Preparing for university applications with a Portfolio Preparation course

July 2018

Janina Ahadi visited Australia from Indonesia to experience life at RMIT and completed the Portfolio Preparation in Graphic Design - Level 1 short course in her holidays. Janina will be taking Foundation Studies at RMIT this semester in the Art, Design and Architecture stream and hopes to go on to complete an Honor’s Degree in Industrial Design. Here is what she had to say about the course

I would strongly recommend others to take this course. It’s made for everyone, whether you’re looking to build a portfolio for university, or as a hobby - you set the pace yourself. There is no competition, no grading, but asking for feedback is always beneficial. I was happy that this course has made me take out my stress away from school and focus on challenging myself by creating something that I love. 

 I loved that we were given quite-the-brain-work and creative tasks. We’re expected to make a lot of artwork in a short amount of time. The materials that we were allowed to use were waste materials, going green.

Although it was challenging, I was really proud because I was able to do something productive during my short school break.  Going back to school, after finishing this course, my eyes were definitely more open about how one can approach design. I was able to turn my manual prints into digital ones. I didn’t know that I could do a manual collage using magazines, newspapers and books to make a mock-up and scan it, use a software and make a book cover on my own at home.

In addition, at the end of the course when we reviewed all of our work, I was able to see each and every approach of my classmates’ designs. Very vast ideas coming from all of us; whether they opted for simplicity or complexity. This was an important note for me in making a portfolio.

Portfolio Preparation courses are offered during school holiday breaks and weekends. For more information visit Portfolio Preparation

Community, mentorship and inspiration at the School of Art

April 2018

Qing Zhang has been completing short courses offered from the Diploma of Visual Art program since 2017. She recently caught our attention by entering our #rmitshortcourses Share Competition on Instagram with her work from the  Life drawing - (Create observational drawings VART6363C / CUAACD502) course

Here is what she had to say about her experience at RMIT:

What did you like the most about the course?

Since 2017 I've done 3 short courses with RMIT, and am on the 4th one this year, which is the Life Drawing course. I just love it all. I like the option of Short Courses allowing people to study with RMIT flexibly. I like the feeling of walking into building 94, and knowing that it's a place where many young or mature age students develop their artistic ability, and I like being part of the community. I like the structure of weekly schedules, I think it makes the learning more effective. I like seeing myself improving, mentored by the teachers, inspired by classmates. It is great to learn/work together with your classmates, I think we all enjoy being inspired by each other. Also, the courses I 've done are all nationally accredited, which I can use for credit in the Diploma of Visual Arts.

Do you have any feedback about the facilities and the teachers at RMIT?

I think the facilities are pretty cool. We have properly designed space and equipment for the work. I would love to see the lighting improved a bit for the evening painting courses. The teachers I've met are amazing. I think they are very good at teaching, which I really appreciate because I understand most of them are also professional artists. We benefit from their combined teaching skill and artistic ability.

How did you apply what you learned to your work?

Apart from the skills I learned, I think the methods are probably more valuable. For example, I learned to develop work from concepts, and how to do research on artwork/artist/gallery etc. These tools help students to help/teach themselves. I think I need to keep visiting these methods in the future practice.

Would you recommend the course to other people?

Yes. They are great courses, and the benefit is beyond the courses themselves. For example, have access to the library, meet the people who share your passion and are "serious" with what they do. It has inspired me more that what I thought it would have.

To see Qing Zhang's work visit the RMIT Short Courses Facebook

Instagram: @qing_zhang_49

Humans, we have a problem

January 2018

After completing Graphic Design: Design and Layout, Nadisha Gunatilake was selected as one of of the top 100 winners from more than 6,000 entries from around the world in Posters For Tomorrow´s 2017 competition: Freedom of Movement. The poster is featured in the catalogue and has been exhibited in several places around the world.

short course nadisha short course catalogue

If you have learnt new skills in any of our graphic design short courses and are passionate about environmental issues there is an opportunity to enter your work in the international poster competition organised by one of our esteemed teachers Gustavo Morales. For details visit the Segunda Llamadawebsite. 


Show Of Hands

October 2017

Realising that RMIT had never run an external exhibition featuring short course students, Wild Honey Photographer and RMIT short course teacher, Deborah Dorman asked a group of students, “Would anyone be interested in taking part in an exhibition?” The enthusiastic show of hands in the classroom thus became the name for this successful exhibition that ran across April and May at the Manningham Art Gallery in Doncaster.


The exhibition flowed from stories of people, to landscapes and finally to the mundane and surreal. The narrative around First Peoples’ culture, ceremony and identity, shot in and around Melbourne including Fed Square, was captured beautifully by Tiffany Garvie. Nicola Platt visualised the narrative of thought, emotion and connection. Diana Cousensmixed cultures from Indian and Melbourne life.

Anne Brown shared the dedication of life in a convent. With mood and meaning, Deborah Dorman examined the process of ageing and beauty whilst Sharon Crabb’s highly unique visual style explored portraiture focused on one small aspect of a person as a representation of who they are.

Bryce Dunkley presented the Great Ocean Road with moody black and white photographs of the stunning coastlines, where Bruce Freshwater explored underwater sea life in its vibrancy.

While Allister Payne presented what it feels like to be cycling in Melbourne, the urban photography of Joseph Hixson represented Melbourne streets as you’ve never seen them before. Going beyond skill, Hixson demonstrated a rare gift in being able to capture the mundane with a story in every picture.

Richard Harris’s surreal use of mannequins with intricate lighting shows how uncomfortable we feel when the inanimate almost become human. Deborah Dorman was the star of the Opening Night after dedicating 6 months to organising and curating this fantastic exhibition.

Thanks to all involved.

Written by Stephen Joyce, Manager, Research and Enterprise, School of Media and Communication

Upcoming Photography Short courses:

Introduction to Photography – Level 1: Technical and Aesthetic
Introduction to Photography – Level 2: Technical and Aesthetic


1 September 2017  

short course Cosplay

Previous articles

RMIT Short Course facilitator exhibits at the National Gallery of Victoria
18 March 2016