Master of Contemporary Art

  • CRICOS code: 075494G

The experience


Meet Priya Namana

After moving to Melbourne to pursue design, Priya Namana found herself increasingly frustrated at the socio-political climate around her. She found a constructive space for expression in the Master of Contemporary Art.

Priya Namana in front of their artwork (partially obscured by Priya's profile, a close up of a human eye in greyscale).

"Though I have always wanted to study art, I never had the opportunity to, as it felt quite inaccessible growing up in India. I migrated to Australia to study design. Through witnessing and experiencing different forms of prejudice so personally here, I felt the urgent need to respond to the attitudes revolving around race, class and gender. Free artistic expression became a high priority in order to find survival strategies and ways of navigating the world in general.

From the outside, conceptual practices appear to be exclusive, in that they are predominantly occupied by a male, white presence. I fit into neither category. By understanding and accepting that my framework and output was a highly conceptual one, somehow and somewhere along the way the urgency shifted to making myself visible in this space where it seemed like I didn’t belong, and confronting that discomfort.

Once all that became clear, I decided to dip my toes back in through a Graduate Certificate in Visual Art. The staff in this course, who are all practising artists, were so active in instigating change, open to their own vulnerabilities, and deeply thoughtful and supportive, that I was convinced to continue to build my practice at the VCA through further study."

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Faculty of Fine Arts and Music

The course is taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, the proud home of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Much of the teaching, research and performance takes place in, or near, the new Ian Potter Southbank Centre on the University of Melbourne’s Southbank campus. Our facilities on the University's Parkville campus, including Melba Hall, are also used for teaching, research and performances.

While studying at the Faculty, you will have the chance to benefit from a range of partnerships and engagement activities at major arts companies in Melbourne's Arts Precinct, local and national festivals and sister institutions around the world.

Explore the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music

Wilin Centre

Situated in the heart of Melbourne's Arts Precinct, the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development provides exposure to contemporary Indigenous arts practices and supports the recruitment of Indigenous artists, academics and students.

Learn more about the Wilin Centre

Exhibition spaces

Margaret Lawrence Gallery

Visit the Margaret Lawrence Gallery, our primary exhibition space. It is a professional exhibiting space for graduate and alumni work, Art studio projects, artists in-residence, staff exhibitions, as well as independent local and international exhibitions.

Margaret Lawrence Gallery

Student Gallery

The Student Gallery is a dedicated student exhibition space, where students are encouraged to test ideas and present their work in a supported peer environment. Members of the public are invited to visit and enjoy the space.

Student Gallery


Kate Just

Dr Kate Just, Graduate Coursework Coordinator

Dr Kate Just is an American-born Australian artist. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) at the Victorian College of the Arts, followed by a Masters and a PhD in the arts, before becoming Graduate Coursework Coordinator for the Master of Contemporary Art and the Graduate Certificate of Visual Art at the VCA.

Just is an award-winning contemporary artist and academic who has worked extensively with representations of the body, feminism, and queer arts theory and practice who works with sculpture, installation, neon, textiles and photography to produce contemporary artworks. Specific to Just’s practice is the use of knitting as an engaging sculptural medium and an unwitting political tool. Here, she shares with us the best thing about working at the VCA.

"Being surrounded by graduate students and staff who bring humour, deep questioning, new ideas, great fashion, and excitement about art and life to the studios each day."

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