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Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
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International student means; you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Diploma of Visual Arts Illustration

VTAC Code: CUA51120 CRICOS: 111061H VTAC Number: Preston 6900610184



1 year full time / 2 years part time


1 year

Next Intake


Next Intake


Channel your creativity

Follow your passion with our Diploma of Visual Arts CUA51120 the ideal course if you are looking to work as a creative professional. Our Illustration stream allows you to plan and develop a body of work with a focus on illustration, digital imaging and drawing. Focusing on your technical, creative and conceptual skills, this course will help you push the boundaries of your practice to develop your artistic skills and techniques.

Develop your skills as an illustrator

The Illustration stream of the Diploma of Visual Arts CUA51120 includes advanced training in traditional studio techniques such as; drawing, illustration and digital imaging, applied history and theory, and business and professional practice skills. You’ll learn to critically analyse information with opportunities to expand on complex ideas for your own work. We offer specialist studios, dedicated classrooms for each subject area, and gallery spaces to ensure that you are supported in your creative endeavours.

You'll also have many opportunities throughout the year to grow your professional networks through industry forums, guest speakers and workshops, as well as your industry-sponsored graduate exhibition.

Career Pathways

Where will the Diploma of Visual Arts - Illustration CUA51120 take me?

Graduates of Melbourne Polytechnic’s Diploma of Visual Arts learn the artistic process from concept development through to the logistics of exhibiting their own work. You may find opportunities to work in a wide range of creative and professional contexts in commercial, government or community sectors or choose to focus on your own practice as a freelancer.

  • Arts Administrator
  • Illustrator
  • Digital Artist
  • Gallery Assistant
  • Arts Professional
  • Community Artist

Study Pathways

When you graduate from the Diploma of Visual Arts (Illustration) course you will be able to articulate into Melbourne Polytechnic's Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development CUA60420 or into the second year of Melbourne Polytechnic's Bachelor of Illustration.

I was studying fine art at university. I realised it didn't give me any industry experience. I looked Australia wide and found the Illustration course that best suited me which was Melbourne Polytechnic.
Emily Morgan
Visual Arts Graduate
Portrait of Emily Morgan

Course Details

Delivery methods

  • Studio Based

How you will study

Each course has a dedicated learning method that is designed to let you thrive in your studies.


Interactive learning in a face-to-face environment. Classes will be held at a Melbourne Polytechnic campus or partner institute. Visit the How You'll Study page for more information.

Class Schedule

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday

Assessment Methods

You will build a folio of work based on projects and class exercises and be assessed on completed projects and final folio submissions.

Units of Study

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

Code Subject Elective Hours
CUAACD531 Refine drawing and other visual representation tools Core 80
CUAACD536 Refine 2-D design ideas and processes Elective 70
CUADIG518 Refine digital art techniques Elective 90
CUADRA501 Refine drawing techniques Elective 80
CUAILL511 Develop professional illustrations Elective 70
CUAILL512 Refine illustration techniques Elective 70
CUAIND314 Plan a career in the creative arts industry Elective 35
CUAPPR511 Realise a body of creative work Core 80
CUAPPR512 Develop sustainability of own professional practice Core 50
CUAPPR513 Present a body of own creative work Core 60
CUAPPR515 Establish and maintain safe creative practice Core 40
CUAPPR611 Originate a body of independent creative work Elective 75
CUAPPR616 Extend expertise in a specialised art form to professional level Elective 120
CUARES502 Critique cultural works Elective 50
CUARES503 Analyse cultural history and theory Elective 70

Book an interview

This course requires an interview for entry. Please make a booking for your interview time by clicking book an interview

Fees & Costs

Tuition Fees
Government subsidised fee Non-subsidised fee
Tuition fee $11750 $15650
Maximum annual amenities $250 $250
Total payable $12000 $15900
Per year $18600
Per semester $9300

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment.

Displayed course fees are indicative only. There are many variables that impact the total amount of your full course costs including qualification for government subsidies, concessions or recognition of prior learning. Tuition fees do not include the cost of student amenities or material costs.

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. Contact us to find out if you’re eligible for a Government subsidy.

Melbourne Polytechnic offers a range of payment options to help you pay your tuition fees, so you can get on with your studies.

Fees displayed are effective for new applications received on or after 1st of November. Tuition fees do not include textbooks, course materials or overseas student health insurance and visa fees.

After initial deposit, international students are able to pay tuition fees in installments, four times per year.

For more detailed information please read the International Student Fees.


Lists of required materials, books and timetables will be provided at course induction or class enrolment by the teaching department.

Fees explained

The fees for those ineligible for a government-funded enrolment. 

Check your eligibility here.

The cost of tuition for those eligible for government funding.

Check your eligibility here.

Additional expenses

The Student Services and Amenities Fee is charged at forty cents (40 cents) per student contact hour and is capped over a twelve (12) month period, effective from the enrolment date, to:

  • $250 for full fee-paying students; and
  • $175 for concession-paying students studying Certificate I, II, III, or IV.

Amenities fees are used to improve non-academic services including libraries, counselling services, student support, and recreational activities.

Lists of required materials, books and timetables will be provided at course induction or class enrolment by the teaching department.
Please consider:
$500.00 AUD (approximately) - you will be required to purchase a personal Art Materials and Safety Kit

Scholarships on offer

Portrait of Natalie Butler

'We’d been discussing what projects we had coming up that we needed to go and buy materials for.  And so then the scholarship came and it was just a sigh of relief.'

See what scholarships are available


  • Certificate IV in Visual Arts or demonstrated equivalent skills or knowledge
  • apply through VTAC or direct to Melbourne Polytechnic
  • all applicants selected by interview/folio presentation
  • attend an interview
Academic: Australian Year 12 equivalency
English: Academic IELTS 5.5 with no individual band below 5.0, Pearson PTE Academic 42 overall with no individual communicative skill below 36, or Melbourne Polytechnic recognised equivalency.
Other: Applicants are required to have proven interest in the visual arts field*
*Applicants seeking direct entry to the Diploma of Visual Arts are required to present a folio, which should demonstrate the use of a range of materials and techniques, including a selection of illustrations, visual artwork, photography, freehand observational drawings, digital and other artwork.

Next Steps

We're really excited for you to join the Melbourne Polytechnic community and we look forward to supporting you on your education journey.

The first step to enrolling is completing the application short form from the Apply Now page.

You'll then receive a link to complete a few more personal details.

You will be asked to attend an interview to ensure that this is the right course for you.

It is a mandatory government requirement for all prospective students to complete an online literacy and numeracy assessment.

Once you are ready to enrol, you will be invited to enrol online or come to campus to complete your enrolment in person.

Diploma students may be eligible for a VET Student Loan. Read more about them here.

If you need assistance with your application and the next steps, you can contact one of our Education and Course Advisors on 1300 635 276 or follow a step-by-step guide to enrolling for vocational education local students.

When we receive your application, the International Office will be in contact with you shortly to discuss your application and provide you additional instructions.

If you'd like to speak to one of our International Office staff directly, call 1300 635 276

Recognising Organisations

Nationally Recognised Training

Nationally Recognised Training This course is government accredited and has national recognition.

You are currently looking at information for local students

Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.