The University of Newcastle, Australia

Why study communication and creative industries

Collaborate with industry partners on real-life projects like music videos and art installations and bring your creative ideas to life in our cutting-edge performance and production facilities. See yourself here in 2020.

About communication and creative industries

Pursuing a career in communication and creative industries is a chance to bring your boldest ideas to life. You can tailor your degree to focus on an area you’re passionate about such as digital content creation, animation, music, art, design, media, journalism, public relations and so much more. Collaborate with industry partners on real-life projects, from the production of music videos to art installations, and contribute to the new-gen thinking that will help define the 21st century.

Learn to push your creative boundaries, develop your strengths and gain practical skills with access to the latest media technologies including our multi-camera television studio and radio and sound recording studios. Our degrees incorporate entrepreneurial skills and project management to help you take control of your career and work in exciting roles such as graphic designers, UX designers, composers, music producers, filmmakers, broadcast journalists, camera operators, editors and more.

  • Be an innovation leader - gain skills hands-on and learn how to make viable and marketable creative products.
  • Collaborate with industry partners on creative projects, from participation in concerts, exhibits, performances and development forums, through to the creation of installations or animation projects such as former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns’ Going on 16 music video.
  • A range of creative spaces are available for you to hone your skills. Create in the university on-site foundry, on-campus printing presses, paint studios, animation and illustration labs, photomedia facilities, media and music production suites, Innovation Hub, art galleries, theatres and world-renowned Harold Lobb Concert Hall at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.
  • Access strong industry ties with campus access to 2NURFM radio studios and business partnership networks with NBN Television, Newcastle Herald and ABC 1233.
  • Learn from and work with the best – including celebrated musicians, music professionals, researchers and industry leaders. Work on real-world projects like creating a music video for iconic band The Living End.

Undergraduate communication and creative industries degrees

We understand that sometimes you don't know exactly which degree you'd like to pursue, particularly in an area as diverse as the creative industries. You might, however, know which field excites you. Use these areas of interest to narrow down your study options based on your creative interests and career goals.

All degrees

Degree name Selection rank
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Communication
Bachelor of Communication / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Bachelor of Creative Industries
Bachelor of Creative Industries / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Bachelor of Design (Architecture)
Bachelor of Music
Bachelor of Music (Honours)
Bachelor of Music / Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Visual Communication Design


Architecture is about designing buildings and spaces. Architects don’t just design and shape the physical spaces of our cities and buildings; they use architecture to stimulate the places we live and work, engage the community and improve our world. Architecture is now, more than ever, part of the public consciousness and immersed in popular culture through frequent glimpses in movies, advertising campaigns, TV shows like Grand Designs, and the rise of celebrity architects.

With new and emerging technologies, students of architecture will learn how to communicate their concepts and ideas into detailed and immersive design.

Career examples

  • Architectural Technician
  • Architect
  • Drafter
  • Designer


  1. Bachelor of Design (Architecture)

Graphic design

Graphic design is essentially art with a purpose. It involves learning how to create visual and textual content which can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words or graphic forms. Graphic designers usually work within an organisation or in a creative agency designing and developing brands and the architecture surrounding brands, as well as promotional material like websites, brochures and signage.

Career examples

  • Graphic Designer
  • Creative Director
  • Design Manager
  • Multimedia Designer


  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries (major in Design)
  2. Bachelor of Visual Communication Design
  3. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in Design Technologies or minor in Graphics and Multimedia Arts)

Illustration and animation

Illustrators and animators use drawing or digital techniques to create sequential narratives that can range from simplistic comics to an animated movie blockbuster. We often use visual language to communicate complex ideas and information and, with ever-evolving digital technology being used alongside traditional techniques, this is an exciting and fast-moving area to work in. As organisations are increasingly trying to get cut-through and produce something that stands out from competitors there is a growing need for artists who can produce innovative, eye-catching visual content.

Career examples

  • Animator
  • Cartoonist
  • Illustrator
  • Special Effects Technician


  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries (major in Design)
  2. Bachelor of Visual Communication Design

Information technology

Information Technology (IT) is increasingly being used to support the creative process. In your degree you will learn how the use of apps, digital entertainment and virtualisation is skyrocketing and requires professionals with creative flair and training in IT to bring them to life. This unique combination of abilities is highly attractive to employers across a wide range of industries and starting salaries reflect this demand.

Career examples

  • Web Developer
  • Games Developer
  • Web and Multimedia Producer
  • Futurist


  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries (major in Information Technology)
  2. Bachelor of Information Technology (major in Interactive Media)
  3. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in Computer Technology)

Media production

In Media production you will learn how to create professional media content. This could be in a more conventional media space such as photomedia and traditional media like video, television and radio; or in the virtual space with websites and associated online multimedia. Digital and online media jobs have become more prevalent in recent years as internet and web-based media production work has increased.

Career examples

  • Audiovisual Technician
  • Media Production Editor
  • Web Developer
  • Digital Producer


  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries (major in Communication and Media)
  2. Bachelor of Communication (major in Media Production)
  3. Bachelor of Information Technology (major in Interactive Media)
  4. Bachelor of Visual Communication Design


Music professionals write, arrange, orchestrate, conduct and perform musical compositions. Not only will you learn strong technical skills, but you will study how to fuse entrepreneurial and creative applications of music technologies. This area is broad and varied and you can study areas such as performance (instrumental or voice), composition, creative production, song writing or teaching.

Career examples

  • Conductor
  • Musician
  • Music Producer
  • Vocal Coach


  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries (major in Music)
  2. Bachelor of Music

Visual arts

Visual arts are creations we can look at and usually involve ceramics, drawing, painting, photomedia and sculpture. In visual arts you will learn to experiment with materials, technologies and contexts, studying how professional visual artists use their creative skills and entrepreneurial flair to innovate and create with purpose.

Career examples

  • Artist-in-Residence
  • Art Dealer
  • Photographer
  • Set Designer


  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries (major in Visual Art: Imaging Technologies or Visual Art: Studio Practices)
  2. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in Visual Arts)
  3. Bachelor of Education (Primary)

Performing arts

Performing arts form an essential part of the way in which we understand ourselves and the world we live in. Whether your study focuses on screenwriting or drama, you will learn the value of thinking through making. The study of performing arts explores the role of the body in creative expression and what it means to think in a different way.

Career examples

  • Actor
  • Casting Director
  • Creative Director
  • Screenwriter


  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries (major in Creative and Performing Arts)
  2. Bachelor of Arts (major in Creative and Performing Arts)
  3. Bachelor of Education (Secondary) (major in Drama)

Writing and publishing

This study area involves the creation and distribution of literature and information. You can learn about creative and professional writing such as journalism, fiction, creative non-fiction, feature writing and poetry. Professionals in this area have a strong understanding of audiences and contexts and can carefully craft appropriate messages.

Career examples

  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Speechwriter


  1. Bachelor of Creative Industries (major in Writing and Publishing)
  2. Bachelor of Communication (major in Journalism or Public Relations)
  3. Bachelor of Arts (major in English and Writing)

Combined degrees

Studying a combined degree gives you two qualifications at once. The advantage is that you graduate with two degrees in less time than doing them separately. You may also gain a competitive edge in the employment market as employers are increasingly looking for staff with diverse skill-sets.


  1. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  2. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Science
  3. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  4. Bachelor of Communication / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  5. Bachelor of Creative Industries / Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  6. Bachelor of Information Technology / Bachelor of Business
  7. Bachelor of Music / Bachelor of Arts


Watch Reid's story

Close video

Read More

Are you seeking to master a craft that inspires delight, in a program that instils foundational skills? That’s the path animator and Bachelor of Visual Communication Design (Honours) student Reid McManus is following.

There’s a magical transformation that happens in animation. Of course, there’s the transformation from static sketch to living scene. But for Reid, the more important transformation is the one he sees on the faces of his audiences.

“I get really proud when I see people have that happiness in their eyes, like I used to have when I was a child and I watched a cartoon on Saturday morning.”

Reid’s own face lights up when he talks about that moment.

“Through my work, I hope to bring happiness to other people. Make them laugh, make them feel joy.”

Reid’s journey with the University of Newcastle’s Visual Communication Design program has been a dynamic mix of foundational design knowledge, and in-depth exploration of his chosen craft—traditional, hand-drawn animation.

“Because the degree also incorporated design, I was able to use that with my animation. It got me to think more about colour palettes. How I could design collateral for film. It gives you a wider range of things you can do. You can design comics with it, posters. It gave me a much wider understanding of visual communication.”

Reid honed his skills in the Plasmatic Research Laboratory, the University of Newcastle’s celebrated animation lab.

“I got to work with the stop-motion setups and the hand-drawn setups, the light tables. So, it was awesome to work with equipment that the industry uses.”

It can be hard work, but Reid says it’s all worth it.

“After you put a lot of hours, stress, and tears in, it’s great to finally look at the end product and think, I made this, and to see everybody else’s reaction to it.”

One of Reid’s proudest moments was creating an animated short, Food for Fraught. Encouraged by his teachers, who Reid describes as “really supportive,” he entered it into a number of film festivals. He was thrilled when three of them accepted.

“It was screened in Melbourne, Croatia, and the Czech Republic,” he says.

“It was surreal, you don’t believe it. But it validates what you’re creating is good enough. Because you’re not always sure it’s striking a chord with people. But once that happens, you realise it is.”

Reid’s talent, and the network of connections he made at the University of Newcastle, led to more exciting opportunities.

“I actually got the chance to work on a music video with [Australian punk legends] the Living End. I got to help film it, I got to help edit it, and I also got to help draw the animation that we put over the top of it.”

He’s also done significant work for Yak Media, the University of Newcastle student magazine and online TV channel.

“I’ve worked on some little animations for them and I’ve also helped them do the magazine and done a bunch of cartoons featured in the magazine.”

Reid describes seeing his work, and the work of his classmates and other artists in Newcastle at the Newcastle International Animation Festival, as eye-opening.

“Seeing my film at the NAF and also seeing all my classmates’ films on the same screen, it was an awesome chance to see everybody else’s work, to collaborate, and really to see how much talent there is in Newcastle.”

In the future, though, Reid’s dream is to work in the television industry, helming his own TV show. There, he hopes to share his work with new audiences, and to bring more happiness into the world, one frame at a time.

Student work

Why study at Newcastle?

Behind the scenes with The Living End

Creating a music video for an iconic Australian rock band is something 40 University of Newcastle students can proudly tick off their bucket list, after producing the official music video for The Living End’s new single ‘Not Like The Other Boys’.

The Power of NEW

Three School of Creative Industry students assisted onset of the University’s brand film ‘The Power of New’, delivering another invaluable Working Integrated Learning opportunity


With more than 100 scholarships to choose from, get access to the financial support you need to succeed at uni.

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