Undergraduate study in creative arts

Courses and specialisations

There is a wide variety of undergraduate degrees in the creative arts field, which means that there is something to suit every type of student — no matter what their interest or skill level.

Because of the various careers available in creative arts, there are many different specialisations available. Common creative arts disciplines include acting, dance, music, graphic design, fashion design, film and television, multimedia, screen production and visual arts. There are also some very unique courses in this field, including circus performance, jewellery design and music theatre.  

While there are some general degrees that allow students to choose a specialisation or ‘major’ (such as a bachelor of creative arts), the majority of degrees in this field provide specialised training in a specific creative arts field (a bachelor of fashion design, for example). Most courses are very practical, although there are some courses that have more of an academic focus (a bachelor of art theory, for example). There are also relevant degrees in other fields, such as art history (which is often available within humanities degrees).

Creative arts can be studied as a double degree, combined with fields such as business and management, computing and information technology, communications, and humanities and social sciences. Students can also choose to complete a second specialisation through a postgraduate qualification (see Postgraduate study in creative arts for more information). Students who would like to teach creative arts can complete a double degree or postgraduate qualification in teaching. 

Applicants must meet academic and English language requirements, which vary between courses, institutions and qualification levels. You may be required to submit a portfolio or attend an audition or interview. For more information about undergraduate courses and entry requirements, see Higher Education — Undergraduate.

Where to study

Undergraduate degrees in creative arts are available at universities, private colleges and some TAFE institutes. There are a number of prestigious education providers that specialise in creative arts courses.

The course you choose will usually be determined by your skills and interests, but you should also consider whether the course has a practical or academic focus and whether the institution has a strong reputation in your field. If you are considering a general creative arts degree, you should also make sure that you are interested in the specialisations offered within the degree.

Practical experience is a very important part of creative arts courses, so it is important to check that the institutions you are considering have good facilities in your area of interest (such as art studios, computer labs, recording studios, editing suites, theatres, exhibition spaces and sewing rooms) and incorporate plenty of opportunities to refine your skills (through student performances and exhibitions, for example).

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