Learning outcomes

  • A demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report independent and original research on a closely-defined project;
  • Well-developed and flexible problem-solving abilities appropriate to the discipline;
  • The ability to engage in independent and contextually-informed artistic practice;
  • The capacity to communicate effectively the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication;
  • A capacity for critical evaluation of relevant scholarly literature and artistic practice;
  • An understanding of and facility with scholarly conventions in the discipline area.

Course Description

The Faculty of Fine Arts and Music has proposed changes to the Master of Fine Arts by research courses currently offered. If this change is approved, the Master of Fine Arts courses by research will become one course: the Master of Fine Arts. This will not change the course entry requirements, nor will it change the actual courses. We are doing this to simplify our course offerings and make it easier to distinguish research Masters from coursework Masters. If you have already applied for entry to a research Masters in 2019, your application will be assessed and it is likely offers will be for the new course.

Research by means of creative practice is central to the graduate programs of VCA Performing Arts, where we seek to nurture creative excellence hand in hand with intellectual rigour and excitement. The Production specialisation of the MFA invites students to engage in research projects focused, in a broad range of different ways, on the production aspects of theatrical practice or issues related to theatre and performance, or that illuminates or expands on the medium in some way.

Within the Production area, projects will tend to be based in a number of different design specialisations (set, costume, lighting, sound), but might also involve other areas of production practice. The majority of projects will involve research by means of the candidate’s own practice in design for theatre and performance – the terms ‘theatre’ and ‘performance’ in this context may be quite broadly interpreted – alongside a written dissertation, but some projects will focus on the practice of others and consist of a dissertation only.

While the VCA insists that MFA practice-based projects fulfil the rigorous requirements of all academic research, the nature of the practice may vary considerably from project to project. The onus on the candidate is to ensure that their practice constitutes research, and that the research focus can be consciously articulated in written form. 

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