Undergraduate degree

Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts)

Study Deakin's Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts) to learn about contemporary art through lectures, workshops, tutorials and sought-after internships.

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Key facts


Burwood: N/A
Waterfront: N/A
Clearly-in ATAR 2017


3 years full-time or part-time equivalent

Course information

Develop your skills as a contemporary art practitioner to engage critically and creatively with the world in new and traditional media including painting, drawing, printmaking, 3D, digital and multi-disciplinary forms.

Combine cutting edge theory with specialised studio practice when you enrol in Deakin’s Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts).

Incorporating digital technologies, traditional techniques and interdisciplinary practices, this course focuses on the curious, the critical and creative student. Students are introduced to contemporary art through a program that contextualises their work in theory and practice through lectures, workshops, tutorials, collaborative and independent studio. Critical thinking and collaboration are key to developing the technical skills of the 21st century as students need to be adaptable, articulate and creative practitioners, no matter the vocation they choose.

In internships you’ll have access to important arts organisations, events and galleries to enhance your curatorial, educational and administrative skills, while you will have numerous opportunities to exhibit in Deakin’s own gallery spaces. Showcasing your work through festivals, exhibitions and award programs is a great way to launch your career, gain professional experience and network.

By coupling your major with units in other creative arts disciplines your design skills will be sought after in areas like marketing, media, and communications. You could work on creative designs for websites, packaging, printed material, company branding, video games, advertising, exhibitions and displays. Combining your art specialisation with teaching studies can also qualify you to teach visual arts in schools and other educational settings.

Graduates can enjoy creative roles as artists, in arts administration, curation, academic research, illustration, design, video, advertising, film production and teaching. There are further opportunities within the arts and cultural communities.

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Course structure

Students must complete 24 credit points including:

  • 18 credit points of core units
  • 6 credit points of electives
  • no more than 12 credit points at level 1
  • Academic Integrity AAI018
  • Academic Integrity (0-credit-point compulsory unit)


Core units


Elective units



Level 1

  • Art and Performance: Roles of the Artist ACA101
  • Art and Performance: New Directions for Creative Practice ACA100
  • Contemporary Art Practice: Body ACV101
  • Contemporary Art Practice: Space ACV102
  • Level 2

  • Contemporary Art Practice: Pluralism ACV205
  • Contemporary Art Practice: Abstraction ACV206
  • Materialising the Image: Visual Art and Photography Since 1989 ACV207
  • Level 3

  • Contemporary Art Practice: Research ACV307
  • Contemporary Art Practice: Production ACV312 (2 credit points)
  • Complete three 1 credit point units chosen from the following list:

  • Design Skills ACG103
  • Writing with the Camera ACF103
  • Improvisation: Principles in Action ACP109
  • Foundations of Acting and Performance ACP103
  • Analogue Photography ACI101
  • Digital Photography ACI102
  • Complete five 1 credit point units chosen from the following list with at least 1 level 3 unit:

  • Integrated Practice 1 ACV210
  • Art and Technology ACV214
  • Alternative Imaging ACI201
  • Contemporary Documentary and Narrative Photography ACI204
  • Digital Imaging 2: Advanced ACI202
  • Integrated Practice 2 ACV310
  • Visual Arts History and Theory in the Expanded Field ACV311
  • Experimental Photography and Creative Practice ACI301
  • Out of the Box: Theatre in Alternative Contexts ACP323
  • Communication and Creative Arts Internship A ACC317
  • Electives

    Complete six electives, of which at least three must be 2nd or 3rd level

    We suggest students complete at least 4 units in a subject area different to their degree, preferably a linked sequence of study in the same area. This choice can include units from any degree in the University but is best chosen from the subject areas in the Bachelor of Arts (http://www.deakin.edu.au/course/bachelor-arts). We do recommend students complete at least two more selectable core units listed above.

    Course Map

    Course map 


    In choosing electives, students are encouraged to consider taking a major sequence or individual units from the following Creative Arts major sequences listed in:



    Film Studies


    Visual Communication Design


    The following units are also available as elective options:

    Trimester 3

  • ACV300
  • Trimester 1, Trimester 2 or Trimester 3

  • ALX321
  • Melbourne Burwood Campus - Elective cognate creative arts sequences

    The following units are strongly recommended to students as part of their electives.  Students may choose more than one cognate study area which must include units from at least 2 year levels (eg 1st and 2nd year OR 2nd and 3rd year).


  • ACN108
  • ACM132
  • ACM138
  • ACN203
  • ACM240
  • ACM308
  • Creative and Media Arts Theory

    Students intending to study at honours level should complete the units listed below:

  • ACT102 **
  • ACT203
  • ALC208
  • Creative Entrepreneurship

  • ACC301 **
  • ALX321 *
  • * ALX321 also offered in trimester 3

    Cultures and Contexts

  • AAM219 *
  • AAM220
  • ACN108
  • ACT102 **
  • ACT303
  • * AAM219 also offered trimester 3

    Dance (Via Audition)

  • Introduction to Contemporary Dance Practice A ACD101
  • Introduction to Contemporary Dance Practice B ACD102
  • ACD105
  • Dance Improvisation and Body Awareness ACD110 *
  • Contemporary Dance Practice and History A ACD203
  • Contemporary Dance Practice and History B ACD204
  • * ACD110 does not require an Audition


  • ACP101
  • ACP177
  • ACP279
  • Major Performance Project: Page to Stage ACP280
  • Out of the Box: Theatre in Alternative Contexts ACP323
  • Out of the Ether: Devised Theatre ACP378
  • Film

  • AAM219 *
  • ACM112
  • ACM116
  • ACM120
  • ACM236
  • ACM237
  • * AAM219 also offered trimester 3

    Visual Communication Design (formerly Graphic Design)

    Note: Students who commenced studies prior to 2011 may need to contact Student Support office for course advice. Melbourne Burwood Campus Tel 03 924 43843 or 03 924 43910 artsedstudentsupport@deakin.edu.au

  • ACG101
  • ACG102
  • Design Skills ACG103
  • Design and Society ACG204
  • Professional Practice in Design ACG207
  • Branding Design ACG208
  • Interdisciplinary Practice

  • ACC308
  • ACV211 **
  • Motion Capture

  • Motion Capture Fundamentals AMC101
  • Animating Motion AMC202
  • AMC303
  • ACN310 **
  • Photography

  • ACM101
  • ACM102
  • ACM203
  • ACM204
  • ACC308
  • ACM328
  • Professional and Creative Writing

  • Writer's Toolkit: Craft and Creativity ALW101
  • Writing Spaces: Paradigms and Provocations ALW102
  • Scriptwriting: Character, Event, Consequence ALW227
  • Designing Fictions ALW225
  • ** ACT102, ACV211, ACC301 and ACN310 are not offered 2013, re-offered 2014 subject to approval.

    Waterfront (Geelong) - Elective cognate creative arts sequences

    The following units are strongly recommended to students as part of their electives.  Students may choose more than one cognate study area which must include units from at least 2 year levels (eg 1st and 2nd year OR 2nd and 3rd year).


  • ACM101
  • ACM102
  • ACM203
  • ACM202
  • Creative and Media Arts

  • ALC101 *
  • Art and Society SRA143 (to be confirmed)
  • Navigating the Visual World EEA211
  • ACC301 **
  • ALC102
  • Visual Culture: Images, Meaning and Contexts EEA212
  • * ALC101 also offered in trimester 3 - Cloud (online) mode only.

    ** ACC301 is not offered 2014, re-offered 2015 subject to approval.

    Key information

    Award granted
    Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts)
    2018 course information
    VTAC code
    1400415461 - Waterfront (Geelong), Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
    1400515461 - Burwood (Melbourne), Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
    Deakin code
    CRICOS code
    Approval status
    This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
    Australian Quality Framework (AQF) recognition
    The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7.

    Campuses by intake

    Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Waterfront (Geelong)

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Waterfront (Geelong)

    Trimester 3 - November

    • Start date: November
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)

    Note: Geelong Waterfront campus students can take units of study at the Waurn Ponds Campus.

    Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. Most students usually undertake two trimesters each year (March-June, July-November).

    Additional course information

    Transition to University study 

    The faculty offers two units AIX160 Introduction to University Study and AIX117 Professional Writing for Work which are specifically designed to ease the transition into university study. New students are encouraged to enrol in one or both of these units as electives in their first year.

    Course duration - additional information

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    Deakin University offers admission to undergraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    Entry for school leavers will be based on their performance in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, with pre-requisite units 3 and 4; a study score of at least 25 in English EAL (English as an additional language) or 20 in English other than EAL. Applicants will be selected in accordance with the published clearly-in Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for that year.

    Refer to the VTAC Guide for the latest pre-requisite information www.vtac.edu.au

    Entry for non-school leavers will be based on their performance in:

    • a Certificate IV in a related discipline OR
    • a Diploma in any discipline OR
    • successful completion of relevant study at an accredited higher education institution equivalent to at least two Deakin University units OR
    • other evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent including relevant work or life experience

    All Applicants seeking admission to the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts) will be required to complete a portfolio of work presented to a satisfactory standard.

    Download our Frequently Asked Questions document to learn more about folio submission.

    To submit your folio please go to www.deakin.edu.au/communication-creative-arts/portfolio-applications

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library.



    Helpful information

    Learn more about this course and others that Deakin offers by visiting VTAC for more information. You can also discover how Deakin compares to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning by visiting the QILT website.

    Learn more about Deakin's special entry access scheme (SEAS - a way to help boost your ATAR in some circumstances).

    You can also find out about different entry pathways into Deakin courses if you can't get in straight from high school.

    Finally, Deakin is committed to admissions transparency. As part of that commitment, you can learn more about our Trimester 1 2017 cohort of students (PDF, 657.3KB) - their average ATARs, whether they had any previous higher education experience and more.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place
    Not applicable
    Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)
    $6,561 for 1 yr full-time - Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
    Learn more about fees.

    The tuition fees you pay will depend on the units you choose to study as each unit has its own costs. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the time it takes to complete your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    The Australian Government recently announced proposed increases to tuition fees for students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP).  It is proposed that CSP fees will increase by 1.8% in 2018 and continue to rise to a total of 7.5% by 2021. The fee rates for 2018 will be available later in the year once the Government has confirmed the 2018 student contribution rates.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Graduate outcomes

    Career outcomes

    As a graduate of the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts) you will be readily equipped with skills appropriate to the expanding arts industries in fields including illustration, design, video, advertising, film production, education, and community arts. The course will also equip you to pursue an independent studio career working towards exhibitions in: commercial galleries; publicly run arts spaces; experimental, collaborative and interdisciplinary exchanges; and higher degree research. 

    For more information go to DeakinTALENT

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

    Demonstrate a working knowledge of Visual Arts studio practice.

    Demonstrate knowledge of art theoretical and historical content through studio practice. 

    Demonstrate particular depth of knowledge in the studio practice of painting and drawing.

    Adapt knowledge to analyse and interpret art and cultural products within the art world and within a broader context of cultural production.

    Apply discipline knowledge and problem solving skills to reflect on, engage with, and reshape cultural/societal practices


    Express ideas and opinions cogently through oral, written, and nonverbal (visual) channels.

    Engage critically with ideas through technically sophisticated and theoretically informed art practice. 

    Demonstrate an understanding of the art industry and its cultural contexts through written and oral communication.

    Digital literacy

    Employ a range of digital media technologies to create art works.

    Demonstrate a high level of skill in both the manipulation of digital technologies as well as  the creative extension of such technologies

    Critically engage with the interaction of old and new media technologies through scholarly writing and creative arts practice.

    Critical thinking

    Analyse and interpret cultural products (including the student’s own work) and make informed judgements about their meaning, value, and efficacy.

    Use visual arts practice to develop self-reflexive habits that both develop and critically re-examine personally held views.

    Problem solving

    Develop skills in identifying, analysing and solving creative (ill-defined) problems through studio practice. 

    Employ visual arts methodologies (ways of making) to define and explore new problems or re-frame existing ones.


    Use personal initiative and judgment to produce creative solutions to set creative briefs

    Demonstrate initiative and autonomy in researching, developing and solving self-directed creative problems in the visual arts.

    Demonstrate skills in objective critical self-assessment.


    Collaborate with peers within and across disciplines to generate creative outcomes in art practice and professional situations.

    Effectively negotiate interpersonal and creative differences through engagement in group projects.

    Global citizenship

    Demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues, cultural diversity, and social responsibility when engaging in Visual Arts scholarship. 

    Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical and inter-cultural issues involved in the production and interpretation of visual representations.

    Approved by Faculty Board October 2015


    Application information

    How to apply

    Apply through VTAC

    If you studied Year 12 in 2017 or you're applying for more than one course offered through VTAC, your application must be made via VTAC.

    Apply Through VTAC

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal if you're only applying for one course.

    Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Apply through Deakin

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, visit the how to apply page.

    How to apply

    Register your interest to study at Deakin

    Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.

    Entry pathways

    Course pathways to obtain Bachelors degree include: 1. Through a Deakin Learning Centre – Study first year at DLC then transfer to online/campus study; 2. Through Deakin College – Complete one-year diploma then enter Deakin as 2nd year student; 3. Through Tafe – Complete one-year diploma, then start your Deakin Course; 4. Through the workforce – Experience in a related field?  Get credit for prior learning; 5. Through Deakin – Start a related course, then transfer to this course.

    Tap image to expand

    Through a DLC: Some courses are only available for first year and students must transfer to online or campus based study.
    Through Deakin College and TAFE: Completion of diploma and minimum academic requirements apply to enter Deakin University.
    Through Deakin: Transfers within Deakin are subject to availability and meeting minimum academic requirements.

    Credit for prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Faculty contact information

    Arts and Education Student Services and Enrolment Enquiries

    Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
    Tel 03 5227 1359

    Burwood (Melbourne) 
    Tel 03 9246 8100

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