The Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector offers a wide range of practical courses in the creative arts field, including certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas. Lower-level courses such as a certificates I, II and III usually provide an introduction to the field, while certificate IV, diplomas and advanced diplomas provide preparation for specific careers.
VET qualifications are available in many different areas to train graduates for specific roles in the creative arts field, such as applied fashion design and technology; animation; ceramics; dance; film, television and theatre acting; floristry; graphic design; interactive digital media; jewellery design; live production, theatre and events; music; photography; printing and graphic arts; product design; screen and media; sound production; and visual arts. Some VET qualifications provide basic skills that can be applied to a variety of creative arts roles (such as courses in creative industries and design).
There are also some higher-level VET qualifications available at the vocational graduate certificate level, which are equivalent to the graduate certificates offered in the higher education sector but offer a more practical focus. Current courses include graphic design practice and public art.
VET qualifications can provide a good pathway into undergraduate creative arts degrees. See Undergraduate study in creative arts for more information.
Applicants must meet academic and English language requirements, which vary between courses, institutions and qualification levels. You may be required to submit a portfolio or attend an audition or interview. For more information about VET courses and entry requirements, see Vocational Education.
Where to study
VET courses in the creative arts field are available at TAFE institutes, private colleges and universities with TAFE departments. There are some education providers that specialise in creative arts courses.
Practical experience is a very important part of creative arts courses, so it is important to check that the institutions you are considering have good facilities in your area of interest (such as art studios, computer labs, recording studios, editing suites, theatres, exhibition spaces and sewing rooms) and incorporate plenty of opportunities to refine your skills (through student performances and exhibitions, for example).