The VISTA public survey project VMC targets the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud, the Bridge and two fields in the Stream. The VMC survey is a uniform and homogeneous survey in the Y, J and Ks near-infrared filters. The main goals are the determination of the star formation history and the three-dimensional structure of the Magellanic system. The survey is therefore designed to reach stars as faint as the oldest main sequence turn-off point and to constrain the mean magnitude of pulsating variable stars such as RR Lyrae and Cepheids. We provide a brief overview of the survey strategy and first science results. Further details are given in Cioni et al. (2011).