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Paint a bright future with TAFE

This qualification reflects the role of visual artists who combine specialised technical, creative and conceptual skills to prepare for and develop an emerging arts practice. They are able to plan and realise a body of work in one or more art forms. Visual arts practice at this level is underpinned by a sound grasp of art theory and history and the ability to critically analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources. Discourse and communication around complex ideas are also required.

Visual artists work in a wide range of contexts across the arts and other industries. They are often sole practitioners but may also hold positions in government or commercial organisations.

Artists work within and across many media, and their practice may incorporate ceramics, digital art, drawing, painting, photo-media, printmaking and sculpture. Course details

Industry endorsed

Payment options

$10000 VET Student Loan available


Cairns, Townsville (Pimlico)

Key dates and info


Part time: up to 18 months, up to 18 months / Express your Interest for Semester 2!
Full time: up to 18 months, up to 18 months / Express your Interest for Semester 2!

Course details


  • Full Fee $14,500
  • Subsidised $11,080 - $11,220
  • Concession $9,950 - $10,236

Cost details

1300 656 959

No matter your question,
we are here to help!

How to enrol

Key dates

Cairns Full time / Express your Interest for Semester 2! Classroom
Part time / Express your Interest for Semester 2! Classroom
Townsville (Pimlico) Full time Classroom
Part time Classroom

Entry requirements

All new students are required to attend an interview and present a portfolio of work to assess eligibility for enrolment into this Diploma Qualification for both full and part time. 

To enter this qualification, individuals must have the technical and organisational skills to conceptualise and create works in selected medium. Those skills and knowledge may have been acquired through experience in creative practice or through formal study.

This can be assessed through presentation of a portfolio of work.


Gatton, Newton, Eureka and Wilkinson Streets
Manunda QLD 4870

Townsville (Pimlico)
Cnr Hugh Street & Fulham Road
Townsville QLD 4812

Resources required

Please be aware that you may also be required to supply the following items at your cost:

  • Protective clothing (includes covered footwear, dust mask)
  • Some art materials and equipment (list supplied at the first class of each subject)


Full time over 12 months; or part time over 15 - 18 months depending on days of attendance.
All new students must attend the Orientation day.

Part time study: Students may enrol part time however they MUST enrol is all units in a specified area (2 or 3 units) scheduled for the semester.
Semester 1 e.g.:
Drawing: CUAACD501
Digital: CUADIG405
Printmaking: CUAPRI501, CUAACD506
Painting: CUAPAI501
Ceramics: CUACER501

Cairns Campus: Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 3:30pm wioth 30 min lunch break. Diploma classes are run alongside Certificate III classes.
Monday: Ceramics/Printmaking
Tuesday: Core/Digital
Wednesday: Drawing
Thursday: Painting


Students need to successfully complete 15 units to gain the qualification; 6 core, 3 mandatory and 2 clusters of 3 elective units.

CUAACD501 Refine drawing and other visual representation tools Core
CUAPPR501 Realise a body of creative work Core
CUAPPR502 Develop own sustainable professional practice Core
CUAPPR503 Present a body of own creative work Core
CUVPRP505A Establish and maintain safe professional practice Core
CUARES503 Analyse cultural history and theory Core
BSBIPR401 Use and respect copyright Mandatory
CUAEVP403 Install and dismantle exhibition elements Mandatory
CUADRA501 Refine drawing techniques Mandatory
Cluster One: Painting
CUAPAI501 Refine painting techniques Elective
CUAPAI502 Investigate painting materials and processes Elective
CUAACD513 Make mixed media artworks Elective
Cluster Two: Ceramics
CUACER501 Refine ceramics techniques Elective
CUACER502 Investigate ceramic materials and processes Elective
CUVACD510A Manage kiln operations Elective
Cluster Three: Printmaking
CUAPRI501 Refine printmaking techniques Elective
CUAACD506 Refine 2D design ideas and processes Elective
CUAPRI502 Investigate printmaking materials and processes Elective
Cluster Four: Digital
CUADIG405 Produce innovative digital images Elective
BSBDES402 Interpret and respond to a design brief Elective
CUADIG508 Refine digital art techniques Elective


Not all electives available at all campuses

Please note that if students are wishing to access VET Student Loans to pay for their fees, they must meet the ‘Student entry procedure’ requirements; namely:

  • obtains a copy of a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education that has been awarded to the student by an agency or authority of a State or Territory for the student’s completion of year 12; or

  • the student is assessed as displaying competence at or above Exit Level 3 in the Australian Core Skills Framework in both reading and numeracy; and that the VET provider reasonably believes that the student displays that competence.

More information will be available:



Learn more

$11,080 - $11,220


Learn more

$9,950 - $10,236


Learn more

Full fee

This is the total cost of the course.

Got a question?

Enquire about your full fee study options

Payment Plan

If you have difficulty paying the full cost of a course up front you might be eligible for a payment plan. This will allow you to pay for your course in instalments, rather than one upfront payment at the time of enrolment.


The Queensland Government will offset the cost of study for eligible students. You will still need to pay for a portion of your study costs. The amount above is what you will need to pay.

Higher Level Skills Subsidy

The Higher Level Skills Subsidy is a one-off subsidy that offsets the cost of an eligible Certificate IV or higher courses.

You're eligible for the Higher Level Skills Subsidy if you:

  • Are 15 years or older and no longer in school
  • Live in Queensland full time
  • Are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, permanent resident, or temporary resident with the necessary visa or work permits
  • And don't currently have (or are enrolled in) a certificate IV or higher level qualification.
  • For some courses, you may also be required to hold a certificate 3 in a relevant industry field.


You are eligible for the concession price of a course if you are eligible for subsidised training, and are listed on an Australian Government Low Income Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you hold a Department of Veterans' Affairs Pensioner Concession Card, or if you have a disability. Further information about concessions.

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Additional Costs

There are no additional costs to study this course.


You may gain work in the graphic design/printing industry or the arts industry in community arts, galleries and museums.

This qualification prepares people for entry into work at a professional level. Its conceptual and theoretical content also supports learning at higher levels. People with CUA51115 Diploma of Visual Arts often engage in further learning in vocational and higher education through Advanced Diploma and Degree qualifications in a range of arts-related disciplines.

Job prospects

  • Painter (Visual Arts)
  • Visual Arts And Crafts Professionals
  • Potter Or Ceramic Artist
  • Sculptor
  • Graphic Designer

Enrol now

You're ready if you have:

  • checked your important dates (under the course details tab)
  • checked you meet the entry requirements (under the course details tab)
  • checked your course costs and know which payment option is right for you
    (under the costs tab)
  • Read the student rules and refund policy
  • Created your Unique Student Identifier and can provide this code to TAFE Queensland
  • If you are applying for a subsidised cost, please ensure you have all the relevant documents at time of enrolment

All done? Then you're ready to enrol

All done? Then head to the link below to complete your enrolment:

Enrolment options

By telephone: 1300 656 959. In person: at any TAFE Queensland North location.

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning

Fast-track your way to a formal qualification by earning credit for the things you already know. Getting recognition for the skills you've gained from the workplace or previous learning means less study time for you, and getting the paper to prove you're qualified a whole lot sooner.

Find out more about RPL

More info:

Last updated on 14 February 2017

Talk to us

1300 656 959

Industry endorsed

Payment options

$10000 VET Student Loan available