Application Process


Depending on your circumstances, you can apply to enrol at the Academy in one of two ways:

  1. Through VTAC
  2. Directly to the Academy

In both cases, you must fill out a Direct Applicant / VTAC Supplementary form and send it to the Academy so we can arrange your interview and portfolio presentation.

If you are a domestic student aged under 18 you can enrol at the Academy, but you will need your parent or guardian’s consent. Unfortunately we are unable to enrol international students under the age of 18.

To begin your application

  • if you are a Domestic applicant, click here.
  • if you are an Overseas/International applicant, click here.

Selection Principles

The Academy has developed its entry requirements to ensure the admission criteria are:

  • fair
  • equitable
  • flexible
  • transparent
  • quality controllable.

The Academy seeks to enrol students with diverse backgrounds. The Academy admits to its courses applicants it believes could undertake the course with a reasonable prospect of success, based on:

  • previous studies
  • previous attainment and/or experiences
  • commitment to a career as a creative professional and
  • motivation to succeed.

These factors are regarded as indicative of an applicant’s likelihood of success in the proposed course.

Selection Procedure

Entry requirements for each course are set by the Academy's Academic Board.

The Admissions Manager is responsible for initially assessing the eligibility of applications submitted by prospective students. This may involve consulting relevant guidelines to help establish the equivalence of an inter-state or overseas qualification. The Academy considers completion of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program equivalent to senior secondary matriculation.

All applicants are assessed and selected primarily on an interview and portfolio presentation. If a prospective student applies from overseas the interview may be conducted by telephone, with an electronic or mailed submission of their creative work supported by a letter of verification from teachers/lecturers.

Information for VTAC Applicants

VTAC Applicants Key Dates
VTAC Timely Applications Close 29 September 2016 (5pm)
VTAC Late Applications Close 4 November 2016 (5pm)
Early offers Main Round (for Semester 1 2017) 18 November 2016 (2pm)
VTAC Very Late Applications Close 2 December 2016 (5pm)
Round 1 Main Round Offers (for Semester 1 2017) 18 January 2017 (2pm)
Round 2 Main Round Offers (for Semester 1 2017) 7 February 2017

For VTAC fees and other information click here.

NB: Applicants applying through VTAC are also required to submit a Direct Applicant / VTAC Supplementary form directly to the Academy, so we can arrange your selection interview and portfolio presentation.

Information for Direct Applicants

Although the majority of applicants for courses at the Academy are finishing Year 12 and applying through the VTAC system, the Academy’s selection procedures provide for the admission of non-Year 12 and mature-age applicants. You can apply directly if you are:

  • not currently studying a standard Australian Year 12 curriculum and
  • intending to submit an application only to the Academy. Applicants who are intending to apply to more than one institution are advised to apply through VTAC before applications close in December. After that, you can only apply directly. Depending on your educational background and/or previous experience, you may wish to apply for Credit Transfer or Recognition of Prior Learning.

Selection Interview / Portfolio Presentation

All applicants for Academy courses are required to attend an interview and present a folio of recent creative work. While not expected to be of professional quality, the folio should demonstrate a range of creative and technical skills relevant to the course(s) applied for. Interviews are an informal, friendly discussion about the applicant’s work, ambitions and interests. The interview panel consists of no more than two people who will ask questions relating to the Academy’s Selection Criteria (see below).

The interview panel seeks to identify potential students who are self-motivated and show initiative and the ability to successfully develop knowledge and skills in one of the disciplines offered at the Academy. As the leading USA designer Michael Woolf has stated: “No-one in their right mind hires your portfolio, they hire you. In any case what you did before doesn’t really show what you can do in the future.”

To assist applicants to present their work in the best way possible the Academy offers a Folio Presentation class.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used during the interview and folio presentation. While it is not expected that applicants will be expert and confident in these matters (after all, that is why you come to study at the Academy), the panel will be trying to assess your potential to develop in these areas:

  1. The level of awareness of the design profession and the extent of previous studies/experience in related areas;
  2. the level of familiarity with the design process including:
    • the degree of creativity exercised in problem solving;
    • the scope of development in producing design solutions;
    • the clarity of resolution of design problems.
  3. the level of familiarity with the visual language including:
    • the imaginative manipulation of design elements; and
    • the sensitive use of visual elements in communication.
  4. the level of skills in presentation of the applicant’s work, both visually and verbally;
  5. the level of individuality in expression and the level of awareness of social and environmental issues;
  6. the level of preparedness to work collaboratively with other students and staff in a creative community;
  7. the level of preparedness to accept criticism and advice;
  8. the level of appreciation of the arts generally;
  9. the level of good humour and tolerance of the applicant;
  10. the level of self confidence and determination to succeed in the design profession.