Welcome to Research at the VCA & MCM

Researchers at the VCA & MCM strive to undertake research that has a tangible impact in the world. Our research illustrates the essential role of the creative arts in building healthy individuals, communities and societies. Together with our colleagues across the University we seek to find answers to some of the most pressing Grand Challenges of our time. This significant body of research activity is shared through traditional scholarly and non-traditional creative research outputs, both within Australia and around the globe. 

The Faculty research agenda groups around four key research themes across the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the Victorian College of the Arts:

  1. Arts and Equity
  2. Arts, Pedagogy and Practice
  3. Arts, War, Trauma and Violence
  4. Arts and Cultural Heritage

Who are we?

The Faculty of VCA and MCM draws together two historically distinguished Melbourne arts institutions to form a vital and dynamic research Faculty at The University of Melbourne:

  • The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) has its heritage rooted in the National Gallery of Victoria Art School which first admitted students in 1867; and
  • The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM), formed as a result of an amalgamation of the former Faculty of Music and the VCA School of Music, is the oldest University music school in Australia.

The Faculty is also home to the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts - for over ten years, the Wilin Centre has connected Indigenous artists with a pathway to their future in the worlds of visual and performing arts, design, film and television and production.

What do we research?

The Faculty is part of the University of Melbourne, which is a research-intensive university and recognised as the best in Australia and in the top 35 worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013 - 2014). International rankings and the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) outcomes confirm the Faculty’s place as an Australian leader in research in the creative and performing arts.  As an example, Performing Arts and Creative Writing was ranked ‘above world standing’ in recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) research assessments.

Research within the Faculty is characterised by a spirit of enquiry, collaboration and a willingness to cross multi-disciplinary boundaries. It has internationally acclaimed scholars working across traditional research modes such as musicology, ethnomusicology and music therapy as well as in practice-led research whereby creative works and performances are explored through innovative interpretation or cross-media experimentation.

Where are we?

With the VCA campus in the heart of Melbourne’s arts precinct at Southbank and the Melbourne Conservatorium’s home in Parkville on the main campus of the University of Melbourne, researchers at the Faculty have access to the state’s rich cultural resources, collaborate with our many industry partners, work with the University of Melbourne’s cultural collections, associates and facilities as well as our research colleagues across both campuses.

Faculty staff and graduate researchers have the opportunity to network and collaborate with experts and professionals in Australia and abroad, and to present and perform their research in international settings including professional conventions, concert platforms and art galleries.

Whether you are interested in coming to Melbourne as a student, PhD candidate, visitor or future colleague, I am sure you will find the research environment at the Faculty of the VCA and MCM dynamic, creative, welcoming and inspiring.

Professor Barbara Bolt
Associate Dean (Research)
Faculty of the VCA & MCM