Bachelor of Contemporary Arts - Drama

Course summary for current students


2016 course information

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.

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 AIX160 Introduction to University Study and ALW117 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 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.

Fees and charges

All Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), fee paying undergraduate and pre-2016 commencing students

Your course tuition fees are calculated based on the units you study. Please refer to the Pre 2016 Unit Fee Cost in the Unit Search.

2016 commencing International and full fee paying postgraduate domestic students

Your course tuition fees are calculated based on the course you study. The following rates apply:

Commonwealth Supported Place (indicative)*Domestic Fee PayingInternational Fee Paying
Not applicableNot applicableNot applicable

The rates shown are based on 1 Equivalent Full Time Study Load (EFTSL) or 8 credit points. If your study load for the year is less than or more than 1 EFTSL your fees will be adjusted accordingly. Each unit you study has an EFTSL value. You can multiple the course price by the EFSTL value of all units you are enrolled in to determine the unit price.

* The Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) course rates shown are indicative course fees. CSP fees are indicative because they are calculated based on your unit selection. They should be used as a guide only. The 2016 CSP course fees may change if the Commonwealth Government's proposed fee deregulation and reforms legislation is passed.

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)

Major sequences

Refer to the details of each major sequence for availability.

Course structure

Contemporary Arts Theory

Core unit

ACT102 Criticism, Narrative and Contexts (Final year of offer 2014)

Select 1 credit point from:

ACT203/303 Art and the Politics of Censorship (Final year of offer 2014)


ACV114Art and Technology

The elective below may be taken in addition to but not instead of the compulsory core units.

ALW227Script Writing: Focus On Fiction

Professional Arts Practice

Core unit

ACC301 Freelancing in the Arts (Final year of offer 2014)

Collaborative Arts Practicum

Compulsory core unit

ACC316 Collaborative Major Creative Project (No longer available for enrolment)

Select 1 credit point from:

ACF302Developing a Project: Ideas to Scripts


ACI303New Worlds: Intersections of Art and Science

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

ACP101Performance Laboratory (A): Time, Space, Frame

ACP177Genre and Performance

Level 2

ACP205Performance, Image, Site

ACP206Performance, Authenticity, Adaption

ACP280Major Performance Project: Page to Stage (2 credit points)

Level 3

ACP323Out of the Box: Theatre in Alternative Contexts

ACP378Out of the Ether: Devised Theatre (2 credit points)

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

ACC317Communication and Creative Arts Internship A

ACC318Communication and Creative Arts Internship B