise costumes 60
CUAIND502 Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge 50
CUAPPM504 Manage bump in and bump out of shows 150

Students may be eligible for Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding.