Queensland College of Art
Established in 1881, the Queensland College of Art is one of Australia’s longest-running art and design colleges. It offers the widest range of visual art programs in Australia, and includes the Griffith Film School, which moved into new purpose-built premises at South Bank in March 2007.
The College traces its origin to a drawing class at the Brisbane School of Arts, which was attended by 22 students. We celebrated our 125th anniversary in 2006 and today we are a community of around 1200 artists, designers, animators, photographers, film-makers.
Over the years we have brought together some of the finest practitioners and academics in the areas of visual arts, design, Indigenous art and the moving image, and produced some of Australia’s leading visual artists and designers who have helped to shape the art and design culture of Queensland and Australia.
The Bachelor of Digital Media
The genesis of the Bachelor of Visual Media Degree flowed from the Queensland College of Art review presented to the University in late 2004. The business of concatenating three existing QCA Gold Coast degrees and one QCA Logan degree into a single integrated degree structure at the Gold Coast campus began in earnest in late 2005. The Bachelor of Visual Media became a reality with our first student intake in February 2006 and has since evolved into the current Bachelor of Visual Media.
Before setting out on specialist disciplinary studies, the initial phase of the degree requires students undertake 60 Credit Points of Core studies. This gives significant advantages. Creative thinking and critical enquiry are given full expression. An induction into traditional and contemporary studio practice incorporates teaching in diverse technical and methodological processes. Group and individual projects foster self-awareness and the formation of peer relationships. Students identify their strengths and interests. The Indigenous Core course recognises the College’s commitment to the local Kombumerri people.
In the second phase, students undertake a major disciplinary study. Half of the three year degree is dedicated to the specialisation studies. This allows time for a genuine depth of creative enquiry and individual scholarship to develop. Currently, five majors are offered: 3-Dimensional Design, Fine Art, Digital Design, ePhotojournalism and Graphic Design.
The remaining 60 Credit Points of the degree provide significant latitude in Elective choices or, alternatively, a second Specialisation major. Given the comprehensive nature of the degree programs offered at the Griffith University Gold Coast campus, students sometimes take up study options outside the QCA with Journalism, Business, and Marketing being the most popular choices. However, to date most students choose to undertake Elective studies from within QCA.
Recent growth in domestic and international student numbers demonstrates growing confidence in this region’s potential. The steady internationalisation of the degree, the embedded Work Integrated Learning (WIL) courses, and the establishment of the Liveworm Gold Coast studio show the seriousness of the College’s commitment to developing an industry cluster at the Gold Coast.
National and regional awards have become a regular feature of student experience and demonstrate the professional and creative strengths of students. The diversity of student work evidences the strengths of the interdisciplinary structure of the Bachelor of Digital Media.
While the styles and forms of student work easily fit into global economies, they also express a strong sense of place and a deep awareness of the unique culture of the Gold Coast. From 1996 onward, graduates from the QCA Gold Coast have played a key regional role in professional creativity.
From its inception in 1881, the College has maintained a well-deserved reputation for its leadership in developing high-calibre professional graduates. In terms of creativity and professionalism, the Queensland College of Art has always been well in front of the ‘J-curve’ of the creative industries.