Research at the Faculty

The Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music are two historically distinguished Melbourne arts institutions that have been brought together to form a vital and dynamic research Faculty at the University of Melbourne.

Associate Dean (Research)

Associate Professor Kenny McAlpine

The Faculty of Fine Arts and Music has an active and vibrant research culture that combines an exploratory and experimental approach to enquiry, and that draws upon both traditional and practice-led modes of research in the pursuit of excellence and innovation. Interdisciplinary collaboration is a key feature of our work, and the process of colliding traditional and emerging ideas, perspectives, knowledges and methods creates an environment of intellectual opportunity and informs and infuses our approach to teaching and learning. This approach to artistic research and arts-based research is embodied in all of the internationally-acclaimed creative artworks and scholarly work we produce.

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Research Centres, Units and Groups

Creative Arts and Music Therapy Research Unit

Our vision is to establish a culture of excellence in creative arts and music therapy research and training, grounded in a supportive and inspiring research milieu and fostered in international collaboration.

Research Unit for Indigenous Arts and Cultures

Our vision is to centre Indigenous philosophies of practice in the academy and society through arts practice, arts research, research training and partnerships.

Centre of Visual Art (CoVA)

Our vision is to establish a culture of excellence in creative arts therapies research and training, grounded in a supportive and inspiring research milieu and fostered in international collaboration.

ARC Centre for Excellence for the History of Emotions

Emotions shape individual, community and national identities. The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions uses historical knowledge from Europe, 1100–1800, to understand the long history of emotional behaviours.

Creativity and Wellbeing Research Initiative

The Creativity and Wellbeing Hallmark Research Initiative explores the intersection of creativity and wellbeing. It uses an interdisciplinary knowledge base to cultivate a network of researchers who investigate the relationship between creativity and wellbeing, and the impact of creativity on wellbeing across the lifespan.

Music, Mind and Wellbeing Initiative

The world-first Music, Mind & Wellbeing initiative links neuroscience with music and social wellbeing through a unique set of collaborations spanning music, science, health, education, and industry.


For Research in Art, Performing Arts and Design


Graduate Research Students


Research income over the last 5 years (HERDC)

Our Research Stories

Event Horizon: an Art + Australia symposium and special issue

Art + Australia explore the conjunction of art and science in Event Horizon, released to coincide with a three-day symposium.

Finding voice – Katy Abbott on composing Hidden Thoughts II: Return to Sender

Celebrated Melbourne Conservatorium composer Katy Abbott discusses her latest work, incorporating letters sent by members of the Australian public to detained asylum seekers on Nauru.

New ABC media residency for arts practitioners and researchers

The University of Melbourne is partnering with the ABC and the Australia Council to present TOP 5 Arts – a media residency for graduate early-career practitioners and PhD researchers.

Dr Suzanne Fraser: coordinating the Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) – a ‘big, beautiful creature’ at the University of Melbourne

Researcher, lecturer and arts writer, Dr Suzanne Fraser is Centre Coordinator at the University of Melbourne's Centre of Visual Art (CoVA). Here, she talks about CoVA's remit, aspirations and research profile.

Robert Walton on Child of Now and bringing your heart to work

VCA Theatre lecturer Robert Walton has been credited with creating the world’s first piece of iPad theatre and has toured his work internationally. So where does "radical empathy" fit in to his latest work?

Dr Kim Dunphy, Dance Movement Therapist: ‘It’s our moral obligation to make a contribution’

Digital archives of sung poems might seem a long way away from dance movement therapy, but for Dunphy it’s all part of a broader engagement with art, culture and community-building.

Contact the Research Office

For more information about current research, graduate research opportunities, or support for current researchers, contact the Research Office.