Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts)

Undergraduate degree

Study Deakin's Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts) to learn about contemporary art through lectures, workshops, tutorials and sought-after internships. All applicants need to submit a portfolio to Deakin. See details in the entry requirements below.

International student information

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Key facts

English language requirements

IELTS overall score of 6 (with no band score less than 6) or equivalent


3 years full time
Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

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)
Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.


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) (Commencing 2018)
  • 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 ( 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

  • 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
    1400415463 - Waterfront (Geelong), International full-fee paying place
    1400515463 - Burwood (Melbourne), International full-fee paying place
    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)

    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.

    Assessment within the award of Bachelor of Creative Arts varies from written assignments and/or examination to practical and technical exercises and performance. In some units assessment may also include class participation, online exercises, seminar exercises and tests.

    Mandatory Student Checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.

    Participation Requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Click here for more information.

    Work experience

    Elective units may provide the opportunity for Work Integrated Learning experiences.

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    General admission requirements for entry into undergraduate courses for international students at Deakin are summarised in the undergraduate admission requirements table.  Some courses may have additional entry requirements.  Students must also meet the undergraduate English language requirements.

    For year 12/VCE entry: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or at least 20 in English other than EAL; and presentation of a portfolio of work to a satisfactory standard.

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

    To submit your folio please go to

    The Faculty offers alternative entry options for mature age and other special categories of applicants.  Information about these is available in the VTAC guide and on the Deakin University’s website at

    IELTS / English language requirements

    Please note that English language requirements exist for entry to this course and you will be required to meet the English language level requirement that is applicable in the year of your commencement of studies.

    It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that she/he has the required IELTS score to register with any external accredited courses. (more details)

    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 first intake of 2018 students (PDF, 831.4KB) - 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

    The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of 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.

    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

    Applications for study for Trimester 1 must be made through the Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC). For more information refer to VTAC

    Apply Through VTAC
    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications must be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal.  For information on the application process and closing dates, see the Apply web page.  Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Apply through Deakin
    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    PDF Application form - 306 KB

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage.
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Portfolio Application

    When applying for this course, you must submit a portfolio of work in support of your application.

    Learn more about portfolio requirements

    Entry pathways

    Course pathways to obtain Bachelor’s degree include: 1. Through Deakin – start the same course at a difference campus or start a related course then meet the requirements and apply to transfer, or complete and associate degree then apply for your coal course; 2. Through Deakin College – Complete one-year diploma then enter Deakin as 2nd year student; 3. Through Tafe or a private provider (RTOS)  – Complete one-year diploma, then apply for recognition of prior learning and your Deakin course; 4. Through the workforce – Experience in a related field?  Get credit for prior learning

    Tap image to expand

    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

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for credit transfer. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your credit transfer.
    Your credit transfer is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

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

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