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Melbourne Polytechnic Prahran

Certificate IV in Visual Arts

The Certificate IV in Visual Arts course is designed to develop and extend skills and knowledge across a range of art forms. The course has a practical hands-on focus where students are provided with structured tasks and in-depth instruction by specialist subject teachers.

Course Units

Drawing aims to develop student’s observational and technical skills along with an awareness of the visual elements within the drawing process.

Illustration introduces students to the process of making art for commercial purposes. Various basic methods and principles are covered from the brief through to the final product. Conceptual and technical skills are used and developed to create illustrations based on industry related briefs.

Painting students are introduced to the basic materials, equipment and techniques of painting through class exercises to give them the confidence to produce their own paintings for each of the four projects.

Digital introduces students to bitmap and vector environments using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. A variety of tools and techniques are covered including; digital painting, image manipulation, vector illustration using pen tool, and photomontage.

Printmaking introduces students to a range of printmaking tools, techniques and processes including linocut, multi-block, dry point and hard ground. Skills acquisition leads into the development of concepts through a final personal project.

Photography explores photography as an artistic medium and includes both darkroom and digital projects.

History a series of lectures and activities providing a basic introduction to art history, context and culture.

Exhibition practical projects and excursions exploring how installation/presentation affects meaning and informs the viewer’s understanding of art.

OHS/Professional Practice outlines health and safety issues relevant to working in the visual arts and a range of topics concerning professional arts practice.

Become the career artist you have always wanted to be

The Certificate IV in Visual Arts acknowledges your pre-professional skills and experience. This course will extend your artistic voice and command of techniques in a range of art forms. Practice at this level is underpinned by application of broad and integrated technical and theoretical knowledge. You will also gain the ability to analyse and use information from a range of sources.

Extend your skills in a wide range of fine art and commercial art/design areas. You will gain experience in a broad cross-section of 2D art forms, including painting, printmaking, drawing, illustration, digital art and photo media.

This course can teach you how to use contemporary art as a vehicle for presentation and analysis. Our sequenced eight-week blocks enable you to focus on particular areas of the Visual Arts. The advantage of this is that you accelerate skills development in each area and it facilitates partial completion of the course term-by-term rather than making you wait for results at the end of the program.

Industry connections and resources

Our courses are taught by highly qualified industry professionals, and our teachers are experienced artists, illustrators and creative practitioners who bring a wealth of specialist skills and knowledge to our programs and are passionate about their student’s learning. We support our students to develop and refine their skills, find their areas of expertise and interest, and gain confidence in promoting, communicating and showcasing their art work.

As part of your study at Melbourne Polytechnic you will be involved in a number of exhibitions, industry forums and workshops that provide opportunities to extend the audience for your work and develop connections within industry. These include end of year student graduation exhibitions, department organised competitions and prizes, as well as forums and workshops where professionals from across the arts industry will come and speak. In the past this has included artists, illustrators, curators, gallery directors and arts business professionals as well as Visual Arts alumni.

The Visual Arts department has well-resourced specialist studios, computer labs and classrooms for each subject area (drawing, printmaking, illustration, painting, digital, photography, history and theory). In addition, there are three permanent galleries located across our Preston and Prahran campuses that house a diverse program of exhibitions throughout the year and provide opportunities for students to gain valuable experience with the installation and presentation of their art work.

Course outcomes

You will explore a variety of media and techniques, learn essential skills and develop your confidence. Students produce a folio of work for self-promotion or further study.

Course stream/Focus of study

  • Pre-professional level,
  • Art and design history,
  • Creative practice and digital imaging,
  • Drawing and illustration,
  • Health and safety and professional practice,
  • Painting,
  • Photography,
  • Printmaking.

Pathways to further study

When you successfully complete the Certificate IV in Visual Arts you will be able to articulate into Melbourne Polytechnic’s Diploma of Visual Arts, specialising in either Illustration, or Painting.

You may also be considered for entry into a particular stream, after partial completion of the Certificate IV.


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

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.

Porduct SKU : 6440741

First Instalment
First Instalment AUD3,425.00
Total duration 12 MONTH(S)

Availability: In stock

First Instalment AUD3,425.00
Total duration 12 MONTH(S)
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Total number of students: 2190

Number of students - College: 5 - 25

Melbourne Polytechnic boasts some of the best training facilities in Australia. Many are designed to simulate real workplaces and provide services direct to the public or industry, from all of our campuses and training centres in Melbourne.

Formerly known as Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) we have a proud history that spans over 100 years delivering professional education programs in Melbourne, making us one of the most experienced providers of vocationally-oriented education courses in Australia. 

In 2014, we changed our name to Melbourne Polytechnic to encompass our two strengths in the educational sector:

  • providing higher education and vocational education, and
  • training to industry-focused students and professionals in Australia and from around the world.


  • Our international students come from over 70 different countries and study across six campuses and almost eighty courses.
  • We offer practical industry relevant training designed in consultation with leading practitioners.
  • We have outstanding student support, with free academic, financial, career and personal counselling, and free airport pick up.
  • Our onsite facilities offer leading edge technology and real life working conditions, like restaurants, salons and recording studios.
  • Every one of our qualifications is accredited nationally and recognised internationally.
  • We are goverment funded and owned.
  • Winner of the Australian Governments Premiers Award for Excellence in International Education (in 2014, runner up in 2015).
  • We employ motivated, passionate teachers who have extensive experience in their field and links to industry.
  • To study in Melbourne, the worlds most liveable city.


  • David Williamson Theatre
  • Creative Spaces
  • The Apprentice Restaurant
  • Library
  • Cafeteria
  • Free wifi

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Melbourne, High Street 144
Prahran VIC 3181

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+61 2 808 436 31