Take your creative passion to the next level.
If you are an experienced professional in any area of the creative arts, then this doctoral program has your name on it. Advance your critical and theoretical skills and make a serious splash with your work.
It’s a great opportunity for new levels of creative excellence for writers, producers, art directors, academics, and multimedia and digital design professionals. You produce one or more highly original creative arts products, together with an exegesis.
Your final work is judged by independent experts using contemporary international standards. A supervisor guides your program and you’ll take courses, seminars or reading activities to support the completion of your work.
- Creative writing
- Art and digital design
- Interactive technologies and games
For more information, refer to the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law research areas.
To be eligible for admission to Doctor of Creative Arts candidature, applicants are normally required to hold a master level degree or a bachelors degree with at least Honours Class 2 Division I from a recognised higher education institution.
Applicants who have completed a bachelors degree and have achieved by subsequent work and study a standard equivalent to at least Honours Class 2 Division I may also be considered.
In exceptional cases, applications may be considered on the basis of other evidence of general and professional qualifications as approved by the Research Degrees Committee.
Refer also to the University’s English language requirements.
Put your professional stamp on a career as a writer, in journalism, marketing, animation, 3D gaming, multimedia or web design, digital entertainment, art direction and the list goes on…
Application and admission advice
Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
Ground floor, Building C, Sippy Downs
Lost Titanic tale uncovered by Coast author
Everyone’s heard of the Titanic, but the heroic tale of the boat that risked everything to rescue survivors has been little known, until now.
11 October 2017
USC Creative Arts graduate wins $10,000 state award and book publication
A Gympie resident who this year graduated from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Doctor of Creative Arts (DCA) has won a Queensland Literary Award for the historical fiction draft novel she wrote in five months.
10 October 2017
Master graduates publish first anthology
The seeds of creative writing success have been sown in a new book published by USC’s first cohort of Master of Professional Practice (Creative Writing) graduates.
4 May 2017
USC student turns assignment into book launch
A USC doctoral student who fondly recalls meeting her favourite authors when she was a schoolgirl visiting the Sippy Downs campus for annual Voices on the Coast literature festivals will launch her first published book on the same campus tomorrow, Friday 5 May.
3 May 2017
USC performers to shine in Anywhere Festival
Dozens of USC students, staff and graduates are set to take performance to the people across the Sunshine Coast when the Anywhere Theatre Festival begins tomorrow, Thursday 4 May.
23 March 2017
Doctoral graduate to launch published novella
An award-winning Coast writer is set to launch a novella drafted during her USC Doctor of Creative Arts and recently published by a company based in the United States.
What will I study
The Doctor of Creative Arts is awarded for an original and significant contribution of merit achieved through a program of advanced research and study in a branch of learning in the creative arts, carried out under supervision.
As a candidate, you are required to produce one or more highly original creative arts products, together with an exegesis.
The creative arts product/s and exegesis are judged by independent experts applying accepted contemporary international standards.
You may be required to undertake activities, such as specified courses, seminars or reading activities, in addition to and as a support for the production of the creative arts product/s and exegesis.
Where such activities are required, they shall be specified as a condition of candidature by the Committee and undertaken under the direction of the relevant Dean.
The Dean is required to advise the Committee that the additional requirements have been satisfactorily completed.
Total units: 0
Recommended study sequence
This recommended study sequence ONLY represents the CURRENT program structure. Students in previous structures should use this sequence to inform order of courses and current course details. For courses in your commencing structure not included in the current sequence, search the course code for current course offerings and requisites.
- Prospective applicants wishing to undertake a Doctor of Creative Arts will need to find a suitable supervisor by contacting the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.
- For further information, refer to the Higher Degrees by Research - Academic Policy.
- Refer to related policies, rules, plans and procedures.
- Refer to the research areas for the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.
- International students need to refer to the University's English language proficiency requirements.
- Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa.
Enrolment and fees
- Domestic candidates: Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are not required to pay tuition fees for the standard duration of their HDR program. The Australian Government's Research Training Scheme (RTS) covers the cost of HDR tuition fees for these candidates. Doctoral candidates are entitled to a maximum of four years full-time equivalent study. Candidates who do not complete their degree within the maximum RTS allowable completion times may be required to pay fees for any additional periods of enrolment. Please refer to Higher Degree by Research fees.
- International candidates: tuition fees apply. Refer to International HDR tuition fees.
- In any semester, full-time enrolment comprises 0.500 EFTSL.*
- In any semester, part-time enrolment comprises 0.250 EFTSL.*
- The census date for withdrawal without financial penalty or academic penalty is the Semester 1 or 2 census date.
* EFTSL - Equivalent Full-Time Student Load. One year of full-time study equates to 1.000 EFTSL.
How to apply
Applicants are required to complete the following four steps. Please also refer to additional information.
- Step 1. Consider entry requirements
- Step 2. Find a supervisor
- Step 3. Prepare supporting documentation
- Step 4. Complete and submit application form
- Additional information
There are two sets of requirements to consider, the general HDR entry requirements laid out in the Higher Degrees by Research Candidature – Procedures and additional specific program requirements which can be found here.
Entry is highly competitive and depends on:
- your academic background
- your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language, see step 4)
- the submission of a suitable research proposal
- the availability of a registered supervisor
- the availability of resources to support your proposed research topic
Use the Research Supervisor Search to find a potential supervisor in your area of research. Contact the researcher to discuss your proposal and their availability to supervise you.
- Research Proposal. Download the Research proposal template (Word 13KB)
- Evidence of academic background
- Academic transcripts and completion certificates (transcripts must include a Key to Grading) - Please note, for studies completed outside of Australia you must provide certified copies of documents in the original language and an official English translation.
- Formal notification from the qualifying university stating the allocation of marks to research component of a degree where not evident on the transcript
- If transferring from another Australian university, a statement from your current/former university stating HDR candidature consumed to date, probationary or confirmed status, and tuition fee type
- Evidence of research publications/experience
- For example - Abstract (in English), details of publication, copy of the front page of the article/paper, link to article's location
- Evidence of citizenship or Australian Permanent Residency
- Birth certificate, passport, citizenship certificate, or visa
- Evidence of English language proficiency (required for applicants who are not from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America)
- Review USC’s English language requirements. Some disciplines may require a higher level of English language proficiency, as provided in the Higher Degree by Research Admission and Enrolment – Guidelines.
- Please note that Language of Instruction will only be accepted from the countries listed above.
- Where original documents are not provided by the test provider, applicants must be able to verify results online.
Domestic applicants (Australian and New Zealand Citizens and Australian permanent residents)
- Domestic applicants apply here. You will be asked to upload your supporting documents to this system. If you need to provide the original or certified copies of documents, you can provide a copy via the online system in the first instance, however, you must also provide hard-copies to the below mailing address.
- International applicants apply using the Application for Admission HDR (PDF 238KB) form, which must be submitted electronically. Original or certified documents must be provided as an electronic copy and then certified copies of supporting documents posted to the address below.
- The application form and supporting documentation should be submitted electronically via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate Research Studies Management
Office of Research – ML 26
University of the Sunshine Coast
Locked Bag 4
Maroochydore DC Qld 4558 Australia
- HDR Program admission deadlines to be eligible to be considered in the 2018 Research Training Program Scholarship round:
- International applicants - HDR Applications for Admission due by 31st July 2018
- Domestic applicants - HDR Applications for Admission due by 14th September 2018
- International students: Additional information is available for International students.
- Only complete applications will be considered (including original or certified copies of supporting documents for international applicants).
- Complete applications take approximately 6-8 weeks to be processed (this may vary during peak periods).
- Applications can be accepted at any time, however applications must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the nominated commencement date. International applicants should be mindful of extra time required to organise a visa when nominating a commencement date.
- The Office of Research receives the complete application:
- Domestic applications
- Are sent to the enrolling School for their assessment and admission decision
- The School returns their admission decision to the Office of Research which advises the student if they have been accepted for admission(by issuing a Letter of Offer and a Description of Candidature), or if they have been unsuccessful
- Successful applicants provide the Office of Research with their Acceptance of Offer
- The Office of Research advises Student Services and Engagement to enrol the student
- Student Services and Engagement provides the student with their enrolment and system access details
- International applications
- Are sent to USC International for assessment of international qualifications and English language proficiency
- Forwarded to the enrolling School for an assessment and admission decision.
- The School returns their admission decision to the Office of Research, which then liaises with USC International to issue an offer to successful applicants, or
- the Office of Research advises unsuccessful applicants.
- Successful applicants advise USC International if they accept the offer
- The Office of Research enrols the student through Student Services and Engagement
- Student Services and Engagement advises the student of their enrolment and provides system access details
- Domestic applications
- Visit Student Central to find instant answers to frequently asked questions, or to lodge a more specific question
- Contact the relevant faculty (Faculty of Arts, Business and Law or Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering) to discuss your intended research topic and for assistance to locate a possible supervisor
- Email email@example.com for other enquiries