Postgraduate Courses
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Doctor of Creative Arts

Testamur Title of Degree:

Doctor of Creative Arts



My University:

Creative arts, creative writing, graphic design, theatre, visual arts, music, animation, drama, acting, drawing, electronic art, digital arts, digital media, fine arts, media arts, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textiles


3 years full-time or part-time equivalent

Total Credit Points:


Delivery Mode:

Supervised individual research/creative project

Starting Session(s):

Autumn or Spring



UOW Course Code:





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 (dissertation) 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.

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 Master of Creative Arts will need to achieve at or near a high distinction in the two coursework subjects and a satisfactory pass in the Major Presentation to be considered for entry to the Doctor of Creative Arts. 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 Doctor of Creative Arts program.

In certain circumstances, students may be required to undertake up to 24 credit points of coursework before commencing work on their dissertation. Alternatively, they may be required to commence their enrolment in the Master of Arts – Research or Master of Creative Arts – Research, and seek transfer to the Doctor of Creative Arts, when and if they achieve the required standard.

Outstanding arts practitioners without the required formal qualifications may be allowed to enrol in the Doctor of Creative Arts 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

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

The submission for the Doctor of Creative Arts 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 written work should be of a high standard, 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.

The Faculty requires Creative Arts research students to submit their dissertation no later than the date of the examination of their final exhibition or performance, except under extraordinary circumstances approved by the supervisor and Head of Postgraduate Studies. Students presenting folios, for example, literary manuscripts or music compositions should place their dissertation and folio together in one submission for examination.

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 single-spaced pages) or play script (90 minutes duration), or a combination of smaller pieces.

Graphic Design: Major graphic design portfolio/exhibition and/or website/CD-Rom.

Media Arts: Major solo exhibition of new media artwork plus documented preliminary exhibitions.

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

Performance – Theatre: Direction of a production, the substance and duration of which will be negotiated with the supervisor/s and Head of Postgraduate Studies; significant dramaturgical analysis and portfolio of a full-length theatrical performance; or performance in a major role demonstrating high levels of technical assurance and artistry.

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

Major Study Areas

Graphic Design

    • Print and Publication Design

    • Web, Interactive Multimedia and Motion Design

    • Graphic Design and New Media Theory

Media Arts

    • Photography, Film, Video and Animation

    • Software and Electronic Art

    • Contemporary Media and New Media Theory

Visual Arts

    • 2D and 3D Studio Practice [photography, printmaking, textiles, painting and sculpture]

    • Art History and Contemporary Theory [focussing particularly on issues of creative practice]

    • Curatorial Theory and Practice

Creative Writing

    • Poetry

    • Prose

    • Script Writing (film, television, theatre)

    • Theories of Writing


    • Composition

    • Digital and New Music

    • Tuning Systems


    • Performance

    • Dramaturgy and Performance Studies

    • Direction


On commencement, students and their supervisors complete a Commencement of Candidature Form that confirms the expectations of the candidacy, particularly for the first year, the research/creative topic, a plan and timetable for the creative work and dissertation, and resource needs and skills required to complete the project. Students meet regularly with their supervisors to ensure that their progress is in line with the agreed plan. Students and supervisors must also submit an Annual Progress Report (APR). The APR is the means by which the University assesses the progress of the candidature and decides whether it will continue into the following year. Supervisors who have concerns about a student's progress may also initiate a progress review at other times during the candidature.

The final submission for the DCA is examined by two external examiners chosen from a list prepared by the supervisor/s in consultation with the student and approved by the Head of Postgraduate Studies.

Research Proposal Reviews (RPR)

The University’s Progress Review Guidelines stipulate that no later than the completion of the equivalent of one year full-time enrolment, students must present an oral research presentation and prepare a written research plan and preliminary literature review. Students must also provide a written timetable for the coming year, and a statement of the resources required to complete their project (e.g. access to laboratories, field trips, libraries, specialist equipment etc). In the Faculty, this Review encompasses student’s research in terms of both their theoretical and creative work.

The Research Proposal Review Committee to hear students' oral research presentations usually meet during the Faculty’s Postgraduate Week normally held in September each year.

Other Information

Further information is available at:

UOW Coursefinder

Creative Arts Email

Creative Arts Website

Last reviewed: 3 October, 2012