Bachelor of Contemporary Arts - Media Arts

Course summary for current students


2016 course information

Award granted Bachelor of Contemporary Arts
Duration3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
Deakin course codeA358

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 Practice 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.

Animation and Digital Culture

Film and Video


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

Media Arts

Students enrolled in course A358 Bachelor of Contemporary Arts with a major sequence in Media Arts must choose at least one major sequence from the following

  • Animation and Digital Culture
  • Film and Video
  • Photography 

Note: From 2005, Media Arts Stream A: The Contemporary Image, has been retitled as the major sequence in Photography. Similarly, Media Arts Stream B: Screen Studies, has been retitled as the major sequence, Film and Video.

Animation and Digital Culture is a new major sequence introduced in 2005 and is available only to students enrolled in A358 and A328 Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communication).


Animation and Digital Culture

The Animation and Digital Culture major sequence offers the opportunity to develop a moving image, graphic and animation practice within the expanding digital domain. Students will explore digital animation production and publication options that include web, CD and DVD publication possibilities, and develop the skills to work with and manage such technologies effectively. Students are encouraged to develop skills in all aspects and types of animation production and learn to write and think analytically about such creative work.

On completion of the Animation and Digital Culture major sequence students should have the following skills:

  • an ability to implement and manage all stages of production of a professional digital animation project.
  • an ability to develop a unique production path for a digital project for a variety of publication platforms.
  • an ability to think and write effectively about innovative moving image animation work and digital culture.
  • an ability to use advanced digital image production technologies.
  • an ability to work in collaborative and team settings on graphic moving image tasks.
  • an ability to work efficiently to deadlines in an industrial setting.

Level 1

AMC100Animation Narratives (Formerly ACM132)

AMC104Principles of Character Animation (Formerly ACM133)

Level 2

ACM226 Internet Arts (Final year of offer 2013)

AMC200 Digital Animation (No longer available for enrolment)

AMC203Effects and Motion Graphics (Formerly ACM225)

Level 3

ACC317Communication and Creative Arts Internship A

ACC318Communication and Creative Arts Internship B

AMC300Pre-Production & Project Pitch (Formerly ACM327)

Film and Video

The Film and Video major sequence aims to develop students' creative and critical thinking, while providing them with a practical and theoretical grounding in the production and application of film, video and television. The sequence puts these mediums in the historical and social context of the institutions, technologies and artistic and personal forces from which they have emerged.

In level 1, students learn formal and theoretical concepts through analysis of case studies and a series of projects which demand individual input, team collaboration, as well as recording, filming, direction, and post-production techniques. Collaborative skills are extended in level 2 through investigation of team management, narrative, representation, editing, and audiences, as well as the relationship between the actor, director, producer and exhibitor. Students also undertake case studies in genre and the creative practices and aesthetic approaches of significant practitioners or movements. The final level provides opportunities for students to develop unique and individual creative practices through units including the Research in Production: Documentary, which explores the use of actuality in narrative as well as Independent Production Practice, that explores non-representational, contemplative and oppositional structures, together with strategies that rework or synthesis conventional forms.

Level 1

ACF105Sound, Light, Motion

ACF106Screen Practices

Select 6 credit points, including at least 2 credit points at level 3 from the following:

Level 2

ACF201Genre Form and Structure

ACF205Television Production

ACF206Mindscreen: Cinema, Psychology and Psychoanalysis

Level 3

ACC317Communication and Creative Arts Internship A

ACC318Communication and Creative Arts Internship B

ACF301Independent Production Practice


The Photography major sequence is based around creative, critical and professional practice. Students can choose to develop their artistic, academic or professional aspirations.

Level 1 introduces students to the basics of photographic techniques and practice and to the history of photography with respect to Australian and international artists. Using analog and digital technologies, students explore the uses of referent-based and non-referent bases images as social and cultural artefacts.

Level 2 introduces a range of professional analog and digital photographic formats, darkroom and studio environments as well as the application of photographic imagery in virtual and collaborative environments at a global level. Students also engage in the discourse that surrounds contemporary photographic practice.

Level 3 introduces students to a range of alternative analog and digital photographic formats and their application in creative practice. Students are strongly encouraged to experiment, research and develop their own conceptual and aesthetic sensibilities. The work undertaken at this level is applicable to exhibition, installation, multimedia, and collaborative productions and provides a strong basis for further postgraduate studies and professional practice.

Level 1

ACI101Still Images

ACI102Pixel to Print: Digital Imaging 1

Level 2

ACI201Alternative Imaging

ACI202Advanced Digital Imaging

ACI203Photographic Practice

ACI204Contemporary Photography

Level 3

Select 2 credit points from the following:

ACC317Communication and Creative Arts Internship A

ACC318Communication and Creative Arts Internship B

ACI301Shifting Focus: Experimental Photography and Creative Practice

ACI302Lighting Design 2