Current students

Course search

Bachelor of Contemporary Arts - Drama

Course summary for current students

Award granted Bachelor of Contemporary Arts
Duration3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
Deakin course codeA357
Offered to continuing students only

Course sub-headings

Course overview

The Bachelor of Contemporary Arts builds on the strengths of specialist disciplines, but allows collaboration between art forms. Students explore the arts in theory, in practice and in collaboration with others. A range of expertise from Australia's leading practitioners is used in dance, drama, media arts and visual arts
The Bachelor of Contemporary Arts will give students a range of skills in one discipline (be it dance, drama, media or visual arts), systematic exposure to collaborative possibilities between various art forms, the experience of bringing art forms together in major projects, training in professional arts practice and a grounding in the academic knowledge necessary to understand the arts and to create new forms of art.

Back to top

Structuring the course
In general, students at level 1 select two applied disciplines along with units in contemporary arts theory and electives from a variety of fields. At level 2 students focus on their specialist discipline or disciplines and continue their studies in contemporary arts theory. At level 3 students complete their disciplinary major and choose from a number of units which involve collaboration across art forms, completing a major project in their final trimester. Students normally undertake the unit in Professional Arts Practice in their final year.

Transition to University study
The faculty offers two units ASC160 Introduction to University Study and ALW117 Writing for Professional Practice which are specifically designed to ease the transition into university study. New students are encouraged to enrol in one or both of these units in their first year.

Because a number of disciplinary studies are cumulative in knowledge, technical competencies and/or study and research skills there are prerequisites which direct students to take some units before others. Students must seek advice from a course adviser before enrolling in units for which they do not have prerequisite or recommended units.

Assessment within the award of Bachelor of Contemporary 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.

Cross-institutional arrangements
Continuing Deakin students may apply to study units offered by another Australian tertiary institution and have them credited to their Deakin University degree. Further information is available from Arts Student Services.

Back to top

Fees and charges

Unit fees can be viewed within individual unit descriptions. You can search for a unit using the Unit Search.


Please be aware:

  • Fees are calculated on a per unit basis
  • Fees charged will depend on the individual units chosen
  • Fees per unit/credit point may increase annually due to rises in the cost of course delivery and services

Back to top

Course rules

To qualify for the Bachelor of Contemporary Arts a student must complete 24 credit points including:

  • compulsory core unit Freelancing in the Arts ACC301
  • at least 2 credit points of ACT-coded Contemporary Arts Theory units including compulsory core unit ACT102 Criticism, Narrative and Contexts
  • 3 credit point of ACC-coded Collaborative Arts Practicum at level 3, including one unit of 1 credit point value and compulsory core unit ACC316 of 2 credit point value
  • no more than 8 credit points taken outside the course-grouped units for the BA (in effect this means that up to 8 credit points may be taken outside the recognised Faculty of Arts and Education major sequences)
  • no more than 10 credit points at level 1
  • a minimum of 6 credit points at level 3
  • a major sequence of 8 credit points in Dance (A356), Drama (A357), Media Arts (A358), Visual Arts (A359)

Back to top

Major sequences

Refer to the details of each major sequence for availability.



Back to top

Course structure

Contemporary Arts Theory

Core unit

Trimester 2

ACT102 Criticism, Narrative and Contexts  *

Select 1 credit point from:

Trimester 1
ACT203/ACT303 Art and the Politics of Censorship  **

Trimester 2
ACT104 Art and Technology  

The elective below may be taken in addition to but not instead of the compulsory core units.
ALW227 Script Writing: Focus On Fiction  

Professional Arts Practice

Core unit

Trimester 1
ACC301 Freelancing in the Arts  **

Collaborative Arts Practicum

Compulsory core unit

Trimester 2

ACC316 Collaborative Major Creative Project  (2 credit points)

Select 1 credit point from:

ACC307 Developing a Project: Ideas to Scripts  

ACC308 New Worlds: Intersections of Art and Science  


* ACT102 not offered 2013, re-offered 2014 subject to approval.

** ACT203/ACT303 and ACC301 are not offered 2014, reoffered 2015 subject to approval.

Back to top

Details of major sequences

Drama major sequence

This major sequence provides skills in contemporary drama practices and perspectives, together with an understanding of their application in a wide range of artistic and social contexts. It includes acting theory and practice, performance styles and processes, theatre history, text studies, community theatre and technical studies.

On successful completion of the Drama major sequence, students should have the following skills:

  • an ability to develop individual vocal technique and voice production
  • an ability to understand and respond to the technical, expressive and/or compositional demands of a range of performance styles and genres
  • an ability to successfully achieve performance realisation based on chosen compositional and performance strategies
  • an ability to analyse, compose and collaborate in order to build effective relationships between actor, director, designer and writer in processes of performance realisation.

Level 1

Trimester 1

ACP101 Principles of Live Performance  

Trimester 2
ACP177 Modern and Postmodern Drama  

Level 2

Trimester 1
ACP205 Performance for Alternative Spaces  

ACP279 The Integrated Performer  

Trimester 2
ACP206 Processes of Realisation  

ACP280 Performance, Text, Realisation  

Level 3

Trimester 1
ACP378 Out of the Ether: Devised Performance  

Trimester 2

ACP323 Out of the Box: Theatre Practice in Alternative Contexts  

Note: The following unit may also be taken in addition to the prescribed major sequence.

Trimester 1, trimester 2 or trimester 3

ALX321 Creative Industries Internship  *

* ALX321 - Internship units are normally undertaken in third year (or equivalent) and are subject to completion of 6 units in the specific discipline major sequence. Students also require permission from the discipline supervisor.


Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

8th June 2007