Master of Design for Performance

Course MC-DESPERF (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months


Dr Stephen Haley


Faculty of the VCA & MCM Student Centre
Ground Floor, Elisabeth Murdoch Building (Bldg 860)
Southbank Campus
234 St Kilda Road, Southbank, 3006

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

The MFA aims to provide opportunities for suitably qualified candidates to develop their potential for research, develop mastery in their field of practice and contribute to understandings of contemporary artistic practice and theories of arts and culture. High-quality research subjects and independent supervision ensure artistic and intellectual excellence and leadership potential, and learning and training takes place in an international context.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will have developed:

• advanced technical and creative skills and understanding in design;
• understanding and use of theoretical frameworks to evaluate and critique specific elements used in the development of a performance, including but not limited to design;
• a capacity to evaluate, discriminate and make informed choices within both a pragmatic and artistic framework, as a senior member of the collaborative team;
• abilities to collaborate with other members of the design and performance team;
• an understanding and exploration of the performing arts as a communicative mode;
• an understanding and exploration of the potentials of diverse media in performance.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Qualification for the award requires satisfactory completion of all core subjects and a total of 200 credit points.

Entry Requirements:

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to pursue the course successfully using the following criteria:
• either
– an honours degree in a relevant discipline, with an average of at least H2B (70%) across all years and an average of at least H1 (80%) in practical projects in the relevant discipline in year 4, or equivalent, or
– at least 5 years of documented relevant documented professional experience, with evidence of artistic ability and achievement or practice comparable to that expected of honours degree holders in relevant disciplines; and
• the applicant’s curriculum vitae or resume; and
• a portfolio of relevant work; and
• an interview.
2. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Core Participation Requirements:

Communication: Students must be able to participate in and produce performances and exhibitions as required; they will also need to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written forms. Communication with fellow students, professional and academic staff, and the wider public about their knowledge and application of practising Arts disciplines is essential.
Creative, Intellectual and Organisational Abilities: Students require the capacity for high-level creative performance or production. They are also expected to have the ability to develop problem-solving skills and to comprehend disciplinary and cross-disciplinary information. Students must have the ability to establish study plans and prioritise training objectives and outcomes.
Behavioural and Social Attributes: Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. They must take full responsibility for their own participation and learning. Students also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative environments and must therefore demonstrate a wide range of interpersonal skills which consider the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.
Disability: Students who have a disability which may prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:
Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability; however, students will need to participate in the course in an independent manner.

Graduate Attributes:

Generic Skills:

The Master of Fine Arts develops the following skills in its graduate researchers:

• the ability to engage in independent and contextually-informed artistic practice;
• an ability to initiate research projects and to formulate viable research questions;
• a demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report independent and original research on a closely-defined project;
• an ability to manage time to maximise the quality of research;
• an understanding of the major contours of international research in the research area;
• a capacity for critical evaluation of relevant scholarly literature and artistic practice;
• well-developed and flexible problem-solving abilities appropriate to the discipline;
• the capacity to communicate effectively the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication;
• an understanding of and facility with scholarly conventions in the discipline area;
• a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
• a capacity to cooperate with other researchers;
• an ability to manage information effectively, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study.

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