• Offered by Research School of Computer Science
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Course subject ANU Extension
  • Areas of interest Music, Visual Arts, Information Technology, Human Centred Computing, Creative Arts

Do you want to make music or interactive visual artworks with your computer? Do you want to be a part of a laptop band? This is the course for you! In Creative Computing you'll learn the fundamentals of computer programming through the creative process of making music and visual art. It's not just an art/music course, and it's not just a "coding" course: you'll need to use both halves of your brain, and (we hope) you'll have a lot of fun in the process.

Creative Computing is split into two components; one focused on music, one on visual art. After an introductory period, students will be allowed to choose one stream or the other (music or visuals) as the focus for their year's project (a final creative work to be presented in the end-of-year exhibition). These streams will run in parallel, and students from each one will work together (i.e. music + visuals).

The course caters to two types of students:

  1. Those with an interest in and aptitude for computer science (especially computer programming) who wish to apply and develop these skills in new and creative directions
  2. Students with and interest in and aptitude for the creative arts (e.g. playing a musical instrument, painting/drawing) who are keen to incorporate technology in their creative practice (but haven't necessarily done any computing or programming courses)

In Year 11, students will be introduced to design and computer programming in the context of creating music and interactive artwork with code. Topics covered may include the nature and history of creative computing, UI/UX design, data representation, program organisation, control structures, algorithms, 2D/3D graphics, and audio signal processing.

Admission to the Creative Computing ANU Extension course is based on a selection process which includes a portfolio of work, a selection test, evidence of past academic successes, and school/college recommendation. We welcome diverse applicants who might not have come through the "traditional" pathways, so if you're not sure if you're eligible then get in touch (email ben.swift@anu.edu.au). International students are not able to enrol in this course.

This is Part A of a 2 part course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Design, build and evaluate interfaces for human-computer interaction in a creative context
  2. Design and write computer programs to generate artistic output (music and visuals)
  3. Explore fundamental concepts in computer programming, such as data representation, algorithms and computer networks through their application in the domains of music & visual art
  4. Understand and critically analyse the history of computers and technology in artistic practice

Other Information

Students will be required to be enrolled in courses in their home college or school. Whilst H courses are intended to provide challenging extension experiences, students enrolled in H courses do not necessarily have to be studying the same course in their home college. However, normally there will be co-requisite home college courses. Any co-requisite home college courses will be determined by the home college or school. To be offered a place in the course students must be successful in portfolio-based interviews held in Nov/Dec of each year. Students must achieve an overall passing grade in each unit before continuing to the next unit.

Indicative Assessment

  1. process: students will submit a fortnightly process blog containing examples of both their own work and the work of others (with appropriate referencing) (40) [LO 2,3,4]
  2. solution (i): at the half-way point of the course, the students will submit a prototype version of their final code-based music/visual artwork for assessment & feedback (20) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. solution (ii): the student's final works will be performed/exhibited and assessed at an end-of-year exhibition (40) [LO 1,2,3]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


30x 2-hour in-person workshop sessions, plus 50 hours of self-study (110 hours total).

Inherent Requirements

Information on inherent requirements for this course is currently not available.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a Bachelor of Studies. Students who take this course must be enrolled in either a course in the Information Technology Course Area or a course in the Arts framework, at T-level, at their home college.

Prescribed Texts

All material will be freely available on the EXTN1019 course website (based on content from the COMP1720 and COMP2710 course websites)

Preliminary Reading

The course content will be based on selected content from both COMP1720 (lectures , labs) and the COMP2710 Laptop Ensemble (workshop content).

Assumed Knowledge

Students are assumed to have completed all of the compulsory studies in the Arts and Digital Technologies in the Australian Curriculum.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

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If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3629 19 Apr 2021 03 Jun 2021 24 Jun 2021 17 Dec 2021 In Person N/A

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