Bachelor of Contemporary Arts

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  • Qualification:
    Undergraduate, Bachelor's Degree
  • Study mode:
    On Campus
  • Payment options:
    HECS-HELP may be available
    Upfront payment
  • Duration:
    3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
  • Start date:
    Enquire now for upcoming start dates!
  • Awarded by:
    Edith Cowan University (RTO 4756)
  • Location:
  • Career Outcomes:
    Artist | Photojournalist | Photographer | Fashion Designer | Design Consultant | View All

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Course Rundown

If you want to turn your artistic talents and creative passion into a practical, viable career, a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia, is an excellent place to start.

This course has been specially designed to focus on quality creative output, critical inquiry and engagement with our current visual culture, all while equipping students with the practical skills you’ll need to pursue a professional contemporary arts career. You’ll choose from three majors: fashion, photomedia and visual arts, as well as completing core units to boost your communication skills, innovation, lateral thinking and independence.

The firsthand experience you gain in the development of creative networks, production, studio work and exhibitions will be invaluable as you embark upon your journey into the world of contemporary arts. After three years of full-time study (or six years part-time), you’ll graduate with the professional artistic experience and networking skills you need to follow your dream career path.


You may be eligible to apply for this course at ECU if you meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a minimum indicative ATAR of 70 (or equivalent); OR
  • Have undertaken a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) qualification at the appropriate level; OR
  • Have previously completed units of study at University level; OR
  • Hold a STAT result that meets ECU’s standard requirements; OR
  • Have completed a bridging or enabling course; AND
  • Meet ECU’s English Competency requirements.

Please note that School Leaver applicants will require completion of WACE or equivalent.

If none of the above applies to you, but you have work and life experience, you may be eligible to apply via ECU’s Experience-Based Entry Scheme

In this arts & humanities course, the subjects you may study include:

Core units

  • Communications and Digital Technology
  • Beyond Modernity
  • Representation and Interpretation
  • Preparation for Professional Life

Fashion major

  • Introduction to Drawing
  • Materials and the Body
  • Fabric Manipulation
  • Contemporary Art: Exploring Body, Time and Place
  • Constructing the Pattern
  • Camera Work and Lighting
  • Studio Project 1 (Application)
  • Reconstructing the Garment
  • Identity and Culture
  • Studio Project 2 (Construction)
  • Studio Project 3 (Performance)
  • Exhibition

Photomedia major

  • Introduction to Drawing
  • Context and the Choreographed Image
  • Camera Work and Lighting
  • Photomedia Aesthetics and Histories
  • Contemporary Art: Exploring Body, Time and Place
  • Studio Work
  • Photo Work
  • Images and Narratives
  • Identity and Culture
  • Reconfigured Images
  • Exhibition
  • Photojournalism and Editorial Practice
  • Landscape: Space and Place
  • International photojournalism and documentary photography

Visual Arts major

  • Introduction to Drawing
  • Materials and Methods: Approaches to Studio
  • Printmaking Studio 1: Intaglio and Relief
  • Contemporary Art: Exploring Body, Time and Place
  • Painting Studio 1
  • Spatial Studio
  • Camera Work and Lighting
  • Printmaking Studio 2: Photographic Processes
  • Identity and Culture
  • Painting Studio 2
  • Project Research and Development
  • Exhibition

Since opening in 1991, Edith Cowan University (ECU) has established itself as the go-to Australian university for a quality learning experience. Students graduate among some of the best in the world and have continued to serve society in many important roles.

ECU produces winners because they are a winner! In 2018 Times Higher Education ranked ECU in the world’s top 150 universities under 50 years old, and the Good Universities Guide has given them a 5-star rating for teaching quality 12 years straight.

From social work, youth work, nutrition, engineering, technology, management and more, ECU offer a host of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that’ll excel your career and expose you to new levels of success. Enquire today and see where an ECU qualification can lead you!

Students feel happy, well supported and well educated when they study with ECU, in fact, in the 2018 QILT survey, Edith Cowan University received the highest student experience rating of all Australian public universities.

When you study with ECU, you’ll have access to expert course advice, counselling, diversity and disability services, transnational and national program support, student success programs, careers and employability services... just to name a few.

Campus Locations

This course can be delivered on campus to provide you with practical training in a face-to-face learning environment. It is available to study at the following locations:

Western Australia: Mount Lawley

Want more course info?    

Enquire Now

Where Will It Lead Me?

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts from Edith Cowan University.

Graduates are prepared to seek a range of professional careers in the contemporary arts industry. Depending on their major, graduates may enter the fashion industry, find employment within the national or international art scene, or pursue work in professional photography.

Curious about where a career in arts and humanities could take you? Potential job outcomes may include:

How Much Will It Cost?

Students may pay for this course upfront or through a government HECS-HELP loan (if eligible).

Scholarships and ECU Student Loans are also available to eligible students.

HECS-HELP You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP government loan scheme. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, you may not need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees directly to the provider on your behalf. You'll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $45,881 (2019-20 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.

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