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2006 Course Handbook

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Doctor of Creative Arts


The Doctor of Creative Arts is for those individuals with a track record of high level professional experience, who wish to extend their practice within a scholarly context.

The Doctor of Creative Arts is based on presentation of creative work and supported by written documentation of the context and theories underpinning the work.  Assessment is by two external examiners.

It may be possible for individuals with appropriate expertise to undertake studies which involve more than one discipline area.   Interested applicants should contact the Faculty's Professional Officer.

Entry Requirements / Assumed Knowledge

Applicants must possess an Honours Bachelor degree of at least four years duration in an appropriate discipline at Class II, Division 1 or higher (or its equivalent) and be able to demonstrate evidence of high artistic attainment.  Examples of high artistic attainment include publication or professional dissemination of work; grants, fellowships and prizes; critical acclaim; a track record of sustained high level professional activity; and various indicators relevant to the specific discipline.

As a guide, students completing the MCA will need to achieve at or near a high distinction average in the two coursework subjects and a satisfactory pass in the major presentation to be considered for entry to the DCA.  Likewise, students who have completed coursework Masters programs at other universities should be aware that such qualifications might not be regarded as adequate preparation for immediate entry to the DCA program.

In certain circumstances, students may be required to commence their enrolment in the Master of Arts – Research or Master of Creative Arts – Research, and seek transfer to the DCA, when and if they achieve the required standard.

Outstanding arts practitioners without the required formal qualifications may be allowed to enrol in the DCA provided they can demonstrate a sustained period of artistic activity at the highest level.

It is important that applicants submit adequate material to demonstrate the quality and standing of their work.

Course Requirements

The submission of the DCA will normally be by exhibition, performance or publication of creative work in the area of major, supported by written documentation (approximately 20,000 to 30,000 words) focusing on aspects such as origins of the work, structures and techniques used, and artistic theories underpinning the work.  It may be appropriate to support written material with documentation in other forms, for example, photographs or sound and video recordings.  In all cases, the dissertation is intended to be an integrated part of the full submission and, wherever possible, to argue the case for the merit and originality of the creative work.  The Faculty is keen that the dissertation should be a vital and engaging document.  It therefore permits some flexibility in the style of its submission.  Nonetheless, the dissertation should be presented in a well-researched form that demonstrates an understanding of scholarly method.

In all cases, the submission should demonstrate originality and high levels of artistry and specialist skill.  The work should be of a publishable standard, should show an engagement with artistic and intellectual ideas and have a strong artistic and academic focus.  The exact nature of each student’s program will be finalised in consultation with the supervisor(s) and the Head of Postgraduate Studies.

Students presenting their work by exhibition or performance are required to present their dissertation for examination no later than three months after the final performance or exhibition.  Students presenting their work by folio or similar means should present their dissertation and folio in one submission.  Assessment is by two external examiners who normally assess all parts of the submission.

The following is intended as a guide to the scale and style of creative work submission:

Creative Writing: Substantial folio of creative writing which may take the form of a large-scale project such as a novel (75,000 words), poetry collection (80 pages) or play script (90 minutes duration), or a combination of smaller pieces.

Graphic Design and New Media: Graphic design portfolio/exhibition and/or website/CD-Rom.

Music Composition: Folio of up to 10 compositions and several works that employ large resources or performance media.

Performance – Music: A minimum of three performances of approximately 60 minutes in duration, demonstrating high levels of artistry, technical proficiency and focus.  Such performances would normally include two or more of the following: a solo performance; an extended work as a featured artist in a group/ensemble context; a performance with electronic media and/or a lecture/performance.  Performances at DCA level should take place within a recognised professional context.

Performance – Theatre: Direction or facilitation of a production of  not less than 90 minutes duration; significant dramaturgical analysis and portfolio of a full-length theatrical performance; performance in a leading role demonstrating high levels of technical assurance and artistry; or technical facilitation, design and execution of a full length theatre performance.

Visual Arts: Major solo exhibition of artwork plus documented preliminary exhibitions.

Students enrol in THES924 Thesis (full-time) or THES912 Thesis (part-time).

Major Study Areas

Refer to listing under Doctor of Philosophy entry.


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