Master of Production Design

  • CRICOS code: 103430K

The experience


Meet Lauren Gould

Master of Production Design for Screen student Lauren Gould discusses her career-defining internships in film and television:

Production Design for Screen student, wireframing a design

"I am fortunate to have just completed an internship on an up-and-coming Australian TV production prior to starting the semester. My internship has been one of the best parts of my course so far. I spent four weeks assisting the art department, working with people within the industry and learning many new skills. I got the chance to be on set, do some set dressing, help with graphics and props and try my hand at some buying. I’m really looking forward to taking on another and also start my final major film project."

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Meet Bethany J Fellows

Although Bethany Fellows knew she wanted to study at the Victorian College of the Arts,, she never knew she’d end up studying stage design in the Master of Design for Performance – but from making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to making tiny furniture, stage design was definitely the right choice.

Bethany J Fellows in a costume design studio

"I discovered the Master of Design for Performance at a crossroads in life and thought stage design was a good nexus of my skills; I’m creative, yet practical, and was really wanting to collaborate with people. Out of the postgraduate options in Australia, I knew I was suited to the course at VCA. I always knew I’d end up here but I thought it would be in the visual art department. I knew from my very first collaboration in semester one that I had made the right decision to go into theatre design – even though it felt like three hands in a box trying to independently make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was a reassuring signpost in life."

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Southbank Campus Collaboration

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 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


Jo Briscoe

Meet Jo Briscoe, Lecturer and Course Coordinator in Design

Jo Briscoe is a production designer working in film and television and is a Lecturer in Production Design at the VCA. Her professional design practice includes design for both stage and screen. Since completing her MFA in Design, she has maintained a diverse practice across theatre, opera, film and television. Here, she answers some of our burning questions about studying Production Design at the VCA.

In your opinion, what’s the best thing about working at the VCA?
It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so much creative energy, in so many different fields. It’s incredibly inspiring to see the variety of work and ideas produced by both students and staff, and to see the opportunities for collaboration across so many fields of expression.

Teaching is also incredibly rewarding. Our courses are intensive, and students make huge progress in a brief period of time, which is thrilling to witness.

What makes a good production design student?
Production design requires a wide range of skills and interests, and is equally practical and intellectual. A passion for storytelling is essential. Students need a genuine curiosity about the world, researching all kinds of people and places, and will learn a lot of different practical skills.

Designers need an open mind and open heart to empathise with characters and situations. As design is a practical field, students also need to be able to balance their creativity with pragmatism. Being a collaborator is essential, as is the desire to get your hands dirty. There are few roles that require such a diverse range of attributes, but it’s one of the most exciting aspects of the job.

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